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Where do I buy a fleece for spinning
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madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1265
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 1:51 pm    Post subject: Where do I buy a fleece for spinning  Reply with quote    

As the title,I really fancy starting with a fleece straight off the sheep but have no idea where to buy one. I quite fancy using Herdwick but otherwise black or coloured sheep. It's an experiment so top grade expensive isn't really what I need I don't think.

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4357
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have some Shropshire fleeces that realistically I'm not going to get around to. There are 2 pillowcases full, and also a pillowcase of Hebridean.
It was lightly washed but is still greasy. As a novice I can't guarantee staple length or anything like that; I did go through and pick out vegetation etc.

Tempted?

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4357
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Postage for one pillowcase full was about 9 I think.

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1265
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds interesting ,the Hebredian that is. I assume the Shropshires are nominally white, not so sure about them.
How much do you think you might want for them ?
Was the postage costed for Royal Mail? I imagine any carrier would be ok, even the worst courier would struggle to break a fleece
Yes I think I'm tempted.

Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 13 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I expect that NMG's Hebridean is much nicer than the ones I was given, but, imle, 'intersting' is definitely the right word! The nice ladies at the guild had a bunch of not so nice words for it though!!
It did provide an insight into ancient fleece types though, and what can and what can't be spun! The guard hairs, that otherwise might be called 'tog' were so coarse and hairlike that they would not hold together, and the soft 'thel' was a bit on the short side for easy spinning too.

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1265
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 13 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hopefully this one will be ok,I've said I will buy it.

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1265
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 13 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh it's my first fleece as well ,time to buy wool combs maybe.?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11397

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can tease it by hand. As I started spinning in the iron age that is how I started as they didn't use cards then.

I once had a fleece that had been used by some young school children to find the surface area of a sheep. As they couldn't get beyond squares, the way they pulled that fleece around they must have ended up with a very odd answer.

toggle



Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Posts: 11622
Location: truro
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: Where do I buy a fleece for spinning Reply with quote    

madcat wrote:
As the title,I really fancy starting with a fleece straight off the sheep but have no idea where to buy one. I quite fancy using Herdwick but otherwise black or coloured sheep. It's an experiment so top grade expensive isn't really what I need I don't think.


for a coloured fleece, I'd recomend you consider looking for either a jacob, preferably from a flock selected for fleece, a zwartbles or a coloured shetland. they are all fun fleeces and easy enough to work with for a first time.

i'd personally recomend you contact your local rare breeds assn or spinning guild for finding somethign nearby.

Finsky



Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Notts.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I absolutely LOOOOOve Hebridean wool...though it is not the easiest option for sorting...particularly if you haven't dealt with fleeces much.
The quality and quantity of useable wool vary a lot from sheep to sheep.
I had 6 Hebridean fleeces this summer to sort and although at first glance they all looked good...once I started to separate the 'bits' into different grades...some fleeces I could use almost all for nice woolly spinning and some I ended up throwing half for next years garden mulch pile.
When you have nice first clip fleece...it truly is nice stuff.
Just little tip....if the wool looks like it is no good....just pull small amount apart..give it a test wash...often it is surprise how good the wool is even if it looks bit scary in its natural state..

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18380

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

madcat wrote:
Oh it's my first fleece as well ,time to buy wool combs maybe.?


Definitely join your local Guild and borrow kit from them.
Wool combs = expensive.

I also think Hebridean is a nice colour but a pain to deal with (and I haven't enjoyed spinning what I did sort and wash). High rate of fleece wastage.

I would suggest coloured Shetland, or even Blue Texel (though this fleece is not as cheap as some).

Places like Winghams etc also do coloured 'tops' ready for spinning.

Finsky



Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Notts.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You don't need combs with Hebridean fleece...it cards easily for woollen yarn and if washed carefully..you can spin straight from teased wool (teased open with hands) ...just invest a dog comb (about 1-2), which will easily deal any knotty bits. Hebridean wool doesn't have kind of crimp that grip on the locks. When you immerse the wool into hot water..the wool almost 'melt' in and the locks start straightening up.
To do proper worsted yarn..well...with combing you would loose awful lot of wool and there is not that much to loose in first place.

madcat



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 1265
Location: worcester
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for your helpful replies , I will invest in a dog comb . I looked at them but they all had nasty plastic handles and I'd hoped for wood.
I will persevere and I am going to join the Guild . I'm off to a Birmingham meeting tommorow if I don't get lost on the way.

Has anybody made asset of wool combs? I was trying to describe them to Boris in the pub and the people on the next table were probably quite worried.

Finsky



Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 847
Location: Notts.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm sure you can buy metal dog combs with wooden handles too.
If you are familiar with ravelry..here is link for my 'fiber stash' page..some photos of my Hebridean fleeces and how they've been picked and carded..
http://www.ravelry.com/people/Finsky/fiber

edit to add... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/metal-dog-comb-/271273601159?pt=UK_Pet_Supplies_Dogs&hash=item3f292aa887
...see!..they do exist ..though you can get them cheaper than this particular one..

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18380

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 13 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use a pair of cat brushes as carders. Also cheap.
Can also use singly to flick-card locks/staples of anythihg.

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