Recent Spinning: Rambouillet-Columbia Cross

To be honest I almost passed on this fleece, but am glad I didn’t. I’ve recently taken to buying crosses as well as single breed fleece. Crosses are how we get new breeds and it’s interesting to find a cross and recognize the characteristics that belong to each of the breeds involved. It’s particularly nice when the cross combines your favorite characteristics from the breeds.

In the previous post about this fleece, I referred to it as Columbia-Rambouillet, keeping the breeds in alphabetical order. But this sheep’s fleece is more Rambouillet than Columbia. It’s got the crimp, softness, and color of a Rambouillet. But the locks are at the longer end of a Rambo’s average staple length and also lack the density that I’ve found in some Rambouillets. These characteristics make the locks easier to comb than a pure Rambouillet.

Photo of raw wool

Locks are 3.5–4 inches (about 9–10 centimeters) long.

This fleece has banding* in each lock. The bottom is black and the top is a chocolate brown. The anecdotal stories I’ve come across indicate that banding is an issue with stress or a food and/or mineral change but doesn’t necessarily affect the soundness of the fleece. I gave these locks the pull test and they appeared to be completely sound. Also, when flicking and combing, there wasn’t any breakage except for the crunchy sun-weathered tips.

Did I mention that these locks were easy to comb? Look at how the black and chocolate brown come together.

photo of combed wool

This sample was spun worsted-style. The final 2-ply yarn is next-to-skin soft and very elastic. Now that winter is approaching, this fiber would be great knit up as a cowl or neck warmer of some kind.

photo of yarn

* For some unbelievable banding, take a look here**.

** The Rambouillet-Columbia fleece did not come from Peeper Hollow, but I can’t go without saying they have the loveliest fleeces…gorgeous natural colors, super clean, and they arrive packaged beautifully.

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