Saturday, March 7, 2009

Progression Of The Wensleydale/Cotswold Fleece

...or how you can tell I'm getting excited about the spring shearing.

A properly shorn fleece will come off in one piece - similar to, but much nicer than a pelt. This was obviously a professional job. I can't shear each sheep fast enough to risk keeping them upside down for so long, so I've learned to shear them standing up. I make one pass down the center and work down from there on each side. The best I can hope for is a two piece fleece.

So, after it's rolled out - I usually use a skirting table rather than the porch - it's skirted (all the cruddy stuff removed) and washed.

I hand pick, or fluff it, as it dries. Mostly to make sure there is as little vegetable matter in it as possible.

Even though I had plenty of other things I needed to be doing today, I then carded (all the tangles combed/brushed out) up a small sample.

An spun it using one of my kit spindles. I can't believe I can make something that spins yarn. And spins well.

I then wound it off into a center pull ball so that I could use both ends to make a two ply yarn.

Look at the combination of beautiful colors and textures. (Definitely click to biggify.)

Now isn't this fun?


Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

That's so lovely a fleece. I have a spinning wheel but I enjoy using the drop spindle too.

Dana and Daisy said...

yes it is fun and I learned something new just by watching!

Alice said...

The yarn looks so beautiful! It would be neat if you could make a little video of each of those steps. I have never seen your spinning kit in action! The end result does look like fun indeed!

Peacecat said...

Thanks for suggesting a zoom-in on the yarn. Gorgeous texture! I have some Wensleydale I bought at Black Sheep spring that's been washed and picked, and happily sits in my stash. This gives me encouragement!

Kara said...

That IS fun!

tonya fedders said...


Lady Katherine said...

Its beautiful! I love it! I usually do not use my drop spindle unless, I am demo the different types of spinning. Your spinning on it is great! I just love this wool! I want a sheep so bad, I miss all the ones we had to sell when we took our job traveling! I hope to find some for sale. I just want a few. Not hundreds as we did have. I have enjoyed your blog.

Anonymous said...

It's just gorgeous! Beautiful colors! Thanks for the explanation, we're getting the sheep shorn on April 19th so I'm interested in how to preserve the fleece properly. I'm so new to the fleece side of things... Thanks for the post!

Pam said...

Henry's fleece looks great! I'm so glad it went to a good home. Now I'm inspired to do inventory in my "fleece loft" and see what I actually have up there. Any ideas on what you're going to do with the yarn?

Cat said...

That is absolutely gorgeous!


colorandtexture said...

So lovely!!


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