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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Jacob Yarn drying on the line ready to go to The Crafter's Basket

The first of this lovely fleece from Sara of Woodville farm in Sligo.  Spun and drying on the line to set the spin.  I take the fleece as it comes to me from the basket,  this gives each skein a very different proportion of black to white.  A lovely soft fleece which I have spun woollen. The first of this fleece is in The Crafter's Basket, Cliffoney, Co. Sligo and I am working on the rest.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Blue Faced Leicester Locks

I just missed the main shearing of the farmer's sheep that has a flock of pedigree BFL and the bags had already gone to the collection point and were mixed with hundreds of other bags,  but they found a few fleeces and one man had some rams that were not shorn so gradually I managed to get some of this amazing fleece.   Do I love it or do I hate it??  When I dye some locks like these I love it, they will look wonderful felted into a anything.  Lots of different sizes of locks to suit so many projects,  but when I am sitting teasing out the tiny locks so that I can spin it I am not so in love.  I know it will spin to make the softest of yarn but it is tedious to prepare.  All in all I have only ended up with 2 small bags so it will not last long.  I will find it hard to part with these locks but I will have more to follow.  Dyed using food dye in the microwave,  so simple,  if it goes right!!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Landes de Britagne, Mouton de Britagne

The first of the fleece off the spinning wheel.  It is a very greasy wool and not that easy to spin as it is glued together.  I have given it a gentle wash while setting the spin and this has removed some lanolin but it will still knit up an old fashioned waterproof garment.  It is soft to handle and I think will knit really nicely.  I certainly will suggest that is used by those wishing to knit waterproof hats

Friday, 3 June 2016

landes de Britagne

I collected this fleece during the week from Co. Down.  I am so far delighted with it and the first of it is in the ferment bath.  This breed was imported from France and there are very few in the country.  They come either black or white but I only have the white fleece.  The sheep are a delight,  tiny only 60cms high and if I had a piece of land they would have been in the back of the car along with the fleece.
The staple length is longer than seen here and it appears to be free of kemp and have a soft handle.  Such fun to have something that is different to play with and hopefully sell as well

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

This Year's Fleece Galway

The first of the 2016 fleeces have arrived.  Some Galway fleece seen here as it arrived from the farmer.  This is a little known fleece which gives a wonderful stitch definition.  The Galway sheep is the only native Irish breed and is traditionally used for Aran sweaters.  Classified as a Rare Breed and is now making  come back

Monday, 25 April 2016

Lumra Rugs Traditional Irish Rug making

There appears to very little information about this wonderful way of making rugs.   I have met many people who could explain how they were made and some even had made them.  It is done with a large hook with a eye of a needle at the opposite end and so the  work is 'locked ' in with wool yarn. 
There is a strong tradition here in the North West of Ireland in the making of these rugs but it dyeing  out fast.  As far as I can gather the word Lumra is the Irish for fleece.   To make a rug for the floor would be a big job and it would use a lot of wool.  This is a small square that I have made, my second attempt.  My first was made with different coloured natural fleece which is very affective

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Natural Dye Gorse Flowers

I love to use what nature gives to me.  It is a question of using what is out there and remembering at the right time of the year.  The gorse is in full bloom in Ireland at the moment.  Places a golden glow with their flowers.  We had some beautiful spring weather this week so I spent a morning on the edge of the Curlew mountains picking gorse flowers and enjoying the views over Lough Arrow.  Fishermen out in their small boats looking for a trout or two..  For those who do not know gorse is extremely prickly and I forgot my gloves!!
This is the fibre I have dyed ,  mordanted with Allum to brighten the colour.  
Was it worth it,  financially no but I got out in the sun enjoyed the morning with the views, listening to the birds,  so YES is was worth it and ended up with this lovely fibre