Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Border Leicester Wool

Today I combed a small amount of some of my Border Leicester fleece that I got at the Maryland Sheep and  Wool Festival. Border Leicester is a breed in the luster longwool category of wools. The staple length is long and it has a nice luster. The staple length of my fleece is at least 6".

Here is washed lock from the fleece:

And here is some of the washed fleece:

I spun a small amount up into some laceweight yarn and knitted a small swatch of lace. I suspected that a Border Leicester lace yarn would have very good stitch definition, and it does:
 My little ball of two-ply yarn was about 15 yards long. I've only used a little bit of it on this swatch, which is about 2.5 inches long right now. I might be able to get a cuff-length piece of lace edging if I continue until the yarn runs out.

 I'm not sure if you can see the bit of luster in the yarn in this picture, the lighting came out funky, but I think you can see it on the lace in the background (click on the pic to see it larger):

 So I think I will definitely use a portion of my Border Leicester fleece to make laceweight yarn. I'll have to think about if and how to dye it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Great Lakes Fiber Show

I went to the Great Lakes Fiber Show today in Wooster, Ohio. I saw some animals, including alpacas:

and sheep:

and I bought too many fleeces:

No, those aren't ALL mine, but combined with what I picked up at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, it feels like I have that much stashed away in my garage.
I also picked up some mohair and some angora. I don't know why I bought mohair, it's so expensive, and I don't really like it that much. But I did get a really good deal on it. Angora is expensive, too, but if you blend it with other things, you can get the benefit without feeling too much bite in the wallet.
I have a lot of work ahead of me to get all of that wool washed and combed/carded/dyed/spun. Good thing I like it so much.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Enjoying the weekend at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I'm having a blast at the sheep and wool festival this weekend. The only drawback is that I bought so much stuff today that I hurt my shoulder lugging it around, and there's still one more day!

Here are a few examples of the many, many sheep at the festival. It's the 40th annual S&W festival so they wanted to have at least 40 different breeds - and they have over 40! Lots to look at, and all of that wonderful wool...

I can't remember the breeds of each of these sheep, except the one with the multiple horns, that one's a Jacob.

Munching down on a mid-morning snack:

Probably can't wait to be shorn:


One of the longwool breeds:

One of the Jacob sheep - I bought the most gorgeous Jacob fleece (not from this particular sheep), people were stopping me to admire it as I was lugging it around the festival grounds:

Needs a haircut, lol!:

And tomorrow is another day! Hope my shoulder feels better, I didn't even get around to all of the vendors today.