Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Whitefaced Woodland ( a.k.a. Penistone)

Rare breed(registered RBST)

Staple: 15-20cm

Micron: 28-38/extremely broad range


The Whitefaced Woodland originated in the Pennines on the borders of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, from the blackfaced Linton type of mountain sheep with Cheviot and Merino also used in the breed’s development. Also known as Penistone after the town that has held a sheep fair since 1699, Whitefaced Woodland used to be two distinct groups: the Woodland were leggy, rangy sheep and the Penistone were stockier. In time the two groups amalgamated and formed the one breed.  

The Whitefaced Woodland is one of the largest of British hill breeds.  Both sexes are horned. The wool is white and finer than that of many other hill breeds, attributed to the addition of Merino blood in the 18th century. The breed is very hardy and able to thrive on poor quality grazing and harsh terrain. This and the fact they are primarily raised for meat would contribute to the widely varying micron range for hand spinners. The fiber is valued for its ability to take up dyes. [1]A ewe's first shearing usually gives the finest of fleeces.


My Spinning Experience: Deborah Robson reports in the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook pp.311-312 greatly varying samples. My sample from Woolforbrains gave me a soft-medium soft spun yarn. It was a very enjoyable spin and given the chance with a larger amount, it would be worth the recommendation from to blend or ply with mohair or silk.