Monday, March 17, 2008

From Fleece to Skein

The fiber is Blue Faced Leicester, a part of a fleece dyed in osage orange at a workshop in Peters Valley in 2003, after scouring and mordanting it in alum. To process it, I combed the locks on English hand-held combs and then spun and plied it. This week we had a combing demonstration at North Country Spinners, given by MaryLou. At Soar in 2004 I took Robin Russo's excellent Fiber Prep workshop and learned to use the various combs and diz. I'm still working on my plying, tho. I really love the way it turned out.


Simcha said...

I love this mysterious spinning vocabulary! I'm in awe of people who do their own spinning. I'm not sure I'm ready to take this on, but I would like to take a class in weaving someday. One question -- is the fleece imported from somewhere, or are there people who raise sheep in the U.S.? I suppose I should know this, but I never thought about it. -- Joy

Liza's Pages said...

Actually, there are many, many sheep breeders in the United States. A growing number of these breeders raise sheep for their fleece, although the majority raise sheep for their meat. If you go the site for the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, you'll see that this year the Romney breed is featured. A friend of mine at my spinning guild has a fairly large flock, others in the group raise other breeds, such as Icelandic. Last year, after going to the New York Sheep and Wool, I stopped on the way back to NYC to buy Shetland fleece from a woman who was not only raising the sheep in my old hometown but was also an alumna of Bryn Mawr. Another major sheep breeders festival is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. . In fact, these festivals/fairs are held all over the country. I love Oklahoma State University's marvelous list of sheep breeds: