One Wee Sheepie

I had a wonderful weekend in Michigan at the Spinning Loft. Beth’s a wonderful hostess, the students were bright and fun to be with, and I hope everyone had as good a time as I did.  That’s not what I want to talk about though.

There’s a certain risk in hanging around with Beth. She sources, collects and sells a lot of breeds of fleece. In her shop, there are (be still my heart) thirty-five different breeds to be had, and that’s just in the wool department. (Denny walked away with some beautiful cotton to spin- and I almost got some too, until I remembered that I suck at spinning cotton, and that I was going to work on getting better at it with what I have before I added more to the stash.) I was tempted by some beautiful cormo- but I was on a bit of a mission.  I’d had a poke around the shop and didn’t see what I wanted, and casually, over a cup of tea, I told Beth what I was after. A little Jacob, I said.  Not too big, with lots of colour variation. Jacobs are a rare breed of sheep, only about 5000 in the world, with spots and horns. I love them for a lot of reasons – a good Jacob can be very soft and even and pretty, with a fine, even crimp through the fleece- but what really turns my crank is that they aren’t just one colour. They might be brown and cream, brown, cream and white, black and white or cream, or be all sorts of grey.  They’re a fascinating heirloom breed. The next morning when I saw Beth, she had a couple of big bags.  Turns out that what she’s got in the shop might just be the tip of the iceberg, because she’d gone out to her garage and come back in with two beautiful Jacobs.  The first one was mostly black and white, and a very nice fleece, but it wasn’t what I wanted.  Then Beth opened the second bag, and it turned out to be a little lilac Jacob.  Now, I know lilac usually means pale purple, but in a Jacob, it means greyish brown.  This one was perfect. Beautiful soft, several shades of grey on a creamy base.

I liked it, but I didn’t love it, not until Beth took a lock of the wool to the sink and gave it a little wash.  We both just about fell over.  That yellowy/creamy wool washed out to the most beautiful snow white.

I grabbed two more locks from other parts of the fleece and washed those too.

All the colours washed up more beautiful than I’d imagined.  More grey than I expected…

and with that, I bought the fleece, because I imagined a shawl – a shawl sort of like this one from Three-cornered and Long Shawls (Love that book) with stripes that reflect the original colouring of the Jacob who made it.  I don’t think I’ll do any blending – just divide the fleece into the colours that are present (I see four or five distinctive shades) and then wash and spin it into a simple two ply, somewhere in between a lace and fingering weight.  Jacobs are pretty little, so it’s only about 1300 grams (or 3lbs, depending on your figuring.) and that’s way, way more than I’ll need.

I think I’m a little in love with this little sheepie, and I’m ever so glad that Beth has a fleece fetish.  I’m pretty excited about seeing if I can make the shawl I’m imagining a reality.

140 thoughts on “One Wee Sheepie

  1. Got see up close and personal Jacobs this past summer. Very, very cool. Lovely coloring. Can’t wait to see the yarn.

  2. I have failed each time I’ve tried spinning, but boy is it tempting to try again. That wool is so beautiful!

  3. Oh, what a gorgeous fleece! You will have so much fun with it! I have a little Jacob (brown, cream and white) in my stash…it is calling to me, calling, calling…but I have a mission to finish spinning the creme caramel CVM first…

  4. When I first read the subject line in this post on my blog reader, I read “One Wee Sharpie” and I thought I was in for a tragic tale of a sharpie left uncapped in a bag to wreak havoc on an irreplaceable bit of knitting, dutifully worked on for the past few months, rendered in discontinued yarn…
    I’m so glad it turned out to be a happy story.

  5. When we lived in Washington, DC, I used to go (usually with the kids) to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, where one of the highlights was to see the Jacob sheep. Like something out of one of my grandparents’ antique fairytale books. Lovely.

  6. STOP IT!!! I have only two hands and I work outside the home, so I have only so much time to spin and knit. I have so far avoided noticing it is shearing time and that the fleeces of the world need homes, and then you stick THIS Jacob stuff in my face–I’m doomed. Happily doomed, but utterly doomed. 🙂

  7. oh yum! I want a Jacob fleece from MD Sheep and Wool in May, for much the same purpose (except a sweater rather than a shawl). I hope there are some left.
    Lovely, just lovely.

