What type of fiber to spin?

I just bought a pound of undyed Coopworth roving to spin and I was reading up on the Coopworth breed and wondering what others perfer to spin.

Is there a fiber you hate?
Is there a fiber you love?
What are your asthetic experiences with different fibers?
Tactile experiences?

I don’t really hate any fibers, so far, but some are far more enjoyable to spin than others.

My all time favorite fiber is Blue Faced Leicester wool. It’s a long fiber, it’s a soft wool, takes dye beautifully and just super easy to spin. I can spin BFL without even looking at it. You would think that the longer the fiber, the easier it is to spin. Not true. If the fiber is too long, like silk, it can be difficult to draft. The shorter the fiber, like angora or cashmere, the harder it is to spin. You do have to concentrate a lot more and go a lot slower or it will just get away from you.

Also, the softer the fiber, the more difficult it is. Angora is super soft (silky and slippery) and it’s a short fiber to boot so I personally think it’s the toughest stuff to spin. I’ve had some on a bobbin for like 6 months… I swear I’ll finish it one day!

Wool that still has natural lanolin is good for your hands, but if the wool is really old, the lanolin can get sticky making it harder to draft. Very clean wool should draft easily. Silk is harsh on your hands, so use plenty of hand lotion. Unwashed fibers like camel, alpaca, or llama are usually dusty but not greasy like wool. I find it easier to spin it first, THEN wash the finished yarn.

HTH! :slight_smile:

I’m with Kristin – I loooove BFL. I think it’s great for beginners because it’s super easy to spin, but also yields a wonderful, squooshy soft, wearable final product, unlike some other fibers that are often recommended for beginners.

I also love spinning alpaca. I don’t know if I just got lucky or what, because I’ve only spun one batch (two different colors, from a farm my friend visited) but it was unbelievably easy to spin – I didn’t have to predraft it at all. And it’s so soft. I just love alpaca!

Also very enjoyable: merino/tencel. It has a lot of the cool qualities of silk without the bad qualities, imho. I had a lot of fun spinning it – partly due to the gorgeous colors I’m sure…it was hand-dyed by BMFA (sigh)