Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sheep to Skein; Fred

So, I introduced you to Fred yesterday; when we picked him up, he hadn't been shorn yet for the year, so we decided to shear him. Luckily we had taken a sheep shearing clinic in April, and Nate was OK with giving it a go. I know a lot of people with sheep. They all have a hard time scheduling the shearer and getting it done, apparently it is hard to find a good shearer these days. So we've decided even with a learning curve, we'd like to do our own.


Good thing that Fred is pretty mellow for a big ram. Weighing in at about 300+ lbs, he could have easily protested. But, I'm guessing he wanted that wool off too!

Mid-shear:


Ahhhh. Summer haircut. Fred much happier now. Baaaaaaaa!


Of course, now I had a fleece to play with too! I skirted it, and washed it that afternoon, then let it dry in the sun.


CVM = California Variegated Mutant; point in case: Variegation! The locks, combed out in order of lightest creamy color to dark gray, all from the same fleece. I love what this means in terms of spinning variability.


Of course I had to spin a sample skein! I spun the combed locks randomly, grabbed a handful at a time trusting I'd get a nice heathered yarn this way.


Fred fleece spun very nicely. Soft, next to skin soft, easy to spin, and I can definitely see spinning this up in a range of weights, from worsted to laceweight.


Since I'm on a lace kick, I went with the laceweight.

Specs: 2-ply laceweight Fred CVM yarn.
130 yds, 1 oz.
Lovely stuff!

(and, I have a lb. mordanting in the dyepot to play with tonight when I get home...)

26 Comments:

At 10:08 AM, Blogger xx A said...

Beautiful! :) How thrilling, to have done everything yourself, start to finish. Fred lacewt looks lovely.

I'm excited to see what your dying looks like.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Sue, aka seiding said...

Wow! That is fabulous! Fred's paying off his investment already, hey?

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous the kitchener bitch said...

Fred's fleece looks yummy! I love that they didn't spend a night before you had one of their fleeces on your wheel. :)

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger amy [Knitty] said...

okay, that's REALLY cool.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Very nice!

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous cathy said...

Beautiful! It must be such a good feeling to be involved in every facet of your yarn's life. I'm going to add CVM to the list of things I want to spin, now. I don't think I have any of it in my stash, which is something I need to fix.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger mikomiao said...

oooh Fred is lovely. me want to play with some Fred too. this is true sheep to skein! i love the colors!

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger LaBean said...

Holey moley. When they say CVM they MEAN it. I love the yarn.

Would it be possible to wait a little longer in the year customarily, for shearing? Maybe they'll be glad for the cut once it gets too hot! :)

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

OK, now I'm jealous. Great job.

What will you be using to dye?

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger DeltaDawn said...

You go girl! And guy!

So exciting, inspiring, amazing - I don't know how you're managing all the joy!

GORGEOUS yarn!

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Bezzie said...

That's awesome!

 
At 3:35 PM, Blogger Magatha said...

So awesome, I am speechless!
Fred, so happy to get that coat off! And what a coat, I love the colors of Fred's yarn! So perfectly lovely and subtle in shading.
Best yarn/spin/sheep related post ever!

(and what a buttload of work that went into that post! I am in awe.)

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Zonda said...

Awesome!!! I thought you'd have to wait until next year, due to it already being summer! Yay for you! That is some lovely CVM and handspun!

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Lucky you! All that CVM just wandering around in the yard...
Fred came out beautifully.

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Laura said...

I think you're enjoying this farming thing too much :)

My bags are packed. I'll be moving in next week.

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger spinndiva said...

OH OH OH OH!
*faints*
LOVE IT!!!!

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Carolyn said...

Nate did a great job for a beginner - very neat ;) Glad to hear your ram is well mannered - it really does make life much easier if they are!

And you did your usual wonderful spinning - the yarn looks fabulous.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Rebel said...

Oh man! That's some beautiful wool. Fred is a good sheep, and I'm sure he likes his new summer 'do. - zuma

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger Jo said...

Wow! I have so many questions! How long does it take to wash the fleece? What do you use to wash it with? In what? What was the time difference between the shearing and the skein hanging on the post? What colour are you going to dye it?!?!

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Jerry & Maxy said...

You are amazing! Truly.

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Cute, pretty, yummy luscious,,, not necessarily in that order! Lucky girl you!

 
At 5:53 AM, Blogger Batty said...

Beautiful yarn, but poor Fred! There's something pathetic-looking about sheep without fleece.

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger ZantiMissKnit said...

Every aspect of this post of so cool. I don't even know where to begin. I can't wait to see more of your flock spun up!!!!

 
At 4:59 AM, Anonymous dan said...

Ditto to what everyone else has been saying. You are living many people's ideal life, and for that you should be applauded. That CVM looks so nice.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Theresa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger Theresa said...

Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!

 

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