It's shaping up to be a fine day. One of the things I love about wool is its variety, and what's going into the tub today represents quite a range:


There's Castlemilk Moorit, a very rare breed closely related to Shetlands. The provider of this sample apologized for its second cuts (snippets caused by shearing with two passes) and scurf (I'll skip describing scurf at the moment . . . ), but it's a lovely color, with excellent staple length, and will be just fine when washed and processed:


There's Polwarth from the Falkland Islands . . . not all of the sheep from the Falklands are Polwarths, but a quantity worth noting are . . . fine, with really cool crimp (those wavy contours in, in this case, both individual fibers and locks):


And we finally, finally (thanks to the generosity of friends on a couple of continents) have some Herdwick, giving us an opportunity to consider things like kemp (coarse, dye-resistant fibers) and Mrs. Heelis:


And while the wools are soaking in the tub, with their 20-minute demands for attention and changes of cleansing and rinsing solutions, I have THIS to enjoy:


It's Clara Parkes' new The Knitter's Book of Wool. Just arrived. I've glanced. I love Clara's take on the world, and am so glad she wrote this book.

It's shown on some Suffolk fleece I have here . . . I pulled out a lock at the lower right corner of the book, because it's so nice and long for a Suffolk. In the background is a rug I wove many years ago from Pendleton mill ends. I have a lot of rugs made with those mill ends, picked up at a weaving place in Poulsbo, Washington, long, long ago. They are still trucking. Our older dog "digs" in this one every night, making herself a nest to sleep in.

Snowing out. A good day for enjoying a variety of wools in a variety of ways.

If I get the washing done in time, I might even get to spin or knit some.


8 thoughts on “Saturwoolday”

  1. That fluff looks so peaceful and calming. I’m not at all into unwashed fleece, but you make me consider spinning again. The wheel has not been out in maybe a year. I do it when everything else is handled, which is nearly never. Sigh.

    I have some needlefelting to do for a class, though. Maybe I can do it with a bit of fluff as well as the yarns I usually use.

  2. Finally, finally I have some more Castlemilk Moorit on its way to me! Seeing your photo brought it all back ~ I love, love this breed’s fiber, and it’s been hard to find since my first discovery nearly 7 years ago (that farmer sold his flock, unfortunately). I’m so excited; I can’t wait for it to arrive!

  3. That Castlemilk Moorit is gorgeous: now that I’ve got the latest book delivered over to the gallery, I actually have some blocks of time to spin.

    The four-ounce braid of custom-dyed merino/bamboo roving that I was awarded for being a moderator during the Tour de Fleece this year is beckoning….

    It’s the perfect stuff to spin on next week, and perhaps start working on the pair of socks it will become.

  4. One of the best things about knitting for me is the possibility of getting to know a sheep. :-}
    Our landlord when I was growing up was a sheep-farmer here in Michigan. I grew up hanging out with the sheep in the fields next door. I think that’s why I love wool so much.
    It is great to see some of these old breeds making a comeback!

  5. Lynn, I think you don’t need anything else on your plate right now . . . but when you have the opportunity to add spinning back in, in a way that is not stressful, I think you’d find it a delightful centering time, even for a few minutes.

  6. So glad you have some Castlemilk Moorit on the way! Yes, hard to find once a flock connection has vanished. That’s the problem with these rare ones. We need more flocks. . . .

  7. I like to know the sheep, too. Hanging out with the Soays in August was a treat: I got to wake up in the morning, look out the window, and see them (along with my new buddy, Isaac, the guardian dog).

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