Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yarn, yarn, yarn!

Just as I had hoped, the yarn is starting to pile up. I could spin all day! The white yarn is from Sweetie's fleece this year. The moorit-ish yarn is from lovely Gretl. She is an older ewe. The yarns are mostly spun light worsted to worsted weight, although Gretl's neck wool was spun laceweight (about 20 wpi). I like bloom in finer yarns so this yarn might bloom just enough to pass it into the fingering weight grist...needle wise.

The new fleece I'm spinning is from an even older ewe yet...the oldest I've ever spun. Her name is Mammy and she's nine! I spun her britch wool first to see what it would be like, at that age and after being a reliable mother year after year. Not bad! Her midside is very nice, and her neck wool will be a real treat to spin, when I get there! Her fleece came in around four pounds, so it will take me awhile to get up to the neck wool! Her color comes up as a grey, but it has hints of cinnamon on the tips in places, and a stunningly beautiful light, bright silver on other tips! The wool closest to her skin is a darker soft grey. Some areas of her fleece have black wool. (The fleece is washed and has dried here, so the lock structure is blurred...sorry about that! I never think to take pictures of fleeces before they hit the wash!)

I don't know how well you will see the color on the monitors, but Mammy's yarn is on the right (Gretl's is on the left). The yarn comes up this beautiful black/grey tweedy look that is really rustic and outdoorsy. The britch wool and near midside would make a great sweater to layer, and the neck wool would make great rounds of hats, mittens, scarves...the wool is so soft there.
Gretl's yarn is such a pretty natural color, I was thinking of using it for handbags. It, too, is a natural, outdoorsy, unflashy color perfect for casual days and everyday errands. I can't decide if I should just sell the yarn, or if I should make something out of it to sell.....

So many tough decisions! :)


  1. Just beautiful.
    I find Mammy's fleece to be absolutely stunning. And your spinning is just beautiful too!