This year in Spinners Group, we are trying a variety of British breeds. First up in October, we tried Ryeland from the Spinning Loft.

Ryeland, before spinning

G & J very kindly washed the fleece and G packaged it into bags for each of us. I think he said they were 50 g, but my finished skein weighs 45 g according to my kitchen scale. The staple length is about 2 inches.

staple length about 2"

The fiber is very springy and fairly fine. I think it may not be as fine as it was in the past. The story goes that after Queen Elizabeth I was given stockings made of Ryleand fleece, she would only wear that wool afterwards.

ryeland rolags

I hand carded into rolags. It is clear I am out of practice. I spun woolen style, and tried not to be too fine and with a low amount of twist, to try to make the resulting yarn soft and springy. Again, I clearly need more practice; my yarn is quite uneven and is under spun in places. My resulting yardage was 118 yards of 2 ply.

ryeland skein

M also carded, but rolled it 90° off from a typical rolag so that her fibers were more aligned. Hers was a bit finer, with more yardage. V used a drum carded and her skein was very fine and even. Another spinner went thicker and then chain plied. I wish I had thought to get a picture of the various skeins at last meeting.

ryeland skein

The spinning was enjoyable and I would happily spin Ryeland again.

ryeland skein


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