  8. I’m envious as heck of that fleece. Never mind the fact there are 14 waiting for me in my fleece closet and my day job is processing fleece by hand. I’m beginning to think I really have a fiber issue.

  9. Oh thanks a heck of a lot, you had to put that link in there and of course I had to click on it. Now I’m craving fleeces and roving and even more cotton. Don’t you realize I’m in the middle of a home remodel and even if I had the money for all I want, my wheels are buried under dust sheets and shoved into closets? How can you be so cruel!

  10. Jacobs are my favourite breed! They’re adorable and their fleece is one of the nicest to spin I find.
    I’m jealous!

  11. You’ve reminded me that I have a little Polwarth from the Spinning Loft waiting to be washed and spun. It’s only 100g but I’m looking forward to working with it.

  12. Beth is a catalyst with feet. She was here teaching a plying workshop the weekend before your class and I’ve been spinning cabled yarns (and knitting them, and spinning some more) ever since. Wicked, wicked woman.

  13. I did a Faraway, So Close shawl in five different naturally-colored rovings & tops, two of which were Jacob. I really enjoyed spindling the Jacobs. I can’t wait to see how your fleece spins up!

  14. I have a little Jacob too. He’s 21 months old and the light of my life. Granted, he doesn’t have fleece and only walks on two feet. :o) What a treasure you found!

  15. Makes me want to find a little Jacob sheepie and give him a home in my suburban back yard!

  16. I always hang out around the Jacobs; I think they are just so cute. Please keep us posted on the progress of your shawl.

  17. There’s a lady who lives about 30 miles from me (I’m in Sacramento, CA) and she has a small flock of Jacobs sheep, maybe about 20? I didn’t realize they were a rare breed. I agree that they are adorable, though!

  18. Oooooh…… what a beautiful shawl. Can’t wait to see it made up in your Jacob! Absolutely heavenly! Just gorgeous! I wish I could be just half as talented as you!

  19. What is that they say? Spinning yarn is just one step away from owning sheep….maybe Jacob sheep?

  20. I guess this is what they mean by “it all comes out in the wash”. Isn’t it lovely? I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I’m not a spinner (Think money, space and time) but I’m becoming completely caught up discovering and trying different fibers. Someday – when I win a lottery – I would love to get my hands on some Vicuna.
    Great post – I had no idea!!!

  21. It will be beautiful & I’ve long admired that shawl. BTW, lilac means gray (with maybe a hint of brown) throughout the animal world I think. Lilac Seal Points are Siamese cats with very pale ecru (almost white) bodies & light to medium gray – taupeish points on their ears & socks. A darker gray is said to be blue – like Weimaraners are called blue dogs.

  22. We’re lucky enough to have quite a few Jacob shepherds out here in California – Meridian Jacobs for one. I picked up a lovely Jacob fleece last year for the same reasons – gorgeous colors and really wonderful to spin. Mine shall (hopefully) be a sweater with all the colors distinct. Congrats!

  23. What a lovely little fleece. And a beautiful shawl to turn it into, too.
    I know that sometimes the shepherds identify the fleeces they sell by the name of the sheep that the fleece came off of. I wonder, does this wee Jacob have a name?

  24. That Beth is tricky that way. She just casually walks into the back, and when she returns….well, amazing things happen in that back room. Which means amazing things happen at the cash register and to my bank account. It’s all good, until I have to find a place to store the stuff.

