Here’s reason #2 why breed study is important for knitters (if you missed reason #1, you can find it here):
Different breeds really are different.
The range of fiber that sheep produce is astounding. There's wool that's strong enough to to be woven into rugs that will last for generations, there's wool that's soft enough to knit into cloth to wrap up a newborn, and there's pretty much everything in between. The Down breeds grow wool that is highly elastic, the long wool breeds grow wool that is sleek and shiny, the fine wool breeds grow wool to cuddle up in, and other breeds' wools combine some of the best characteristics of the other types. There are even multi-coated breeds who manage to grow both a soft downy undercoat and guard hairs that make great rope and twine. As Clara Parkes notes in The Knitter's Book of Wool, "every kind of wool has a purpose and not every purpose can—or should—be met by the same wool.”
You can start exploring the amazing variety in wool by treating yourself to a membership in Sheepspot’s yarn club. You’ll get a different small-batch, breed-specific yarn in every shipment, so you can learn more about which wools you love most to work with, and which breeds you feel most passionate about. What’s more, you can customize your membership to fit your needs and budget, and you won’t get stuck with colorways you don’t like. Add on the "Breed School" option, and you'll get an information sheet on each breed, raw and washed locks of its wool, detailed flock information, worksheets, and more.
You'll know your Teeswater from your Tunis in no time. Oh, and by the way, the lamb in the picture is a Texel.
I'll be back tomorrow with reason #3.