What do handspinners want when they buy raw cashmere? First, they want good style. Style is the degree of crimp that each cashmere fiber. It is style that allows the fibers to hang together during the spinning process. Second, they want clear differentiation. Differentiation refers to the difference in diameter between guard hairs and down. The guard hairs should be straight; not wavy in any way. Thirdly, they want handle. Cashmere should have that indefinable feel of the softness of fine cashmere. Lastly, the length of down is important. While the longer fibers are easier to spin, the shorter, and frequently finer, cashmere fibers can be wonderfully carded and blended together with another compatible fiber. Merino and cashmere blends are lovely as are others. Click here to read more about spinning cashmere.
The Clackamas County Events Center will host the 17th Annual OFFF! Their mission is to “exhibit & demonstrate the full spectrum of natural fibers… from the animal to the finished product”. And this they do well! This year, our own Wendy Pieh will judge the cashmere goat show & fleece competition. Additionally, she will put on a 4 hour workshop on fiber identification on the friday before the show. The cost is $45. At the show, there is usually some stiff competition, so good luck to all contestants… and to Wendy who will be working hard to earn her keep! Wendy and her husband Peter Goth have been raising cashmere goats on the coast of Maine for the past 16 years. Thru careful culling, she has developed a signature herd of silver-coated goats that yield lots and lots of beautiful white/grey fiber. She is a really good judge… you will learn a lot from her if you choose to participate either as a contestant or as an observer. The goat show is 9 am on Saturday Sept 28, at the Clackamas County Event Center, Canby, OR. The coordinator is Lisa Zeitz and the website is www.flockandfiberfestival.com.