Finished!! Finally! It’s a sheepskin rug woven from the locks of the sheep. It’s been a labor of love. It has been on the loom forever – at least a couple years. Lately, Nutley lounges across the near finished rug. It was his spot… until now. Now that the rug is off the loom, what’s Nutley to do? Lost, he’s simply lost. Colleen rigged an interim solution. Peace reigns. Few enough people understand wool, fiber, and felting. No, my cats lounging on the drying fiber did not felt it. Pfewf!
In NYC, a man with who walks with his nose in the air ends up with dog poop on his shoe. In the country, well, you know how it goes. We went to visit the sheep. Colleen arranged the visit. She had bought fleece from this farm and wanted to meet the source (sheep). Soay? Long wool Leicester? Familiar sheep breed names? How about Edwourd? French sheep, and didn’t know it! A sheep is still a sheep even if it is one or two. Soay sheep are shy. Soay (of course!!) originated in Scotland. Teddy the standard poodle stole the attention. A visit to the sheep farm cannot be complete without fleece. Yes, Colleen helped herself to … I might add that the shawl is felting over a lace curtain. That’s art!
What’s felt? Well you have probably felt felt. It’s a soft material. The definition is more like: take some raw wool and put it under pressure and rub; the fibers will lock and form a sheet of material. Or you may use a needle to lock the material into shapes. How about a giraffe, or a dragon, or a heron? Yup, she did all of that and more. It was enormous 9as in more then 15 feet in size) and she demurred on how long it took to do the giraffe. I’d have lost interest long before the neck ever got done. Hey, it’s art! My (felt) hat’s off to you.
In order to get yarn you start with a sheared fleece. The fleece is washed. It’s turned into roving. Then, it’s spun. After that you knit or weave. If you skip the spinning, you can felt. Felt? The would be pressing the fibers together until they form a sheet of fiber all on their own. Like art, this is the raw material for creating a myriad of things. I’m more interested in the process than in creating art. People like came to buy the raw materials. Sometimes it’s the journey more than the destination. It’s all here. If you know fiber – ie spin and weave or knit – then you recognized the various states I mention. Otherwise, enjoy the patterns and color.
It becomes felt when you lie on it exerting heat, pressure, and rubbing. Willow was just visiting and rolling in the fleece. Plan? Washing and processing to make spun yarn. After that we will turn it over to a weaver. No felt please. Go back. Can you tell the difference between Willow and Patch? …not me.