February 9, 2011

Wool Breeds Challenge - Welsh Mountain

Welsh Mountain is another Down breed from the UK, specifically from the Welsh Highlands. It is also called a Hill breed. Welsh Mountain has a micron count of 32-40 and a staple length of 2-6 inches (per In Sheep's Clothing).

My sample is dark brown with a lot of gray kemp fibers. Some of the kemp strands were very long, long enough that I didn't recognize them as kemp in the beginning - I thought I was shedding.  ;)   I stopped pulling them out when I realized there were way too many (and too short) to be mine. 

Although it is classified as a Down breed it is not dense and springy like both the Dorset Horn and Cheviot samples were (or perhaps more accurately I should say not as dense or springy). It has a silky softness as compared to a squishy softness.

The Welsh Mtn sample was a pleasure to spin. It appears to be top (strands were a little messy but pretty much aligned) and drafted easily long draw from the end into thin singles. It had a staple length of about four inches, give or take.   I spun two sample skeins from this: a very small two-ply and a slightly larger four-ply. I liked the texture of both, but I prefer the four-ply.   Welsh Mountain is another breed that I would definitely like to spin again.

Bottom: four-ply sample; Middle Right: two-ply sample; Middle Left: singles; Top: roving/top sample.  The two-ply and singles have not been set; the four-ply was.

Welsh Mountain sample

This closeup clearly shows all the (mostly shorter) gray kemp fibers which add a light reflecting quality to the yarn:

Welsh Mountain

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