  25. I remember when we bought our farm and my husband came home with three little Jacob sheep he had bought to take care of some of the grass. I still have one of those three little lambs, Josie – who is about 13 now, and about 35 others (crossed with Border and Blue Faced Leicesters). The coloring is definitely the same that you show on my full Jacobs, but my fleeces seem to be less crimpy and more full with the Jacob double coat thing hey have going on. I’m sure your fleece is one of the best examples of the breed. Good luck and I hope you have lots of fun spinning it! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 😀

  26. Dang it. I try SO hard to avoid looking at stuff that makes me want to learn to spin. And now I’ve gone and looked. Wondering how to cram it in between a full-time job, a whole lotta knitting and the rest of my life. Also, not coincidentally, wondering how many sheep could subsist happily in my suburban backyard…

  27. The Wall O’ Fleece is hard to resist. I can never visit the Loft without leaving with raw wool. Lately it’s been the gorgeous brown Cormo that’s singing its siren call to me. Congratulations on the Jacob. It looks like a lovely fleece.

  28. I consider myself fortunate to have a friend who raises Jacobs for both meat and fibre…I get either one from her for a very fair price!
    And the lambs? Cutest thing ever!

  29. I like your blog for many reasons, but specifically for how passionate (and a bit nutty) you get over things like fleece, and your elaborate plans for the fleece, and the finished product from the fleece. And the finished product is what separates the mere mortals from the spinning/knitting gods-like persons. I can get excited about fleece, but by the time I’m done cleaning 1/18th of the damn thing, I’m looking to sell it to someone. I can’t wait to see your results!

  30. That is SO cool! I grew up (briefly) until I was 5 in a house in Pennsylvania, the present owner of which raises Jacobs. We visited him last fall and I bought 8 oz of the black/grey/white roving and 4 oz of the most beautiful brown. I have been holding them and mulling over what to do with them. I’m a fairly new spinner so I’ve been holding them in the hope that I won’t ruin them in the spinning. It makes me happy to just own them…. Have fun with yours.

  31. Ooh, I love Jacobs! Actually there are two fleeces on the hoof bleating at me right now. They want their hay 😉 Ivy and Boo are my first foray into owning sheep and they have been a joy and are so easy to raise! And I’ll get their lamb fleeces this spring, can’t wait to spin them. I honestly didn’t know they are so rare, my two lambs cost $200 for the ewe and $150 for the wether.

  32. I know you want the Jacob to spin, but have you seen the Toots le Blanc Jacob/angora? So pretty I can’t bring myself to knit with it. I just occasionally take it out to play.

  33. Well, who knew. I always thought Jacob had scratchy course fiber, and today I learned otherwise! I recently received, washed and carded some wonderful Targhee, but I haven’t decided yet what it’s going to be, so right now I’m just admiring my lovely creamy batts.

  34. My parents once gave me a Jacob fleece for Christmas and I made the mistake of sending it to a mill for processing, assuming I was going to get bits of roving in the different colors. I got one big homogeneous gray, a total wreck of so many possibilities.
    I’m so glad you got that fleece and that shawl’s going to be wonderful!

  35. What a wondeful find. The colors emerged so beautifully. The shawl is gorgeous. I think it will do the fleece proud.

  36. I am not a spinner, nor do I play one on tv, but I enjoy living vicariously through others. I cannot wait to see what you do with this fleece.

  37. It’s amazing how the fleece comes out after a wash! I am going to Maryland sheep and wool this year in search of fleece to spin. You are always such an inspiration, Harlot. Have you seen the DVD about spinning rare breed fleece? It’s quite good.

  38. Beautiful fleece. Your shawl is going to be delicious. I don’t spin, but even I can appreciate the beautiful wool.

  39. So, will you wash the fleece and then spin? Or spin, then wash? What are the advantages/disadvantages to each?

  40. I read through that link you gave on Jacob sheep. An interesting read.
    As for the color changes after washing, yes! When you’re done washing all of them, post the changes if there are any, and can you post them before and after spinning?
    And I seen that shawl before during my site wandering (I tend to lose myself in the forums mostly). I can’t wait to see the project. 😀

  41. The shawl would look nice with the knitted skirt (?Volt-like)you made, from this vantage point, though colours can be deceiving on monitors, you would need to put them together to see. ‘Better a good contrast than a poor match’.
    The colours have a certain elan.

  42. What a beautiful fleece! Enjoy. I have been listening to “The Spin Doctor” podcast, and she has me all interested in rare breeds. Someday…..

  43. What a beautiful shawl and what a wonderful lesson! You can’t judge a fleece by it’s unwashed colour! Hehe—just made that up right now.

