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  • knitting1105 5:41 pm on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Sheep, ,   

    3rd Fiber Weekend 

    First there was YarnCon, then Lorna’s Laces sale, and this past weekend was The Fiber Event at Greencastle, the kick-off to the county fiber fairs in the area.  Located just west of Indianapolis, it is an easy drive down and back in a day.

    2012 was my first trip to Greencastle, and I loved it.  Andi went with me, we had a great drive, talked, and shopped, and found GeeGee.  My impetus at that time was to find the Fiber Optic booth and see all of her wares firsthand for the first time.

    A torrential rain the night before we were to leave last year made getting out-of-town nearly impossible.  So, this year I was even more determined to go, and really wanted a knitting buddy.  My husband would have gladly loved the trip, but he does better when there is also a livestock display involved.  Lynette agreed to go with me, and we got a rental car early and drove off to get there in the morning for best selection.

    First on the list was to make a beeline to GeeGee and score some of her aprons while the selection was still good.  I could have left with many more… I chose this lovely apron, from the early 1950’s for me.



    I really love the pocket that goes all the way through both sides.  I think it will be great to toodle around the house in and have things (think knitting) close at hand.


    Here is Lynette purchasing from GeeGee, we made quite the dent in her booth.  I absolutely love her aprons, and she has such a great sense of color.  75 years old, and full of life and optimism, a great inspiration.

    Blog Photos34


    Then it was off to take a first pass at all of the vendors and see what caught our eye. There were a lot of Alpaca vendors this year, many more than I remember 2 years ago.  We saw someone from the Champaign-Urbana fiber guild demonstrating a Chakra, that was really interesting.

    Blog Photos33

    I knew that I would be returning to Fiber Optic, just what to buy this year? A gradient of course!  My 2 favorite colors together, green and purple.  This is a definite Frances shawl! Lynette is trying the paintbox gradients, it will be fun to see how they knit up.


    I have always wanted to knit the Sheep heid tam, so found the pattern and knew that I needed to get that.



    Then, it just so happens that we passed by a Shepherd who had many colors of Shetland sheep, perfect symbiosis.  I scored these 7 colors, couldn’t be better than handspun for this project!



    And keeping with the Shetland theme, I purchased a beautiful book, that deserves its own post tomorrow.




    • Helen 2:19 am on April 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m jealous, you look to have had too much fun! 🙂


    • Mimi 11:52 pm on May 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like so much fun! One of these years…Interesting that you’ve wanted to do the tam because I want to do that blanket.


  • knitting1105 6:50 pm on August 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Sheep, , ,   

    Trying to be Monogamous 

    I have been cleaning up my knitting and craft area, I am so excited to be able to show the finished space soon. And as my last post stated, I have been trying to clear up my spinning bobbins. The same problem afflicts my spinning as does my knitting, too often distracted by the newest colors and fibers, I quickly abandon a project part way completed. I am trying to remedy this fault in my behavior. On that note, here is another long languishing fiber from the CAT spin along in January-March. It is Shetland Wool Top from Southern Cross Fiber, color is Storm's edge. 770 yards of 2 ply. Spun on the small whirl on my Jensen. The yardage is not quite as good as I get with a Merino/Silk, I had trouble drafting it fine enough. However, I am pleased with the result.


    This is definitely one of the fibers that I liked more spun up than the dyed hank. I think this is beautiful. The colors seem to be a bit off, the yellow is more green, and the teal a bit darker. The thought at the moment is that this will become a winter scarf for Dan.



  • knitting1105 8:19 am on September 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Sheep,   

    And then there were Sheep 

    Of course I saw sheep at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival this past weekend, it is just that my purchases took up most of my blogging space yesterday.

    There were cute babies, only 2 days old:

    And, if you have never seen sheep sheared, watch these videos.  This guy is at the fair every year, and it is fascinating to watch.  Once the sheep are flipped onto their backs they are very docile.

    On our visit to Old World Wisconsin they were making Tomato Jam at the Inn, and I got very interested in what this was like, so made up a batch of it last night.  Dan had it for breakfast, and said that it was very good.  Here is the recipe that I ended up using, it takes awhile to cook the tomatoes down.  Grandpa’s Sauce is on the burner today, that also simmers for hours to get the great reduction.

    • thewooleryguy 7:10 am on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing those videos – somehow I managed to miss the sheep-shearing demo, I was so bummed! I love how the other sheep come over to watch their friend.


  • knitting1105 11:26 am on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Breeds, Sheep,   

    Wool, lots of it! 

    A friend has a friend who has a sheep farm.  Do you know where this is leading?  The sheep are meat sheep, and they normally shear the sheep and throw away the wool.   Doesn’t that seem like a crime?  Well, I was asked if I would like the wool, and how could I say no?  I was thinking I would get a small bag that I would try my hand at washing and carding to spin.  Not knowing what the breed of sheep were, I happily accepted the offer of wool.  It was delivered to me at the Magnolia Party, they took me to their car to show me 2 huge black contractors bags full of wool!  At least 10# each!!!  That is a lot of wool, if you need a comparison, just think how much your favorite sweater weighs.  The wool was lambswool, a cross of Suffolk/Hamsphire (Black wool- natural color cross).

    Hampshire Lambs:

    Plus Suffolk lambs:

    When I read about it in my favorite fiber book, The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, they said that while not often available to hand spinners, it spins up as good outerwear, soft yet durable, often overlooked as a good fleece for handspinners.  These breeds are in the Down classification (from Down area of southern England, nothing to do with soft under down of a duck).  The staple length is short, 2-4 inches

    I wish that I had taken a photo of the bags of wool, one white, the other black with white.  I very quickly realized 2 things, one that I could never hand process all of this wool, and secondly that the strong sheep farm smell was more than I wanted to put up with for a long time in my house, especially as it was very warm that week.  So, the day after coming back from a trip to Michigan to visit my Mom, I drove with a friend to the Illinois Wool & Fiber Mill in Belvidere, about a 90 minute drive each way.  We dropped off the bags and got a tour of the mill, the machinery was custom-made for them:

    First the drying racks after the wool has been washed:

    Then to carding:

    And to processing into roving (the owner Jane is in the blue shirt):

    And, you can’t leave a fiber mill without a little sheep time!

    Now, I have a 6 month wait before they are caught up on their backlog.  Plenty of time to figure out what to do with all of this wool.

    • Lisa 4:11 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am so jealous!


      • knitting1105 5:18 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        You will be welcome to take some if you want. There will be more than I will ever need….


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