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Author Topic: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep  (Read 410 times)

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« on: February 27, 2019, 12:48:14 pm »
There are not a lot of differences between Leicester Longwool and Lincoln Longwool right?
They obviously have common ancestry. Leicester was improved by Lincoln and then Lincoln was crossed with improved Leicester!
The only obvious difference I can see is that Lincoln's have wool on their legs and Leicesters don't. Anything else?
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 07:07:26 pm »
If you’re a spinner, Leicester is the softest of all the longwools.  Lincoln has a beautiful lustre, and a strength like no other longwool, in my opinion.  I like to use 2 plies of Blue-faced Leicester and one of Lincoln in my sock yarns.  I wouldn’t use Leicester for strength in sock yarn, although I might use it for softness with something else for more strength.

Reading the RBST pages about the two breeds would put me off the Leicester.  Or at least, if I had them, I’d cull hard for any lambs - and mothers and fathers of lambs - that are “slow to get going”.  Not a trait I’d want in my flock.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 08:07:42 pm »
But are you talking about Leicester Longwool or blue faced Leicester which is also a Longwool?  ;D but very different breed.
Both Lincoln and Leicester are massive though. Rams can get to 160kg!
Speaking of yarn, I just got a lorry load delivered today from Turkey.
I wanted to get some sheep which have good quality wool for knitting, not really for sale (not gonna make much money of few sheep) but could use them for family jumpers etc  :sheep:
Another difference is Leicester comes in coloured variety as well as white
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 08:14:18 pm by macgro7 »
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 09:13:29 pm »
All three of those longwools come in colours as well as white.  In fact I think nearly all of the longwools do. I can’t think I’ve heard of coloured Cotswold or Teeswater but I have spun, seen or heard of coloured BFL (Blue-faced Leicester), Leicester Longwool, Lincoln Longwool, Romney, Wensleydale.

If you’re a spinner, Leicester is the softest of all the longwools.  Lincoln has a beautiful lustre, and a strength like no other longwool, in my opinion.  I like to use 2 plies of Blue-faced Leicester and one of Lincoln in my sock yarns.  I wouldn’t use Leicester for strength in sock yarn, although I might use it for softness with something else for more strength.

Apologies if this was ambiguous.  In common with most spinners, I always say Blue-faced Leicester in full, or type the abbreviation BFL, so when I say “Leicester” I mean Leicester Longwool.

So to retype it unambiguously...

If you’re a spinner, Leicester Longwool is the softest of all the longwools.  Lincoln Longwool has a beautiful lustre, and a strength like no other longwool, in my opinion.  I like to use 2 plies of Blue-faced Leicester and one of Lincoln Longwool in my sock yarns.  I wouldn’t use Leicester Longwool for strength in sock yarn, although I might use it for softness with something else for more strength.

Reading the RBST pages about the two breeds would put me off the Leicester Longwool.  Or at least, if I had them, I’d cull hard for any lambs - and mothers and fathers of lambs - that are “slow to get going”.  Not a trait I’d want in my flock.

Sorry for any confusion.


As to knitting yarn for yourselves, will you be doing the prep yourselves or getting the yarn made for you?  And what sort of garments are you wanting to knit? 

As spinners we say that BFL is a dream to spin and a nightmare to prep.  Both Lincoln and Leicester Longwool are generally far easier to prep (wash, comb, card; gettting the fleece ready to spin) than BFL, although there are exceptions of course.

Lustre-wise, Lincoln is usually very very lustrous, BFL very lustrous and can be extremely so, Leicester Longwool slightly less lustrous than the other two.  Softness-wise, Leicester Longwool is reputedly the softest of all the longwools, BFL next, and Lincoln less so.  Again there are of course exceptions. One of the most delicious fibres I’ve ever handled was a silver Lincoln Longwool shearling.  It was so lustrous it looked like actual polished silver, and as soft as a lustrous yarn can be.  (To be highly lustrous, the yarn needs to be not fluffy.  The softer fibres are often slightly fluffy, so in general, less lustrous.)

If you want yarn that will be lustrous and or give you fantastic stitch definition (eg for cables), then you want the less fluffy ones, and you want the yarn to be worsted-spun, which means the fibre is combed rather than carded and the yarn will be more dense.