  44. Great fleece, the Jacob. Sounds like the drive to Michigan was worth it! I love the magic of washing a fleece and finding the colors underneath.

  45. If you want to fall in love with Jacob lambs, check out the blog….
    My first fleece was a Jacob–I was living in the college dorm, so washing it in the communal bathroom sinks was a bit of a, shall we say, challenge! Let’s just say that I met a lot of people and leave it at that.

  46. Have I mentioned that it’s your fault I took up spinning? I got a ladybug wheel last week after 9 months of spindle spinning made me realize my shoulder doesn’t like how much spinning I want to do. I hope you’re proud of your influence. ;->
    Yesterday I was spinning with my first bit of Finn, and I now completely understand the breed-specific sheepie love!

  47. I love the promise of how the fleece will wash up, and that shawl is gorgeous! I’m fairly new to spinning, and have mostly stuck with Romney, which is lovely to spin!

  48. The little Jacob’s fleece washed up beautifully. Can’t wait to watch you spin and knit it.

  49. So I’m wondering, as you seemed a bit surprised yourself at the color change after just a bit of washing, is there usually that much of a color change? The white was WHITE! If I saw that only after it was cleaned up I’d figure it had been bleached. You’ve written about preparing fleeces before and I don’t remember any shock at the color changes?
    What a gorgeous thing that shawl will be. You won’t be crocheting the edging, though, right?

  50. Wow! Beautiful! I learned something from this post, I learned that Jacobs are rare. There are lots of them where I grew up. We even had a wee Jacobs ram when I was a teen. I grew up on Saltspring Island so there are lots of unusual breeds there. I think the next time I go back for a visit I might see if I can find me some Jacobs fleeces!

  51. Yeah for you! I have Jacobs and I love them to death. They are so darn cool looking with those doofy horns. I’ve done all kinds of things with spinning it, heathering, straight grey, split the colors, whatever. Right now I am working on a sweater in the grease. It’s off my wether Hobbes. I’m pulling bits out of the bag, I quick hand card and just spinning and knitting as it comes.
    I had a lilac and she died young. Jacobs do tend to have their spots go grey so the fleeces look really different from year to year. Have loads of fun!

  52. I have a Jacob fleece in my closet that I’m trying to decide if I am going to process it on my own or send out for processing. After reading your post today, I think I’m going to have to break it out and play with it a little tonight.

  53. Maybe you’ll get on a roll with the fleece prep and do some of that lovely grey gansey wool as well, eh?
    Or is that also like Joe taking up jazz dance?

  54. That is a lovely Jacob you’ve got there! I, too, love Jacobs, for all of the reasons you state. I have a gorgeous washed and carded Jacob fleece stashed away that I bought at my local farmer’s market a while ago (I bought a couple of ounces, spun it, and promptly went back and bought every last bit that she had; it was such fun to buy the fleece from someone who could tell me the name of the sheep it came from) – I really need to get to spinning it soon, you’ve inspired me.

  55. Man, is that a good looking fleece. I’ve gotten several fleeces over the years, each time conveniently forgetting that I’m allergic to sheep! I always rediscover it during the scouring process 🙂

  56. I didn’t realize Jacob’s were so rare – my brother’s best friend has a field full! 🙂 I thought everyone had Jacob’s!

  57. that’s my favorite breed! i dream of a little spinner’s flock full of jacobs. their horns! their size! plus they’re so darn spunky.
    a jacob fleece was my first, and so far only, fleece i’ve 100% processed – from cleaning to carding to spinning – and i even won ribbons with that fleece at the maryland sheep and wool festival.
    sniff. love jacobs.

  58. Long Shawls? What is this Long Shawls? Do I need this Long Shawls? Book? Where? How? When?
    Long Shawls? A book I don’t have?
    Cape Cod Momma (and serious long shawl knitter)

  59. Can’t wait to see this spun up! I’m still working on my little bag of Jacob that i won last year at Madrona. Lovely wool!

