Monday, February 5, 2024

Breed Study #1 - Texel

 I've been wanting to spend some time focusing on the different breeds available locally (Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands,  and South Western BC) and decided to start with a great big Texel fleece that I was gifted. The Texel is primarily a meat breed whose origin is The Netherlands.  It was next in my pile of fleeces to wash so...

Unwashed and Washed Locks

 This fleece was from an adult Texel ewe.  As you can see it had good crimp definition and solid chunky locks.  It washed up easily. The locks are between 3" - 4" long. 

From Deb Robson's The Field Guide to Fleece:

The fleece typically weighs 7-12 lbs (3.25 - 5.5 kg.  Mine washed weighs 4 lbs. I forgot to weigh it before washing, but it may have lost a third of it's weight, so maybe 6 pounds.

The staple length is 3"-6" (8-15 cm).  I certainly don't have any 6" locks but I also don't know if it was a full year since its last shearing.

Fibre Diameters: 26-36 microns.  I would say mine is on the coarser side of this range.

I prepped some of the fleece by dizzing off my drum carder and some by creating rolags.  

I spun the dizzed fleece using a short forward draft, and the rolags with a supported long draw.  I preferred the long draw but then again that is my default spin.  The resulting yarn was softer spun long draw but there wasn't a huge difference, nor in the knitted samples.

Woollen Spun Skein
Worsted Spun Skein

Knitted Swatches

I would be happy to use either of these yarns for outerwear garments or perhaps socks if your skin is not sensitive.  

There will be some white Texel batts in the shop this week and dyed within a couple of weeks.

What's on the Needles

I'm still working on my teal hoodie.  I've finished the fronts and have started the sleeves.

What's on the Wheel

I finished spinning and plying the nylon for my knitted cushion cover.  I just dyed it in variegated greens and it's still wet in this image.  It's very soft and I think will be a pleasure to knit.

Enjoy your fibres!!  

Monday, January 15, 2024



At last, the first blog for Jill’s Fibres.  I intend to write two or three blog posts a month.  I’m planning to cover a range of topics:

  •       What I’m working on 
  •       Breed Studies
  •       Various ways to process fleece
  •       Different spinning techniques
  •       Dyeing – both acid and natural as well as safe projects for kids
  •       Ideas for kid’s projects
  •       Book reviews
  •       New products available in my shop Other ideas as they arise
  •     Other ideas as they arise - let me know what interests you
I'll let you in on what's going on this week. 

Fibre being processed:

I have a sink full of Texel fleece in the process of being washed.  It's got about a 4" staple length, nice crimp, and big bouncy locks.  It's a big fleece, so I should have quite a bit available before long.

Washing Texel Fleece
Texel Locks

What's on the wheel:

I have two projects on bobbins.  The first is nylon or faux cashmere which I'm spinning for the final project for my Master Spinner Level 5 homework. I'm spinning it very fine as in my sample, it did bloom once it was plied and the tension released.  I'm planning to knit a cushion cover suitable for the deck in the summer.  Nylon is resistant to sunlight, mildew and insect damage.  So far, I've spun about half of what I need.

Nylon or Faux Cashmere
Nylon Singles

My other project is a BFL roving that I spun at the Tzouhalem Guild Distaff Day.  I've got another that is similarly dyed in fall colours that I will ply with it.  It spun beautifully and was very suitable for an easy spin while chatting. 😉

BFL Singles

What's on the needles:

I'm working on sweater project with quite a bit of history. Several years ago, I dyed a whole Romney fleece teal.  Then I took it and a white Romney fleece to Inca Dinca Doo and had them process it into roving.  Some of you may have seen this at various fibre shows.  There's still a little available in the shop (Teal Romney Roving). I'm knitting a hoody-style sweater . The back is finished and I'm about 3/4 up the first front. I'm really happy with the tweedy look to it.

2500+ yards of 2-ply

Romney Roving

Sweater Front

Hope you've enjoyed reading!