Spinning Tuesdays: Cotswold and Black Welsh Mountain

I’ve decided how to spin Deb Robson’s Must Spin Lists. I’m tackling it in order – one fiber from the Animal Fiber list and one breed from the Rare and Endangered list. Neat and tidy, no?

First up Cotswold:

Cotswold: raw and washed fiber, yarn and knitted swatch

I tend to shy away from longwools because they’re long fibers which means the dreaded (for me) worsted spinning.

Cotswold fiber dirty and clean

I barely washed the fiber in Power Scour and was pleased at how easily it cleaned, and how happy those locks were after a bath, bouncy and shiny. I combed the fiber and yes, spun it worsted.

Cotswold yarn and swatch

I spun it a little thick-ish (14 WPI). It was fairly easy to spin worsted, though I did have to keep reminding myself to keep my hands way far apart. The yarn had both weight and luster. It’s too prickly to wear next to the skin, but would wear like iron – an outer garment, jacket or shawl.

Two fun facts about Cotswold from The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook:

  1. It felts, unusual for a longwool.
  2. The Romans brought this breed to England

Next up Black Welsh Mountain:

Black Welsh Mountain fiber and yarn

These photos will be a little underexposed because this fiber is black, beautiful deep matte black, and that was the only way to get any detail in my photos.

I washed the fiber in fiber wash, since it felt grease free. It actually felt dry, if I had an oil and water spray handy I would have sprayed the fiber. I carded the fiber, made rolags and spun woolen from the end.

Black Welsh Mountain yarn and swatch

This is a dense and spongy fiber. It spun woolen easily and made a lofty yet durable yarn. My yarn is 10 WPI. It is scratchy, not for skin contact. The color is so beautiful I would love to have a blanket made out of it.

Two fun facts about Black Welsh Mountain from The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook:

  1. These sheep don’t gray as they age.
  2. Listed as a Recovering breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

I can already see how this spinning fun is going to gently coax me out of my reluctance to prep my own fibers.

Thanks to Beth Smith of The Spinning Loft for providing the fibers for this week.

What are you spinning?

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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

16 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Cotswold and Black Welsh Mountain

  1. Christine

    That black Welsh mountain yarn is amazing! What a gorgeous colour! Someone needs to make that into a commercial yarn… or I need to learn to spin!

  2. Carol

    I’m new to spinning – still working on the same giant ball of Corriedale (which I love!). I am so intrigued by the different breeds – thanks for doing this series.

  3. craftycarole

    currently on the bobbin is some white samoyed… I’d like to get it back to it’s owner and then I think I’m finished with the cheingora….nothing like the smell of wet dog and washing it.. blech

  4. Emily

    This is so interesting! That Black Welsh Mountain fiber knit up beautifully. I at the same stage as Carol: new to spinning, working on a giant ball of Corriedale, and loving it.

  5. Kat

    Wow, the Black Welsh Mountain is amazing – so dense-looking and fluffy! My bobbins and spindles are all pretty tame at the moment but I’ve got some CVM ready to wash and process, and lots and lots of my adored Wensleydale. I love spinning longwools!

  6. Shell

    I love Black Welsh Mountain, and we have quite a few round here, well it is Wales lol. I was lucky enough to get a fleece from the farm up the road, they were shocked I wanted one as the fleece is black.

  7. Carol

    I just want to compliment you on your changes–it is wonderful to hear from all of the “girls” on the Blog. Your change in finding archived patterns is wonderful!

  8. Natalie

    Aaah! I only just started spinning & now you’re making me want to take the step from fiber someone else prepped to doing it myself.

  9. Linda

    If the weather would cooperate, I’d have my Black Welsh Mountian fleece skirted and washed by now. Instead it’s been windy and rainy. I’m chomping at the bit to get going. The color is amazing. I think I will have to be careful to not dry this fleece out with too much soap or water that’s too hot. Pretty soon I’ve have a jacob fleece arriving ….. Better get moving. Linda

  10. Audi

    I have some merino to finish up on my new drop spindle. Debating between another merino or the CVM I picked up from a local farmer for my next project. I may spin some bamboo on my lace spindle instead.

  11. Mary Jane

    I’m spinning “clouds” in the “hot lips” colorway from loop(Steph Gorin) at etsy. I was spinning lots of naturally colored alpaca to make a blanket but needed a change.

  12. KathyR

    I do like the look of the Black Welsh Mountain but I think I would really prefer the Cotswold – much more character to it. What a pity that we don’t have these breeds here in New Zealand.

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