Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Fleece Washing

My friend Katherine lives about 20 miles from me. She has a small flock of interesting sheep. They're all kept for their fleeces rather than as a meat producing flock, which does mean that she has a large number of castrated males, much to the astonishment of her meat producing neighbours....

She does interesting things with crosses, she has Gotlands, BFL, and Welsh Black Mountains primarily, but sometimes uses other rams for the crosses. She's also in the middle of building her own timber framed, straw bale house. Once the building work is over she's going to be selling far more of this rather yummy fibre. For now, I'm just happy I get advance previews!

This is from one of her boys, it's Gotland crossed with Lincoln (I think!), and it's a beautiful silvery white. Lots of white fleece is actually rather creamy, but once this is washed it shimmers.

The weather here is gorgeous at the moment, ideal fleece washing weather. These chunks were dry in a couple of hours, thanks to her spin dryer (I'm still trying to track one down...). 
We also had a play with some that she'd washed previously. 

This is a bump that I combed, which probably isn't the best prep for this fibre, it would work better carded in our opinion, but Katherine has some nice fine combs and I wanted to try them to see if I'd use them more than my ones (probably not was the answer). It just begs to be spun with a low twist and allowed to be fluffy.

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