Stage 7 and 8 – Even though I am busy I still took time to spin

  For the past couple of days I have been busy with all kinds of different activities and places to be. Needless to say I missed blogging yesterday. By the time I got home I and didn’t have time to add my thoughts on my spinning so tonight I will talk about both stage 7 and 8. I have spun Border Leicester, English Leicester, Lincoln long wool, and Merino over the past two days. So let’s get started.


Border Leicester

Let me start by saying I really enjoy spinning primitive breeds and long wools. So when I got to the Leicesters I was excited.  I love the long locks and the sheen. Border Leicester is just that. This sample was just so fun to spin. In the picture it it’s the bottom one.  This particular sample was really white and the sheen was just wonderful. I would make sweaters, socks ,hats  just about anything really. I know long wools can feel rough next to the skin to some people but for me it’s not really a problem. On a scale of one to 10 I count this one a 10.


English Leicester

Again being a Leicester I was already in love. Comparing English to Border to BFL, I really like them all just about the same. English seems to be the coarsest of the three, although not by much. In these samples the big difference was that the English had some yoking so that my end result was more of a cream than a white. Again I would make just about anything I wanted with this fiber. I also didn’t find any of these long wools hard to card, as a matter of fact I find them to be easier because of the low grease content. On a scale of 10 to 10 I would call this one a 9, because of the yoking.


Stage 8

Ok if you want to go from one end of the scale to the other today’s samples would be that.  I started with Lincoln long wool and merino. From coarse to super soft as you can see in the picture the black is the Lincoln and the white merino.  I will confess I did cheat a bit. I did wash the samples however when it came to the carding and preparing I chose to use samples of roving I had in my stash and purchased. So I was already happy with the starting fibers.IMG_3729



Lincoln being a coarse fiber, it’s more durable and easy to spin I think it’s great for sweaters and socks. If you are little more sensitive to scratchy yarn you might want to make a cardigan or jacket.  It also comes in some great rich colors as these samples will attest too. Because this sample was in my stash you can already guess I like it. This particular sample came from a past local breeder. He no longer has fleeces so they aren’t available for sale, but I will tell you that those of us locals that have one (or more) of these fleeces we hold onto it pretty dearly. On my scale this is a 10.




Like I have talked about before I am not a real fan of Merino and here is why. When you buy a fleece you will lose about half the weight after washing,  because of the grease. Which by the way is not as easy to get out as you might think. Another reason I am not a fan is the fact that it’s super soft. That doesn’t sound like a problem, well it if you want to make socks that will wear well you don’t want to use a soft fiber; it will wear out really fast. Lastly I find merino to be spongy, and I really don’t care for that. Yes it does have great crimp but I would still rather spin long wool. I did have to buy my merino sample because I don’t have any merino in my stash. I will say I am pretty happy with the result. I am still not a big fan but it’s ok.  So on my scale I would say merino is a 5.

Tomorrow will be another extreme day Montadale and Navajo-Churro so please come back tomorrow and see how I do.


About yarnsnthreads

Melanie is a fiber artist by profession, a person of faith by choice, she is always looking for something new to learn so she reads and reads. As a fiber artist she has had more than 20 years experience as a Hands on fiber artist and fiber arts teacher specializing in crochet, knitting, and spinning, and weaving. She has taught classes through various yarn stores, Community Education Programs, as well as in 4 H programs around the Treasure Valley and Idaho. She also spent several years as a pattern tester for numerous yarn and design companies. She is also the lead designer for Yarns N Threads Fiber Mill and With all her fiber arts you would think that she would have no more room in her life for other interests and things to learn, this blog is about all parts of Melanie’s life. You will never know what might be on her mind so come back often and see what she is up to now.
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One Response to Stage 7 and 8 – Even though I am busy I still took time to spin

  1. Mokihana says:

    I appreciate your comments about Border Leicester. I’ve seen it knit up and absolutely love the luster of it. Just bought a small fleece and am eager to see how it turns out.

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