Archive for ‘sheep’

May 17, 2016

The Big 1000

Thanks to British sheep breeders around the country, dye suppliers, friends and family I will be able to celebrate my 1000th etsy sale before the year is out. I would say 95% of those sales are dyed and natural Rare Breed wool locks, that’s a LOT of wool! (If I combined the 2 shops I would be over the 1000 but I want to concentrate on the woolly one)

I love my job, love the natural products I work with and love the customers who never fail to amaze me with how they use the wool locks I produce.

2017 is just around the corner and it will be just as woolly!

January 25, 2016

For the love of Roger

One of the reasons I moved to this quirky abode was the fact there were two sheep in the paddock. Roger & Dave the elderly & overweight Romneys grazed happily year in, year out. Every year they were shorn and initially the fleeces were usable, in later years not so good. I had 2 of the good fleeces spun up into a nice yarn.
Every autumn I’d pick up all the windfalls in the village and in our orchard and give them a couple every day, this meant that every time they saw me they’d Baaa.
As with every life there is an end and Rogers came yesterday. He had struggled with arthritis for a while and the regular injections were not helping. The vet came and with blackbirds singing in the twilight he took his last breath. Dave is now a batchelor, he too struggles under his immense weight but we will make a fuss of him and hopefully he

will be happy for a while longer.

May 1, 2013

Shearing 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!

October 22, 2011

Teeswater curly locks for Blythe doll hair

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.
Barbie pink
Goldilocks

September 28, 2011

Masham sheep fair roundup

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.
Beautiful sheep at Ilton
Fusion dancing troupe 400 Roses

September 11, 2011

Masham Sheep Fair 24th and 25th Sept 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
http://www.mashamsheepfair.com/

June 22, 2011

Seven Sisters Sheep Centre

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!
Jacob and 2 milk sheep
Friendly milk sheep

June 2, 2011

Roger and Dave get a haircut

The sheep are now pink and looking decidedly fat. Weighwatchers will have their hands full with these two. Phil the shearer arrived on Bank holiday Monday to relieve the sheep of their golden fleeces. The wool is soft and bouncy and destined for the local mill where they and many more will be spun into 4ply yarn. Some of the fleece will be flying out to the USA. Here are a few pics of Roger and Dave before and after. Roger is the one with a bald face, Dave has a woolly face. Difficult now telling them apart!
Roger and Dave waiting patiently
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IMG_1566

March 11, 2011

Sussex spring lambs

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.
gorgeous newborn lambs
gorgeous newborn lambs

December 19, 2010

Winter wonderland

More snow fell on Friday, I found myself driving in a blizzard with my 94yr old mother beside me saying ‘we should have stayed home’. It wasn’t snowing when we left, there were a few flakes when we stopped for petrol but then 5 mins later I couldn’t see a thing. The further we got to Wych Cross nursery the worse it became, I wanted to turn round but couldn’t see the parking areas. I knew the Llama Park was coming up so headed for that, skidded into the drive, turned round & headed back out hoping that any car coming toward me would have it’s lights on. We gingerly headed back to Nutley, down the big hill & up into the village but the car in front was stuck, wheels spinning on the frozen snow. Nothing coming so I drove on past him (apologies for not stopping to help) & managed to get back to Uckfield in one piece where it was snowing less. Poor mum was a bit shaken but we’d made it. It took about an hour & half to drive from Uckfield to Ringmer but hey ho I was safe & the car was fine. We never did get our mulled wine or mince pies but there’s always next year!