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Author Topic: What's the nicest 'next to skin' (soft) coloured fleece you have spun?  (Read 3707 times)

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Love my Beaulahs, and happy with their lovely fleece, but thinking of starting a mini flock of a breed with some lovely natural colour, just for fleece (so might buy some castrated ram lambs?) - so after softness first and colour variation next - suggestions?

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
My Ryelands are a nice colour, a couple are brownish whilst the other is more grey underneath. Wouldn't say they are particular soft to the skin though or perhaps thats just my rubbish spinning technique  :roflanim:
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Juliet will be along soon to sing the praises of the Hebridean.  Like the Icelandic, they have a double coat so you can separate the two and the inner is supposed to be very soft.  Haven't tried it myself, mind.

Or of course there are Icelandics themselves - you can have the varied colours then, too.  They're not easy to come by, mind.

I read that originally Shetlands also had a double coat but not many of them do any more.

Gotlands come in several colours, don't they?

Or you could cross something with a very soft fleece onto ones with good colours - Teeswater, for instance, makes a super cross on a Shetland, or presumeably would soften the fleece of Ryelands...  Or even a Blue-faced Leicester would impart softness and lustre?

Fascinating subject - do think aloud here, please!   ;D

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Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Juliet will be along soon to sing the praises of the Hebridean.  Like the Icelandic, they have a double coat so you can separate the two and the inner is supposed to be very soft.  Haven't tried it myself, mind.

Or of course there are Icelandics themselves - you can have the varied colours then, too.  They're not easy to come by, mind.

I read that originally Shetlands also had a double coat but not many of them do any more.

Gotlands come in several colours, don't they?

Or you could cross something with a very soft fleece onto ones with good colours - Teeswater, for instance, makes a super cross on a Shetland, or presumeably would soften the fleece of Ryelands...  Or even a Blue-faced Leicester would impart softness and lustre?

Fascinating subject - do think aloud here, please!   ;D
Any and all of above sound good!  Anyone selling any?  The crossing bit is my prob - I havnt got enough land for a troup of various rams - but I thought if I could buy 3 or 4 different wethers (sp??) they could live in with the others (or would that not work ofr some reason?)and I'd get 6 + years of fleece?  It's definately softness that is priority (but we are semi upland, so hardiness is a factor).  Rushes to fleece source book to look at sheep pictures.....

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Put an ad on UK Fleeeece People on Ravelry and also of course our own Craft Smallholders UK there.  And any groups covering your geographical area. 

And in Marketplace here on TAS, of course!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Juliet will be along soon to sing the praises of the Hebridean.  Like the Icelandic, they have a double coat so you can separate the two and the inner is supposed to be very soft.  Haven't tried it myself, mind.




Or you could cross something with a very soft fleece onto ones with good colours - Teeswater, for instance, makes a super cross on a Shetland, or presumeably would soften the fleece of Ryelands...  Or even a Blue-faced Leicester would impart softness and lustre?

Fascinating subject - do think aloud here, please!   ;D

No, I wouldn't really recommend Hebs as first choice for softness, even taking the time to separate out the top coat from the undercoat.  There are much easier sheep to deal with.  Heb can be very soft, but only when compared with other Hebs  :D :sheep:
 
In days gone by when I had my fleece flock - partly home-bred wethers, partly interesting ewes - I played around with different crosses.  We had three tup breeds: Heb, Shetland and Jacob.  We had various ewes, some pure, some crosses.  The cross with the most amazing fleece was my 'Spinning Jenny' ewe who was PolwarthxDorsetxRyeland, covered by either a Shetland tup, producing white lambs, or a Jacob tup, which produced the most wonderful mainly black, but unbelieveably soft, spinning fleeces.   I also put both these tups over a Gotland (not at the same time of course  ;D ) and got some lovely, saleable and spinnable fleeces from them - some were black, some were white, one was katmoget.  These fleeces weren't as crimpy as Spinning Jenny's lambs, but were a bit lustrous.  I think you are unlikely to find lambs of good fleece crosses for sale, because the few people who breed them will be keeping them for themselves.
 
For a purebred sheep I really think you can't go far wrong with Shetlands, which come in just about every colour under the sun.  You need to be picky when choosing your lambs, especially if they are wethers (the best will have been kept entire).
Or, you could have a variety of different ewes, including a Shetland, a Gotland and a coloured Ryeland, maybe an Icelandic, and a Shetland ram for a couple of years, then swap him for a Jacob, very carefully selected for a good fleece (many Jacobs have horrible coarse fleece, but there are plenty with good spinning fleeces)
 
You can have a great deal of fun trying out different crosses, with the big advantage that you can eat any lambs which don't produce what you want.  The first year's fleece is nearly always good, but then disappointment can come with the second fleece, once the sheep is more mature.
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colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!


Any and all of above sound good!  Anyone selling any?  The crossing bit is my prob - I havnt got enough land for a troup of various rams - but I thought if I could buy 3 or 4 different wethers (sp??) they could live in with the others (or would that not work ofr some reason?)and I'd get 6 + years of fleece?  It's definately softness that is priority (but we are semi upland, so hardiness is a factor).  Rushes to fleece source book to look at sheep pictures.....





Have a word with Pedwardine if you want to try Gotlands :thumbsup:
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FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
great advice thanks.  I will bookmark and keep my eyes open.. (not in a rush and need to sell some of this years lambs before I can buy more!!!).

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
I have fleeces from last year's shearing, all kept clean in open weave bags.  I am happy to post any (at cost) plus a small donation to my lamb fund ;) .
I have a mixture of white and katmoget pure Shetland, Shetland with 1/4 Ryeland in white and various shades of katmoget.  Also a couple which are much darker than the others mainly black/brown and more like a Ryeland.  They are all quite different, reasonably clean and have not been washed.  I had planned to send them for commercial spinning but I need to outlay about £700 in advance :-\
One fleece won the Best Coloured Fleece at our local show last August  :trophy: - so they can't be too bad! (Beginner's luck - I was over the moon at my first attempt).

PM me if interested.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
What is katmoget?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: What's the nicest 'next to skin' (soft) coloured fleece you have spun?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 11:54:55 pm »
What is katmoget?

Opposite of gulmoget  :-J

You won't believe me, but that was a more helpful answer than the breed society's, which is:
Quote
Katmoget : Having a light coloured body with dark belly and legs and a moget face. The reverse of Gulmoget
Moget-faced : Applied to the characteristic face markings of the Katmoget pattern on sheep not otherwise displaying that pattern
:D


Gulmoget is like the mouflon markings of the Soay or the Castlemilk Moorit.  Katmoget is the negative of that - lighter body, dark line under jaw & eyes, legs, under tail, etc.

For further obfuscation, please visit the society's website   ;) :D
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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