I thought I’d give you an update on the Corriedale/Friesian fleece I’ve been working on. The washing is ongoing, but I encouraged myself by doing some sampling.
I started very simply, just a lock and a Golding ring spindle. I prepared it by breaking off the sunburnt tips, then grabbing an end of the lock in each hand and pulling it diagonally back and forth to straighten and loosen the fibers a bit. Then I spun from the fold, and plied the single with itself. Even within the single lock, the color variations took center stage, making a lovely complex yarn.
I am thinking of a sweater for this yarn, so my next try was the same technique, but then I n-plyed the single. It is rounder and nicely bouncy, but it is quite fuzzy. I suppose I should expect that for a woolen technique, but it is quite a bit fuzzier than the 2 ply sample. I kinda like it.
Time to pull out some toys! My Valkyrie Mini Combs made quick work of a couple of locks, and I spun the resulting top from the end (not smoothing, but worsted-ish technique), then plied it to itself. I love the resulting yarn, however I am spying a potential problem. The lighter and darker color fibers separate somewhat with the combing, which could lead to a stripey yarn. In my ply-back, it isn’t over all noticeable, however looking at the extreme ends that are now plied together….they are distinctly different colors. I will have to try this again, combing two different batches and then spinning each, and plying them together, and swatching to see if I get a color change. This yarn would be fabulous for a woven project.
To combat the color change, and to switch back to my preferred longish-draw technique, I combed up two batches of locks, and blocked/stacked the resulting rovings tip to tail. Then I pulled off chunks of the doubled top and spun from the fold. I think this mitigated the color differences nicely, however my yarn was not as consistent as the combed top spun from the end. I’ll have to try again, paying attention to my combing so they finish in the directions I want them….I didn’t bother this time, and I think they were working against each other.
Overall, I’m pleased with all the samples, I’m sure I can use them all in some way and the yarn is pleasant in all the different forms. I will redo my samples on my wheel when I get closer to doing a project, as I’ll do the spinning on there, and I can more easily explore the effects of the amount of twist. Overall, I prefer the end-spun combed top, although the woolen spun 3 ply is a close second.
I have a lot more washing to do, but I’m on hold this week as I’m dyeing club. I’ll be back with more about this particular fleece as the story unfolds.