These will be rather random updates as I review the process of cleaning and spinning samples of various sheep breeds that I got via The Spinning Loft wool sampler. (Disclaimer: the box I got has more varieties than the one that is currently offered. Oops.)
On to the reviews!
Finn: Two toned grey shades; a charcoal and a silver. It was very easy to separate the two colours so I could spin them individually. Washing was pretty straightforward, and though it took a bit to pick, it wasn't too terrible. Ran it through my drum carder to make two big fluffy batts, then had a really enjoyable time spinning the two tones. My always favourite navajo plying resulted in a yarn that is right around worsted weight. The yarn has a bit of a sheen to it, and a teeny bit of a halo; it is soft, but has a bit of a bite to it. It might be a little harsh for garments that are worn against the skin (sweaters and such) but hats and such would be quite lovely. I really enjoyed working with this, and would seek it out again.
Southdown Babydoll: Oh, I am so sad. This is also two toned, a light grey and almost-black. This was a simply filthy sample, and had so much lanolin that it was chunky and disgusting. I washed it repeatedly and still didn't have a workable fibre to use. The grey may possibly be usable with a lot of work, but the black had the texture of a brillo pad. This is really disappointing, as I find babydoll sheep to be adorable and was considering having a couple. Well, bucko, if you can't do anything but look cute, you're no good to me. I demand usefulness, dammit! I might look at a fleece in the future, but this sample was horrid.
By the way, this is mostly for my own records. I lose papers, but hopefully I won't forget how to access my own damn blog.
Currently in the sink: East Fresian. Nice dark colour, we'll see how she works out.