I ordered some Jacob Humbug roving in my Black Friday haul. I want to get out of my merino comfort zone and start spinning other breeds, particularly British ones if possible. I don’t expect that everything I spin will be ending up in a wearable. I have other options for using coarse yarn in weaving. I had had a small amount of Jacob in a sample pack when I first started felting, but I really wasn’t impressed with it.
I used the Jacob on this little vessel at the opening. It is really coarse and took a while to felt in. I have heard others rave about Jacob fleece in the spinning groups on Facebook, so thought I might give it another go, but to spin with this time. Here is a little info about Jacob sheep.
photo courtesy of Wikipedia
These are very cool looking sheep with their four horns and multi-colored fleece. According to Wikipedia: The Jacob is a British breed of domestic sheep. It combines two characteristics unusual in sheep: it is piebald—dark-coloured with areas of white wool—and it is often polycerate or multi-horned. It most commonly has four horns. The origin of the breed is not known; broken-coloured polycerate sheep were present in England by the middle of the seventeenth century, and were widespread a century later. A breed society was formed in 1969, and a flock book was published from 1972. The Jacob was kept for centuries as a “park sheep”, to ornament the large estates of landowners. In modern times it is reared mainly for wool, meat and skins.
I don’t have a photo of the roving. You can find it on the World of Wool website. When I opened the packet, there was a distinct smell of sheep. Thankfully it wasn’t overpowering. However, for a processed fiber the smell can still be a bit of a surprise. When I pulled the roving out of the packet, you can tell straight away that this is a coarse fiber. I decided to spin this a little bit thicker than I had been spinning recently.
It actually spun really nicely. It also didn’t disappoint in the plying stage. I quite enjoy spinning this type of roving as I like the way the colors blend and change. It does look more interesting than a plain color.
You can tell from the photo that this is a coarse yarn. It is surprisingly softer and loftier than I expected it to be. It is very springy and bouncy. If I were to knit with it, I am sure it would make a good jacket. There is no way I could wear this next to my skin though. The yarn is very strong and would make a good warp and weft for a table runner. I wish I could use it in a scarf as it is such a fun yarn, but if it feels scratchy to me, I can’t in all good conscience make a wearable out of it. I won’t be buying this again, but I am glad I tried it.