"we're fools whether we knit or not, so we may's well knit"

- old southern saying

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Scouring Day

A couple of days ago, the University of Florida dispersed their flock of Gulf Coast Native Sheep (GCNI). Fortunately, a few farms got the word, and purchased them. These sheep are "heritage" sheep. Brought to this continent by the Spanish in the 1700's and let go wild, the breed became acclimatized to the Southeast. These sheep are famous for their resistance to parasites, pleasant diposition, and conformation. It's fortunate that the farms who picked up the UF flock are passionate about preserving the breed. One of these days, we would like to care for a small flock. Until then, I'll be working with Gulf Coast fleece from farms down the road apiece.

I haven't spun any sock weight GCNI yet. So, I dug through the studio, and there - AH! A box of Adelina (cream colored) from Running Moon Farm. AND a bit of Amber (wonderful dark grey/brown). Dirty. Ready to jump in the tub. And here we have a day with no rain. 100 degrees. Higher in the sun. Alrighty!

So, I grabbed enough of Adelina for a couple pairs of socks. Here's a picture of unscoured (dirty) fleece:

Dirty GCNI

This washed up GREAT! Now, I have 8 1/2 ounces of lovely creamy fluff. Margrett from Running Moon Farm confirms that her husband loves his Gulf Coast socks. So...now, to dye or not to dye? This is clean Adelina:


Back to the dirty fleece...I had that bag of Amber all over the bed, and up jumped Artie to check out the doin's. At first, she wanted nothing to do with the stuff, but then...then she got a whiff. Here's a pic of my 13 year old Artie with her new mom, Amber:

dirty gcni and artie kneading 2

And just for comparison...here's some dirty Border Leicester. This is my standard sock making wool. But, not this week. It's a longwool breed, nice gloss, silky but spins up with a nice halo. I made a pair of Baudelaires au naturel last year. I've never received as many compliments as I do when I wear those socks.

dirty border leicester

Tonight, what's it gonna be? Carding and spinning? Or knitting with some "storebought" yarn? Hm. We shall see.

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