This is some tough stuff! This week, in my eight weeks of sheep breed spinning and dyeing, I worked with Cheviot roving. If you are looking for a wear and felt resistant wool, this is your best friend! This roving behaved completely different than what I was anticipating and definitely kept me on my toes. This old English sheep breed has a wool with a lofty feel that was really interesting to work with.
Cheviot sheep are an English sheep breed dating all the way back to 1372. This polled sheep is a medium large, dual-purpose breed ranging from 120-200lbs. The Cheviot wool has a staple length of about three to five inches and a micron count of 27-33 microns. The crimp on the wool is a helical crimp providing it with both durability and resistance, making this wool perfect for items that will be getting quite a bit of wear.
Dyeing Cheviot Sheep Breed Wool
Dyeing this fiber was a learning experience. I used the same method of dyeing as last week using our Country Classics Dye. To see how I dyed last weeks’ Targhee roving, click here. The wool surprisingly did not retain the vinegar water mixture when I tried to apply the dye which made it difficult. I’m thinking, I should have used a dye dissolved in water or should have kettle dyed this roving, however, I am pleased with the color.
Spinning Cheviot Sheep Breed Wool
I spun this yarn to the left with our Ashland Bay Cheviot Roving. I naturally spin pretty fine, no thicker than a sport weight usually. However, for me, this roving naturally spun up in a medium to very thick weight. The slight inconsistencies in spinning make for a beautiful thick and thin art yarn! I would love to spin enough of this to make a cool art yarn rug.
I feel this yarn turned out pretty cool overall, very different than what I’m used to but I really enjoyed the experience. I’m glad I got a chance to branch out of my norm and work with a different type of wool. This roving is more suitable for the intermediate to advanced spinners as it is not the easiest to draft. I would love to take this roving and blend it with a BLF to make it a little softer and easier to work with or get some of our mohair fleece locks to make some fun art yarn. If you are looking for a durable or art yarn, I hope you have a chance to give this roving a try.