There are also another 7 Sheep, 1 Alpaca and 1 Goat in separate posts on my blog page HERE.
I think because this fleece has no crimp it made it a bit more difficult to tease into a fluffy ball. I think it will comb beautifully as the staples are measuring from 3.5 – 5.5ins, but that’s not what we’re doing today.
It was quite slippery to spin from the teased fibre and so I got a rather hairy singles with odd wispy bits sticking out, I thought a semi-worsted style would be better in this case. It had an interesting look when Navajo plied and is a gorgeous gingery colour.
I used a 3.5mm needle for this sample which gave a nice hairy fabric and so the wispy bits didn’t look odd, they blended in. The Huacuya Alpaca gives a fuzzy fabric, but this is hairy more like a kind of Mohair effect. It’s softer than the adult Mohair.
Although it is a nice fabric I think I will probably card or comb this when I go to make something with it, because that will show it at it’s best. So for this experiment it’s a 7/10
This is not as soft as the white Texel although the staples are measuring the same 2 – 3.5ins, but I love it’s texture and the mix of browns and greys. I think this will spin up quite well straight from the fleece.
This was not as smooth as some of the others so I used a short forward draw to try and smooth it out quicker as I went. It was uneven and my drafting fingers did hurt a little. After plying it the Navajo way, it evened out a bit and turned out to be a relatively smooth 3 ply yarn.
I used a 5mm needle for this knitted sample and it made a lovely mostly even fabric, although I think the colour helped blend it in rather well. Because this was quite sore on my hands when drafting I think I will be carding it for my next project.
But I like working with a Blue Texel fleece, when you spin with it the greys mixing with the browns gives this sparkled effect and it’s really lovely. But for this experiment though I give it a 5/10.
This has short to medium size staples at 2 – 3.5ins and such a soft springy, almost foamy feel to it. It was also easy to tease into a nice foamy fibre ball.
This was easier to spin than the Blue but it did have a slightly longer staple so I spun this woollen style. I was surprised at how even it looked after the Navajo plying.
I used a 5mm needle for this Texel as well and it gives a lovely hand to the fabric, it’s very nice. The white does show up the odd lumpy stitch but I would still wear a jumper made from this.
I would probably bypass the carding stage next time too. For this experiment I give it a 9/10.
This Gotland has such a curly fleece the staples measuring 3 – 4.5ins, so it was easy enough to tease out, but a lot of the curl was left in as the teasing just slackens it a little then it returns to it’s original shape.
To spin it was lovely and very interesting it made little loops in the singles and when plied it made a really nice boucle effect yarn. This would remove a step from the way you would normally make “Boucle Art Yarn” which could be handy!
I used a 4mm needle for this sample, and it made a lovely knitted fabric which really showed up the texture. I hope I can photograph the fabric so it shows this up as it really is lovely and fun to spin.
I think I would bypass the carding stage again when using this fleece for any textured items. This experiment 8/10.
This fibre feels like it could be worn next to the skin, it did tease out okay even although the staples measured a wopping 6.5 – 7ins ! and there was still evidence of it’s crimpy nature.
I think because of the long crimpy staple it was hard to get a smooth looking yarn and it took me a while to get the singles to do what I wanted as the fibre kept sticking to itself which made it more difficult to draft out too so I ended up spinning this woollen style. The Navajo plying didn’t help any either and although the knitting showed up all the bumps, the fabric itself feels lovely.
This sample was made using a 3.5mm needle. I would probably comb or card this when doing my next project as I think it needs that to show how beautiful this fleece really is.
It’s so beautiful in lock form that you really don’t want to make anything from it as it’s just such a joy to hold and pass through your fingers. For this experiment though I give it a 4/10.
This fleece has quite a good size staple coming in at 3 – 4ins and feels soft with a lovely mix of natural colours.
It was a bit sore on the fingers working it straight from the teased ball so I used a short forward draw and resulted in a rather lumpy yarn. It looked slightly better once it had been plied.
I used a 4mm needle to knit this up and it was okay to knit with, although the final result is a rather bumpy fabric. But the mix of natural colours hides quite a lot and it is still a nice result.
I would probably card or comb this when I go to do my next project with it. For this experiment it gets a 4/10.
The staples from this fleece measured 3 – 4.5ins and I found it was a really soft lovely little fibre ball ready to be spun.
But actually when I started to spin, it was a little hard on the fingers when drafting, so I spun this using the short forward draw and ended up with a thick and thin yarn when the plying was done.
It knitted up quite nicely though, and it feels really (baby) soft. I used a 4mm needle for this and the natural colours hid most of the bumps well.
I think I would card or comb this in the future to show what a lovely fleece this is, and it really is baby soft… For this experiment though I give it a 4/10.
This fleece is a lovely bright creamy fibre, it’s glossy and had mostly individual locks measuring 3.5 – 5ins, they have a large wavy look and feel more hairy than wool. I think I remember her saying it was a shearling, it is just beautiful.
I know there are a lot of spinners out there who always want a soft fleece, but they are really missing out! I loved spinning this fleece and can’t wait to go back and make something with it.
Because I didn’t card or comb it, it was quite tricky to get a smooth yarn, even after plying. I ended up using a short forward draw which resulted in quite a loopy yarn.
It was really fun to spin and it made a really nice stretchy knitted fabric using a 5mm needle. I would probably card this before spinning as I think it would make a lovely knitted blanket, but I would bypass the carding stage when making a nice rug. For this experiment I give it a 7/10.
This had quite a short staple vairying around 3 – 4ins most of it nearer the shorter end, but it teased out okay though.
It was really hard to spin this fibre, and was just lump after bump which made it really sore on the hands. I used a short forward draw for this as I don’t think I had any other option. When Navajo plied it showed up every bump, so I kind of knew this wasn’t going to be fun to knit.
I tried a 4.5mm needle, then I changed to a 5mm and settled on a 5.5mm and you would not believe how nice the knitted fabric came out, I was amazed.
It was also softer than I expected but I think it probably needs to be carded to make it enjoyable to spin properly. For this experiment I give it 4/10.
It has been a really interesting experiment, with some surprising results and I think I will definitely go straight to the wheel more often depending on the project and fleece. I just find the carding and combing stage of using a fleece very long and rather boring, even when I use a talking book or the radio for company. I don’t want to just use prepared tops either as a raw fleece is beautiful to look at and to touch, and don’t forget we are also helping farmers get a good price for their wool. I hope you enjoyed the blog and maybe try this yourself on some of you’re own fleeces, and if you’ve normally been a ‘prepared tops’ person than maybe I’ve convinced you to try a fleece or two.