Wool Breed: Wensleydale – The story of my two pound fleece.

I attended Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon this past June with my friend, Larraine.  What an experience.

I have heard great things about the wool judging by Judith MacKenzie that she does at this event and I was able to catch a few minutes of her in action. Amazing!

The crazy part of Black Sheep Gathering, the fleece-crazed folks that waited in line to buy a fleece or ten once the judging was completed.  It seemed like forever we stood in that line on a hot, windy day, waiting to be let in.  We chatted with many folks from far away places. Always a lovely experience to meet others with the same passion.  Larraine had no desire to purchase a fleece and probably found it quite funny to be able to be an on-looker at all the people running around.

Finally, the doors opened and the crowd rushed forward to get those ribbon winning fleeces. I would compare this to Black Friday when the newest 60 inch t.v. is available for $100 to the first five persons in the door. Can you say CRAZY?

I did manage to get one fleece, a lovely little Wensleydale X, in a natural black. Upriver Wool Company had entered it into the fleece competition and I believe had won a ribbon for it.  I was lucky to snatch it up before those crazed-eyed fiber folks swooped in and took it out of my arms.  Trust me, there was a possibility of that happening.

Wensleydale X

The sheen and the color are amazing and I have plans to comb it to spin for a sweater.  After I finish my California Red, of course.

This is the fleece after washing.

Wensleydale X locks

I think a Wool Breed Study will be in order for the next post.

Shetland Wool Week 2014: Shwook Hat

Shwook HatWith Shetland Wool Week just days away, I dug into my stash of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift that I had leftover from making the Beezy’s Traditional Beret last year to get started on my Shwook Hat.

I can certainly say that when you buy Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, you are bound to get at least a few hats from it or bits and pieces to use in other projects.  Amazing how 25 g of shetland wool can go on forever.  To my advantage, I suppose.

The Shwook Hat calls for three darks and two lights if using what is on hand.  This is what I decided on.  For the darks: bark brown, deep heather green, and a maroon red.  For the lights: apple green and yellow-tint oatmeal.  I think they will work just fine.  You can hardly go wrong with fair isle.  It would take some pretty putrid colors to really fail.

More about Shetland Wool Week 2014:

Even if you are not attending in person, you can keep up on the week’s events and the blog virtually from anywhere.   Feel in the mood for pictures only, take a look at the gallery.

Where ever you are next week, play with wool!

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