Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?

Yes!  I am being inundated with offers of fleeces - not that I'm complaining, I hasten to add, but I am running out of space.  Anyway, how could I possibly resist Lincoln Longwool, Wensleydale, Blue Faced Leicester and Hebridean, to say nothing of the Shetland, Jacob and Teeswater fleeces?  At the moment I have several hundred kilos of wool in various states, just waiting to be felted, spun and/or woven.  I have to confess, I'm in heaven!
Anyway, this is a good opportunity for a long overdue sheep photo to revive the Sheep of the Month spot.

In the foreground is Ziggy, my beautiful Wensleydale, and standing next to him is Jacob's still unnamed twin brother (always referred to as Jacob's Brother, which, I suppose, is a name of sorts), who looks remarkably similar to Ziggy, but is, in fact a Teeswater X Jacob.  Looking on is Bouncy, a Shetland named by my children when they were too young to know any better.

As if I didn't have enough wool, I have also imported some from a farm in Finland for an article I'm writing.  It's Finnsheep wool, which I have used in the dim and distant past, but the article is about a specific farm and, before today, I hadn't used their wool.  I've only made a sample so far, but it seems very lovely.  Look at these five different natural shades.

The skies around my home are always stunning, particularly in the evenings.  This evening, when I went down to feed my sheep I actually remembered to take a camera, so for once I can share this with you.

Now, for the woolly-minded among you, just look at the crimp in that cloud to the left of the picture!
And here's my own home underneath this glorious sky.

I haven't even mentioned our newly fledged swallows and blackbirds, or the curlew who, for several evenings, sat and watched as we clipped sheep.  Sorry, no photographs of this - too busy and far too dirty.
But what an amazing planet this is.


  1. Hello.

    Just washing some sheltand fleece the I brought. Note to myself. Be far gentler with this then my usual jacob wool!! (You can take it i'll be felting this.

  2. Ah, Shetland is so variable - some of it can be treated in the same way as Jacob, but most of it is much finer and more prone to felting.

    I do love to work with Jacob wool - and you might have gathered somewhere on these pages that I am unspeakably excited about using my Jacob X Teeswater fleeces. I need to think of something very special to do with them.

    I must say, this Finnsheep wool (a not too distant relative of the Shetland) from the Piesala Farm is a revelation - so fine and soft! I can see why so many people swear by it!

  3. oh yes indeed - what an amazing planet we live on. where clouds look like fleeces and fleeces fill us up with the joy of how to use them - it is very exciting and i am on the very start of this sheepy journey! take care Ellie and see you soon!

  4. Your sheep look purple!
    Love the sky photos, truly a beautiful planet.
    Good luck with the fleece!

  5. Yes, you're right! Ziggy does look purple!
    Perhaps it's something to do with the incredible light from the sky? Perhaps it's because he's a Wensleydale and they're supposed to have blue skin? Or perhaps he's the first of a new breed of ready-dyed sheep? - which would be very alarming for those of us who like the blacks, browns and greys of normal sheep!