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 are developed and have changed over time. 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 Falkland 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 and learn. I love my spinning groups and guilds.  The more I learn about breeds, the more I have to share. The more I teach and share, the more I learn!

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

(next Breed Study post:  the tools)



mystery yarn reveal: Beauty and the Beast!

This was such a fun spinning project!

The Beauty yarn is half hand dyed yellow gold merino, bamboo, tussah silk, firestar, rayon thread and pearl beads in white and cream. The other half is hand dyed green merino, bamboo, firestar and rayon thread strung with silk flowers, leaves and more pearl beads.

The Beast yarn is hand dyed brown merino, bamboo, copper angelina, with tailspun teeswater locks and plyed with gold rayon thread. The other half is shades of blue plyed with rayon thread strung with random tiny beads in browns, greens and aubergine.

hand dyed merino, bamboo, silk flower , teeswater locks, gold, yellow, blue, brown green, beauty and the beast, beads


mystery yarn spinning project

I feel like I should be spending every second of every day working on my business, but sometimes I just need to play!

I was sorting through my table full of samples for my upcoming Blending Board Magic class (I will be teaching at both Shepherd’s Extravaganza and Okfiberfest), when I got fidgety.


Here is what I grabbed. Can you guess my inspiration? Stay tuned!

blue, gold and brown wool, bamboo, firestar, beads, red silk flowers