So exactly how many pounds of Border Leicester have I spun? I lost count years ago, but a guesstimate it’s around 500 pounds. Yes, I love Border Leicester… now. But it wasn’t always this way.
In sheep longwool, I started out with Cotswold wool. Then the farm I purchased my wool from sold their flock. Cotswolds are rare in the US and the fleece is hard to find to start with, and demands a high price per pound.
Enough of the history lesson. Border Leicester wool is medium to high luster, with wide crimp. I’ve found fleeces in white, as well as shades of brown. Staple length of fleeces that have grown for a year range from 5 to 10 inches. Many farms shear twice a year. It is low grease which makes washing easy. Most of the wool I have found is medium to very soft. Lamb fleeces are very soft, and have a tighter crimp. One lamb fleece had curly ends.
I love spinning the wool and do minimal preparation to keep the crimpy quality of it. All I do is sit in front of the TV and fluff wool locks and spin the slightly opened fleece. I have two wheels, and prefer my Louet S17 for my fleecespun yarns. The bobbin lead system of this wheel versus the flyer lead system on my Ashford Kiwi pulls the yarn onto the bobbin quicker and leads to less chance of overspinning.
I would love to say something poetic about the wool at this point but I will let the pictures of my handspun yarn do the talking.