14 November 09

Shearing Day at Meridian Jacobs

Meridian Jacobs Shearing, derwent inktense We went to the open house sheepshearing event at Meridian Jacobs, where 65+ sheep were being shorn on a chilly but sunny morning.

Meridian Jacobs Shearing, derwent inktense Shearing sheep is intensely physical work. Jacobs are small sheep but still plenty big enough to be trouble, and they have two or four horns, both male and female. The shearer was a focused young man with huge biceps and an impressive aura of calm. Sheep panic at the drop of a hat and he gently but firmly moved them around without panicking them further, taking maybe 90 seconds to relieve them of their fleeces.

Meridian Jacobs Shearing, derwent inktense I was impressed by his hide (sheep hide?) overshoes (at left). A lot of the work is done by your feet—controlling, moving, holding—and you don’t want to slip or hurt the sheep. The booties have to be special ordered from Australia.

Meridian Jacobs Shearing, derwent inktense The sheep suffered themselves to be turned, rotated, inverted, fleeced. The shearer needs horse-whisperer-type qualities, I think, at least this one seemed to have them. I was sorely tempted to buy a fleece, but I think I’ll wait till I get more experienced in spinning and figure out a way to heat enough soft water to process it. It’s a lot of work. And I don’t have those biceps…

ETA: the 25th Worldwide Sketchcrawl is this coming Saturday, November 21. Davis sketchers will meet at the Raptor Center at 9:30 and head into town around 11. Let me know if you’d like to come.

Posted by at 02:02 PM in Spinning | Link | Comment [5]

7 October 09

Fibered Up...

We visited Dixon Lambtown on Saturday, a wonderful festival a mere eight miles from home. We met and petted alpacas and chinchillas. I learned how to spin worsted, Navajo, and long draw, and how to prepare fibers for all of these things. We saw the sheep to shawl competition. I overdosed, I think, on fuzzy yumminess.

But not quite, because this Spinners Giveaway definitely caught my attention. All you have to do to enter is say a bad thing and a good thing about moving. (Hard pressed to find a good thing to say about it, but I did come up with something.)

Posted by at 07:36 PM in Spinning | Link | Comment

29 August 09

Sweet Caroline

spinning wheel: Lendrum DT Numenius and I made a trip to San Francisco today. I wanted to try out some spinning wheels, which I’ve been doing fairly intensely over the past three weeks. I was hoping today’s visit to Carolina Homespun would conclude my search. I had two candidates already, but wanted to be thorough and try every possible likely wheel.

Well, I’ve been surprised. By a Lendrum double treadle. Morgaine explained to me that she didn’t really have one to sell, since the one she had had been requested by someone else. These wheels are made in Toronto and are in a lot of demand so I assumed if I decided to get one I’d wait a while, which was okay.

During my visit the buyer called. She wanted, instead, the cherry Matchless wheel. I bought the Lendrum.

What to call it? As I sat spinning this evening to the Giants game on the radio, the Red Sox eighth-inning anthem, Sweet Caroline, came to my head. This song was recently revealed to have been written all those years ago for a young Caroline Kennedy, whose uncle Ted died this week.

My wheel is Sweet Caroline.

Posted by at 09:09 PM in Spinning | Link | Comment [8]