Polypay is a breed I hadn’t spun before. So all of this was new to me.
Following washing I took a good hard look at the fleece. For a non coated fleece from the Midwest this was pretty clean. The structure of the lock is rather disorganized and the hand is what I call “crisp”. To me crisp means it is very springy and bounces back well. This I attribute to the strong influence of the Dorset on this breed. The tips are not as yellow as this photo shows, sigh, the blue background was probably not the best choice to photograph this wool on. The staple length of this particular fleece was about 3″.
Carding this fiber was a joy, in fact I went a bit overboard and carded more than my sample needed. If I was going to do more than sample, I would first flick the tips then card it. Carding is for organizing the fiber not to clean it! Flicking helps open the locks for further teasing which will help some of the vegetable matter (vm) to fall out.
This is how the carded fiber spun up. Blessedly the photo doesn’t show the trapped vm. I spun this up on a drop spindle using a modified long draw. It behaved itself well.
Combing this fiber, on the other hand, did clean out the short bits and some of the debris. But once again, this is not the same as flicking and teasing. Though with combing you probably don’t need to the tease the fiber.
But it sure looks pretty sitting there in those little bundles.
Spinning it was a different story. It was more difficult. With the short staple length you had to be careful while drafting. While it created a smoother yarn, you lost some of the bounce that this fiber has.
The top sample is the combed fiber, and the bottom is the carded fiber. Both samples were somewhat over-spun, but not extremely. After handling these I’ve decided to flick the ends then drum card the rest of this fiber. I imagine this becoming a three ply sock yarn. Did I hear you gasp? Yes, sock yarn. Merino is not a good sock yarn for long term wear. This stuff should remain springy, resist felting and wear for a good long time.