Being a handspinner, I have a special affection for yarns created from a specific breed of sheep. Deepen your knowledge of our sheep friends by working with these wonderful yarns. I am listing only manufactured yarns, so consequently, many breeds are not represented here. You can always go to Etsy.com for handspun yarns. There you will find a wider variety of breed specific yarns offered. I suggest Clara Parkes‘ book The Knitters Book of Wool for more information on the various breeds of sheep out there. Let me know if you find any commercially spun breed-specific yarns not listed here.
In the UK:
Breed specific yarns for Arans and Ganseys and more!
Wensleydale, Blueface Leicester, Suffolk, Herdwick, Jacob, Manx Loaghtan, Swaledale, Wensleydale, and traditional guernsey yarn in 11 colors! This is the yarn formerly known as Creskeld that I used to carry when I had my online store.
This company is located in Wales. I have heard from a knitter friend that their service is excellent and the yarns are lovely. They carry both fleece and yarns. The breeds they carry are: Balwen, Black Mountain Welsh, Blue Face Leicester, Cotswold, Castlemilk Moorit, Grey Faced Dartmoor, Hebridean, Herdwick, Jacob, Leicester Longwool, Manx Loghtan, Poll Dorset, Portland, Ryeland, Colored Ryeland, Shetland, and Shetland Cheviot. The yarn page is here.
You can purchase Hebridean yarn and fleeces, and knitted garments here. Knitting classes are also available for all levels. Here is their email address: Hebrideanisles@aol.co.uk
- Iriss of Penzance carries British Breeds yarns
- Webpage of Stockists of British Wool Yarn–many breeds are listed here
In the US:
- Flying Fibers has Wensleydale Longwool in yummy colors. They are located in PA but you can call them: 717.898.8020.
- Solitude Wool (VA) Lovely website, beautiful yarns: Targhee, Romney, Tunis, Corriedale, Shropshire, Karakul, Icelandic, Leicester, Suffolk/Dorset and more!
The following sites offer breed specific yarns. I have divided them into categories: Fine, Medium, Down, Long, and Dual (Primitive) fleece qualities.
- CVM: Yolo Wool mills (US) No yarns at this time, but they have fiber to spin
- Cormo: Elsa Wool Company (US) Worsted and woolen yarns in natural shades
- Merino: Morehouse merino (US) Lovely colors
- Polwarth: Wendy Dennis Handspinning Wools (Tarndie in Australia) Worsted spun 4 and 8 ply Polwarth yarns
- Rambouillet: Sincere Sheep (US) Targhee, Rambouillet, and Cormo
- Tunis: Tamarack Tunis (VT, US)
- Cheviot: American Miniature Cheviot Sheep (US) Fleeces, no yarn at this time
- Clun Forest: Timberwood Farm Products (US)
- Dorset: RenaissanceDyeing,com (France) Poll Dorset yarns
- Suffolk: British Breeds (UK)
- Blueface Leicester: British Breeds (UK) In Aran and DK weights
- Cotswold: Nistock Farm (NY)
- Leicester Longwool: Row House Farm (VA)
- Perendale: Curran Hill Ranch (CA)
- Romney: Alder Brook Farm (CT)
- Wensleydale: Blakesley Creek Farm (OR)
DUAL COATED/PRIMITIVE BREEDS
These are sheep breeds which still retain both a wool and a hair. They are less soft but very hardy, long-wearing yarns.
- Icelandic: Schoolhouse Press (WI) light weight Lopi and Plotulopi– the traditional unspun Lopi yarn sold in “cakes” as well as Nordicstore.net (Reykjavik, Iceland) Traditional Plotulopi
- Jacob: British Breeds– in three shades and a marl yarn
- Navajo Churro: Black Mesa Weavers
- Shetland: Jamieson’s Spindrift (WA), Jamieson & Smith (UK)