Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Black Shetland - Re-visited

You'll never guess what I've done.  I've only gone and gotten myself another Black Shetland fleece from the farmer in Morval, Cornwall that I had the others from.  Not only that, but this fleece has come from the exact same sheep as the last Black Shetland fleece but she is all grown up now and has given birth to a lamb of her own.  Shame I don't have any pictures to show you of cute lambs.

I forgot to take a photo of the fleece this time so I will show you the last fleece again.

This year's fleece wasn't as nice as the shearling fleece, but then lambs wool is traditionally the best quality that you can get.  We've also had a lot of very wet weather over the past year and this plays havoc with the quality of the fleece.

I took delivery of 988g of fleece but noticed a lot of vegetable matter and second cuts in this years fleece.  Normally I would remove as much as I could but there is so much of it I decided to leave that job to the combs, they are so much more efficient at it than I am.  I just got on and washed the fleece, leaving me with 644g of clean fleece.

After I sat and combed the entire fleece I had a large bag of waste and just 414g of hand-combed nests waiting to be spun.  This is not much, a poor % yield, but what there is is nice, better than I was expecting after seeing the state it was in when it arrived.

I split the amount in half and spun two singles.  When I came to ply, I added a new twist.  Yes I plied both of the single Shetland strands together but I also added in something else to make 3 ply yarns.

To my first yarn I added some fine red cotton yarn, spinning to sport weight 179g/304m made up of 87% Shetland Wool/13% cotton.

To my second yarn I added some fine magenta cotton yarn, spinning to sport weight 152g/310m made up of 86% Shetland Wool, 14% Cotton

To my third and final yarn I added some baby pink cotton yarn, spinning to double knit weight 153g/305m made up of 84% Shetland Wool, 16% Cotton.

I think they look pretty good together and certainly something different for me.

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