When the fiber was all combed and wound into nests, it sat in a bag for a few days and cried out to be spun. I’ve heard that short stapled fibers lead to thick yarn, because otherwise the yarn singles drift apart. I decided to put my wheel ratio to the highest setting (17:1, I think) and see what happened.
What happened was that this Southdown spun finely and evenly like a dream. Like an absolute dream. I was helped by the small amount of lanolin left in the fiber, which enabled the very fine fibers to slide past each other smoothly. I did put a lot of twist into the singles so that when plied, the fiber wouldn’t drift apart. After spinning all the singles, I let it rest a day then wound it up into a center pull ball to two-ply it.
At every step of spinning, winding and plying, more veggie matter fell out. I did still have to soak the finished yarn in very hot water to remove the rest of the lanolin and some more of the VM. What I ended up with was this:
98 yards of an incredibly fluffy, smooshy, squishy goodness. I love this sproingy yarn! I did notice that because of the crazy directions of the individual fibers, the yarn plies are not very clearly defined … the overall yarn doesn’t have a lot of definition. It’s not really *fuzzy* as far as halo, but it can be hard to identify the two separate plies the entire way through. I haven’t knit it up yet, though, so I’m not sure how that will look when it becomes fabric.
So final thoughts: This fiber was so much more lovely to work with than I’d anticipated. I’d heard it could be troublesome, but it was lovely. The next Southdown fiber I get will have to have less VM in it, though, because the fibers grab and keep hold of the VM too well.
Next up: Navajo Churro