Spinning with Manx Loaghtan
The Manx Loaghtan sheep originated on the Isle of Man off the coast of Britain and is a recognized 'rare breed' in the UK. The name Loaghtan comes from the Manx word lugh dhoan which means mouse brown. I think that is a pretty accurate description for the color of this wool.
Micron count: 27
Staple Length: 2" to 2.5"
So with a micron count of 27 it isn't the softest wool out there but I would not describe it as scratchy. Not ideal for next to skin wear but still good enough for a nice thick winter sweater that will be worn over a base layer.
The Manx Loaghtan sheep was bred for both meat and fiber so you end up compromising on both fronts. But if you live in an island, and Amazon can't deliver everything to your door, then breeding a 2-in-1 animals is a pretty good way to go.
I don't have any photos of the yarn itself because I knitted it up too fast. The color works perfectly between the Tasmin Comeback and the Brown Corriedale of the final section.
Spinning with the Manx Loaghtan was okay. The shorter staple length means I had to be more attentive to my draw. If I wasn't drawing quickly enough the flow would break and for me breaks always mean a thicker section where it is reattached. There also seemed to be more 'clumpy' sections that created thick bumps in the yarn. This could have been the fiber preparation or perhaps this wool has a strong tendency to felt- I'm not sure. Either way the Manx Loaghtan was not as easy to spin as the merino or tasmin comeback.
The finished product was a nice yarn in a great color. If you are looking for a natural medium brown then this is a great choice. Perhaps if I had been more attentive to my spinning or had more experience I could tease some better yarn out of this fiber.
At $6.50 for 4 ounces the Manx Loaghtan is slightly cheaper than the Tasmin Comeback at $7.50 for 4 ounces but I so enjoyed spinning with the Tasmin Comeback that I would happily pay extra. But if you are making a large project that doesn't need to be super soft and you have a little more spinning experience than me then the Manx Loaghtan is a very viable option.
What are you spinning? Tried a new breed or preparation lately?
Tell us about it in the comments below.