Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Skirting and washing fleeces

Now that I've finally finished the Shepherd's Harvest booklet, I can get back to my fleeces! The sheep were shorn on Feb. 29th and I'm just getting to them now. I've skirted three BFL fleeces and three Babydoll fleeces. I washed Rhyn's 5 pound natural colored fleece (locks shown above) and the three Babydoll fleeces (8.5 pounds) already.

Below is a photo of the little BD wether's fleece, I'm not sure where on his body it's from, but it's the longest and the nicest of all the BD fleece.



I'm not sure when my three Babydolls were last shorn, their fleeces were pretty short. Below is Albert, our BD ram's fleece from his mid side. It's pretty short. Spinning the shorter fiber reminds me of spinning angora rabbit. But this stuff is so crimpy, it really stretches out.


I didn't realize that the typical micron count for Babydoll fleece is 18 microns! Garrett, did you hear that? I plan on sending in samples from my boys for testing. I combed and spun a little of that FINE crimpy white fleece this afternoon. It spins into a a fine springy yarn as you can see in the photo below. It's soft enough for next-to-the-skin clothing. I think it will make some great stretchy socks.
And this is Dougal's fleece, I LOVE Dougal's fleece, it's so softy and silky. Rhyn's fleece is silky too, but Dougal has these beautiful purly locks that give spring to his yarn. And super soft.


Okay off to skirt Lanora's fleece. Then there are only 12 more Shetland fleeces left to do before I start cleaning for the Utecht family Easter dinner on Sunday. I thought since I was unemployed I would have time to host it, man times flies!

4 comments:

  1. Becky,

    Your fleeces look very soft with nice crimp. Congrats! Terri

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  2. Wow becky i had no idea babydolls wer e that fine! did you take fleece samples to send in this year? All of mine got sent out again.

    I'm quite excited to see what you are going to have for BFLs this year :) keep me in mind!!

    Shetlands are due ANY TIME now for me....this waiting is getting the best of me now :)

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  3. Thanks Terri,
    And Garrett, I'm going to send the fleece samples to Texas A & M as soon as I get the $$ together. I have last year's samples too. It seems like fleeces this year were softer than last years. I thought it would be interesting to see if there are changes from year to year in the same mature sheep. The babydoll micron count info was taken from their breed website. I'll have mine tested and see how it compares. But as I said, their fleece is pretty short so it's harder to spin.
    Yes, still waiting for things to happen here too. Having the barn cam going is nice for keeping an eye on what's happening with them. I'm washing more fleece this afternoon and setting up lambing jugs. The calendar says I have 7 ewes due between April 4 and 8th. Yikes!

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  4. That yarn looks super soft! Very nice stuff :)

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