The Cheviot tops from Judy was next on my list of things to do. When I pulled it out and took a close look at it, I was surprised to find that it contained a mixture of fibers. It was mostly very soft, but had quite a few smooth, black or white hairlike fibers, as well as kinky, stiff, kempy fibers of black or white.
I pulled the tops into foot long sections, and split them lengthwise to spin. It took longer to spin than the Massam, because I found myself picking as much of the kemp out as I could with a pair of tweezers.
Fiber weight - 100 grams
Fiber length - 5 to 6 inches
Wheel - Kromski Minstrel
Spinning ratio - 8.5:1
Singles - 32 WPI
2 ply - 14 WPI
Yardage > 198
The color was labeled 'light grey' though actually this was due more to the salt and pepper effect of the soft white fibers and the black hair fibers. I don't think this is very visible from the above scan, but you get an idea of it in the singles yarn on the left. Overall, the color of the yarn is lovely.
In the inconsistencies of my spinning, I can see that lower twist would have been a better choice for this fiber, as the sections with less twist are indeed the softest. Even so it would never be suitable for next to skin wear.
According to Nola Fournier and Jane Fournier in In Sheep's Clothing, Cheviot is classified as a down-type wool, though I would never have guessed this from working with it. It is most commonly used for Tweeds, blankets, knitwear, socks and carpets.
For the time being, I'm going to add mine to my handspun yarn collection. Perhaps once I have enough, a project featuring British wools will be in order in the future.