An amusing thing just happened.
My husband is an avid YouTube watcher. He likes videos on woodworking, electronics, gardening and so much more. I was just in his room and as per normal he tried to play a video I might be interested in (or at least not too annoyed by.)
He started a video from a lady that he follows for her gardening videos but this one was about washing fleece. Less than a minute in and I’m already arguing with her. By two minutes in he turned the video off. He said that the last thing he wanted was to listen to me argue with a video, especially when he agrees with me.
What set me off was her saying that you can’t get good yarn from a crappy fleece. That is such bullshit (which is what I yelled at the screen.) I’ve had plenty of vm filled, filthy fleeces and while it takes more work, I’ve made beautiful yarn from them. It’s more to do with the process than the original fleece.
Take my Hampshire, for example. It was from a pet sheep, not raised for it’s wool. It was filthy and vm filled. It was also free as in I paid nothing for it (other than gas for the trip to go get it). Now Hampshire is a coarse wool and nothing will make it soft but I’m not expecting to make next to the skin items with it. I’ve made wonderful yarn with it and I will be weaving beautiful items with it.
My first CVM was a filthy, vm filled mess. While the yarn from it is rather slubby and odd, that was the user, not the wool. I really learned to spin using that fleece. I absolutely cherish the shawl I made from that yarn and you can see the improvements I made in spinning from the top to the bottom of the shawl.
The Corriedale I’m still working on was also filthy and vm filled but it also makes gorgeous, soft yarn that I’m currently using to knit myself a sweater.
It all depends on the work you put into the fleece, the methods you use to process it (combing, carding), the skill of the user and what your expectations are. Don’t expect perfectly even, smooth yarn. By it’s nature, handspun is uneven and sometimes lumpy. Most of those imperfections are hidden by the knitting. If you want perfect yarn, buy commercial yarn (and that still doesn’t mean you’ll get perfect yarn.)
Ok maybe amusing isn’t the right word. I was amused when I sat down to write this post but it seems to have turned into a rant.