Today I am looking out the window, watching the leaves fall. This part of Minnesota is right on schedule this year with the Equinox. Autumn comes and the leaves start falling. Our ash tree is always the first to go, and this year she is almost empty already. Next the box elders, with yellow leaves and brown seeds. With a good wind, coming this afternoon, they will be empty too. Our American elms, mulberries and buckthorn are the last to go. I haven’t been down to the black willows to see how they are fairing. It’s too depressing. In a horrible wind storm last month, we lost the biggest and probably oldest of our black willows. We knew it was just a matter of time, but it is still hard to see something that tall and stately fall. Fortunately we had taken some branches this spring and have gotten 5 sapling black willows from him. So he will live on in our grove. It probably seems strange to some of you that we give personalities to our trees. But they are living things and when you spend as much time with them as we do; you start to think of them as family.
I want to share some promised photos with a blog friend. You might remember me talking about the Shetland fleece I got from Little Red Oak Farm. When perusing the Shetland blogs this spring, I ran across Gail’s. And feel head over heels in love with her little ewe Maple. I was lucky enough to get Maple’s fleece and have finally had time to work on it. And I promised Gail photos. So all you non-spinners please bear with me.
Looking at a photo of Maple, you would think the fleece was grayish brown. Nope. Cleaned up, Hubby said, “Oh, it’s just white.” But there is white and then there is white.
White is not always white.
All you out there that spend hours going over paint chips know that there is no such thing as “just white”. There’s bisque, buff, cream, ecru, mushroom, oatmeal, biscuit, beige, lait, milk toast….and the list goes on forever. So I will try to describe this in my own way.
On the combs.
The combed wool has a sheen or luster to it that I have not ever seen on other wool. Is this a trait of Shetland or is it just Maple?
Nested and ready to spin.
The color is a warm, soft oatmeal (Yes, Renee, I can hear you laughing from here. But that’s just the way I’d write it up). And the waste that I have taken off the combs to be carded later is more of a mottled mushroom.
To be carded later.
I am more than pleased with this fleece. I am excited. I can’t wait to spin it up and knit something. So Gail, please, please, can I reserve Maples fleece for next year?
Then quickly, here’s a photo of the BFL, re-dyed and plied with the natural color.
I have to tell you, I am not impressed with this wool. I have heard such good things about BFL, but this yarn, to me, is course and stiff. Now, I bought the roving off line a couple of years ago, and have no idea of the origin. So is it 100% or is it blended? I don’t know. Next year I will get a fleece from a breeder that stands behind their wool, and try it one more time. But now I have to try to figure out something to do with this yarn. Any ideas?
9 months ago