  60. Next time you’re out to see Tina in Scappoose rather than in Washington, consider taking a trip south to my friend, Shannon’s, farm. She raises champion Jacobs and is located just south of Eugene. I didn’t realize they were rare, because she had them and she taught my dogs to herd them. I love their horns as much as their fleece. You can find her flock at kenleigh-acres dot com.

  61. I’m spinning various colors of llama, alpaca and wool for the same shawl. It will be awhile until I’m ready to knit. Can’t wait to see yours.

  62. Luckily, I am a new enough spinner that a fleece is not on my radar yet. (That one sure is pretty though.) Glad it’s not on my radar. Can’t wait to see the shawl.

  63. I have a fleece from Maplewood Farms that is still on it’s owner. Seems the owner of the fleece was not ready to let me have it and, on shearing day, made a jail (sheep pen) brake and fled the premisis along with some other shearing attendees.
    Now I have to wait until April for my dear LAVENDER to give me her shetland fleece. The folks at Maplewood have yet to catch her and the other jail breakers. As soon as they do, I will have in my wool stash another potential shawl!

  64. Over 25 years ago the town I live in had a small zoo which included a petting zoo with a llama, a couple Angora Goats and a nice color selection of sheep. One sheep had a double set of horns and a black on white spotted fleece. I found out later it was an old breed, a Jacob. They had a local shearer come in to shear and I watched the shearing and bought the fleece warm off the sheep along with a grey fleece. What a wonderful fleece the Jacob was to spin. Much later I met one of the zookeepers, an elderly man who was hopping mad because some fool had mixed up the rams and the ewes and he was very carefully penning them to breed for color.
    Thank you for taking me back to that wonderful memory.

  65. What a lovely fleece. The first wool I ever spun was jacob. I was hooked! I’ve been working on spinning rare breeds, just got some cormo and finn, and my first taste of qiviut. thank you for sharing your pictures!

  66. So… this means the Yarn Harlot is Team Jacob? *ducks to avoid flung tomatoes*
    Anyway. 🙂 The first raw fleece I scoured and processed myself was a small bundle of Jacob in three pretty colors from cream to dark brown. I carded the colors separately and have been trying to come up with a tri-colored project small and special enough to spin it for!

  67. i. do. not. have. time. to. spin.
    but oh, you tempt me dear harlot, you tempt me…that is a beautiful fleece and it shall be such beautiful yarn….

  68. That’s one perfect shawl for one perfect sheep!
    And fun in Michigan, too!

  69. I see you were in Howell, Michigan. My mother grew up in Howell, although we all live in Portland, OR now. My grandfather was mayor of Howell and a very, very prominent citizen back in the day–1930s until he died in 1979. His name was Berthold Woodhams.

  70. Next time you’re in Michigan, check out mt. Bruce station. They raise Jacob sheep 🙂 you could visit them and buy their fleeces! They have a sheep and wool festival in the fall and a spring fiber day.

  71. Hey Steph – have I told you that there is a whole FLOCK of Jacobs up the road from Port Ludlow?!?
    Next time you’re up our way, I’ll drive you out there. They are the most lovely little sheepies in the world.

  72. I have the great fortune to have regular access to an annual Jacob’s fleece. And many singles spun therefrom, carefully saved. I plan someday to spin and knit a neck-down three-ply sportweight marled fade sweater using all the colors, ranged like this: darkest/darkest/darkest …. darkest/darkest/dark … darkest/dark/dark … dark/dark/dark … dark/dark/medium … etc. etc. etc. down to whit/white/white.
    I really WILL do this one day.

  73. Oooh what a nice fleece! I love a good Jacob fleece. I have one that I bought a couple of years ago that is beautifully colored, soft, and very fine. It has several shades of gray, cream, and a light coffee brown. Before I washed it I separated the fleece into all the different colors. I haven’t made anything with it yet because I knew I wanted to do something with color work in it, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted. It’s a yearling fleece so it’s really fine and soft. It’s really lovely. I think a shawl would be perfect thing to make with it. Now I’ll just have to look through all the shawl patterns until I find the perfect one for me. Thanks for the great post and the inspiration!

