Easing back in to wool of the week project, this week’s breed is the Tunis sheep breed. Okay, so this wool was actually washed when I purchased it. It still needed to be picked a little bit since there was some remaining VM in it, but my combs made short work of it. I noted though, how difficult it was, upon first try, to comb it. The wool was dense, and had a relatively long staple. It also felt like it had a little more lanolin in the fibres, so it felt a little sticky with natural oils, it moved slowly on the combs. It almost made me think of something Evie said on the Jillian Eve YouTube fiber show, some people would warm their wool combs by the fireplace to work with the lanolin grease more fluidly. Before, when I had spun this wool on my drop spindle (it wasn’t prepared right) but it was significantly hard to draft the fibers. This time however, the fibers were organized and it made it easier to draft, and the yarn came together more evenly and consistently. I was tempted to make the yarn weight a little smaller, a thinner yarn, but I do have an end-goal for this project and I want all of my yarns to be close to the same weight.
Next week I will be announcing the end-goal for this project, which I will put at the end of that WOTW blog.
Although I didn’t work with this wool from raw raw, the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook has photo references to show what it looks like. True to the information in the book, my Tunis wool was creamier than white, and lustrous, Robson and Ekarius note, from genetics of Leicester mixed in. Reading that this breed is a dual purpose breed that does well in heat and humidity caught my eye… Do I like this wool better than Shetland wool?… the more I read about different sheep breeds and work with different wools, the more open I feel towards my options with what I’ll chose for my own sheep.
I combed for one ply, spun it, and then combed for my second ply. I tried on my second combing, to be more intentional about combing from the outside in. It did prepare much easier that way. After the yarn was spun, I did my regular dye routine. Not all the dye absorbed, though I let it go for over two hours on the stove, and the end color wasn’t as saturated as I was going for, but it ended up beautiful! I’m really thrilled to go ahead and get knitting with it!
Thank you for following along this week! Blessings!
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A sustainability major at U of L, beginning farmer, crafter, and writer.