Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Perendale (and Cheviot)


Perendale was the November breed for Sheepspot Breed School 2.0. Breed School shipments leave Sheepspot on the 15th of the month, but because they come from Canada, and because both Canada Post and USPS have been overwhelmed in recent months, this fiber did not arrive until December 5. I was still working on the Southdown then, so I didn't even really feel behind on this project.

Perendale is a New Zealand breed that appeared in the mid-twentieth-century and it's a Cheviot/Romney cross. It's interesting because it doesn't fall neatly into the standard categories of wool breeds. Deb Robson puts it in the "other sheep breeds" category, but she also sometimes describes it as a longwool (the typical staples are 4-6", which is long). Sasha Torres says it's a "weird longwool," because it has crimp rather than the usual ringlets. This crimp results in a bouncy yarn rather than a sleek, lustrous yarn (which is classic longwool behavior). 

I ended up making three samples. First, I tried the short forward draw. This fiber is a bit slippery, so it was difficult to get a consistent single. And I blanked out and forgot to ply my sample before winding it off - DOH! So this is a single that I meant to ply but didn't. Pretty worthless except that the process told me I didn't want to spin a lot with this technique:

Next I tried short forward draw from the fold. My results were lumpy and bumpy. There are some shorter fibers in this top that make it kind of tricky to spin. I did not love this process.

Finally I tried long draw from the fold, and this was definitely more pleasant. My sample reminded me that I should ply on a smaller whorl when I use this technique.

I wanted to get a floofy, airy yarn, so I decided to spin long draw from the fold on my 10.5:1 whorl, and ply the yarn on the 12.5:1 whorl. Great, a plan!

THEN I remembered that I spun some Perendale a few years ago. I decided to check to see what I did then, thinking perhaps I might try to match it so I could use the dyed and undyed yarns together in a project. When I checked my notes, I laughed out loud - in 2016, I made a 2-ply yarn spun 10.5:1 and plied 12.5:1. That was EXACTLY what my 2020 sampling suggested I should do now.

I spun all this undyed fiber and got a yarn I really like. It's not perfectly even, but I find it hard to get perfectly even yarn with a "from the fold" draft. It'll be lovely when knit up. My skein was a whopping 139 grams, which is the absolute limit of what my flyer can handle!

Yardage is 240 yards measured on the winder (it may be a little less after finishing).

The dyed skein I spun in 2016 was 234 yards in 107 grams. Both skeins measure 10 WPI (wraps per inch), so this tells me that the dyed yarn is denser. I think they will work fine together in a project. I'm thinking something brioche, for extra squish.

I finished this project in under a week, which felt like flying compared to the Southdown from last month.

To insert a bit of color into my spinning life, I started spinning a braid of dyed Cheviot on my cross-arm spindle. Yummy.

And the December Breed School fiber arrived on December 29, so I'll turn to that soonish. It's undyed Herdwick, a new-to-me fiber!

1 comment:

  1. That is gorgeous yarn! I always wish I could feel the yarn when you showcase what you've spun, but I can tell that Perendale is squishy and lovely from the photo. (I also love the wikipedia description: they have sturdy legs for steep hill situations!)