måndag 25 april 2011

Teeswater. My Fiber Studies 20

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 Sheep

Teeswater sheep has been bred for about two hundred years in the Teesdale area in UK. It's a large, white, longwooled sheep, hornless, and with a big topknot. The face has dark brown markings.

The sheep is listed as "Vulnerable" by Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

If you google for "Teeswater sheep" you'll find plenty of pictures. It's an impressive sheep even on photos.

The Wool

This is a citation from the British Teeswater Breeders: Teeswater wool

Good, clean open lustre staple, not too strong and of medium length, with no black fibres.
Uniform over the whole fleece.
This should be fine, long-stapled lustre wool with no dark fibres in the fleece. It should be uniform in texture over the whole body.

The wool is mostly used for hand knitting yarns.

My Experience

The Teeswater top I bought from International Fleeces was just like it's described in the citation above. It was a joy to spin, I wish I had bought more of it.


Fiber preparation: top from International Fleeces
Staple lentgh:  15-33 cm
Hand: medium
Spinning wheel: Louet Victoria
Ratio: 1:8.5
TPI in singles: 12
TPI in finished 2-ply:
WPI in singles: about 33
WPI in finished 2-ply: 25
Twist angle in singles (unwashed and at an average): 50
Twist angle in finished yarn: 45

I spun a thin high twist 2-ply yarn I thought could be used in a shawl.


I'm still not so used to spinning longwools. I liked this Teeswater top even if the big differences in staple length made it more difficult to spin even than a staples of the same length would be. I'm pleased with the yarn. It's quite soft and it has good luster. I didn't measure the yarn, but I think there is enough of it for a small scarf. The color is yellowish, which may come from the canary stain that sometimes occur in longwools. It may also be the natural color of the fleece.

I'm getting more and more fond of longwools. I need to spin much more to get the yarn I want, but I feel I'm closer to my goal this time than with other longwools I've spun.

Read more

Teeswater Sheep Breeders
American Teeswater Sheep
Rare Breeds Survival Trust

M. L. Ryder, Sheep & Man. Duckworth, 2007
Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius, The Flecce and Fiber Sourcebook. Storey Publishing, 2011
British Sheep & Wool. British Wool Marketing Board, 2010
Nola & Jane Fournier, In Sheep's Clothing. Interweave Press, 1995