The podcast episode for this blog entry is number 107.
This was the last fiber in my British rare breed package from Hilltopclouds. It was the only unwashed fiber, which never bothers me, I like learning about how a fiber is in the grease. It was low lanolin and very easy to wash up, going from an off white to very nice white color.
I would describe this as medium everything type fiber, medium length locks, medium softness, medium crimp. It is a very lovely fiber to work with.
I found I had to pick the washed fiber completely open, then it both combed and carded well. I did two passes with hand combs, finding lots of short stuff caught in the tines as waste. I decided to take a photo showing why the top was so lovely.
On the top of this photo you see all the waste removed, and below that the top I pulled off, which was so wonderful to spin. When I was spinning the top I felt a slight slickness to the fiber, reminding me of Lincoln fiber, only not as long. There was a very slight halo to the yarn too, unusual in worsted spinning. The 2 ply yarn was 12 WPI and I got 22 yards.
I drum carded the other half of the washed fiber into one big fluffy batt. For being so fluffy, the carded fiber really didn't like being spun woolen, I ended up with a semi woolen spinning. So the yarn was smoother than a woolen spun yarn would have been. The 2 ply yarn was 12 WPI and I got 33 yards.
Here's a photo of the yarns
Combed top skein is on the top and carded batt skein below that.
I have shown all the skeins of yarn from these British rare breeds to spinning friends and they all commented how soft the yarn felt. There seems to be a misconception about all rare breeds having coarser wool. Every breed of sheep have specific characteristics to their wool, rare or not. It was worth the time and cost of doing this review, just to learn there are rare breeds with soft lovely wool to spin.