Spinning Gotland

I received 23g of Gotland in my sample pack from Benridge Woolworks.  I have written about felting with Gotland locks, but I have not spun Gotland.  Let’s have a little re-cap about Gotland Sheep.

Ramlamb_no._114367-00009_(Official_Danish_animal_register)photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Firstly, these sheep look adorable.  Gotland sheep originated on the Swedish island of Gotland.  According to Wikipedia: Gotland sheep are fine-boned and of medium size. Gotlands are polled and have no wool on their black heads and legs. Sometimes there may be white markings on the top of the head or around the nose and mouth. They have alert medium-sized ears that stand outwards with a small neat muzzle, an even jaw and even teeth. Their slender neck and shoulders set smoothly into a level back with good depth and reasonable breadth of body. The slender legs are well spaced and upright. The tail is short with a hair-covered tip. The fleece is fine, long, lustrous and dense and can be all shades of grey from silver to charcoal grey and dark enough to be almost black. In the United States “American” Gotlands can also be found in white and moorit (a reddish-brown color). They have a clearly defined even curl (purl) and staple that is soft to the touch. Their disposition is docile and friendly, although older rams can become aggressive. The fleece is typically 29 to 34 micrometres in diameter. Lambswool can be in the low to mid 20s micrometre range. The fleece is prized in the United States by hand-spinners and in Europe they are most desired for their pelts.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the pack containing Gotland batt.  The Gotland locks I have are really lovely and curly.

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The batt is nothing as I thought it would be.  Yes, it is grey.  It is soft, and it had no smell.  However, it had quite a lot of VM that wasn’t apparent until I started spinning.  

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This is what it looked like when I opened the batt.  I seriously considered re-carding this for about a minute, but for this small amount, I didn’t think it was worth it.  I decided to spin it as is.  The spinning would have been more enjoyable if I didn’t have to keep pulling bits out every few seconds.  There were also small clumps, so this is going to be another textured yarn.  The fiber was very crimpy though which made it quite easy to spin finely.  

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This is the single ready to be plied.  It plied really well, but at this stage, it is a bit lumpy and fuzzy.

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There wasn’t much dirt in this when I washed it.  I wrapped the yarn around a book to make this mini skein.  I expected that this yarn would be a bit on the itchy and scratchy side while I was spinning it, and it is.  However, it is also softer than I expected.  I don’t have a problem with the yarn being itchy as I can use it in a tapestry or table runner, etc.  The yarn is also fairly fuzzy and that is called a halo.  Apparently it is a characteristic of this fiber, similar to mohair.  

I noticed that World of Wool sells the grey and white Gotland roving for under £2 for 100g while Benridge sells it for £8 for a 100g batt.  Considering the amount of VM I had to keep picking out and the time wasted doing that, I will be trying the roving from WOW next time. I had no expectations spinning this fiber.  I just wish it was cleaner.

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