25g Breed Project – The Spinning Part 1

In 2021 I decided to spin 25g of lots of different breeds of sheep.  I did an Initial Idea post that March. 

I got off to a slow start but picked it up at the start of 2022 and then again at the start of 2023.  Some of the fibres were kindly donated to me by other Guild members.  There has been a mix of commercial top and fleeces that I’ve washed and processed myself.

This post is my record of the spinning.  I’ve detailed where I got the fibre from and which year, which year I spun it, my thoughts on the fibre, metres, grams spun and finished yarn weight.  All breeds were spun on my Ashford Traditional wheel.

  • Polwarth – tops from John Arbon at Fibre East festival in 2019.  (I bought 100g, wish I’d bought lots more.)  Spun in 2021. A lovely fibre to spin, soft and bouncy yarn.  40.7m 25g DK 2 ply
  • Dorset Horn – tops from Adelaide Walker.  2020 12 days of fibre pack.  Spun in 2021. A nice fibre to spin, but it’s not as soft.  It has a long staple and the finished yarn has a slight hairy look but is quite plump/lofty. 37.6m 25g DK 2 ply
  • Wensleydale  – tops from Wensleydale Longwool sheep shop.  I bought 250g when visiting their shop in Yorkshire in 2019.  Spun in 2022. A long staple, quite easy to spin.  Slight sheen to the finished yarn.  42.8m 25g 4 ply/fingering 2 ply.
  • Teeswater – tops from Adelaide Walker.  2020 12 days of fibre pack.  Spun in 2022. Nice to spin, a slight sheen but also a fluffy halo. Cream coloured yarn. 39.3m 25g Sport 2 ply.
  • Shetland – a natural grey shade top from Adelaide Walker.  2020 12 days of fibre pack.  Spun in 2022. The fibre is toothy, not very soft but softer than Dorset Horn.  48.3m 24g light Worsted/heavy DK 2 ply.
  • Blue faced Leicester (BFL) – tops from World of Wool.  I think it was a sample in their monthly Fibre Club in 2019.  Spun in 2022. Nice to spin, but I’ve under plied it.  It has a very soft feel, not as soft as Polwarth.  48.3m 25g Sport weight 2 ply.
  • Beltex – (not a pure breed, Belgian/Texel cross).  Raw fleece from Guild member in 2021, but I don’t know year it was clipped.  Spun in 2023.  I didn’t really enjoy spinning this, it was raw fleece given to me to sample, very greasy after 2 washes.  I drum carded it about 20 months before spinning.  After spinning the finished yarn is the whitest of the fibres spun to this point. 76m 66g Aran/Bulky 2 ply.
  • Soay – blonde raw fleece from Guild member in 2021, but don’t know year it was clipped.  Spun in 2023. This was not great quality, it had quite a short staple, lots of vegetable matter and nepps.  I’d washed and drum carded it but it was still quite greasy and skin/dandruff in it.  I’ve been told not to discount this breed and should try another sample from elsewhere. 10 wpi. 48.3m 33g heavy DK/Light worsted 2 ply.
  • Masham – tops from Adelaide Walker.  2020 12 days of fibre pack.  2023. Easy to spin a fine yarn with. The wool is quite scratchy but it was enjoyable to spin, I probably wouldn’t wear it though.  49.7m 24g DK 2 ply.
  • Manx Loaghtan – top from Adelaide Walker.  2020 12 days of fibre pack.  Spun in 2023. Pretty easy to spin, softer feel than Masham.  It was pretty thin and I’d put it all on one bobbin so I chain plied it, but it was a bit tricky to ply as the twist was quite high.  31.7m 25g light worsted/heavy DK 3 ply.
  • Herdwick – top from World of Wool Fibre Club box in 2018.  Spun in 2023. These sheep are cute grey ones with white faces…the fibre was like barbed wire with these very coarse white hairs in it, which I guess I should have kept pulling out but left them in because this was just a sample and I want to be reminded never to buy any more of it.  I spun it a little thicker, to get it over quickly.  28.98m 26g Aran 2 ply.
  • Norwegian – top from World of Wool Fibre Club in 2018.  Spun in 2023. Pretty rough feel but not as bad as Herdwick.  It has some guard hairs and the staple length was very long making it a little tricky not to over spin.  37.95m 27.6g Worsted 2 ply.

My Ravelry record of the breed project is here. I have ~14 breeds left. But this seemed a good point to share.

6 comments

    • Thanks Sarah, I started off keeping tiny samples of the fibre and making notes on the staple length but I realised that info is in my breed book, it’s more about if it’s enjoyable to spin and how it feels spun. Hope you are still managing to spin each day.

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