2012 is starting out well here at the Studio.
On January 2, I took a little drive over to see Susan Du Bois of Treenway Silks who has just recently relocated this incredible fiber source to Lakewood, Colorado, about 5 miles from me. I was lured out of my holiday bliss by the January first newsletter in which Susan talks about the once a year shipment of New Zealand fleeces that had just arrived. On the list were some Gotland fleeces, a breed I've been curious to try. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright, and I thought I'd just go over for a look as she had some smaller fleeces listed. Just a look, you know. I was lucky to find her in house, doing inventory, and the bags of fleece innocently sitting in her open garage.
A little back story here. The last week of December, I had finally finished carding the Mystery Wool and while I thoroughly enjoyed the process of doing an entire fleece from raw to carded, I had already decided (and announced to my Dear Fellow) that I was swearing off fleece preparation for a while. My plan was to work this year with the gorgeous fiber that I already have in the Studio and just concentrate on the spinning.
Resolution number one out the window.
While I knew the fleeces would be beautiful, Ashford fleeces are highly regarded, I was not prepared for the overwhelming desire that arose in me once I saw them. I do believe that I was overcome by wool fumes when the bags were opened because I was immediately filled with a need to have this fleece. Look at it! Can you blame me? And it is soft, really shiny, crimpy, and soft.
Two little Gotland fleeces followed me home. And they were joined by a not so little English Leicester, an irresistible Perendale, and the sweetest bag full of Polworth you've ever seen. When I break a resolution, I do it really, really well.
Yesterday, I washed the first Gotland. It was quite greasy but had almost no extraneous matter, I mean hardly even a twig. And it washed up beautifully. It was dry enough this afternoon to open up a few locks and give it a quick spin on one of my Maggie Spindles.
So you can see that, fiber-wise, things are starting out here very, very well. I'm glad I love to knit, and spin, and wear what I've made because I just blew my entire 2012 clothes budget on hand-me-downs from some sheep.