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 Whitefaced Woodland sheep is one of the largest of Britain's hill sheep. It has a long tail, and both sexes are horned. The status of the sheep is "Vulnerable" due to Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
The white wool is mainly used for carpets. Handspinners find it very interesting for blankets, and blended with other wools for garments. Softer fleeces can be spun for sweaters and cardigans. It takes dyes well.
Fiber preparation: roving from International Fleeces
Staple lentgh: 4-12 cm
Hand: medium to coarse
Spinning wheel: Louet Victoria
TPI in singles: 8
TPI in finished 3-ply:
WPI in singles: about 22
WPI in finished 3-ply: 9
Twist angle in singles (unwashed and at an average): 45
Twist angle in finished yarn: 45
I found the roving from International Fleeces very easy to spin with a woolen draw. I wanted to spin a yarn that could be used in a light carpet, so I used a low ratio and plied a 3-ply. A 4-ply would be even better, and a 2-ply could be used in blankets.
I have a feeling my roving was of the softer kind. Roving from coarser fleeces would be even better in carpets.
I remember my grandmother used to weave stripes in her rug carpets with rough, colorful yarns spun from wools that I think where very much the same as this. My hands remember how it felt. I think she bought the dyed yarn in the local store, because I never saw her spin even if I later was told she was a good spinner. But she was still weaving when I was a child, so I like to think she used yarn from a sheep bred for the kind of wool you get from Whitefaced Woodland.Read More
Rare Breeds Survival Trust: Whitefaced Woodland
Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius, Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook. Storey Publishing, 2011
British Sheep & Wool. British Wool Marketing Board, 2010
M. L. Ryder, Sheep & Man. Duckworth, 2007
Jane & Nola Fournier, In Sheep's Clothing. Interweave Press, 1995