Monday, December 14, 2009

Spinning BFL

Ashland Bay Natural Colors Blue Face Leicester
(or Blue Faced, if you prefer. I've seen it both ways.)

Fun stuff. I tried my larger whorl and put my drive band on the big wheel to see if I could spin bigger yarn, by bigger I mean not lace or fingering weight, which is normal for me. I acquired one pound, purchased from Heidi at The Artful Ewe in Port Gamble. Love her shop ~ if you get a chance, stop by. She has a weaving annex now, and gives classes.

Three hanks, 647 yards.

Prewashing, it's not so sproiny.After washing: sproiny!
The swatch is worked on 8's, 7's and 6's.

The 8's gave me a nice fabric and there is probably enough yardage for a vest. Or maybe a shawl/wrap. I briefly considered buying another pound but I have plenty of other fibers to spin right now and so I'll just move on. By the way, when I washed the three hanks to set the spin, the water was filthy brown. Not oil, dirt. I have heard that Ashland Bay fibers are processed in China and this may be true, I don't know. I do know that I haven't yet run into fiber quite this dirty. I have also heard that Blue Face (or Faced) Leicester are called that because they look sad, not because their color is blue. I know they aren't blue, but can that 'sad' bit be true? Surely not...


Jody said...

I thought they were called that because their faces are a deep dark blue :)
It's a mystery. Lovely yarn. I have a ram BFL fleece I bought this year from a shetland breeder.

Monika said...

I love BFL. Yours looks lovely.

=Tamar said...

I think the "blue" is like calling white horses "gray" - it's a technical term.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca
don just set up my laptop and I am taking a break from spinning on my pocket wheel. Linda sent me a link to your lovely yarn. Looks great! BFL is my second favorite after merino. Dicentra got me started with some of their lovely dyed BFL. I will miss seeing you and Peggy on the 27th. See you for St. Distaff Day.

Denise said...

"They originated from Border Leicester individuals selected for the blue face (white hairs on black skin) and finer fleeces."
According to the OSU "Breeds of Livesstock" page (located here: )