This is my first fiber study as a journeyman in spinning in my local craft guild Björken at Stundars. Because I now have to be more thorough in my exploration of fibers and spinning, I introduce a few things I have mostly ignored earlier, such as twists per inch TPI, wraps per inch WPI, twist angles, staple length.
I take part in the SpinDoctor Rare Breed Wool Challenge on Ravelry. My blog posts are tagged SpinDoctor. The challenge ends June 30, 2011. You find SpinDoctor's podcasts in my Link List to the right.
The history of Portland sheep is obscure. It's probably what's left of the Western Tanfaced horn sheep that was common in the Southwest (Dorset) of England during the middle ages. Both sexes are horned. The sheep are small, and they have long tails. The breed is at risk for the moment. Here is a short video: Portland on Youtube. There are a few articles in newspapers and quite a lot of photos on Internet too. Google for "Portland sheep" and see what you can find. This is an interesting breed.
The lambs have a foxy red color that fades into creamy white when they grow up. The micron count is 31-35 with a staple length of 5-9 cm. It's a wool suitable for many purposes.
Fiber preparation: roving from International Fleeces
Staple length: 6-8 cm
Wheel: Louet Victoria
TPI in singles: about 11
TPI in finished yarn: 11
WPI in singles: 34
WPI in finished yarn: 18
Twist angle in singles (unwashed and at an average): 50
Twist angle in finished yarn: 45
The roving from International Fleeces was easy to spin. The roving was clearly directional, so you have to find out from which end it wants to be spun. I spun two singles with a woolen draw, and plied a 2-ply, ordinary yarn, my default yarn.
I would use this yarn for hats, mittens, gloves, cardigans, sweaters. A 3-ply or 4-ply would be a good sock yarn.
Rare Breeds Survival Trust
British Sheep & Wool. British Wool Marketing Board, 2010
Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius, Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. Storey Publishing, 2011.
Wild Fibers, Winter 2010/2011
M. L. Ryder, Sheep & Man, Duckworth, 2007
Jane & Nola Fournier, In Sheep's Clothing. Interweave Press, 1995