Karakul is the third primitive breed we looked at in the class.
Considering the diversity of the fibers, I decided to sort through the mass of locks to see how this variety was distributed.
Thought you might like to see a close up of that sweet little lock:
Above is the batt after the first pass through the drum carder. Below is the batt after the second pass.
The yarn was spun with the large pulley on the medium whorl of my Schacht Matchless wheel. I used a supported long draw to spin a woolen singles:
Because of the short, dark fibers in this yarn, I kept thinking of making this into a 4 ply cabled yarn, as a means of locking those fibers into the yarn. So I plied the above two bobbins on the smaller pulley of the same whorl with a lot of plying twist:
Here is the finished yarn. The skein is balanced. The yarn has a lot of fuzz to it, is a bit prickly against the skin, and isn't terribly elastic. If you click for big you can see the chain like structure of the yarn. This yarn would make a warm vest, a cozy pair of boot liners, or it would be a great rug weft in weaving.
In all honesty, this cabled construction is probably not the best choice for this wool. I don't think the cabled construction would allow for much more fulling/felting A balanced three ply would probably be a bit more elastic and useful for a wider variety of knitting applications. Perhaps balanced three ply would make great felted slippers.
The little bit of balanced two ply yarn that I sampled had just a bit too much "bead" to the two ply bumps for it to be good knitting yarn. And the large amount of short fibers in the yarn made it not very good for weaving, especially for warp.
So, that's my experience with Karakul. I'd be interested to know about the experience of others with this breed.
The next breed will be Scottish Blackface, but not before next week.