Breed Study: Getting Started

 

Thank you to everyone who has been patiently waiting for the Breed Study to begin. I admit I got blocked. I started to write my first post on Zwartbles and realized every time I began, I found more things to write about! So I’m starting here: before the actual spinning, in hopes to better organize my thoughts and make the whole process more inclusive for everyone.

Why do a breed study?

1. Fiber: It’s all about the fiber!  Just like trying new foods, how will I know if it’s the most delicious thing if I never try it?

2. History:  It’s great fun learning how sheep breeds have changed over tie. I never would have known that the Targhee breed named after the Targhee National Forest where the animals grazed during the summer.

3. Geography: In researching different breeds I have to look up where they are from, which leads to more fun information. Such as, Falkland sheep are considered organic by default because the Falkand Islands are virtually agri-chemical free and sheep are not dipped. This is partially due to their farming practices and partially to their remote location.

4. Language:  I often look up pronunciation of the breed names.  Did you know Cheviot is pronounced shee-vee-ott, (not chevy, like the car)?

5. Conservation:  Many sheep breeds are in decline. By studying them and subsequently using their wool in projects, I am helping to sustain the breeds and the shepherds who raise them.

6. Versatility and control:  One of reasons I spin is to make exactly the yarn I want which in many cases isn’t available commercially. By learning the qualities of more breeds, I increase my pool of possibilities.

7. Community and fellowship:  I love to teach. I love my spinning groups and guilds.  The more I learn about breeds, the more I have to share.

What are your reasons for doing a breed study?  Let me know in the comments below!

(next Breed Study post:  the tools)

 

 

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