• Rainy Williamson


In early January 2018 I created the #britspinchallenge – a way for spinners and felters to support native British sheep breeds. Its been great to speak to people who have tried new fibres and seeing photos of yarns spun with different breeds. If you’re not familiar with this non-competitive challenge, then read on.

Stuck in a fibre rut? Do you go back to the same fibre time and time again? Then why not take part in this personal challenge? The #britspinchallenge.

[you can also join in if you knit, crochet, wet felt, weave or needle felt too!]

The challenge: Spin 12 different native British sheep breeds in a 12-month period.


* To encourage spinners [and other fibre crafters] to experience the joys of the wool fibres that can be found locally in the UK.

* To support British fibre providers * To offer greater diversity to your yarns * To broaden your range of spinning and felting skills with the challenge of different staple lengths and textures

* To connect you to the sheep that provide the wool

* To support rare and native sheep breeds.

How? Choose 12 different native British wool breeds. Avoid breeds that you already have experience of, and wherever possible start with raw fibre or that which has been minimally processed. This allows you to observe the characteristics of the wool more closely. How much of each breed you spin is up to you but a minimum 25g is suggested.

For each breed, create a simple record card with details of the spin. Include details such as: Name of breed Source of fibre How fibre was prepped prior to spinning Method of spinning WPI of spun yarn Characteristics of fibre prior to spinning Characteristics of spun fibre Suggestions for use of spun fibre Any other details

At the end of the challenge you will have a valuable record of 12 British wool fibres to use as a resource for future projects. Which 12 will you choose? Share your progress on social media using the #britspinchallenge #britspinchallenge18 #britspinchallenge19 hashtags.

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