When I participated in #spinchat awhile ago I learned about the vast number of different sheep breeds producing different types of wool that can be spun into yarn for us crocheters and knitters. Each yarn behaves a little bit differently. Each one has its pros and cons. The only way to discover the absolute perfect yarn for different project types for yourself is to experiment with different options.
Yes, I suppose that this may just be my justification for having a huge yarn stash. But I’m mentioning it today because there is an opportunity via Etsy to sample different types of breeds in small batches of yarn to get a sense of the different options available. This option comes from KoutureCrochet.
Different Sheep Breed Yarn Types
We all know that there are different fibers for yarn: wool, alpaca, camel, yak, acrylic and other synthetics … But when you get really immersed in the world of yarn (especially if you start getting into yarn spinning) then you learn that within each of those categories are different options as well. Each individual breed of sheep has different fiber with different properties that will create different yarn and if you try a lot of them you may begin to see those subtleties.
Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) is a popular choice with spinners. Merino wool is popular yarn with crocheters. But there are so many others including: Finn, Jacob, Cormo, Flakland, Shetland, Corriedale, Romney, Polwarth, Icelandic Leadersheep, Gotland, Wensleydale, Friessian, Cheviot, Clun Forest, and Coopworth.
If you’re interested in fiber farming, check out Catherine Friend’s terrific books about life on a fiber farm.
Single Breed Sheep Yarns
I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about these different breeds I’ve mentioned. But when KoutureCrochet did her now-fully-funded Kickstarter project (designed to bring unique yarn breeds to the masses as samples) I learned a little bit more about those yarn breeds. What I learned most of all that makes sense but I hadn’t thought about before is that there’s a difference between single breed sheep yarns and blends. Many spinners will blend a few different types of sheep yarn with a silk or synthetic yarn. And that’s fine. But if you want to learn more about the unique properties of a specific type of sheep yarn then you will want to try single breed sheep yarns to start seeing those subtleties.
9 Breed Yarn Collection
KoutureCrochet’s Kickstarter project was great because it offered the opportunity for investors to sample many different types of yarn that she had hand-spun herself. Although the project’s funding period is over, you still have the chance to enjoy those yarn samples through sale in her Etsy shop. She’ll be adding different opportunities to do that over time but right now what you can purchase is the most popular package from her Kickstarter project which is a 9 Breed Yarn Collection.
What you purchase:
- 9 one ounce hand-spun skeins of two-ply yarn, each made from a single sheep breed
- The chance to try a multitude of different single breed sheep yarns including Blue Faced Leicester, Cheviot, Corriedale, Masham, Merino, Polwarth, Shetland and Gray Suffolk.
- A selection of yarn ranging from fingering weight to worsted weight.
The yarn that you purchase now will be shipped out in March/April. Did you know that yarn has seasons? Well, that’s not quite true but there’s a shearing season for sheep, which you can learn about by visiting your local fiber farm!