Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s 2011 Watchlist for sheep

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust, which monitors the status of livestock breeds in the British Isles, has published its 2011 Watchlist of breeds that need attention to stay, as they say, off the slippery slope to extinction. From the whole list (a PDF), I'm focusing here on the sheep: Categories are based on numbers of … Read more

3 pounds 10 ounces (1.6 kg)

Yesterday the first six (6) copies of The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook arrived at the publisher's. This morning, I received an overnight box. What you probably can't see on that package is the weight on the label: 5 pounds (that's 2.27 kg). Of course, that includes the packaging. Yet it's unquestionably a substantial shipment. I … Read more

This year’s classes and workshops–all on rare-breed wools

With major help from Beth Smith at The Spinning Loft and Jennifer Heverly at Spirit Trail Fiberworks, supply-gathering for the workshops and classes I’ll be teaching this year is proceeding as it needs to. I’ll be at the Conference of Northern California Handweavers (CNCH, May, California) and the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR, October, New Hampshire). … Read more

Certificate of excellence, part 3

Two pen holders made from handspun squares woven on 4-inch pin looms.

Part 1 is here and part 2 is here. The Project, including The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook and Handspinning Rare Wools In 2007, I got caught up in The Project, which was supposed to be a comparatively concise effort, completed by August 2008, and has so far grown to require almost four years and has … Read more

30 days to Maryland Sheep and Wool

It's time to count days to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Here's my major sign of spring: The Maryland catalog. I love Maryland catalogs. I don't care if they arrive dog-eared from their travels through the postal system, as this one did, because they'll get dog-eared after they're in my hands anyway. This year's … Read more

Certificate of excellence, part 2

Romeldale fiber and sample yarn

Part 1 is here. Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot * In 1985, when I began work as editor of Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot (SS&D), the quarterly magazine published for its members by the Handweavers Guild of America, the organization had just undergone some turmoil, and my first task was to produce an issue of the magazine within a month … Read more