Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We Interrupt this Lambing... (Revised with Photos)

...for some time at Shepherds' Extravaganza.

This is the first big Sheepie event of the year in the Pacific Northwest. This year, it could have waited a few more weeks, as the feeling was definately WINTER! I envied the sheep their woolie coats. No matter how many layers I put on, I had to keep moving to keep warm. Periodic walk abouts through the "ShowPlex" - heated! - helped as well.

We took Gotland/Finn, Shetland and a Finn fleece to the show. All 7 won Blue ribbons from judge Kirsten Holbo this year. We were pleased. :-) We also took 5 sheep - 4 Shetlands and Captain, our remaining grey Gotland/Finn ram. They generated a lot of interest, especially since they are quite friendly, but no buyers.

As much as I need more fleece, the Black Sheep Creamery had several Friesian fleeces there, and I took the opportunity to get one just to "try it out". ;-) I ended up with half of a white Friesian fleece and half of a black Friesian fleece, splitting each with a friend.

Of course, I couldn't wait to try it. Saturday evening I washed up a sample of each, hurried its drying, and spun it up on Sunday and Monday on my Turkish Spindle. It was very interesting.

The judge thought it might be soft enough for next to the skin wear. Of the two small samples I took from the fleeces, maybe the black one would be next to the skin soft, but the white one would make nice outerwear. They were both quite lofty, and I attempted to spin them woolen.

Below, the Turkish spindle shows its advantage. When the spun yarn is wound around the 4 arms (over 1, under 2, ad infinitum), it makes a center pull ball when the shaft is pulled out, then the arms are removed.

I carded and portioned them out: white, black, blended white and black, white, black, white, blended white and black, black, and white. Spun in that order, it made a yarn that transitioned from white to black to grey to white to black with just a bit of barberpole colors in between. There was enough to make a small bag for the Turkish spindle. :-) I decided to crochet the bag, since it's been many years since I've crocheted and it just seemed "right".

There was just enough to hold the two arms and shaft, with a little of the shaft poking out. I still need to make a drawstring to close the bag. Now, I can keep the three pieces together even when it isn't "busy" with yarn. :-)

Yeaaaaa! I got through to Bloggers photo posting page! Enjoy. :-)
- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

When Blogger does that to me, I get stubborn and keep trying and trying and trying until it finally cooperates. That can waste a LOT of time....

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

VERY cool little project!

Kathy said...

Clever Girl!

Nice to "see" you again. I envy you going to Shepherd's Extrav.! I do wish we had something in Arizona to go to, but have found nothing worthwhile to justify the drive. I can hardly wait for Black Sheep, although if we don't bring animals for sale, will be taking my car to save gas.
The sheep market here in AZ has slumped...we are one of the hardest hit states re: all the mortgage bruhaha going on and it is reflecting in sales - so much so I may have limited or no breeding this next fall. (sigh)