If you want soft and fluffy, then you’d go for less lustre, softer fibre, a carded prep and a woollen-spun yarn.  The yarn is light and airy, warm for its weight, but has less lustre and the stitch definition is poorer.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 10:10:40 pm »
Wow! There's so much!
I was thinking of contracting the production of yarn from the raw fleece - as I sit know much about it.
I do wholesale and sell a lot of yarn though.
We mostly do double knit, some aran and 4ply. Most yarn nowadays is plastic (acrylic) unfortunately but I prefer real wool. Best stuff ever!

To make it even more complicated there is Border Leicester as well! Lol

To be honest I'm a bit stuck - live in Leicestershire so should have Leicesters but like the Lincoln's too lol  :D
Maybe we should just get a bit of both  ;D
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2019, 10:51:45 pm »
Border Leicester makes great yarn too; Doulton Flock have a range of yarns.

There are not very many mills in the UK that can do small quantities of combed prep / worsted spun.  But the staple length of any of these breeds may be outside the limits for many mills for a woollen spun yarn. 

Assuming you’re talking a modest flock size, it might be a good idea to talk to one or two mills and find out what sort of yarn it would be practical to produce. 

Mills that spring to mind include :

  • Border Mill, I think I recall that they can handle long staple fibres.  I’ve no personal knowledge of them.
  • Griffiths Mill, they are rare breed experts. Karen used her own equipment to spin Wensleydale yarn for an evening dress for herself for the RBST 40th anniversary dinner, so they definitely know about long staples
  • Natural Fibre Company (near me in Cornwall.). Sue’s own sheep are Gotlands so again they have experience of long stapled fibre.  Min quantity 20kgs I think, but that’s not a huge number of sheep when they’re Leicester or Lincoln Longwools ;)  I suspect they spin the yarn for the Doulton Flock (but I might be wrong on that.)
  • Halifax Spinning Mill in Goole.  Paul will do any quantity from one fleece up.  Might be a good idea to do one or two single fleece trials first, to see if it works out how you want it to.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 10:57:45 pm »

To be honest I'm a bit stuck - live in Leicestershire so should have Leicesters but like the Lincoln's too lol  :D
Maybe we should just get a bit of both  ;D

Given that the Dishley Leicester is in the history almost all fine-woolled longwools, I think you could argue a case for any of them ;).

Your shearers would prefer clean legs ;)

But you might prefer the natural footrot-resistance and livelier lambs of the Lincoln.

What’s your ground like?  How wet?  Would you winter them indoors?  What are the flies like in late spring / summer?  I think all longwools are horribly prone to flystrike... :/
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 01:46:46 pm »

Mills that spring to mind include :

  • Border Mill, I think I recall that they can handle long staple fibres.  I’ve no personal knowledge of them.

I used Border Mill recently. Lovely people but an order book of 9-12 months. Only do alpaca (presumably long-locked suri as well as huacaya) and rare breed. Took my two whitefaced woodland fleeces and I got back 2kg of DK. However, I did a lot of the gruntwork of the picking and washing, which cut down the costs considerably.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 01:48:26 pm by Steel »

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 02:33:43 pm »
I would probably send wool to Turkey for processing to be honest as we business contacts over there that deal with all aspects of wool processing.
I might actually stick to wool-less breed of sheep for the start, but wool love to eventually have either Leicester or Lincoln Longwool or romney.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 05:21:01 pm »
Given that our fleece animals are mostly shorn only once a year, I am always surprised when people have a problem with mills having a lead time around 9 months.  If they didn’t, and it’s clipping season or nearly, then they’ve got a big problem and / or can afford to have equipment standing idle!   :D

Of course, if the lead time is over twelve months, then they have a different problem ;) :D
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Lincoln vs Leicester Longwood sheep
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2019, 09:02:36 pm »
Given that our fleece animals are mostly shorn only once a year, I am always surprised when people have a problem with mills having a lead time around 9 months.

I don't have a problem with it. I mentioned it for information only as a lot of people who sent fleeces to a mill don't consider it in advance. They have a lead in time like many businesses.

 

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