I've got my answer. Plain weave brings out the qualities of a novelty yarn.
Yesterday was shearing day. It's almost May and normally by this time their coats are huge, but they're about half the normal size because of the warm winter.
I had to make a trip to town so missed Devon. He talked to Ian about their fleeces and said it's a combination of the warm winter and that old sheep just do grow shorter fleeces. We've had them start to roo their fleece a couple of times when we sheared late but Devon said that he hasn't been seeing that lately.
"In some primitive sheep (for example in many Shetlands), there is a natural break in the growth of the wool in spring. By late spring this causes the fleece to begin to peel away from the body, and it may then be plucked by hand without cutting – this is known as rooing. Individual sheep may reach this stage at slightly different times." Wikipedia
Devon came early because he was about to leave on a road trip. It turns out that Devon Strong is more than a rancher, farrier and shearer. He's an acknowledged leader in the field of Biodynamics and has just returned from being flown to conference in Switzerland, and he's attending one in South Dakota next. Who knew?!!
By the time I got home, he and the fleeces were gone. Ollie is starting to get brown again. Weird.
I'm currently spinning from an older fleece and I'm sure he's darker than this now.
I checked out his fleece and while it does seem darker, but it's also shorter, and with the sunburned tips, it might be a lost cause. I'll skirt it next week and wash up a sample. I'm curious.
I had an email waiting for me when I got home from Handwoven magazine.
Congratulations! Your project Turned Taquete Towels was chosen as one of the winners of the 2015 Handwoven for the Home challenge. We’ll do the photo shoot shortly and then commence with production. Sometime soon, one of our technical editors will be assigned to your project and may be in touch if she runs into any questions.Between your submission essay and the materials you sent, Handwoven editor Anita Osterhaug should have enough information for your article, but if there’s anything you want to add, just let her know. I will also be in touch about your contributor information and our contracts person Sonja will email you contract information. Once we have everything together and in layout, Anita will send it to you for final review. That should be in mid/late-June, so please let us know if you will be away in June and we’ll work around your schedule.
Congratulations again, and thank you so much for being a part of this year’s Handwoven challenge!
All the best,
Christina Garton Anita Osterhaug
Associate Editor Editor, Handwoven
What an eventful and auspicious day - holy cow!