Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In Praise of Sheep

We have had days of rain in Missouri and some strong storms blowing through.  Our airport was severely damaged by a tornado a few days ago.  Mister and I huddled in the basement a few times but we were safe.  I've had a rise in some storm fears, but it seems natural to be a little hyper alert.  Back in January a tornado touched down a few miles from us, damage an area that we frequent.  It was after that that we began to listen for the sirens and take cover.  We have a bin in the basement that contains a radio (I finally remembered batteries today) and a flashlight.  When sirens sounded last week, it took Mister and I just a few minutes to grab the dogs, cell phones and hit the basement.  Our thoughts go to those that felt the effects of the storm more severely than a case of rattled nerves.

Spinning News

No progress on my fleece washing.  With all the rain, it has been just too wet and random to think about putting my hands into water.  I did do a sample spin of a lock with a drop spindle.  I nearly fainted from the effort.  This lovely fleece wanted to be spun very fine and tight.  I could easily see lace weight yarn resulting.  I'll probably do a multiple ply yarn and go for fingering.  With just this sample sample spin, I've been lusting after fleeces online.  No purchasing, just lusting.  I think I'm in big trouble.

Miss Crabtree is about 75% finished with spinning.  I'll hopefully finish my last bobbin today and begin to ply tomorrow.

I did finally purchase a new lazy kate.  I'll give her a test drive soon and post company information.

Sharing the Resources

I must tell you about a video that I've been watching: Handspinning Rare Wools by Deb Robson
If you aren't already in love with sheep, this video will certainly make your heart trip over.

Deb's passion is preserving rare sheep breeds.  Did you know that livestock is in danger of being lost?   The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Rare Breeds Survival Trust (UK) has been working to save the unique genetic heritage of livestock.  Sheep breeds were developed my many different people and for specific purposes of the culture.  In this video you will learn were the sheep came from, what they were used for and the unique aspect to their wool.  Deb talks about sheep from both lists and it is heartbreaking to learn how vulnerable some of the breeds are such as the Santa Cruz.  The Santa Cruz sheep numbers only a few hundred.

Deb Robson is full of knowledge and love of sheep.  I'm so excited about her book to be released soon.  The Spinning Loft is selling a package deal with the book and fiber samples from Knitty blog post about Deb's  fibers all spinners should know about list.  I'll save my pennies for that one!

I first learned of the American Livestock  Breeds Conservancy years ago when I read Barabara Kingsolver's book Animal Vegetable Miracle and visited the St. Louis Zoo which had a display about the organization. It is so good to know that there are people dedicated to preserve heritage breeds.

On the Needles

I've had several knitting attacks this weekend.  I seem to have lost a bit of my knitting mojo with the miles of knitting on the Citron shawl.  In effort to regain my knitting mojo, I put aside my Citron and casted on for several project.  Those project each crashed and burned.  Knitting is like that sometimes.  A quick look at the calendar last night prompted me to pick up my sock needles again and I'll cast on for a pair tonight.  Socks are a great mojo gaining project.  We'll see.

I'm off to finish washing.

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