Finnsheep, British Milk Breed, Perendale, Racka, Mohair, Silk Noil, Stein, and Art Yarns!

Finally got everything weighed and photographed and ready for this post! 😀 Obviously I’ve had a bit of backlog… Mainly because I’ve spent more time spinning than I have blogging 😛 Anyways…

Fleecydex #40: Finnsheep

FinnsheepThere’s a lot to love about Finnsheep 🙂 I had two different samples of top, plus some washed fleece from a sub-type of Finnsheep called Kainu Grey. The first thing to notice is the light level of lustre– it’s really quite pretty. Second, while not soft enough for the neck or face, the wool isn’t overly rough. It’s incredibly easy to spin. It’s double-coated– when drafting the top, I could sort of feel that; it’s most noticeable, of course, in the fleece.

First sample of top spun into .5 ounces of two-ply– 11 yards.

Second sample of top spun into 1.2 ounces/44 yards of two-ply.

The sample of fleece spun into 3.2 ounces/34 yards of two-ply.

Fleecydex #62: British Milk Breed

British Milk BreedA bit rough, but it’d be hard-wearing, for sure. Softness in wool is not everything– there are always projects that need to be sturdy. This wool would be great for that 🙂 Given more time to think, I know I could think of many uses for this.

Spun up into 3.2 ounces/70 yards of two-ply.

Fleecydex #83: Perendale

PerendaleWhat an interesting wool! It’s crisp, an easy spin… Probably not next-to-skin soft, but I’m sure it would wear well, just as the British Milk Breed would. It’s a descendant of Cheviot and Romney, and shows that off quite well– the lustre of Romney, the strength of Cheviot… I look forward to figuring out how to use this.

Spun into 3.2 ounces/54 yards of two-ply.

Fleecydex #100: Racka

RackaAnother really odd one! Seriously, look at how cool they look 🙂 I bought my sample as combed locks. It’s super-shiny– drafted well– basically it was a nice experience, even if the resulting yarn will most certainly not be next-to-skin soft.

Spun into 1 ounce/28 yards of two-ply.

Fleecydex #110: Mohair

MohairMohair… it is either the bane of your existence, or the nicest fiber you’ve ever touched. Me, I’m a bit torn. I bought a first-cut fleece, which was incredibly soft, BUT… very full of VM, no matter how much I worked with it. The resulting yarn is very heavy, very silky, very soft… and very imperfect. I’m willing to try another fleece in the future… but I’ll pay more attention to the VM-content next time 🙂

Spun into 2 ounces/30 yards of two-ply.

Fleecydex 117B: Silk Noil

Silk NoilContinuing my attempt to spin the various silk preps! This one was quite… frustrating. Sure, noil is ridiculously soft, but it is also very short-stapled and best for blending with batts. It’s lumpy. It’s textured. It’s fun, just not fun to spin on it’s own 😉

I don’t know why I bothered to measure this one; I only bothered to spin a small amount (I was getting quite frustrated)… .2 ounces/14 yards of two-ply. Will make a pretty accent to some hat some day 🙂

FINALLY… one that isn’t really a breed study, but sort of…

Fleecydex X1: Stein

SteinStein isn’t really a breed; Stein is a special flock of crossbreds (a carefully created Gotland/Shetland cross). The resulting wool is heavy, lustrous, soft, a bit crimpy… quite suited to art yarns, and, if properly prepped (which I didn’t do), would spin lovely and fine.

My artsy skein spun up into 4.2 ounces/26 yards of two-ply.


SO that’s all my breed studies… but I practiced a bunch of art yarn techniques, too, which is harder than it sounds with a spindle instead of a wheel (or at least, all the books and videos I have show wheels instead of spindles, which means lots of self-editing and attempts at adaptation). These were all spun from batts I processed on my own (washed, dyed, carded).

crepe, hawser, cableThese are a return to an earlier experiment— I wasn’t totally happy with the result last time. The first is a Crepe construction– the hardest of this ‘subset’ of yarns for me to do; this is the first time I was even somewhat successful. Most of the reference online use ‘cable’ and ‘crepe’ indiscriminately; from the book I was working from, though, Crepe is two strands spun clockwise, plied together counterclockwise, and then a third ply spun counterclockwise, and you ply that strand plus the two-ply clockwise… complicated. The second is a second attempt at Hawser. And the third is my favorite to do– a 4-ply Cable (which I mistakenly called a ‘chain ply’ last time– chain-plying is something else entirely, although a finished cable looks quite a bit like a chain in a necklace). So that’s 3.6 ounces/80 yards of three-ply Crepe, .8 ounces/6 yards of 4-ply Hawser, and 1.2 ounces/11 yards of 4-ply Cable.

thread-plied, corespun, second corespunThese were a return to my obsession with thread plying 😉 The first is just my standard thread-plying– thinner singles than usual for me, and then plied with silver thread (similar to an earlier project, but much cleaner results). The second and the third are something new for me– corespinning, which is incredibly hard with a spindle, but I think I’ve got it figured out for now 😀 It’s squishy and cloud-like… I really like it. The first I thread-plied afterwards, while the second is plied with an opposing-twist single. So this all comes out to 2.4 ounces/146 yards of simple thread-plied, 3.2 ounces/54 yards of corespun #1, and 1 ounce/17 yards of corespun #2.

wensleydale, cocoon, ribbonThese three were all extremely experimental. The first is a rough-spun Teeswater single plied with an opposing twist single. The jury’s still out on whether it made any difference. The second is quite special. During the spinning of my singles, I combined two new-to-me techniques, cocoons and tail-spinning. Basically I used the Teeswater locks to make the cocoons, but I edited the process of making the cocoons based on my knowledge of tail-spinning. I then did my standard two-ply process. The result is strange, highly textured, fluffy… All in all, very interesting. The third… I consider it unsuccessful. That black ply is– was?– a ribbon. I had wanted the ribbon to fluff up and make a cool texture when plied; if I had spin it straight, it would have just wrapped around the single, so instead I added a spin to it and plied the two just as I would any other yarn. The result is dense and heavy, and while interesting, it is most definitely NOT the fluffy look I was going for (back to the drawing board!). So this all comes out as .4 ounces/16 yards of the first, 2.8 ounces/58 yards of the second, and 1.8 ounces/40 yards of the third.

thick singles, two-ply, cotland xThis is the last of it, I promise! Just the standard fare– thick-and-thin singles, a bulky two-ply, and the third was just a sampling of a Lincoln X fleece I bought and processed. I dyed a small portion pinks and spun it up to see how it’d behave; can’t wait to spin the rest 😉 So 2.8 ounces/72 yards of thick/thin singles, 2 ounces/28 yards of bulky two-ply, and… I didn’t record how many ounces in that baby skein. A few. It was just a test before the real, true, WHOLE project–

cotswold xSigh. I’ve got a lot of carding left to do…


Catch y’all on the flip side 😉

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4 Responses to Finnsheep, British Milk Breed, Perendale, Racka, Mohair, Silk Noil, Stein, and Art Yarns!

  1. empress27 says:

    Very informative post. I loved seeing the masses of fleece and the yarns look great! Do you dye them all yourself? 🙂

    • Oh I am so glad you found it ‘informative’! I was starting to worry my breed studies were a waste of time, since they’re mostly my opinions 😉

      In this batch, the only two I DIDN’T dye myself were the dyed brown Finnsheep sample and the colorful silk noil. Everything else colorful I dyed and processed myself 🙂

  2. The First teeswater wool looks like peppermint bark 😋

  3. Pingback: Dyeing for Color. | Without Your Wings

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