May 1, 2013
Due to the aweful wet summer we had last year and then the snow at lambing time it has been a really bad time for the sheep farmers in this country. Although I have had a trickle of fleece throughout the winter I underestimated how much fleece I would need to see me through til this years shearing. I have been frantically contacting people to find out if they have fleece and have procurred a little every now & then but really not enough to sustain the business.
This year I plan on buying masses, not all at once, I haven’t the storage for that but if I can get a steady supply throughout the year and have a good stock by autumn there should be no shortage of curls in the shop.
I have learnt to be quite picky about what I want in a fleece and what is a good price, bearing in mind the farmer needs to eat too.
This year there should be Masham, Lincoln Longwool, Wensleydale (both black and white), Wensleydale x’s, Teeswater, Blue Faced Leicester and other breeds that will be suitable for needlefelting.
I have some fabulous Galway in stock that needlefelts easily and is perfect for the inside of any creation. I’ve yet to dye it but it’s a huge fleece so it’s worth a try.
Don’t forget I can dye to your requirements and with so many different fleeces in stock I’m sure I can please most people!
Next week I will be at Spring Farm for shearing day, not that I need to add to my stock of fibre, there are still many colours available to buy, just ask. I can supply it from the animal or washed.
Here’s looking forward to a very woolly 2013!
June 10, 2012
Friday saw me trudging through the mud in my wellies to the Plumpton College Farmyard marquee, mud, mud glorious mud, well at least the pigs were happy! We had a few issues with college staff opening the side of the marquee which meant the spinners and weavers were in a gale force wind but after the students moved us to other end of tent we were a lot happier for a while…..
Above us a section of the roof had come unlaced and now we had a gale blowing down our necks….
The weather hadn’t put off the visitors, I’ve never seen so many varieties of welly boots in one place-my peg loom rug was growing apace and looking rather smart. The cheviot fleece I’d bought at Heathfield show from the Sheep Show folk is rather gorgeous, money well spent for sure. The shearing team had managed to keep the sheep dry so the shearing demontrations could go ahead, led by Phil Hart they were shearing some lovely Northern mule lambs so the fleece were rather nice and 2 managed to find their way into my car???
The spinners battled on regardless of the wind howling around us and clanging metal on metal, it was deafening making conversation almost impossible. We were risk assessed later on in the afternoon and the part of the tent I had issues with was then laced back up and a little later I realised there was a man on the roof!
Saturday was a much drier and less windy day so I set off in my winter Crocs to the WI tent to do my stints at stewarding there. The ladies were all so friendly and made me feel welcome (only been a member for 3 months). The tea tent next door was busy too and frankly the least expensive cuppa to be found!
I caught up with my good friend Pat for a quick bite to eat before she had to don her pinny and get back to tea tent. I had a bit of a mooch before I resumed stewarding and taking in the entries before me. The work involved in the entries was amazing and I only hope I can reach the standards I saw in that marquee.
Shifts over Pat & I had another look around, picked up a few bargains in flower tent before wending our way home, weary, worn out but happy. Hearing all the comments about my octopus was worth all the knitting!
October 22, 2011
The beautiful fleeces I purchased in Yorkshire are in the process of being transformed into lustrous colourful locks. It’s time consuming, washing the fleeces but what a transformation! I’m especially loving the way the Teeswater morphs into these amazing spirals.
I’ve dyed about 8 different batches now, the falling leaves and pewter have to be my favourites so far, although the Barbie pink locks have been popular with Blythe doll collectors. I had never heard of Blythe dolls until a lady in Thailand purchased some locks and I inquired as to what she was going to do with them (I’m nosy I know). Anyway she sent me pics of the first doll to be re-rooted and she was so cute I could see why they are collected around the world. My pink curls made for stunning ‘hair’.
The washed and undyed curls of the Masham will make great beards for Santa and the natural black Wensleydale will be great for felted gnomes. It’s great when buyers show me what they have done with the fleece, I have a better understanding then of their needs.
Of course all the locks can be spun into a worsted yarn or woven on a peg loom or tapestry frame.
September 28, 2011
Home again in sunny Sussex and just about recovered from the long drive. Pat did the short hops between Steeton and Masham and left the motorway bits to me. We took several scenic detours during the trip, so glad we did as we always found amazing places and met lovely people who put us back in the right direction.
The weather was kind except it rained on Sunday morning while the Morris men did their thing. A fabulous troupe of dancers called The 400 Roses managed to continue through the rain too, they were amazing, check them out, Tribal fusion is how they describe themselves and it was well worth getting wet for.
There were many highlights throughout the trip but for me seeing fantastic Teestwater sheep and Masham sheep at Ilton topped it all off, that was the icing on the cake. Willis drove us around his farm showing us all his beautiful sheep.
Masham Sheep fair is well worth the effort to get there and everyone we met showed us a very warm welcome, we were sad to return but vowed to return next year.
September 11, 2011
This fair promises to be the highlight of my year. To date, the Brighton Mini Maker Faire is far and away the best event of the year for me but I’m really looking forward to getting away from it all and having a mini holiday with my friend Pat. Now Pat is not a spinner and is not into wool at all so this may come as a bit of a shock to her. We are sharing the driving, I’ve probably not driven that far since I drove from Arizona to Tennessee a millenium ago but I’m up for the challenge, and so is Pat. I intend to enter Jacko the giant pumpkin in the competition, there is a class for an interior design article, I think he qualifies!
For more info about the fair check out
September 2, 2011
Almost packed, yarn, dyed wools, felting needles,Jacko the pumpkin and foam mats. Just got to iron a few clothes then I can put my feet up for an hour or two.
July 23, 2011
The village hall will be packed out today from 10am til 2pm with local clubs, businesses and societies most of which use the hall on a regular basis. I shall be there to promote my workshops and very local yarn from Roger and Dave.
June 22, 2011
Seems like there is a drought of fleece in this part of the world, not sure if shearing is late this year, maybe the early heat wave followed by the deluge effected the rise of lanolin in the fleece. Terry at the S.S.S.C sheared 2 Masham sheep for me so last Friday I drove over to East Dean to collect them. I walked up the hill to take the pictures but have no idea which sheep are which-apart from the Jacob!Instead of running away from me 3 of them ran towards me thinking I may have some food.The sheep centre will be open again this weekend to visitors. They have many sheep breeds there and if you are looking for nice fleece I highly recommend the milk sheep fleece, it’s gorgeous!
March 11, 2011
On the way to Spring farm I stopped at Isfield to check out the lambing situation. Thank goodness I had the camera in the car as lambing is in full swing. They are just too cute for words.