Monday, 30 June 2014

Rooed Shetland Fleece

Shetland Sheep are classed as one of the primitive breed of sheep and despite their genetic make-up having been "improved" on over many hundreds of years, whilst most modern day Shetland Sheep have to be sheared, there are still some genetic strains out there that still have the ability to naturally shed their fleece.  The fleece from these particular strain of Shetland can be naturally harvested from the sheep by a traditional method called "rooing".  Shepherds who know that they have some of these sheep in their flocks will often gently tug on their sheeps fleece around the normal sheep shearing time to see if the fleece is ready to come away naturally at "the rise", which is the name for the point on the locks where one seasons growth ends and the new seasons growth begins and this is a weak spot and will break off during preparation of a sheared fleece.

Once again, this Shetland fleece came from the same farmer in Morval, Cornwall, that all of my Shetland fleece have come from so far.  This is a Grey/White Rooed Shetland Lamb fleece and is absolutely beautiful.

I started out with 678g of fleece and after removing really, really short locks and washing it it weighs 428g, a massive 250g loss before I even get my combs out!

I noticed that some of it felt a little coarser than the main bulk and so I separated those locks out and prepared and spun them separately.  I will refer to parts of this fleece as Grade A (the best) and Grade B (the coarser stuff).

After I combed it, I was left with 52g of Grade B top and 238g of Grade A top, in a range of shades.

From the Grade B, I made a Fingering Weight 2ply yarn, 52g/124m and I called it "Snowy Owl".

From the Grade A, I made a Double-Knit Weight yarn, 2 skeins: 113g/385m and 119g/357m and again I called the colour "Snowy Owl".

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