Monday, November 30, 2009

Dr. Pippin and Mr. Merry

Pippin and Merry are siblings, but they're as different as night and day. Pippin is sweeter than sweet and Merry is, well, Merry is evil. She growls and tries to scratch me and if bunny looks could kill I'd be dead. But I love them both (okay, I love Pippin more) and they have the softest, softest wool.
This is Pippin. (to the left with the light face.) And this is Merry (to the right with the dark face)...oddly enough NOT wearing her evil face for a change.


When I started spinning I heard the term "tailspun" and was dying to know what it meant. It sounded so cool. So I researched it and found out it's made by corespinning the butt ends of locks. I love locky sheep; I love locky wool. I had part of a Bluefaced Leicester fleece so I thought I'd try tailspinning. And this is how it came out.

The Long and The Short of the Matter

I had such great intentions when I started this blog. I thought I'd keep up with it, post as I went along . . . alas, it was not to be. I got so busy a) learning how to make and making fiber art and b) acquiring fiber animals that I never had time to talk about what I was doing. Then I got so far behind I dreaded the thought of playing catch up.

So gist is, that hurray! There are finally fiber animals on my farm. For a long time I was bemoaning the fact that the only animals I had I could spin fiber from were my horse and my German Shepherd (I've since learned that German Shepherd fur spins up like angora and is, in fact, called chiengora so I'm saving that in a bag to make something with.) My friend Lucas finally took enough pity on me to locate a couple angora rabbits I could buy as well as trot me around to various farms to meet different kinds of sheep so I could figure out what I wanted.

To make a long story short I ended up with a Bluefaced LeicesterX (for the curls), a CormoX (for the incredible softness of the fleece), an Icelandic (for the amazingness of the fleece - my husband was laughing at me cause I was drooling over it as it grew out), and a Coopworth (for the springiness of the fleece and also the quantity.)

And that's where I stopped animal-wise. Two bunnies, four sheep. We've got the chickens, of course, and traded roosters (which is a long story), and the dogs, cat, my daughter has an exotic (non-fiber) bunny and some hamsters. But fiber animals...just six. But six is waaaaay more than I had in January when I was pining for them. There is also an alpaca on the way and I'm looking at getting angora goats in the spring because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE spinning mohair and I'm SICK, SICK, SICK of pulling VM out of mohair locks. I want to coat my goats the way I coat my sheep.

So, here are the ladies the day Bronte was sheared...