  74. Oh dear. Another breed to add to my ‘dreaming of sheep in my backyard’ wishlist. I will be watching out for spinning and knitting updates on this one. It holds TONS of promise (even by your lofty standards).

  75. We have five Jacobs at our house here in Maryland – Annabelle, Alistair, Hannah, Henrietta, and Catriona! Each one has a distinctly different fleece, both in texture and color. In Jacobs, both ewes and rams have horns, the breed is fairly small, and they have no fleece on their faces, legs or bellies, so people sometimes confuse them with goats. We love this breed! (We used to have Lincoln/Corriedale crosses. They had beautiful fleece, too.) Note to those wishing to get sheep: Sheep are fairly easy keepers, but do have some basic requirements: nutrients (good pasture, hay, a little grain, mineral block), clean water, regular hoof trimming, shearing, vaccinations, shelter to protect them from weather and fencing to protect them from predators (especially dogs, including the neighbor’s pets). The most challenging ‘assets’ for you to find might be a good shearer and a good ruminant vet. Maryland Sheep & Wool is the perfect place to see Jacobs and many other breeds.

  76. Read the title as “one wee sharpie” and kept waiting for you to talk about markers! (Can you tell I have an unnatural affinity for stationery supplies?)
    That fleece is gorgeous. Almost enough to make me pick up my spindle again. Almost.

  77. Oh my…that’s a lovely little shawl there. You are going to look like an eagle swooping around Ontario…

  78. I want to come and root around in Beth’s garage! And I don’t even spin!

  79. Are you going to wash and card the wool yourself ?(if that is what you do to prepare a fleece)
    If you are, I would love to watch that process unfold !

  80. I’ve always wanted to take up spinning…but I don’t want to completely freak my family out. They already have plenty of reasons to think I’m obsessed with this knitting deal. I love the colors! 🙂

  81. Very pretty – but I can see the need for a little flexibility in the width of the various colors, depending on your fleece. No two are going to look alike, and you could even create that personalized variation even with purchased wool. The challenge will of course be being able to adapt to the amount you get out of each color.

  82. I dunno. Spinning seems like another hobby altogether. But I would like some fingering weight yarn. Is that very hard to spin? It seems like it would take an expert and half to do that.

  83. Ooh Jacob sheep are so cool with their massive multiple horns and all! I’ve gone on a thing of trying to buy British breed wool (she says, 4 balls of Noro sitting pretty from last week’s visit to the LYS), and came across Jacobs last year. I made Yarn Harlot thrummed mittens with some aran weight, which I found a little coarse, but perfect for the mittens! And the mittens theselves were perfect for my poor Malaysian hands freezing away in the north east of scotland, especially this last winter!
    I’m sure your fleece will spin up beautifully – can’t wait to see the FO!

  84. Amazing, the difference in the before and after examples! It looks incredibly soft and beautiful! And you had the excellent sense to snatch it right up, way to go!

  85. It’s so wonderful to discover that I am not alone in my love of Jacobs!! Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival introduced me to them and now I must see every one at that show. Hope your mention of them helps make the yarn more available. Not a spinner but love those random colors!! thanks.

  86. Long time reader, but never commented before. Just had to comment on this post though. We have a small flock of Jacob sheep (about 40 ewes)here in France and as I’m a knitter but not a spinner we give the fleece away each year to friends who use it for insulation in the house they’re renovating. I’d be very happy to squirrel a nice looking fleece away for you when they’re sheared in May/June and send it to you – just let me know.

  87. Wow! One of our local small farms has Jacob sheep. Also Dexter cattle, whatever they are. All this time I’ve been eating lamb and not appreciating the outside of the beasts. I’ve been meaning to go visit, but your photos of Jacob fleece are putting me over the edge. Start car. Drive east. Admire sheep…….

  88. I became a CSA shareholder at Jacobs Reward Farm in Parker, TX, and then realized my share would come as roving (I was a non-spinner). Since then I’ve bought a wheel and am now a prolific spinner. But my favorite fiber? You guessed it. Jacob. The natural colors are out of this world crazy beautiful, it picks up such gorgeous variations when it’s overdyed, and it spins and knits up like a dream. Congratulations on your great find. And enjoy!! xoxo

  89. Beautiful wool/should be a beautiful shawl. We are waiting for pictures. Do you wear shawls? I don’t think I have seen a picture of you wearing a shawl.

