Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Stills - The Letter C

Hmmm - cold, cats, carriages, cookies, Cotswolds...Colored Cotswolds!



I've had a couple questions about why we sheared several sheep this fall. Also a question about the steps from sheep to spinning. Rebecca Boone, a recently shorn Colored Cotswold sheep, is happy to help answer these inquiries and also try for some Sunday Stills shots.

The Cotswolds, Border Leicesters, Wensleydales, Lincolns and several other breeds are considered "long wools". Their wool grows so fast that they are traditionally sheared twice a year, in the spring and once again in the fall. Buddy, Woolliam, Rebecca Boone, Miss Ewenice and Keebler fall into this catagory.

While my average non-long wool sheep produces a staple length of approximately four to six inches per year, the long wools could easily go 12 inches. Wool that long is not only very hot for the sheep, but is also, at that length, no longer very usable.

And while I would have prefered to have had them all sheared by the last part of September, everyone has already started growing back plenty of wool to get them comfortably through the winter. I've been told they only need 36 hours to reacclimate, but I'm not happy until they start looking fuzzy and insulated. Keebler's hair is already an inch and a half long.



Colorful Curls



Washed and ready to run through the Triple Picker. I could do a whole series of shots on the Patrick Green Triple Picker, but that would be a better Halloween post. This shot is pretty tame!



From the picker to the (hand crank) carder, which "brushes or combs" the curls.



Ready to spin. Note, I had so much fun using my new wheel that I completely forgot to take pictures of the spinning process. You'll just have to use your imagination.



Spun, plied, washed and ready to knit.



I wasn't happy with last night's inside lighting, so just took and added a natural light shot. Still not great, but good practice.

From sheep to swatch.

To "C" more Sunday Stills...

21 comments:

Shirley said...

Interesting post, it would be neat if you could get someone to video you using your spinning wheel.

dibear said...

Your 'C' choice was educational. Question, is that yarn the natural color of the wool? It's beautiful. :)

Alice said...

The colorful cotswold curls definitely fit the category for this week. Perhaps it's me, ( and it's Sunday) but I couldn't help but notice that your knitting needles at the end form a cross :-).
creative, colorful compositions.

Michelle said...

But the yarn in the inside shot is so lustrous! Yummmm....

Christine said...

Good golly, Girt! I now NEED a Colored Cotswold. I just wanted to reach out and grab those curls. Beautiful stuff, just beautiful.

Ebie said...

Wow! I am loving this post! My first time to see transformation to yarn. I crochet too but I hardly use wool yarns because they are too expensive!

Enjoy your spinning wheel!

WildBlack said...

Well done Sara! You gifted us a very comfy 'C' This weekend ;)

colleen said...

All the yarn you could ever want...such a lucky gal.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Love your carder! I only have a set of hand carders. Takes quite a bit more work to get 'er done. lol!

I would have loved to see you driving your carriage, too. I loved the video you did a while ago. How fun!

~Lisa

flowerweaver said...

That triple picker looks wicked! Can't believe how fast Keebler's wool has grown. Very educational!

moresecretwhispers said...

these are all very nice photos :)

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

that was very interesting!

Stasia said...

So jealous... so jealous... so jealous... "*I* want a longwool sheep for *MY* flock!" (Best Veruca Salt voice imitation there...)

GORGEOUS, woman! BEAUTIFUL!

I got a Joy wheel last year and aren't they just SO fun?!

When I used my picker for some Icelandic inner fleece, I got neps. It seems like one works better on long wool - is that the case? Perhaps I didn't need one...

Your knitted swatch is TO DIE FOR. From gorgeous curls to gorgeous knitted fabric - I am SO SO SO jealous!

(Off to look for a local longwool sheep for sale...)

Have a GREAT week!

June said...

Looks like a little soft cloud sitting on the chair!
I think it must be wonderful to have the resources all right at hand to go from animal to needles!

Mellimaus said...

Nice post! Those curls are VERY colorful! They look nice and warm :)
Cute sheep. ;)

Sandy "From the Heart of Texas" said...

Very interesting. I've never had any experience about sheep though raised on a farm we didn't have lambs and sheep so this was a nice read to learn a few things. Great "C" photos for sure.

kristi said...

So when can I come down with all of my Cotswold curls and you can teach me all that fun stuff?:) My wethers have a good 3-4 inch staple on them already, though I only have them sheared once a year. I loved your post!

Denise said...

oh la la you have a patrick green picker...those things look wicked. Once we borrowed a hand made picker that was a work of art. Sadly it was lost in a house fire. Hubby has toyed with the notion of making one in his spare time :-0 He is overly optimistic about that I think. I love the looks of the cotswold. Wow Keebs has grown out that much hair already that is amazing.

DayPhoto said...

Of course I don't know...but has this process really changed much down through the years?

It's just an amazing process! Thank you so much.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

THank you so much for explaining that. Isn't there so much variety and loveliness in the world?

Leah

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