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Baa Baa Black Sheep

Back at the end of September Wendie and I (spouses in tow) made a little excursion south of town to the Schacht Farm to watch the little Icelandic sheep get sheared. I managed to leave the camera's memory card at home, which explains why the trip went undocumented. {If you're curious, here is last year's post.}

hello. I am like buttah

I am...how should I put this...prone to falling under the thrall of the wee woolly ones. Maybe you can relate? Here's a summary of my thought process:

Knitterly Elli: Mmmmmm...sheep. Sheep are cute. Sheep are also woolly, and make cute noises! I should get a sheep.
Practical Elli: Dude, get a grip. I don't think the apartment allows sheep. Though they might consider it...I bet sheep would be much quieter than the lawn crew, and they wouldn't leave cigarette ends on the sidewalk.
KE: Fleece then! If I can't get a whole sheep, I can at least take home the woolly bits.
PE: You totally don't have time to spin up a whole fleece. It'll take you forever to finish. And I hate to mention it, but you kindof suck at spinning.
KE: A whole fleece will be great practice! And if I get a colored one it'll look very tempting and I'll want to work on it all the time! Plus, I've got those hand cards just sitting around gathering dust. If I card it myself I'll save on the processing fee AND get to use my fun tools!
PE: You'll feel bad every time you look at it. It will become the fleece of guilt. It will sit in the closet and suck the joy out of your life like a fluffy little black hole.
KE: I'll just get a small one then!
PE: How little do they make them?
KE: Lambs! They're like wee little sheeplettes, right? Surely a lamb fleece won't be so big.
PE: Your logic is astounding. I concede.

Next thing I knew, I was sidling up to Mandy and requesting a raw lamb fleece, the darker the better.

Sure enough, come November I found myself the proud owner of 3lbs, 12oz of black Icelandic lamb fleece. I know that doesn't sound like much, but can I just say...holy crap, this lamb was not messing around! I have no idea how this much wool came from such a tiny little creature.

Over the last couple of weeks I've washed some of the fleece, and carded what felt like a goodish bit (I am the world's slowest carder). I was feeling fairly proud of my progress until I dumped the remainder out this past weekend and did a little comparison.

Back row, L to R: washed fleece, carded fleece. Front row: the rest of it

Right. I've got a bit of work to do.


Holy crap that's a lot wool! Have fun with that, Practical Elli (because you know PE is the one doing all the work).

WOW. I didn't know little sheeplettes made so much fleece.

It sure it pretty though.

Happy Spinning!

So, when you have washed and carded and spun and plied, will you be knitting an apartment cozy? Looks like you have enough wool ;-)

Beautiful colour, and so gleamy!

It looks just luscious! Just the thing to keep you busy this winter, and definitely less trouble than bringing home an actual lamb.

I get into trouble whenever I encounter angora bunnies... I feel bunny fever coming over me.

So beautiful!
My knitterly side pushes around my practical side so much that I've got 5 fleeces tucked away. I'm washing and hand carding them, and slowly spinning them up.

You know the next step is becoming a shepherdess. This way you can just shampoo and style your flock biweekly and just snip the wool you need as you go!

Holy cow, that came from a LAMB?! It's a beautiful color and will make some lovely yarn, but I have to say that I don't envy you the cleaning and carding time.

It's amazing! Two of my friends bought lamb fleeces at Rhinebeck and theirs are also huge!

Yours is such a wonderful, black sheep color. And hairy Icelandic, too!

Good luck :)

wow, that's quite a fleece. someday I want to try this.. looks like a fun challenge, really!

That's a whole lot of wool! Good for you! The color is devine! :D

Um 3 lbs of raw fleece is still a lot. I thought I heard you can make a sweater from at least 2 lbs. I love love love the brown! You have fun now!

Ooooh! You may have a lot left to do, but that color is beautiful! To die for! That has got to be excellent motivation in itself.

LMAO! You kill me! Too funny. Also, HOLY SCHMOKES that's a lot of fleece. I am Jacks seething jealousy. :)

I have this suspicion the lambs are actually pretty close to full size by the time they shear them. That's a truly gorgeous color!

i bought my first fleece at rhinebeck: a 5lb romney. i have carded and spun almost a pound. i felt so proud of myself until i looked at how much i still have left. i'm taking bets on how long the fleece will last.

That is an enormous amount to card! At least you'll be busy for awhile. The color is gorgeous.

oh wow! What a gorgeous fleece. I can see it will keep you busy for a while, though...
You should sample a little bit and post it so we can see how it spins up!

I've read your blog for a while, but I need to comment now. Longer ago than I care to say (think years), my husband brought me 4 fleeces from Orkney (an island north of Scotland). I am still washing them and carding them. I have only ever spun 1 ball of yarn as of yet, but I am saving for a spinning wheel. A little fleece goes a long way, no? You've inspired me to get it out again and keep working on it. Good luck!

i've said this before, but not for awhile: i love your blog. i love your sense of humor. i love your writing.

it's makes me smile oh-so-much.

thanks! (with a big smile!)