Choosing wool to spin is a big challenge as a starting spinner. Fortunately, we have internet and countless YouTube videos and then the uncertainty begins. Lots of advice and many manufacturers who tell you that this is really the best wool for your spinning adventure. Internet and reading books is a nice combination to get information about the choice of wool, and of course you have woolspinning groups on Facebook that can help you. I bought the book : the Fleece & Fiber sourcebook, more than 200 Fibers from Animal to Spun Yarn, Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius and i find it a very instructive and a beautiful book.
This superb book tells you about sheep breeds, fleece weight, staple lenght, fiber diameters and fiber preparatio and spinning tips en muche more. This book was recommended by several wool spinning groups.
My first fleece that i bought for 5 euros was removed from dirt and vegatation and selected for usable wool. The colors of the fleece are : white, brown, grey and black. I bought this fleece at a textile fair (where a i was giving workshops needlebinding) to try it out and i had no idea what i was going to make with it, but the main thing is that i was going to needlebind with it.
I sorted the big bag of wool a bit and put it in a number of smaller transparant bags. i also sorted the wool by color. During this sorting i wear plastic gloves because of the lanolin, abetter grip and also because the wool has not been washed yet. After the coarse sorting i am going to pull the locks gently out the fleece and sort them by length and put them in clear plastic boxes.
And then the locks are nicely sorted and ”what would the clean locks look like”? On YouTube i saw that with a dog brush the points of the locks open and if you als comb the shaving side with the brush, the short pieces of wool also come out.
This method is called Flicking, opening out locks and clean them.
Flicking the wool starts with with an old white pillowcase, an easy chair, good light and nice music in the background, a cup of tea, and time fot yourself and………….. off the phone. I put the white pillowcase on my lap and in my left hand i hold a few strands of wool on the shaving side. With my right hand i comb the tips of the locks, they change with combing like fans os wool.
I saw on YouTube that i can already spin with this locks but i’am going to try that with my WoolSpindle and see if it works.
The raw wool stuck a bit, but the spinning actually went well, after a number of locks you no longer feel the lanolin, which is not strange, the same material that is used in cosmetics. The question of which wool i will use in the future remains un answered. I am going to process my fleece first and then i’ll see what comes my way.
On the picture are 2 different sheep, the sheep with the broad head are Texel sheep and the others are Swifter sheep. I bought 2 fleece of the Swifters sheep, the wool is very clean and the locks are beautiful.
In the ptoto above i have already washed a little wool and then i combed the wol 2 times instead of 4 times so beautiful clean is the wool.
I spun the Swifter wool with the woolspindle and that was very easy and fun to do 🙂