Founders May Fair at New Pond Farm in review

Harris Hawk

The 27th Founders Fair was a great success in celebrating spring and the new growing season. The sun was shining over the 102 acre property located at 101 Marchant Road West Redding, Connecticut 06896, 203-938-2117. There were little girls all dressed in pretty sundresses wearing crowns of May flowers in their hair. The boys were excited to see the animals and try their hand at all the activities.

Find out more about this wonderful day.

Hogett shearing

The shearers started early this morning. New Pond Farm had 5 hogett Romneys to shear and a couple of Icelandic sheep. A hogett is a sheep less than a year old and hasn’t been sheared yet.

A hogett’s fiber is soft and fine and is prized when making yarn. Much like human hair, as a babies hair grows into old age, it becomes coarser and a color change takes place. Romney sheep are sheared once a year.

Tillie, the Icelandic sheep was also sheared. Icelandic sheep are sheared twice a year.

 

And the Bride wore wool

                                                                                           Louise Fairburn was wed in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire in a dress from her rare longwool sheep. It took 67 hours for a spinner and dressmaker to create. The cost is approx $2250 US.

RARE BREED WOOL

 

  • The Lincoln Longwool is the largest British sheep, developed to produce the heaviest, longest and most lustrous fleece of any sheep in the world.
  • Its versatile fleece was the basis of eastern England’s prosperity until the coming of cotton and the breed was exported around the Empire.
  • It is now one of Britain’s rarer breeds, classed as ‘at risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, with fewer than 1,000 registered breeding females in the UK.

 

wool

 

 

 

Dandelion dyeing

A photo essay “Using Dandelions for Dyeing

 alum-mordant

 

Hand Dyeing…

 

Take a good look at this cover: That’s the magic of dyeing. Fiber and fleece changed from one color to another…then more magic as you spin or knit the hand dyed yarn. Physically, the book is spiral bound with a hard cover. The plus; it lays flat while reading the recipe and mixing up the colors. I love color, and she creates a color wheel with dyed fiber. I want to do that, as soon as the weather gets warm. I will also get to try out the pots my mother gave me when she was moving. 

She dyed commercial white yarn on a cone, several colors.

Her tip is…Keep dyeing it to you like the color. She does touch upon making muddy colors, and how that can unfortunately happen.

Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan               Storey publishing

Spring is coming in our neck of the woods…well in a few weeks. My yard will be filled with plants, I can use for dyeing. What have you dyed lately?

 Examiner  for a video and slideshow of the book.

Felting techniques

                                                                                                                      Needle felting

Wool can be easy to felt. Probably even easier if it isn’t deliberate. There are several felting techniques. They are needle felting, recycled, wet and knitted felting.

Needle felting  is accomplished by using a thin barbed needle. The barbed needle tangles the barbs on the wool, locking them into place. You can make figures…if this interests you….the internet will show you how to make them. Decorative accents (flowers) can be added to garments or handbags.

Recycled wool sweaters from your local second hand stores or hand me downs are perfect for felting in the machine. They can be used to make new articles of clothing. Once an item is felted, it can be cut with a scissors and there is no fear of unraveling. Using a clothing pattern or making your own, you can then cut and sew the pieces together.

You can make bowls and scarves with the wet felt method. The technique requires wool roving or fleece. If you are interested check out felting-wool.

Then there is always knitted felting. This is great if your gauge is really off and the finished item is way to large. If this is your intention then, knit on oversized needles. With all that extre room, the stitches have an easy time felting with one another.

Hope one of these methods interests you. I would love to hear what you think and see what you make.

Knitting examiner

Blue faced leicester

Blue faced leicester (pronounced lester) is one of the largest and most prolific of the British longwool breeds. This breed had its origin in Hexam in the UK, at the beginning of the 1900’s. The sheep is predominately white with lips and mouth predominately black.

A longwool breed has a staple length of 3-6″. They have a fairly fine fiber diameter of  24-28 microns. The fiber is dense. The result is a high quality luster yarn.

Fleece

 

The name blue faced come from the white hair on the black skin.

Knitting examiner