Friday, April 9, 2010

Skirted Fleeces

Seems I've never shown the types of fleece I'm getting from my sheep so here are the few I've skirted the last week. All these are from ewe's that were bred last fall and one from Watson my new black ram. All of my sheep get no grain and very little if any alfalfa. Their main diet is grass hay and grazing on our hill side, native grasses and brush.
First is Desert Peach Charlee, four year old, the ewe who has the Shirley Temple lamb. I hope her lamb has a fleece much like her dam. I love Charlee's fleece. She gives me close to three pounds, 2.6, of heavily skirted fleece every year. That is a dirt line in her fleece but no color. Great hand and blends wonderfully with silk for a smooth silky next to the skin yarn. With or with out the silk. Beautiful shine!

Desert Peach Hattie three year old ewe. She has pretty much the same type fleece as most my sheep but too short for what I want. Black Ag ewe very little black left in her fleece.
Desert Peach Siskin four years old bred ewe gave me 2.9 lbs of heavily skirted fleece this year. She has more britch than I like but her fiber also has a great hand and makes next to the skin soft yarn, with great shine. Yes the micron count on most these fleece will be high, never tested, it's the end product that I have judged my fleeces on so far. No her fleece doesn't touch the ground at this length! The piece on the left is from her britch area.
Desert Peach Zephyr, two years old and bred this year for the first time. Intermediate type fleece with nice hand. 1.8 pounds on her skirted fleece. I haven't been weighting my fleeces before I skirt because how much usable fiber is more important to me. I do not coat my sheep so I loose some of the fiber over the top of their backs and skirt the britch out if it is way coarse.
With all these Ag sheep so far it makes me wish I had more solid colors in my flock. My moorits and blacks do not have as nice as fleece as my Ag sheep yet. We will shear them this next week.
This is Wilson a yearling wether. Beautiful color and you can see next year his fleece will look much like the ewe's above. His fleece is very much a single type coat. I have about a pound of his usable fleece and spun up that piece of yarn. He's fiber makes a nice lofty yarn with candy strips from the layering of colors. This fiber is lower in the micron range of all the other fleeces so far.

Stonehaven Watson yearling ram with teeny bitsy crimp all the way up each lock. One pound of skirted fleece jet black and appears that it should spin up into a nice lofty yarn. Very soft too for a black fleece. Can't wait to work with it!

Desert Peach Tru, pending, two year old first time bred. On her body her fleece looks like a single/tippy type fleece. Great hand loads of usable fleece. (I need to get the weight). I also need to spin some to see what type of yarn I will get.

Desert Peach Stevie, yearly bred ewe. Awesome length but eeewww not very soft!! She is breed to Watson so hope her lambs do better in the fleece department. I will keep Stevie because I want that length of fiber on my sheep. Four to six inches.

Desert Peach Pepper, pending, two year old first time bred. Black Ag ewe with a moderate double coat type fleece. Very little color. I love the length, hand and she gave me 2.5 pounds of usable fleece.


Garrett808 said...

Those fleeces are just LOVELY Mim! Congrats on such gorgeous fleeces. I don't think your length is anything to be concerned about. They have that beautiful crimp and LOOK soft :)

And you are right, their handle is most important. If you are happy with it, that is all that matters!

Again what gorgeous fleeces! I have heard Ag sheep are softer feeling than the solid blacks and moorits too. Not sure if that is a wives tale or not :)

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Beautiful as always :)
Where is Desert Peach Polaris? I don't guess you saw my post about the fleece I bought from you, last year maybe? I sent it to Morrow and wow! I almost sold some of it and then changed my mind lol. If he's still around I would like to have it again.

Sharon said...

Explain Ag fleeces. I don't know what that is, but I sure do love those fleeces. This wind tonight is crumby - hope it's done by Tuesday.

Theresa said...

They look like beautiful fleeces. Love the colors. It all makes me want to grab some fiber and start spinning!

Mim said...

Sharon when a lamb is born with a dark fleece but the fleece fades in color the first year that sheep carries a gene called Ag, programming the color to fade. I guess that's how you explain it!

Fiber Floozie said...

Wow. These fleeces are wonderful. I want them all. I saw you explaination for Ag. Thanks for that. I can't wait to come up and see all these guys in person. Heidi