  90. Love it! And I love Beth’s Wall O’ Fleece. 🙂 I haven’t been to her shop in a while, since I live 4 hours away, but I need to go again soon!

  91. That has to be the perfect shawl for that fleece! You make me want to get out that wheel that’s been in her box for almost a year (packing and moving) and really begin to work on learning how to make real yarn – not the lumpy overspun crap I managed to create after my single lesson.

  92. Ooh yeah, love Jacob fleece! Spinning and knitting a shawl will be a significant project, and it will be a masterpiece. I don’t ordinarily like a striped shawl, but this one of gentle natural colors is really lovely. Hmm, what do I have stashed in the fleece closet…?

  93. Any additional information on the book referenced? I have searched the library, amazon, and ravelry for book titled, “Three-Cornered and Long Shawls” and have not come up with anything. Possibly I misunderstood your post?

  94. So, really you have considered how lovely the other Jacob you passed over would be, if washed?

  95. (digressing slightly) Stephanie, you were there teaching your knitting for speed and efficiency… is there any chance you might make a tutorial DVD on how to do that for those of us who can’t make it to one of your classes? I’d really, really like to learn– I don’t mind so much that I’m slow (though it would be nice to finish projects more quickly), but the pain I sometimes get in my hands can be a big deal sometimes, really affecting how long and what projects I can knit. (Purling causes enough trouble with a finger I broke many years ago that I avoid stockinette– a real bummer.)
    I saw Jacob sheep at the Lambtown fiber festival last fall… wow their horns are wild!

  96. Jacbos are my favourite. I have a gorgeous Jacob tup fleece in my spare room that is just itching for the warmer weather to come so I can wash him up and do him justice.
    I LOVE Jacob sheep and although they’re a rare breed they’re pretty easy to get hold of here in the UK. 🙂

  97. love that shawl and can’t wait to see the fleece to yarn to shawl process. lots of good knitting vibes to you so that all your other work gets done easily and quickly and you can start that shawl!

  98. There is a lady here in Iowa (USA) who has Jacobs. My husband and I went to the local county sheep fair about 2 summers ago, and he bought me a shirt with the logo of the lady who has the Jacob sheep. You are quite correct. The crimp is excellent! Congratulations on your acquisition!

  99. Oh, yes to the color sorting! I did that with a Karashire fleece from Maryland S&W that shaded from silver-white to charcoal. You just feel so totally smug about your different-colored skeins when you’re done. (and do I really get to post my comment after Deb Robson’s? Sweet!)

  100. I think that photo of just a couple locks of fleece and dead leaves is one of my favorites of all time.

  101. My father gifted me with four registered Jacobs for Christmas last year. It’s a long story – but basically he fulfilled a promise that he made to me when I was a four year old child going on farm vet calls with him. We just sheared last week, and I’ve started washing and carding. It’s Soooo much fun to play with the color – and I can’t wait to spin with my very own sheep!
    PS. There are pictures on my blog of the shearing if you scroll down a couple of entries!

  102. How did you derive up with such a awe-inspiring post? This is really interesting. So much so that I had to shut the television off to focus on your well written story. I’ll be surely tweeting this around the interweb.

  103. That will be a beautiful shawl.
    Ok, I have what may be stupid question… why don’t they wash the fleece before they shear it from the sheep? For some reason that seems like it might be easier if the sheep cooperates.

  104. Here in the south of the UK we are surrounded by Jacob sheep, I never knew there were only 5000 in the world. It might sadden you that here even the loveliest of Jacob fleeces are discarded to compost. (our wool board don’t like coloured fleece) I have some lovely examples and must spin more of them.
    I’m lucky I live so very far from Beth as she is a real temptress and the wall of fleece would be my down fall.
    Hope the baby sweater lasted your journey and you weren’t left with empty needles.

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