I needed a break from all the alpaca, so yesterday evening I was sorting out my stash cupboard when I came across a half bred fleece I had purchased last year, intending to wash and prep the fibre ready for spinning of course ~ until I got side tracked by all the alpaca.
Half Bred Sheep:
A registered breed that was originally developed in the 19th century by crossing one of the English long wools such as Romney or English Leicester with the merino. They were developed for both wool and meat and are suited to hill and high country.
The staples are well defined and chunky with crimp right up to the tip. It is classed as a fine wool with medium bulk. There can be wide variation amongst fleeces.
Fibre is usually between 21 - 33 microns.
staple length is 75-110 mm
An excellent fibre when soft durability is required.
It's a waxy type fleece so needs a good wash in very hot water.
I had already prepped a small portion of it and spun it up, but the majority was sat looking at me, so I bagged some up and put it in a bucket of hot water and dish washing liquid, soaked for 20 minutes then changed the water and soaked for a further 15 minutes then 2 rinses in hot water. I set it out on a mesh rack to dry overnight:
Obviously the locks on the left are unwashed, the ones on the right washed. They come up nice and clean apart from a tiny bit on the very tip which I snip off with scissors. The combed fibre is at the back, yet more beautiful squishy nests that I will look forward to spinning. I would say the fibre is next to skin soft for me, it's lofty and light and would knit into a nice comfortable, yet hard wearing sweater.
I enjoyed spinning some of it into a fingering weight 2 ply yarn:
I have 2.6kg of this to get through and have noticed there's very little waste when combing it. I shall continue to work on this when needing a break from the alpaca.