Monday, October 09, 2006

Leicester Longwool 3 – Two Yarns

I have finished spinning my first handful of Leicester Longwool; about as much as I need for enough yarn for one sheep motif on my Rare Breed Sweater. The total weight I worked with was 54 grams (1.8 ounces). From that I was able to comb 34 grams (1.2 ounces), from which I spun a worsted yarn. From the remaining 20 grams, I picked out about 4 grams (0.1 ounce) of neps and second cuts. I handcarded the remaining 16 grams (½ ounce) for a woolen yarn sample.

So, percentage-wise, that handful yielded 63% worsted, 30% woolen, and 7% waste.

Here they are, with the worsted yarn on the left.

Worsted Leicester Longwool yarn on the left, woolen spun on the right.I used my Kromski Minstrel for both yarns, spinning with the 8.5 ratio whorl. Both measure 14 WPI. Neither one has a soft hand.

The worsted yarn is smoother and has I love its luster, though it is not as silky to touch as Wensleydale. It was lovely to spin however. I tend to spin short fibers more often than long ones, so I had to keep reminding myself of its 6 inch length and adjust my hand positioning accordingly. Still, it was so easy to spin that I developed a rhythm quickly.

The woolen yarn still has some rare neps and short bits in it. The fiber length was anywhere from 1 to 3 inches. I don't think this style of spinning does the fiber justice, but it is nice to know I will be able to utilize most of the fleece.

The Leicester Longwool has such lovely wave and curl to it.....

Leicester Longwool staples.
.....that I'm thinking someday I'd like to experiment and try some in a woven fleece sample.

And the best news is that this is the last of my rare breed yarn samples for my sweater. So it's soon time to start swatching. I have lots of ideas, I only hope that some of them are workable. Too often the picture in my head doesn't match the results on my needles! :o The weather is finally turning cooler, so sweater knitting will be a welcome activity.

Related Posts:
Winter Knitting Project
Rare Breed Sweater - Leicester Longwool 1
Leicester Longwool 2 - Sorting & Washing
Adventures in Woolcombing
TA-DAH! Rare Breed Sweater Done!


Sue Bleiweiss said...

Gorgeous as usual. Boy you really have a gift for spinning beautiful yarn!

Cathy said...

Great... you inspired me to buy Tunis and Leicester Longwool fleeces. I have no clue what I will do with them but by golly... I am thinking about combs too. I think reading your blog is wonderful but maybe I should stop. :-)))))

I can't wait to see your rare breeds sweater in action. I have a collection of yarn - no telling what trail I will follow you down next.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful yarn - your rare breed sweater is going to be incredible!

Cathy said...

they are beautiful Leigh! Oh how I wish I knew how to spin!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping in and visiting, Leigh, and for your kind words.

Don't spin, myself, but it is on my list as the final piece in the triad of spinning, dyeing, weaving. Am wanting to pick up a workshop at some point in the next year.

Right now, my goal for this year is a major focus on double weave, double width. I love focusing on one technique and really exploring it in depth.

I really enjoy your blog, and will come back to visit often.


Anonymous said...

Those locks are so beautiful and shiney. The handspun from them is also very beautiful. You do such a nice job.