Sunday, September 23, 2007

7th Shetland Sample - Peeps

I am a sucker for lamb's fleece. Of course it is almost always soft, but there is something else about it, something that evokes the "awwww" factor in me. This fleece was no exception.

Shetland lamb staples.This lovely sample is from a Shetland lamb named Peeps. It is the last of the original Shetland fleece samples from Cathy. The staples in this pic are from the washed batch. Before washing, the fleece actually looked fawn in color. My, but how could a little lamb get so dirty. I can envision a very playful little fellow.

This fleece was dual coated. The length varied from three to five inches. The crimp was anywhere from three to seven per inch, depending on what part of the sample I measured. Some of the tips had sweet little curls on them (not really pictured here.) Despite all the dirt, there was very little vegetable matter (VM) in it. I lost nine-tenths of an ounce of weight in washing out the lanolin and dirt, but was delighted in the lovely color and luster.

I experimented a bit with the size for the singles, before figuring out that about 30 wraps per inch gave me a 2-ply the size I was aiming for. I used my Kromski Minstrel (which seems to be the wheel I always reach for, even though I have an Ashford Traditional too), and the 8.5:1 spinning ratio.

The results were over 103 yards of lovely soft, 16 WPI 2-ply.

Finished 2-ply yarn.It has a lovely hand and luster. It is moderately elastic. Compared to the other two white Shetland samples, Peeps is more of an oyster or pearl color. I know that's not a Shetland sheepy term, but if you take a careful look at the three yarns below, you can see three different whites!

Comparing 3 Shetland whites.The colors above are fairly accurate and the difference is subtle. You may remember that Aurora was the one with the canary stain, and Angie was the white lamb. Peeps is more of an off-white, perhaps having a hint of the palest fawn? I'm not sure! It has been interesting however, to compare them.

What's next? I'm going to start working on the next batch of Shetland fleece samples, also from Cathy. More on those soon.


  1. Very interesting - very subtle. I do love Shetland for it's variety.

  2. Man, you come up with the most beautiful fleece. Good photos and info, too. Keeps me inspired.

  3. I have a new appreciation of your fleece process now after my Fair experience. The differences are lovely. How long did it take to get the Peeps done?

  4. what a name for a lamb - peeps - I can just see a lamb jumping into the air with all fours:)) and the yarn turned out lovely! I think after reading all of your shetland experiments I'll have to give my friend in wales a call - she breeds them too, but at my last visit I carried so much alpaca that I couldn't take shetland too:(( have to make a dent in the alpaca first though....

  5. Bettina, by all means get ahold of some of that Shetland! The variety is wonderful!

    Susan, I worked on this sample over several days, as I took breaks from other projects. I started with 2.5 ounces of raw fleece, and allowed one day for washing and drying, a couple of hours to blend on the drum carder, an afternoon to spin and ply, and then washed the yarn and allowed it to dry overnight. Setting aside the time to dry the fleece and yarn, I could have gotten it done in one day. I ended up with 1.5 ounces of yarn.

  6. Beautiful!! I've never spun Shetland and now have it on my list of things to pick up at Rhinebeck this fall. What do you plan to make from your handspun Shetland?

  7. I've got Fair Isle knitting on my mind! Either a vest or cardigan. Hopefully this will be my winter knitting project.

  8. Leigh - WHENEVER I get back the fleeces I sent off for processing, I will send you some Shetland that's been processed into roving to try. (The guys have had it going on 4 months now! Oi!)

    Shetland will win a person over. ;) The ones you've already spun look to have great lustre - something I'll be working on in my flock.

    Again, as always, beautiful spinning! You go, Girl!


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