I’ve been thinking for a while now about adding different breeds of wool to my Etsy shop staples. The last time I dyed, I ran out of BFL. And that means that it’s time to place a new order for fibers to dye.

And so I’ve been pondering: what other fibers to add?

I am loving the Polwarth that I just dyed up. I made it through the first 4 ounces of the spinning, and it is turning into the lightest, loftiest fiber I could have imagined. I’m trying to spin a laceweight, but I’m not sure I’m going to make it, just because the wool is so fluffy. So that’s on the consideration list.

Last weekend, Ellen casually asked in an email whether I’d ever considered dyeing rare wools. Why yes, I have, but I’ve just never gotten around to it. Actually, I haven’t even gotten to trying them out in the first place. Her question (and recent experiments, here, here, and here) moved this up the priority list in a hurry. Clearly, some research was needed.

On Monday, I ordered a sampling of fibers from International Fleeces. They were out of stock on lots of things, so I didn’t get many of the rare breeds, but I found plenty of things to play with anyway. And today, I got a box:

These are all fairly small quantities, with the exception of a pound each of Whitefaced Woodland, Portland, and Cheviot. In smaller samples, I have Manx Loaghtan, Black Welsh Mountain, and Norwegian Top. And then there are a couple of exotics, too: Banana Viscose, Soybean silk, and Ramie. Lots of things to play with!

Do you have a favorite fiber to spin? Are there others that I absolutely must try?