British Breed Sampler Set

Two months ago today I took my first spinning class. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve only been spinning for two months, as it is all I want to do now. I’m sure the newness will wear off, but for now I want to spin all of the things.

After talking with my long distance spinning coach I decided to try several breeds. While walking around the fiber festival before my spinning class I picked up a British Breed Sampler Set from Honey Gold Acres. With ten different 25g mini braids it was a great way to try out different British breeds. The included breeds are: Blue Faced Leicester, Dorset Horn, Hill Radnor, Masham, Kent Romney, Swaledale, Teeswater, Wensleydale, Whiteface Woodland, and Welsh Mountain.

BFL was beautiful to spin, which I anticipated. I’ve spun it before, and I’ll spin it again. It’s lovely.

Dorset Horn was softer than I expected, and I found it enjoyable to spin.

Hill Radnor can kiss my ass. I did not enjoy this spin.

Masham looked so much like witch hair I scared my kids when I told them that is what I was spinning. It is not soft wool, but it was fun to spin.

Kent Romney was OK. I would spin it again, but I would not seek it out.

Swaledale feels like what I imagine it would feel like to spin wire.

Teeswater – oh my goodness such long locks! I liked spinning Teeswater, but I do not think I would enjoy wearing clothing knit with it.

Wensleydale flew off my wheel. I blinked and I was done spinning.

Whiteface Woodland was my favorite. It spun easily. It is very floofy. I love it. I want to spin this again. The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook advices that Whiteface Woodland fleeces can vary significantly. I hope that the next time I get a Whiteface Woodland braid it is as nice as this one.

Welsh Mountain was easy to spin. It would be great in a rug or a wall hanging, but not in knitwear.

Now that I’ve shared my thoughts with you I think I’ll add notes to my Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. I like to add notes to recipes in my cookbooks, and I think I’ll find notes on fleece just as helpful.

What super nerdy fiber things do you like to do?

17 thoughts on “British Breed Sampler Set

  1. Very interesting to see what you’ve thought about all the different sheep. I spun some Scottish Blackface I’d collected from the local fields and that was like spinning wire too. It felt like nylon rope when it was finished and is the only spinning I’ve done that has gone in the bin. I hope your Swaledale is less offensive. I used Whitefaced woodland when I was learning to spin on my supported spindle and knitted it up to make icord to hang my advent mittens. No matter how small the spinning it’s nice to use the yarn in something, so I hope once you and the kids have dyed them up they become a fabulous project(s).

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  2. You. Are. Awesome!! Your spinning is just amazing! This is a really sampler, and I enjoyed reading about your thoughts on the different breeds 🙂 Here’s my fiber-nerd habit – I have a notebook of the different breed yarns I have knitted with – I knit up a sample of each different breed and make notes on the characteristics 🙂 That’s one of the reasons I am so excited about the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em program.

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  3. I love your notes. I would read them just for entertainment. I don’t keep notes as a habit, and I think it’s because when I was young I had a photographic memory. I’m old now, and my memory is not what it used to be, so I should keep notes. I guess the nerdiest fiber thing I do is my spreadsheet of projects and stash, and tracking all my yarn. And that’s new for me.

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  4. How fun! This really is a great idea to get to know more breeds better. I believe some Etsy stores have similar ones for various US breeds too if you’re interested. I will say that US Romney is a very different thing than the UK version and quite a nice sweater-type fiber here (although it does vary between flocks). Worth a try to see the difference if you can find some!

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    1. I think I’ll try a US breed sampler in the future. I am glad to hear that about US Romney. I couldn’t figure out why so many people like to spin it. I am headed to another fiber festival in March, so I’ll be on the lookout for it.


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