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Skirting a Fleece

posted May 18, 2009, 9:52 AM by Kathleen Peters   [ updated May 18, 2009, 10:33 AM ]
This last weekend, I had the opportunity to skirt and pick through some Jacob fleece that a neighbor said I could split with her if I helped with the processing!  Major score!  (Thanks Deb!)  Jacob sheep have a medium-fine fleece with no outer coat and are usually spotted.  They are also unusual in that they have two sets of horns - one set arching from the top of the head, and the other swirling around their ears.  All sorts of romantic stories trace this particular breed back to the Biblical flock of Jacob when he worked for his father-in-law (Genesis 30).  Other stories trace the breed back to a flock which was washed ashore from a ship wreck during the reign of Elizabeth I and the attempted attack on the Spanish Armada.  Though I don't know the validity of these stories, most modern flocks are traced back to England, where they have been established for many centuries.  You can learn more about Jacob sheep on the breeders website: http://www.jsba.org/.

Kathleen H. Peters skirting a fleece

Here I am, skirting and picking away!  The three fleeces I am working on with my neighbor were given to us for free by a woman who inherited them when she bought a house.  Unfortunately they were kept in wood chips, so there was plenty of picking to go.  The color variations on these sheep were incredible.  Deb and I decided to process the wool all together and we are thinking the roving will come back a nice heathery color.  I thought it would be more brown, but Deb thinks it will be more gray.  We'll see!  Such suspense!  Regardless, I do love wool!
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