Nevertheless, We came back to more or less sunny conditions (who knew!!) and it was straight back in the dyeroom and studio for me to get the Outlander adventure done and posted AND start prepping the February clubs which will be ready to send early next week. Can’t forget the update of this week either, so I was certainly a busy bee. No rest for the wicked they say.
To start this update off I am going to tell you something about a Dutch sheep breed that almost faced extinction in the 1970s : The Dutch Zwartbles. It would have been a shame to lose this breed because I think it is supercute with it’s black and white markings on its face.
Luckily, the breed was saved and is now increasing in numbers and there are even breeders in Ireland who have these beauties on their farms. The Zwartbles origins come from the most Northern part of The Netherlands in the province of Friesland where they had to be able to withstand lots of cold, wet and icy weather and that’s where their dense fleece comes into play: it keeps the animal nice and warm. The zwartbles is a result from a cross between the Dutch native sheepbreed called “shorttailed Friesian” and the Hairy Drenthe Sheep.
The Dutch Zwartbles was originally a meat and milk breed and a producer of super nice black wool. The dense fleece of the Zwartbles is very springy and is a deep black with the occasional brown sun burnt tips.
The staple tends to be a bit blocky, medium long and displays a very nice crimp. The staple is fairly open and varies in micron from about 23 to 35microns. The wool is very easy to spin and you can choose whatever spinning technique you like. It does have an extra bit of bounce to it so keep that in mind. When knitting your zwartbles yarn you will notice that it is crisp and therefore enhances your stitch defenition and weave structures, but it also has a very nice springiness to it so it is a good durable yarn. It’s great to use it for hats, gloves and jumpers.
Have a look at these cute Zwartbles sheep. Especially the lambs are just too cute !
|Cute zwartbles lambs enjoying some sun|
|busy Zwartbles mum|
|remember the two lambs you saw in the previous two photos? Well, they are all grown up now!|
|"I’m ready for my Portrait now …"|
Not only Zwartbles tops are on offer on this week’s blog but also some very fluffy DIVA tops!
Have a fun weekend !!
100+gram tops AU$24
Fabulously soft to spin and work with.
Dutch Zwartbles Sheep Tops
100+grams tops AU$20
Dates to put in your Calendar !!
Healesville spinners talk ..date to be confirmed later
Grandvalley Spinners and Weavers Spin in
Tapscott Hall, Corner Cambridge and Montrose rd, Montrose
They are extremely easy to use and come in great shades.
Just contact me with the name of the colour you are after and I will get right back to you.
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.
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.