Felicia's Notebook, Spinning, Taking Back Friday

Why I Love BFL (Wool)

Handspun BFL+Silk wool by Felicia Lo Wong

In last week’s vlog episode, I had the surprisingly difficult job of explaining why I’m currently appreciating colours that are little bit more muted, more desaturated and more calm feeling right now. And this week, I’m further going to torture myself by explaining why I’ve been obsessed with toothy, woolly wools and, specifically, why I love BFL wool.

What is BFL? BFL is short for Bluefaced Leicester wool, which is a specific sheep breed. So, just like with potatoes, you have russet potatoes, you have Yukon Gold or red potatoes, and each type of potato is generally a different size, colour or texture. And you get the exact same thing with wool and breed-specific wool. Bluefaced Leicester comes from this general family of long wools, and these sheep originally came from the United Kingdom. There’s Leicester Longwool, there’s Border Leiceseter wool, and the one which I want to tell you all about my love for today, is Bluefaced Leicester!

I hope to help convince you that BFL, or working with a woolly-wool, is a good thing. There are so many different kinds of sheep breeds to explore. If you are interested in experimenting spinning with different sheep breeds, we have a School of SweetGeorgia course I encourage you to take a look at – Spinning Sheep Breeds with Rachel Smith. In the different course modules, Rachel looks at everything from fine, medium and long wools like BFL, down breeds, and Icelandic and double coated breeds. There are just so many things to spin and knit with, and all of the different ways we can use these sheep breeds.

I would love to hear from you… what do you think about woolly, toothy and rustic wools? Let me know in the comments!

IN THIS EPISODE

  • what I mention in today’s video: Here are links to items I talk about in today’s vlog…
    • The two hand-dyed yarn bases that I mention in the video is our BFL+Silk DK and new fingering-weight BFL+Silk Fine yarn. We also have BFL+Silk Fibre for spinning.
    • If you are interested in learning more about spinning breed specific wool, visit our Spinning Sheep Breeds course at the School of SweetGeorgia, taught by Rachel Smith. We also have Spinning Sheep Breed Kits available in our online shop to try out while working through the course.
    • Some of the other fibres I mention spinning are: Merino and Corriedale. Shown in the video was hand-dyed Merino Wool Top by Fleece Artist and Mojave Merino multicoloured top from Ashland Bay.
    • The two SweetGeorgia fibre braids I show in the video are Targhee and BFL+Silk, both in the Aurora colourway. I also show the colour differences between a test colourway for next spring, shown on SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock and our BFL+Silk Fine yarn.
    • The knit hat project I just finished is the Tremblant Toque design by Dianna Walla for Espace Tricot, knit in BFL+Silk Fine Birch, Lollipop and Mulberry. (I interviewed Dianna a couple of years ago on The SweetGeorgia Show podcast – you can find that episode here.) The pompom used on this hat project was a gift given to me from Janna Maria Vallee of Everlea Yarn.
    • With the leftover yarns from this hat, I’m interested in weaving with the BFL+Silk Fine yarn to make a wrap top similar to this one that I’m wearing in the video.
  • want to learn more about spinning and the fibre arts? Come visit all of the different levels of fibre arts classes available at the School of SweetGeorgia. Right now is an excellent time to join us at the School with our Back to School special – use the code BACKTOSCHOOL2021 for 15% off quarterly and annual memberships – more information at our SOS Membership page. I also hope you come and check out our Spinning Study Group which just launched this week!
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About Felicia Lo

founder + creative director of SweetGeorgia // designer + dreamer // wife + mama // dyer, knitter, spinner, weaver, youtuber + author // been writing this blog about colour and craft since 2004 // see what I am making @lomeetsloom and @sweetgeorgia.

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4 thoughts on “Why I Love BFL (Wool)

  1. Vivian Keh says:

    I am definitely becoming more interested in woolly wools and would love to learn more about them. I’ve knit one piece with BFL, quite randomly early on in my knitting endeavors, and it is still my favorite.

  2. Janet R says:

    A very informative blog. Thank you for that wonderful information.

  3. Doris Strand says:

    i’m a weaver who works with a lot of linen-cotton blends for hand towels, but am recently buying up wool blends for table runners & woven/felted coasters. some of my recent stash includes border leicester, teeswater, cormo (scarf worthy), CVM (California Variegated Mutant), corriedale, rambouilllet/columbia, suffolk & some shetland. oh, and a finn east fresien/teeswater blend (also scarf worthy). wool is SO much fun to weave with! and when i felt coasters … gorgeous!

  4. Lisa says:

    Would BFL + Silk be a good choice for a lacy sweater? I’m thinking of knitting the Filigree Sweater by Julie Knits in Paris. Thanks!

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