|Castlemilk Moorit Sheep |
(photo:RBST Caledonian Support Group)
At the moment, after all the blending and prepping has been done, I am now pre mordanting, soaking and dyeing, drying, braiding and labelling ALL the fluff possible.
Not all at the same time of course , because there is only so much fluff one can dye and dry at the same time without totally inundating every room in the house…no… I am dyeing two blends at the time in 10 kilo increments..which is a huge effort ..seeing it is just me and a dye room you can’t swing a cat in.
Not that I would, at any time, be enticed to swing anything , let a lone a cat, but you get my drift.
Also, confession, I haven’t left the farm since the handknitters guild show which was, what? A month ago? Not one to suffer from solitude or lack of human contact (other than from my long suffering hubbie), but you get the picture… It is full on, hectic, focused and 16hour work days at least. So yeah, it’s pretty , pretty busy….lol
Apart from working super hard to get ALL the fluff ready for the Bendigo show coming up in less than a month !!! (when did that happen???!!!! ONLY LESS THAN 4 WEEKS til BENDIGO SHOW !!!!) I am also busy designing and doing lots of planning for next year.
It all takes so much time so I have to start early…lol
If at one point I thought that 2017 was a super hard year (mentally and physically) and it could not get any harder, well, think again, sunshine…at this moment 2018 wins.
There has been a lot of reckoning, a lot of getting to know people and a LOT of getting to know myself.
I started saying NO more because I had to.
I was and still am, spreading myself way too thin….and that’s saying a lot for someone with a lot of ..eh…a lot…lol but you know what I mean. (insert hilarious happy face with tongue sticking out)…
There will be changes..there have to be, because , well, I cannot possibly go on the way I do much longer , like an energizer bunny with unlimited energy reserves, because…..NEWSFLASH…. I just came to realise that my reserves are almost empty. Just the last month, I have been working through two bouts of flu, a cold and back spasms to make a T-Rex howl and because I do not grant myself any relief or ..dare I say it…holiday….hahahahaaha…. (I KNOW I am to blame) . It is the unrelenting pressure I put on myself to perform at my absolute best. So, there are exciting changes coming in 2019 ! More exciting news to come. You can only be sustainable when you not only put that label upon your environment but also on yourself. More on that next week.
So, Apart from the new adventures: There are some serious rare breeds adventures underway as well and the first one is for tonight already : Castlemilk Moorit from beautiful Scotland.
For tonight’s blog :Castlemilk Moorit sheep, message me on Facebook, Ravelry and Instagram (where I am ixchelbunny) or email me : ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au. I will try and message or email you right back, but please know that after the blog goes live there is an avalanche of messages and emails hopping my way. Remember that I always look at the time stamp of the messages: so it is a first come first serve. Have a fun read and enjoy tonight’s fluffy offerings !
Also, the club sign ups are still open til the end of the month for the yarn, fibre and batt clubs!
Castlemilk Moorit SheepCastlemilk Moorit sheep are the cutest most feisty little things. The Castlemilk Moorit sheep breed take their name from the Castlemilk estate in Dumfriesshire, where they originated in the early 1900s. They were originally bred to provide meat, wool to make clothing for the estate workers, and also to prance around the parklands of the estate. They are graceful, elegant sheep with fine, kemp-free wool, which is mid honey brown (moorit is a Scottish word for brown) at the base and bleached to a fawn colour at the tips.
Castlemilk Moorit sheep have some Manx Loghtan sheep and mouflon sheep breed ancestry and have retained the interesting mouflon markings of white underbelly, lower jaw, knee, eye markings (‘spectacles’) and a white rump patch. They are also feisty and pretty fast!
Once clipped they look totally different – almost like deer – as they revert to the dark brown colour for a few weeks, until the growing fleece bleaches back to fawn at the tips. At one point in the early 1970s Castlemilk Moorits were reduced to only around 12 individuals and could easily have simply ‘disappeared’. However, those few remaining were rescued in two groups, including six ewes and two rams which were taken to Cotswold Farm Park. All of today’s Castlemilks, which include around 700 registered females, are descended from these two small groups.
In the past couple of years the breed has been downlisted from the ‘Endangered’ to the ‘Vulnerable” category on the RBST watchlist – a big success.
|Cute Castlemilk Moorit lambs|
4th barrier island from the top right of the picture
|lambs with their mum|
As with everything the way that you scour and process the fibre is very important. The fleece of the castlemilk moorit ranges from 28 to 32 microns and the staple length is about 6 cms. The outer edges of the staple are often bleached by the sun and the locks often have a pointy tip. I find it very easy to spin. It reminds me of Manx Loughtan but definitely finer and softer. It is not that easy to get hold of this quality fibre so I only have a limited amount, but it is oh so worth it !
Have a fun snaffle !!!
Castlemilk Moorit Sheep Tops
The New IxCHeL Club sign ups are OPEN until June 30th or until spaces are filled !!!
Get a monthly fibre and yarn surprise !
Always great blends and new colourways inspired by the Art Journey Theme !
July, August and September 2018
IxCHeL Fibre Club July , August and Septembere 2018
The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Clubs July, August and September 2018
IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Clubs July, August and September 2018
Numbers are strictly limited ! The July 2018 club is going to be shipped out end of July, the August club mid August and the September club mid September 2018. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me
Have a fun weekend !!!
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I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.
Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? : Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Dates to put in your Calendar
Friday July 20th to Sunday July 22ndAustralian Sheep and Wool Show, Bendigo.
Go to http://www.sheepshow.com to see what is happening and book your tickets. The Bendigo Sheep and Wool show is the biggest wool show in Australia ! with an amazing amount of woolcraft, indie dyers, a huge amount of tops, yarn, craft, felt and spindles, spinning wheels and anything you need for your knitting,crocheting and crafting.
I will be there with an amazing amount of new exclusive wool blends and yarns, batts, felt and landscape and botanical natural dyes and so much more !!!
I will also have spindles by the amazing Bearded Dragon and lots of fibre tools as well from darning mushrooms to noste pinne and needle cases to distaffs. And, there will also be some wonderful Turkish spindles from my friend Scott Snyder available again !
Get ready for a fabulous weekend filled with lots of craft and fun !!!