I have added a new segment to the spin-in podcasts, about different sheep breeds. Once a month I will take two of the samples I have kept on spinning different sheep fleeces. This started out as a collection of samples from rare breed sheep, but I since expanded it to include all of the types of breeds I could get a sample or entire fleece to process.
This month I talk about two of the leicester breeds, the Border Leicester and the Blue Faced Leicester. It may help you as you listen to see these pictures, taken from the collection.
First we have fiber from the Border Leicester:
In the center is the washed lock, on the left is a combed lock and on the right is a carded lock.
The sample skeins spun from the fiber are shown next:
The combed skein on the left is a smoother and finer yarn, while the skein on the right shows the fluffier type of yarn.
Next we have the fiber from the Blue Faced Leicester:
The washed lock on the left shows how much shorter the locks from the fleece are, compared to the Border Leicester. Also note how tight the crimp is in the lock. The locks were hard to process, both by carding and combing, and you can see by the two samples, you can hardly tell a difference between the carded and combed fiber. I concluded with this sampling that I would have this fleece commercially processed.
However I did spin sample skeins of the home processed fiber, shown next:
The skein from the combed top was wonderful to spin, and made a very lovely yarn. The carded batt had so many neps in it, I was too frustrated to spin any quantity, and kept the skein just for the completeness of the sampling.
The Blue Faced Leicester fiber is very soft and would be considered next to the skin wearable yarn, but I would recommend the Border Leicester for outerwear.