The Year in Fleece

As we launch out into a new year, I thought it might be fun to reflect on the wool acquisitions of last year, and what has become of them.

So here we go:

2008 opened with a gifted fleece,the 4H blue ribbon winning white Romney from a fellow wool-lover. This fleece contributed heavily to the Urban Aran cardigan-

Kitsap_Romney_Washed 1-10-08IMG_0055 (Medium)

Late January: 1/2 of a dense, springy dark Romney fleece, purchased at a shearing demo. This fleece has since become my Oregon vest!

Romney Fleece 01-19-08Oregon Vest

Early April: Gershom, and emsket Shetland from Ferndale. Gershom has been involved in a few hats, and comprises the scarf that is at the heart of the “experimental sweater” project.

Ferndale shetland outside 04-08 Tilly close 09-01-08

Later in April: Small (2 lbs) variegated pearly gray Corriedale fleece from “Butterscotch”. Butterscotch’s wool I’ve mostly spun in the grease, and it has made it’s way into a couple of small projects (mostly hats).

Butterscotch fleeceCorriedale II

June: Visit to Little Country Acres, in Wilmington IL- came home with 3 shetland fleeces!

Gigi, very fine, soft and crimpy, silky milk chocolate color. (A skein of Gigi’s wool won a blue ribbon in the NW Washington fair this past august!)

LCA Gigi- outsideIMG_0167 (Medium)

Mariah, black, gray and white with light tips. A little bit double coated in places, but very soft. (Just love the colors in this one. Spins up into a beautiful tweedy yarn that is much softer than it looks!)

LCA Mariah- outsideMariah Sheland on Wheel 08-24-08

This little bit is from her white spot- upper left on the fleece photo. Neat, eh?

IMG_0368 (Medium)

And Ulla, beautiful peachy -golden-brown fleece of medium fineness that just spins up like a dream.

LCA Ulla- outsideUlla Shetland on Wheel 08-24-08

Haven’t done much in the way of projects with the Little Country wools yet, but Ulla and Gigi are represented in this hat (along with daisy and Moppetto):

IMG_0053 (Medium)-cropped

Got home to find that The Man got me an alpaca fleece (Moppetto) while I was away! Mopetto is a nice fluffy, silky white alpaca. I find that I don’t much enjoy spinning alpaca on it’s own (really slippery), so I’ve been blending it with wool – and that can be a lot of work on hand cards!

Mopeto blanket

July: I think this is when I went back up to Ferndale and got a white Shetland fleece (Daisy) from the same folks who own Gershom.

Daisy Fleece

Daisy is a nice, fairly long, soft white fleece. Has some VM, but that comes out just fine with combing. I’ve been mostly using Daisy as a “mixer”- blending her with Alpaca for silkiness, and various colored wools to try and get heathery effects.

November: black Border Leicester fleece from Jonasson’s sale in Burlington! Started spinning this in the grease, but then decided it would go faster washing and carding (a little too short to comb). It’s a wonderfully clean fleece to start with , so the washing has been so quick and easy. Love the luster and the depth of color. It’s been a lot of fun to work with, and I’m using quite a bit of it to finish the experimental sweater, since I had only a limited amount of the black and silver lincoln cross wool that I started the project with!

IMG_0316 (Medium)IMG_0470 (Medium)

So, according to my math (with Butterscotch only counting as a half), 2008’s count comes to 9 fleeces.

Wow. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

Of course, I’ve got quite a bit of carry-over,, but I am making pretty good progress in processing these guys.

Maybe I should try to limit my intake in the new year?

Nah. I figure, it’s a fairly harmless addiction, as far as additions go.

And there are definetely more pressing resolutions out there.

(Like putting tags on my blog posts.)

All the best in 2009!



  1. Donna

    Wow! I am impressed with your projects this year. You do just amazing things with fleeces. I can’t wait to see what you create in 2009!

  2. Jody

    Wow! You are a wonderful inspiration for me (as a spinner who luvs to knit with her handspun fleeces) to do more with my handspun. Beautiful work and I just luv the natural colours.

  3. Michelle

    You are either inspirational or depressing (glances over her shoulder at the two Shetland lamb fleeces still not skirted or washed). I’d better get busy; shearing is coming in a few months!


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