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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

July Woolly Wednesday - Kelly

My family know I love to spin and it is getting to the point where they all seem to associate me with sheep.  One of my birthday presents this year from my children was a mug decorated with sheep.  My brother has called me 'black sheep' for years.  My brother in law joked that he would bring me back some camel hair from his recent trip to Egypt.  When I called the bank recently and they asked me to set some new security questions, one of them was 'What is your favourite animal?'  Well, giraffes are my favourite animal, but at that moment, I looked about the room and saw my bags of fleece shoved under the table and answered 'sheep'!  And, here is a picture of a sweet bead and wire sheep my sister in law brought back from Zimbabwe for me a few weeks ago.
 So, there it is.  My loved ones don't associate me with an elegant giraffe, or a soaring eagle, or a mythical unicorn, dragon or phoenix, nor a delicate seahorse or graceful, darting dragonfly...sheep it is...oh well..!
I think I have completed my wool gathering, fleece hoarding phase now and I have been busily washing those fleeces.  It has taken a while.  Some were really, really dirty and took a lot of soaks to get them clean.  Look at this dirty Cotswold fleece.
 And here it is all clean and beautiful.
I have two dye pots on the go at the moment with wool soaking in them.  The first pot contains privet leaves from our hedge we trimmed earlier this week.  So far it looks like a pale yellow colour.  The second pot is madder root and its looking brick red so far.
This is the madder root dye pot.

I have been visiting that lovely little tucked away craft shop in that little village again and yes I couldn't resist getting some more European wool tops including some soft, luxurious Gotland lambs wool.  Gotland sheep were apparently established by the Vikings in the Swedish region of Europe and the fleece is considered to be one of the premier sheep fleeces in the world and is mostly shades of grey ranging from almost silvery to very dark almost charcoal.
  A Gotland sheep.  Just look at that magnificent fleece.

And how about this bit of trivia to add appeal.  Gotland wool was used to create the Magic Elven Cloak given to Frodo by Galadriel in the 'Lord of the Rings' movie.  Well, I wish I was spinning my Gotland wool to create a Magic Elven Cloak.  What adventures I could if I had a cloak of invisibility.  Although, spinning this wool did feel a bit like magic - the colour, the feel..yes, a bit of magic.  It spun up beautifully fine and I plyed two singles.  I am happy with my little bit of magic.