Bowmont Roundup (and competition!)

In summary, for the first time, I took raw fleed and I washed, prepped and spun it all myself.  I chose four different preparation methods – two carded, one ‘from the lock’ and one combed – for comparison, and for practice.  I ended up with four skeins of two-ply yarn in the range 17-20 wpi,

The carded, woollen prep was quick and easy, resulting in a soft, lofty and pleasantly uneven yarn with a rustic feel.  It is beautifully soft, but I feel it is somehow a waste of this gorgeous fibre, which has such potential for lustre.

The carded, semi-worsted top had some really nice sections – but carding invariably introduced some neps, which had to be picked out, ignored or ‘teased’ into the yarn, which spoilt both the fun of the spinning and the appearance of the final yarn

Spinning straight from the lock was a frustrating experience, with stretches of ‘nice’ spinning interrupted by awkward drafting and having to join in a new lock frequently – usually with mediocre success.

Combing the fibre then spinning from dizzed sliver was a revelation!  The yarn was smooth, lustrous, consistent and wonderful; it was a time-consuming process and somewhat wasteful, but there were no steps I disliked doing, and the yarn was beautiful.

Of the four methods, I would consider woollen-prep carding and combing for a full project; the yarns produced are very different, so clearly the use of the finished yarn would be a major factor in choosing the prep, but both are practical, enjoyable and produce good results.

And now for the competition!

The following photograph contains all four of the 2-ply skeins I produced.  Can you tell which skein was prepared with which method??  Answers in the comments please, and there will be a yarny prize for the winner! (Or a not-yarny prize if the winner prefers…)


Have fun!


  • Combed, woollen, semi-worsted, from the lock? Top to bottom.
    Do I like the top one because it caught the flash best or because it really is softer? Hmm.

    19th May 2007
  • I just found your blog! Wonderful series on the Bowmont. Very informative with excellent photos. Being in the US, I missed out on trying my hand at washing the fine fibers, so your post was very helpful.
    My wild guess is:
    1 – combed
    2 – woolen
    3 – from the lock
    4 – semi-worsted

    19th May 2007

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