Oops! My fleece is showing - all round the house in fact, and in the greenhouse! It's no good, I can't hide it any longer. I fully admit to fleece addiction. There are just so many sheep out there to try! I don't know how Lydia at Shearer's Girl Yarns restrains herself with all the fleece that passes through her hands each year. I have about as much resistance as I have to dark chocolate when offered!
This summer's fleece finds started with a Leicester Longwool - a chocolate one, which I'd desired since I saw the breed at WonderWool Wales in 2010. It's currently resident in the greenhouse, waiting for washing. At Fibre-East, the lovely ladies from The Farm Animal Sanctuary who care so much about animals had brought loads of fleece with them for spinners to buy. I picked up two Gotland cross fleeces and a light Hill Radnor, all of which are taking natural dyes nicely.
I've picked some elderberries to try on the Gorland's soft greys. I also like the sound of the blues created by turtle beans, as recommended on The Ways of the Whorl - they look very much worth trying. That's why the dyeing equipment is still in the kitchen ...along with the fleece! The Farm Animal Sanctuary's fleeces have been meticulously skirted by Ravelry's MoonMoss, herself a spinner, so she knows how we like to find a fleece when buying.
I have to admit to picking up two more fleeces for £2 each from a friend at a Thursday spinning group in Hadstock - uncertain breeds but possibly Suffolk crosses. Last but not least another friend's cousin with an organic smallholding in Herefordshire (alas not on the web yet) has interesting fleeces so I bought the a Jacob's cross fleece from a sheep called Greyling. The wool really reminds me of the reds in the soils in that part of the world - and it's not just in the dirt when you wash it! You can truly see a pink tinge to it: can't wait to try that one.
Mind you, it will have to get in the queue behind the remnants of last year's fleece bonanza - namely a gorgeous white Shetlad from Jamieson & Smith which was ridiculously inexpensive considering the quality. They really know what they're doing in sorting fleece for spinners too, as an article in Yarnmaker magazine highlighted during last year. The Shetland is not very well hidden in the bedroom, sitting on a few other boxes tucked away containing ... well, you've guessed it: fleece!
So with all this fluffy stuff to look forward to, there's no time to mourn the passing of summer. It's spinning and sampling season girls - so roll on the dark nights and get those wheels turning!