Friday, 19 April 2013

Lambs and Fleece

Yesterday I went over to visit my friend Katherine. She's known as Barberblacksheep on Ravelry and has her own mini flock of sheep. Rather jokingly she calls them her useless flock as there's a lot of castrated males, and quite a few are getting on in years, but the reality is they produce lovely fleece, partly because they're castrated males, so no pressure of lambing which weakens the fleece, but also because she takes fantastic care of them, and shears them herself.
They're a bit of a motley bunch, partly pedigree Gotlands, some BFL's, and Welsh Mountains, but there's also some lovely cross breeds, her Black Welsh Mountain/BFL cross is a particular favourite of mine.

There were 2 main reasons for my visit. First was to say hello to the newest arrivals. Alfie and Siwan, BFL/Gotland crosses born less than 2 days ago.

First time mum Rusby and her lamb Alfie

Old hand Rasta and her lamb Siwan. 

Taking these photos involved a lot of lying around on the straw, and deletion of lots of blurry sheep photos! 

Rasta in particular is friendly, she got really ill last year, but Katherine nursed her back to health, and as a result she's worked out that humans have treats, and give good scratches. She spent lots of time trying to work out if the camera was going to give her any food. 

Looks like her daughter is going to inherit those friendly characteristics. 

I also got to do some lamb cuddling, though Rasta was feeling a little left out. The look on my face is probably similar to the look I gave her last weekend when I was house sitting. These girls were told very firmly to keep their legs crossed until Katherine was there to look after the new arrivals!

The second reason for my visit was this little lot

I helped Katherine go through her fleeces and we picked out and sorted and bagged up a collection for me to take to Wonderwool next weekend. They're mostly pure Gotland, but theres a few of the cross breeds. Some as whole fleeces, others in smaller amounts if you just want to try spinning this for yourself. If you won't be coming to Wonderwool then I'd recomend going and joining Katherine's Ravelry group as there are still a few fleeces she kept back to sell via the post. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013


It's hard to believe it's only a full year since I was heading off to my first fibre show as an exhibitor. A lot seems to have happened since then, but it's been the most fantastic experience.
My Wonderwool preparations for this year are all finished, something I'm very grateful for as it means I can take time out to support a close friend of mine. I knew my OCD tendencies would come in useful eventually!
I'll have lots of batts, hand blended roving, a full collection of all my gradients, all of my Birds Collection, Learn to Spin Kits, hand turned Niddy Noddys, Spindle Cases, Yarnmaker magazines (including the new edition), and dyed fibre. I've finally managed to unthaw the caravan and I got some Silk Brick, Cashmere, Baby Camel/Silk, Teeswater/Silk, BFL/Baby Camel, Jacob/Silk, Superwash BFL/Nylon, Southdown, BFL/Ramie, Silk Hankies, and Dyed Silk Noil, Longwool Locks, and Firestar dyed.

I'm at Stall K7 this year, one aisle further over than I was last year with a slightly bigger stand. It's till going to be packed with goodies though, I have lots of new things in comparison with a year ago, and a surprise which I think some people will be rather happy about.

Last year my surprise was this blend

Dafad was a blend of Shetland, BFL and Silk, exclusive to Wonderwool. Dafad is welsh for sheep, the local sheep breed is called Speckle Face. They're mostly white, with black markings around their eyes, so it seemed an appropriate name for a black and white gradient roving. 
It's blended in a way that lets you spin a gradually changing plyed yarn without any fiddling about dividing up a braid of fibre. Because it's handblended you also get super easy to spin fibre. 

This was the shawl Mum spun and knitted for me as a sample last year. 

The braids I listed in the shop have already sold out, but I'll be making more, and I'll also have some on the stand at Wonderwool.