Friday, August 31, 2012

Beautiful Buffalo!

We participate in the local farmer's market every Saturday. It is a lot of work before, during, and after the market; however, we meet a lot of great people: customers and vendors.

Last year, I met a young family that sell buffalo meat. Now, I know you are immediately thinking evil thoughts about the meat industry; however, these folks run a really wonderful operation.

Their buffalo (or more correctly, American bison) are raised on native prairie grasses and are allowed to live within their natural family units with their past generation of offspring. Basically, the buffalo "free-range" year round and are not given any feeds with grain, animal by-products, hormones, or antibiotics. They provide hay in the winter if necessary.

Yes, these animals are raised for meat, but don't even get me started on the wool industry! Okay, I digress, but I'm back...

So, I was beyond delighted when they gave me some fiber. They collect bits and pieces of fiber around their property after it is naturally shed. They don't usually find a big chunk, but they gifted this big four ounce beauty to me!

The top...

....and the underside
Because buffalo fiber is very expensive (approx. $40/ounce for roving), I very carefully removed all the big burrs and then drum carded (four times) to remove the small debris.
Some of the big chunks and a little fiber I had to part with!

 
Buffalo has a very short staple length, so I spun it on my Ashford Joy with almost no tension. I plied a single yarn and ended up with approximately 100 yards. I didn't want to ply it on itself because then I would lose all the yardage and up with an itty bitty skein.

I plied the single with an almost near match (in color) of Shetland wool. The wool and buffalo are both super soft, so I ended up with one luscious skein:

50/50 blend of buffalo and Shetland wool
2.5 ounces / 100 yards
10-11 wpi

Now, to sell or keep...that's the question. In fact, that's always the question!



6 comments:

  1. oh, what a lovely color! That is beautiful.
    Judy

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  2. I want to know how the bison stroganoff turned out. Beef stroganoff is one of my signature dishes, you know.

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    1. The bison stroganoff turned out fantastic. I didn't know that it was your signature dish! You will have to make this version.

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  3. Replies
    1. beautiful.... would love to feel it.

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