Tag Archives: carding

Of Friends and Sheep

When I was little I had a friend who was a few months younger than me – at the age of six the age gap was very important! As we grew up the age difference meant she was in a different school year to me, but we had similar interests – beer, music, motorcycles 😉 (we were older than six by then…). Eventually our lives went their separate ways.

Recently we were reconnected by the power of the Internet. However, we are now many miles away from each other, I’m still on the Sussex coast whilst she’s in Shetland – but she pops back down south to see her family, so we’ve met up a couple of times over the last year. The icing on the cake to rediscovering an old friend is finding that your old buddy keeps sheep and has no qualms about popping a homegrown fleece in her hand luggage when she flies back to visit family! I guess apologies are due to the other passengers, no matter how clean fresh fleece is, it does have a certain perfume to it…

The first bag of fleece was from a fine chap called Black Boy. I’m no expert at washing fleece, but managed not to felt it, then combed it, spun a small two ply skein which was awarded a third place rosette at the local Rare Breeds show in the summer.

Black Boy's fleece



Currently I’m working on some white fleece from another sheep in her flock, Suzie the Shetland. This is slowly going through my drum carder – I had forgotten how much time and effort goes into feeding locks in and slowly turning the handle.




There’s still a fair amount of Shetland scenery embedded in the carded fleece, but hopefully that will fall out when I spin it – I want to make something for Suzie’s owner and it probably would be more comfortable if it was made of wool not thorns!


Twinkle, twinkle…

I’ve been dyeing fibre lately, but still have all sorts of bits and bobs of commercially dyed fibre around.  I spent a happy hour or so carding merrily through a mix of green, teal, blue and purple fibres, mostly merino and corriedale, with a bit of angelina fibre thrown in.

Photos don’t seem to pick up the twinkly effect that the angelina adds, but trust me, it’s shimmering away nicely.

At the moment, my plan is to ply this with the bobbin of laceweight singles I have from my second attempt at dyeing and (if there is enough yardage) to knit a cardigan of some sort using biggish needles to make it very lightweight.  But that could all change…