Friday, 31 May 2013


This blog has served me well for many years now, but alas all things must change.
I've got a new website up and running for HilltopCloud, and the blog is moving over as well.
The old posts will remain here, as you never know, I may end up coming back here.

You can find the new blog (and all the old posts as well) here

I hope you'll come and join me.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Blending Fleece

On a day to day basis I most commonly work with commercially processed fibres, I use a huge amount of wool in an average week, and using fleece doesn't make sense logistically or economically, particularly because I don't have my own flock. 

My friend Katherine however does have her own flock of sheep, so of course wants to do things using their fleeces. I sold her fleeces on my stand at Wonderwool, and to help people decide what to do with them she spun some samples. 
Gotland works best in both our opinions, when blended with other fibres. It's more like mohair than most wool people commonly use. It has sheen, drape, and a very loose curl rather than a crimp. If you don't blend it with something else it makes a drapey, dense yarn. But add something else and it really excels. If you blend it with silk you get extra drape, and shine, or blend it with wool and you get more bounce. 

These samples are all blended with wool, the one at the back is plain Gotland spun semi worsted, and you can see how much longer that sample skein is compared to the others. 

The other thing I love is the depth of colour you get. This is the same principle I use when creating blends. Add multiple shades of dyed fibre, to a natural coloured base wool and you get a really lovely subtle effect. The colour isn't harsh, which makes it very easy to wear. 

It's also an easy way to add colour to a fleece with out dyeing. You can get commercially dyed merino, BFL or Shetland tops at very low prices, and can blend them in to your fleece using a drum carder, or hand carders.