When I first started spinning, I was sold a grocery bag half full of some nasty, in the grease, coarse wool. I won’t mention the breed, but it was not a good representative of that particular breed. First impressions of a breed are very important and since then if offered a selection that includes that breed I will pass it up.Not very long after learning to spin on the drop spindle of doom I ran out of wool. I don’t know exactly how, but I found out one of the professors at the university I was attending bred corriedales. The fleeces were not coated, but were very clean. Corriedale wool is what is not the finest fiber out there, it averages 31.5 to 24.5 microns. But the versatility of the breed for both meat and wool is attractive to the small flock owner and a boon to the handspinner as naturally colored corriedales come in various shades of brown, grey, black. Andrew and Misty of Geek.Farm.Life Podcast raise this breed.Corriedale is not a next to the skin breed, but for hats, socks, mittens, sweaters and of course, blankets it will work nicely. It will produce nice stitch definition, most fleeces will full and felt nicely, but not be so easy to felt that the beginner be afraid to wash a raw fleece. I find it to be a very beginner friendly wool.
Dr. Pasco taught me about the breed, but more importantly about life owning livestock. One day I was at his farm picking out a fleece and saw one of the spring lambs with a deformed front leg. He explained that ewe lamb was destined for his freezer as she was not a good example of what he wants in his breeding program. Not only that I learned from him is that the wool is not what was supporting his flock, but the market lambs. That was quite an eye opener for me. Dr. Pasco no longer has his flock but I have found other people and their small flocks of naturally colored corriedales to keep me, my wheel and my loom busy.