A little over a year ago I visited the Tolt Yarn Shop in WA with a friend and picked up some fiber to spin. With my limited fiber knowledge, I picked up three random fibers based off of the names alone. Merino, because I had heard of it. Wensleydale because of the Wallace and Gromit cartoons that I watched with my dad. And Whiteface Woolen because it sounded sheep-y. The plan was to spin them up and attempt to dye them, hoping that each type of wool would hold the dye slightly differently and give me a variegated look.
A year later, with the advice of more experienced spinners, I’m changing my plan and am now learning more about the fibers and will be spinning them up separately.
So some sheep breed information for your Thursday:
Merino – This sheep breed is well loved and famous for its soft fibers. It is classified as a “fine wool,” with high marks for softness, elasticity, and felting abilities. This breed of sheep is the oldest known breed in the world. It became famous in Spain after being brought there from North Africa. Fun fact: the penalty for exporting this sheep from the Spanish Empire was death!
Whiteface Woolen – This sheep makes “down-type” wool. It is a rare British breed, and the best things about it are its loft and staple length (length of fiber).
Wensleydale – The Wensleydale wool is in the “longwool” category. Although my fiber looks ruler straight, the locks of a Wensleydale sheep are super curly and shiny. I am hoping that mine will bounce back to this once I soak it after spinning! Wensleydale fiber is most noted for its staple length and luster. I have to admit, this is the fiber I am most excited to spin right now!
Do you have favorite sheep breeds to spin or knit with? I’m new to thinking about the breed behind the term “wool,” and can’t wait to learn more!!
I’m joining Carole and friends for today’s linkup.