Tag Archives: Bluefaced Leicester Sheep

A Non-Violent Takeover

Yesterday my fiber flock took it upon itself to spread to a clear area in my house. It reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister-in-law a few years ago. I was telling her about a blog entry I read about a woman who bought a home with her sister and then made every room a fiber room. I told her how much fun it sounded to me and that I would love to be able to do that (but didn’t think I should because my husband deserves a little non-fiber space.)

She remarked that I already had done it. 🙂 I guess I had. And after yesterday am still working hard toward that goal.

dining room before fiber

The early morning tranquility of the dining room.

fiber approaching

But the fiber is slowly and steadily encroaching.

Fiber takes over

Completed!  No fiber or furniture was harmed in this takeover.

Christine and I are making batts to sell and yesterday I loved having everything around me to pick and choose. More dyed fiber troops did arrive as the day went on and my enthusiasm kept on increasing. If that is possible.

Remember Henna the Gulf Coast before she was dyed?

GC Henna before dyed

Gulf Coast Henna before she was dyed.

Dyed Henna GC Blue Purple

Henna the GC sheep dyed

 

 

Below shows her now.

Henna batt

Henna the Gulf Coast blended with other fibers

 

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Colorful Batts and BFL locks

These are the batts made so far. I put Josie the Bluefaced Leicester locks on top of two batts that will go into boxes full of a variety of spinning fibers that we will be selling. I kept it there for the picture because it reminds me of our latest tv obsession, Broadchurch, seen on BBCAmerica. It takes place in today’s Great Britain and in the courtroom scenes the judge and lawyers wear traditional small white wigs on top of their regular hair. Kind of the George Washington style but smaller and perched on the head. Kind of like the locks in my picture.

Which brings me back to the wonderful and adorable Bluefaced Leicester sheep.

Bluefaced Leicester yearling females in wool .

Leicester ewe (female sheep) thanks to Farm-Images.CO.UK

I don’t know a single spinner who isn’t crazy about Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) fiber. The locks are just so darned cute. Here are some lamb locks I dyed. They are short, bouncy and have the sweetest little curls.

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BFL Lamb Locks- Millie

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Individual BFL lamb locks

I am not going to use these locks for anything except adoration.

BFL sheep typically have fleeces that weigh between 2  1/4 and 4  1/2 pounds. The lock length is 3-6 inches. Mine shown here is shorter as it was a lamb’s fleece. Her adult fleece would be longer. The individual fibers from an adult fleece are measured to be 24 to 28 microns. The reason a non-math spinner like me avidly follows micron counts is because they correlate with scale of soft to coarse feel of the fiber. 21 is considered to be the highest count that many would find comfortable next to the skin. It is a general term because people vary in the way they perceive fiber.  Millie’s lamb fleece is probably softer than 24 microns because lamb’s fleeces are softer. I am not interested in micron count because I always want soft wool. I don’t always. I have lots of uses for coarse wool too. Micron count helps me to better understand the fiber as a whole.

BFL has a nice shine to it (luster) and as pictured above, takes dye well. Since the locks are so bouncy and curly they are best first picked open. I sometimes pick them apart with my fingers but usually give them a few strokes with my hand cards. More on processing/spinning BFL next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Our Own Peace

At Christmas when I received books I realized I already had several that I hadn’t read, or had only read partially. I put those books in a basket and decided I would not take a new book out of the library until I had read those. I do keep a list of books I hear about that I would like to read when I have earned it.

One Man's Meat

One Man’s Meat

One of those books was One Man’s Meat by E. B. White. It has a series of columns that he wrote while living on his small farm in Maine in the 1930s and 40s. I didn’t understand the title until a few weeks ago in an old movie someone said “One man’s poison is another man’s meat.” Now the title made sense. For him and me.  He knew that leaving the city and close proximity to his publishers was seen by many to be a foolish thing to do. I could relate to that as sometimes people tell me that they can’t believe  anyone would spin and raise chickens.  🙂

He didn’t seem to  care and certainly neither do I. We all need to do what feels right inside of us and it is different things for different people.

His columns show a slice of life from that time period. The war in Europe and then our country’s entry into war were occasionally subjects of his columns.  He made this statement in his forward that resonated with me to the extent that I still feel a little emotional when I write it here.   “It is a collection of essays which I wrote from a salt water farm in Maine while engaged in trivial, peaceable pursuits, knowing all the time that the world hasn’t arranged any true peace or granted anyone the privilege of indulging himself for long in trivialities.”

I feel privileged that I am able to take time each week to indulge myself in trivial pursuits that give me peace in an uncertain world.  I think that when we pursue peaceful goings on in whatever form they take there is some good being given out to counter the unpeaceful things in this world.

Certainly his book, published in 1944, continues to radiate peace. Thanks E.B.!

Josie

Josie’s Bluefaced Leicester lamb fleece

This month I want to talk about the also peaceful  Bluefaced Leicester sheep. They have the sweetest little curls in their fleece which has great sheen (shine).

A friend and I “disagree” about the outward appearance of these sheep. I dearly love them but I think their faces are, well, kind of unattractive. The babies look like little aliens to me. She doesn’t think they are ugly at all.

Bluefaced Leicester yearling females in wool . stock photo

Bluefaced Leicester Sheep thanks to Farm-Images.CO.UK

 

 

 

 

 

BFL Gray Sheep Named Silver Dyed with Blue and Yellow

BFL Grey Sheep Named Silver Dyed with Blue and Yellow

Bluefaced Leicester Lamb Locks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millie mittens

Millie mitten

 

 

 

 

Here are mittens I spun several years ago and wear a great deal each winter. Still in excellent shape, This fiber was from a BFL lamb named Millie.

More on the wonderful Bluefaced Leicester next time! Until then, find a trivial pursuit that gives you peace and go do it, even if you only have a few minutes. E.B. would approve.