I had my dye day yesterday, and so was able to get acquainted with the Hampshire that is the next down wool to explore. This is really nice stuff. Going for a cushy two-ply this time, the Hampshire responded to my sampling with lofty softness. In fact, though it is no merino, I would say that this passes my "lip test" for comfort.
The source for the Hampshire is Kathy of Wool World. She has over a hundred different kinds of fibers and fleeces available on her site, and sells in quantities as small as an ounce....perfect for sampling! It is a wooly smorgasbord.
I wanted to paint this roving, but I gave up on it, because presoaking was ineffective. Next time I'll use a wetting agent if I plan on a cold pour method. It seems that these wools practically shed water, which can be a good quality in certain instances.
Once they took a nice hot water bath with the dye, both the Hampshire and the British Suffolk took dye like a dream. And I love the watercolor mix that comes with the hot pour method!
Below is the finished 3-ply British Suffolk. I ended up with a little over 200 yards... enough for a child's pair, or anklets for me? The hand grew even more pleasant in its steaming hot bath, and I would say that though it is not as soft as the Hampshire, it is on a par with sock yarns like Aracunia. The color is much brighter than shows here. So pretty!