Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woolly Days

Spinning outside on a cool autumn day sounds like heaven to me.

With the Holiday Gift Market behind us, we are turning our attention to very woolly pursuits.  For the next couple of weeks, I'm up to my ears in spinning and judging alpaca fleece samples for the STAR spin-off competition.  (The winners will be displayed with their ribbons at the Kid N Ewe festival in Boerne in November.)  There's a little pressure with this job, but I just love being knee deep in gorgeous fiber--what a way to go!  This is my fifth year to serve as a judge, and I've learned more about spinning and alpaca fiber every time.  What beautiful, amazing stuff.

Peggy R. spun some lovely, artsy Jacob wool at the LRB yesterday.

Gail took her new wheel, "Keeta," for a whirl yesterday at the Barn.

This Saturday we'll be spinning in the Little Red Barn if you're available to join us.  We start around 10 AM and go till mid-afternoon.  Some folks bring a snack to share.  Knitters and crocheters are also welcome, of course.  There's a little rain in the forecast, but we've got all the comforts and conveniences of home in the snug LRB.  (Rita brought us a microwave!)

Itzhak enjoys his breakfast, while I spy on his fleece.

Today during my feeding chores I was looking closely at Itzhak's fleece.  He's one of our Gulf Coast Native sheep, and he has a very interesting lock structure.  I'm really hoping his fleece turns out better this year than last--avoiding any stress breaks, and that we can finally include our Gulf Coast wool into the shares.  Right now it feels soft and sproingy.  That's a technical term that means "full of elasticity and bounce."

Close-up of Itzhak's fleece, on the hoof.
But this is the time of year when we can relax a little and just enjoy the break from the severe heat that had us working so hard all summer.  The sheep are placid...


...and we can dream of next year's bountiful harvest.  Load up the wagons, boys!


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