Romney (LONG WOOL)
Evolving from a boggy marsh, Romney sheep have adapted to their surroundings and have become a very well-rounded breed that will thrive in a variety of environments. This breed is medium-sized with a well defined crimp and the fibre is good for felting. Romney sheep are technically in the long wool category although you shouldn't think of their wool as rough. They can range from somewhat fine to really coarse. You may not want to wear this wool next to your body in some cases but this fibre is highly durable and would make get sweaters, socks, hats and mitts, good for textured knits like cables. Romney has a relatively low lanolin content which makes it easier to wash and is good news for those who are allergic. Long wools have a beautiful sheen that can't be compromised. According to the "Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook" Romney would be more of a cousin to other long wools rather than a sibling and would likely win class president. It's a great wool to learn how to spin and is sought out for a variety of projects. Give it a try, you may surprise yourself and fall in love with this long wool breed.
If you are preparing a Romney fleece yourself, you have a lot of choice in how you will go about it. Card, flick, comb or spin in the grease and you can create a variety of yarns.
I was pleasantly surprised at how clean the dirty, raw wool became after a few baths in warm water and a bit of SOAK. I combed the fleece with my double pitch combs and the fibre just fluffed right up! I couldn't believe the shine and the creamy golden white colour is just gorgeous. I spun a small sample on my Forrester Sheep spindle and spun the rest on my Haldane wheel. I n-plyed both yarns and finished up the samples. I am really happy with how they turned out although these specific pieces feel a little rougher then other Romney I have spun.