Huxtable Farm Jacob wool fleeces are shorn from the sheep in May/June when the weather is warmer and the sheep don’t need their woolly coats anymore. Raw Huxtable Farm Jacob fleeces available to purchase.
I find it’s best to spin the fleece raw as they are full of natural lanolin which helps bind the wool and is great for softening your hands!
Before the fleece can be spun it needs to be sorted (teased) to remove any vegetable matter this is done by hand picking through the fleece. At this stage I also separate out the ewes fleece colours into light and dark, whereas lambs fleeces I leave the colours as they are so that when the laight & dark colours are mixed a grey is obtained.
Once the fleeces have been cleaned of vegatable matter and colour sorted they are carded getting the fleece fibres separated and aligning the fibres to be parallel with each other, which is then gently rolled into a rolag ready for spinning. Carding can be done using hand carders or a drum carder.
The rolags can now be spun, I use a tradition spinning wheel, treadling the wheel with my foot on the pedal and pulling a small amount of fibres form the rolag to be twisted, called drafting. Draft a small amount of fiber to spin a thin yarn, and a large amount of fiber to spin a bulky yarn.
Once a the bobbin is full remove from the spinning wheel. You can use a single ply yarn, or ply two or more bobbins of single ply yarn together from a bobbin rack, known as a lazy kate. Single ply yarn is spun with what is called a Z-twist. Single ply yarns are often used for weaving and crochet projects, whilst two or more plied yarns are ideal for knitting projects. Plying is twisting two or more single threads together, in the opposite direction from which they were spun, known a S-twist into the yarn.
The next step is to wind the single or plyed yarn from the bobin onto a Niddy Noddy to make a skein. Tie the skein in 3 or 4 areas and slip off the Niddy Noddy.
The skein can now be washed in a mild soapy solution to remove the dirt from the raw fleece, rinsed and soaked in a conditioner solution for a while before rinsing again and hanging out to dry.
Once dried the skein can be wound in to balls ready for knitting, crocheting or weaving.
Please view Huxtable Farm Jacob Sheep Wool Products for sale here : -fleeces, rugs, wool, knitting kits and woven throws & cushions
Huxtable Farm Bed and Breakfast Accommodation, West Buckland, Barnstaple, Devon near Exmoor