Friday, April 24, 2009

Wool: a wonderful, renewable resource

I was going to title this post "Fleece and Flowers," since I am surrounded by both right now. But that would have made for a l-o-o-o-o-n-g post, so you'll have to wait for the flowers.

Yesterday I finally took time to tackle a pressing task. Aunt Janet's Fiber Mill is having a spring processing special through the end of this month, and I want to take advantage of it. But I haven't had the time or suitable material to skirt the four fleeces I have at present. Then, bless his heart, Rick brought home another section of horse panel and cut it to an appropriate skirting-table size, so I got to work. (Rick used the piece I had before to create a better sheepfold gate.) I set up on the deck to take advantage of the beautiful day:
First up was Browning's dark moorit hogget fleece. The first photo, taken when a cloud covered the sun, shows the color more accurately; the second photo is washed out but shows his lovely crimp (click to biggify!).
I was just finishing Browning's fleece when the clouds crowded together with purpose and raindrops fell. So I moved operations to the garage to work on my musket ram Braveheart's clip from this year:
Here's a close-up:The above fleece was coated, so skirting it was easy. Then I tackled Braveheart's hogget fleece from last year, which was uncoated and has been sitting in my office for a year. This one was NOT quick and easy - and still has more VM (vegetable matter) in it than I would prefer. :-(But it was well worth it - just look at that luscious color and crimp! How nice of him to pass it on to his son Browning. :-)

Today I tackled the last fleece I have to skirt for now - Brava's hogget clip from last year. It's another beautiful day in paradise, so it was back to the deck:You can see the contrast between the darker tips and the lighter undercoat; I do believe she is musket without the seasonal changes that a lot of Ag sheep show on their heads and legs. She also has nice crimp:
Now to find a suitable box and ship them off to Aunt Janet. (If I find a box big enough, I think I'll stuff in the crossbred ram fleece I got from my shearer a year or two ago. I washed it and started spinning it from flicked locks, but it has been sitting idle and really needs to be washed again.) I will pick up my roving from Aunt Janet at Black Sheep Gathering, and send my last two fleeces (Dinah's and Brava's, still on the sheep) with her to process. That is, unless someone wants to buy either of those raw fleeces; if so, let me know!

That's the fiber for now from . . .

13 comments:

Jody said...

I might be interested in Brava's fleece. Maybe you could let me know how much? Thanks.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Jody, I didn't see an email link on your blog, so could you email me using the link (first one under "Links") on my blog? Thanks.

An English Shepherd said...

Great blog, interesting to see what they become !

Wizz :-)

MiniKat said...

Once I get going on my wheel I will see what fleeces you have. Until then I think I don't have enough room for rovings and fleeces, what with the miniatures taking over my craft room. ;-)

Jen said...

Wow Michelle, those are gorgeous fleeces. I love Musket, the color just shimmers. You must have a great shearer, the fleeces look wonderful.

Kathleen said...

Okay, help me...what's a hogget fleece? Does it have to do with color?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I didn't know myself at first, Kathleen. A hogget is a year-old sheep, so a hogget fleece is the result of what is typically a sheep's first shearing, often considered the best fleece of their life. I used to call it their "lamb fleece," since it was what was grown their first year, but learned that there are a few breeds that are clipped at 6-9 months of age, sometimes before being sent to market, and THAT is truly a lamb fleece.

Theresa said...

Gorgeous fleeces with great crimp!! Have fun spinning the roving when you get it back!

Theresa

thecrazysheeplady said...

Beautiful fleeces. If I didn't already have 25 that need skirting...I'd be tempted.

Sharon said...

I love the crimp of those fleeces. One of the things I'm planning to enjoy in retirement is the leisure to process my own fleece. I enjoy it - when I have time. And I have a backlog at this point - sounds like you do too.

kenleighacres said...

Your fleeces are beautiful! What is the special she is having and where is she located?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Shannon, Aunt Janet is located in CA and is coming to BSG (http://www.auntjanetsfibermill.com/). Her special through the end of the month is $6/lb. for scouring, HAND picking and carding into roving or batts. Her regular price of $7/lb. is reasonable, too, and I have read many good reports on the Spinning list about the wonderful job she does.

patchworkfibers said...

Your skirting table looks like mine! You just can't have enough panels. Your fleeces are beautiful!