Yarns Made from Different Sheep Breeds – a Kickstarter Project

29 Dec

As I learn more and more about knitting, I have been discovering that there is a wide range of wool and yarns available to knit with…actually there is an overwhelming number of different types of yarn and wool to use, each with their own distinctive qualities.

iusa_75x75.20584239_m0uwIt can be difficult to know which type of yarn is best for your project and there will always be an element of trial and error.  One of my fellow Etsyians, Kouture Crochet, has decided to tackle this issue by creating a Kickstarter project which will offer backers the opportunity to trial many varieties of different wool breeds.106b44acc2d388a240ebc41f3406ad09_large

Kouture Crochet provides more info below:

“What is the project?

The goal of the project is simply to bring single sheep breed yarns to market in an affordable and user-friendly way.

Why Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a great “crowd-funding” resource. It allows everyday individuals to fund an idea they like or want to see become a reality. Additionally kickstarter can allow backers to help shape how an idea comes to life. I believe that because this project is intended to help fill a need within the knitting, crocheting and weaving worlds, it is the best format for this project.

Why yarn?

As a professional fiber artist, I found there to be a lack of easy to pick up and learn about natural yarns. It’s easy to grab a ball of 100% Acrylic yarn, but what if you want a 100% natural wool yarn perfect for a rug, baby blanket or a sweater. Right now there is no easy way to try different breeds of wool to see which is best. This project hopes to fill that gap.

Why single breed yarns?43e17b5d1ea1c399a8a98b8a5ecd3d51_large

Just as different breeds of dogs are bred for different jobs, throughout the last few centuries different regions and groups of people bred sheep to fulfil different needs. Some breeds were bred for their meat or wool or both. Wool of sheep bred for their wool will have different characteristics, usually softer and higher yields. Wool from animals bred for their meat varies greatly and is full of surprises.

The best way to know “what is what” is to feel the yarn and work with it. However, there are hundreds of breeds and thousands of varieties. One skein of single breed yarn can be anywhere from $15 – $50 (approximately £9 – £31). As a result most of us do not have the means to try more than a few breeds in a lifetime.

I have narrowed down the list to just 25 breeds. Most are fairly common and fairly easy to find. These breeds vary greatly from the insanely soft, rare and colorful California Variegated Mutant to the workaday, affordable Masham. There is the silky Polwarth and the rough and sturdy Jacob and so much more.

Will these be the same as single breed yarns that I might buy from my regular wool shop?

These yarns are handspun by me in my own style. Mill spun yarns will be much more uniform, hand spun yarns from other spinners will have their own characteristics based on the style of the artist who spun them.

Additionally, individuals in a breed or a herd will have their own features as well. This is part of the complexity and fun of single breed yarns. Most of these yarns come from small producers with their own unique style. However, the goal is to give knitters, crocheters, and weavers a sense of what a breed can be. For example, Merino from different areas and of different fineness will vary but it is certainly different to Welsh fiber and yarn.”

If you would like to get involved in the project, simply click here to be taken to the website.

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