Suffolk, Gotland, Manx Loaghtan, Kerry Hill, Welsh Mountain, Herdwick, Texel, Masham, and Sheep Portraits!

Overdue blog post, I know. But there’s a very good reason! I decided to add a step to my process– I draw each of the sheep I spin. This will hopefully help me both to put a face to all the random breed names I now know…and help me develop a more realistic drawing style (I have a long ways to go!). So I spent some time drawing the sheep I already spun for the blog; I missed a couple, though…I’ll do them for the next post 😉

First, though, the yarnz!

# 17: Suffolk


The texture of Suffolk reminds me a lot of Swaledale; a little silky, not really soft but not unpleasant. It’s an easy spin 🙂

1 ounce became 50 yards of sport weight.

#41: Gotland


Reminds me a lot of Wensleydale– super silky! It’s also a fantastic color…and wicked dense. The sample weighs out normally, but looks like hardly anything. I think it’d make a good accent; if I carded batts, I’d use it instead of carbonized bamboo (similar color, but easier to spinand more lustrous).

1.2 ounces became 34 yards of DK.

#44: Manx Loaghtan


Manx reminded me a lot of the Icelandic top I spun awhile back; it’s an easy spin, and creates a lofty (albeit not that soft) yarn. I kind of want to test it and see how hard-wearing it is; I feel like the squishyness would make for great socks…or slippers…hmmm….

1 ounce became 34 yards of aran weight.

#55: Kerry Hill


Spun a lot like Southdown…Not soft, but enjoyable, and the sheep look like pandas! So cute! :3 Again, I think it might make hard-wearing socks, although I would have to be a much better spinner to attempt it…It was not an easy spin for me.

3 ounces became 156 yards of sport-weight.

#59: Welsh Mountain


Ugggg….It’s all prickly and kempy… Not a big fan -_-” Spun easily enough, though. I wonder if it felts? If so, it’s make a nice,hard-wearing bag or something…

1.2 ounces became 56 yards of sport weight.

#76: Herdwick


Bit of back story on this one– soon after I learned to spin, my mother kindly bought me what she thought was a working spinning wheel. It ended up being basically ornamental, though, and I ended up leaving it in my closet for about a year. Recently I pulled it out and started working on it, and I’ve gotten it to spin a little, at least 🙂 Herdwick was the breed I chose to test it out (it does not like fine wools, that much is certain…I tried Merino first. Utter fail). Herdwick itself is not a super pleasant spin– very kempy, and it constantly drops little, rough black and white hairs (can kemp be black?). During spinning, plying, winding…Constant. Kemp. All over me and my floor. Very annoying. Like Welsh, I want to know if this can felt or not…

1.6 ouncesbecame46 yards of worsted.

#92: Texel


Texel… One of the ugliest sheep (I think they look like bulldogs ;), yet one of the most fun (for me) to spin 🙂 The wool is not super soft, but, like Manx, comes out super puffy. It’s a touch softer than Manx, though. I’m thinking amigurumi…

1.2 ounces became 30 yards of worsted-to-bulky variation (fun! Love spinning Texel…)

Last but not least…

#108: Masham


No portrait on this one… Masham is a name for a specific kind of multi-generational crossbreeding, so there’s not really a breed standard for me to base a portrait on ^.^” Great spin, though– reminds me of Border Leicester; not as soft as BFL, but easy to spin, nice little luster… Probably will wear well, too; the fibers were relatively long.

1.6 ounces became 48 yards of worsted.


Okay, so that’s all the breeds I have finished right now (CVM, Romeldale, and Merino still need to be plied…Bond should arrive soon…will start Corriedale at the same time as Bond). But here’s the portraits I have done– the breeds I’ve already spun, but that I spun before I started doing portraits:


Border Leicester, BFL


Cheviot, Cotswald, Lincoln Longwool


Scottish Blackface, Swaledale, Southdown


Teeswater, Devon Longwool, Wensleydale


Whitefaced Woodland, Dorset Horn, Jacob.


That’s all for now– I know I still have to draw Icelandic and Warhill, and probably a few others. Hopefully I’ll have them done by the time Romeldale, CVM, and Merino are plied 😉

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4 Responses to Suffolk, Gotland, Manx Loaghtan, Kerry Hill, Welsh Mountain, Herdwick, Texel, Masham, and Sheep Portraits!

  1. Janet Ford says:

    Absolutely LOVE your sheep sketches! Your live for them shines through in their “sheepish” characters and smiles! Agree about the ugly Beltex / Texels too!! xxx

    • Why thank you ^.^ I’m hoping to start branching out a little and do some of the sketches in paint/mixed media– I never can quite capture the wool texture, lol.

      Speaking of which, the next breeds I need to draw are Romney, Kent (both totally spun and ready at this point) and then Norfolk Horn and Beulah Speckled Face (working on spinning those currently). I guess I’ll try painting them 🙂

  2. Pingback: Dorset Down, Charollais, Cultivated Silk Top, Beltex, and Yukio :) | Without Your Wings

  3. Pingback: Dyeing for Color. | Without Your Wings

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