Friday, April 15, 2016

Like the White Rabbit from Wonderland

Castlemilk Moorit Sheep
(photo:RBST Caledonian Support Group)
First of all : Last week’s demand for the Autumn Shearing of Icelandic tops was , to say the least, very overwhelming! 
The mid grey and the blend I had on offer sold out in matter of minutes and I felt extremely bad having to say “no” to so many people. 
That is why I have been working very hard to try and make some more Icelandic of the autumn shearing coming my way! 
It will take a bit of time for me to get it all done and dusted so to speak, but If you like, I can put you on the list for Autumn shearing Icelandic in natural white and grey. 
I cannot guarantee it will be the same mid grey I had before and slight tonal differences may occur because of the fact it is a different herd and there are so many different greys. Have a read of last week’s blog to see all the details and info again and just message or email me with your request of either white or grey (or both) and the desired quantity. I will obviously only have a limited quantity available again and I don’t think I can get my hands on more this year.

Now….You may not be aware of the following: I have been working very very hard to prepare not only for all the clubs, the rare sheep breed adventures like Frida and Outlander, but also dyeing up a storm for the upcoming shows and spin ins, this coming Monday at the Montrose Spin in being the first in many events I will be offering lots and lots of goodies. 
 I have been trying to keep up with all the custom orders as well and the handspinning of numerous skeins of yarn for the upcoming handknitters guild show in May. 
 In short: for the last many weeks, I have been either chained to the dye room, my studio, spinning wheel and computer to get as much done as possible. If I do go away from the farm, it is to do the mailing out of the parcels.. once a week… that’s it. 
Now being a pretty , yes tell me you don’t believe me…lol, introverted person (you can stop laughing and being pretty used to a solitary kind of living , I can cope with being in my own company and that of the animals and Paul of course. The pressure of trying to get a huge amount of work done in a limited amount of time without any down time is , however, starting to show: I have not been well for months now, my “cold” doesn’t seem to go away and I feel tiny cracks starting to show in my normal calmness…..I need to breathe. 
Unfortunately, time off is a no no for the simple reason that when you are self-employed with animals to take care of, your boss (meaning: me, myself and I) , time out is a bit hard to organise (animals) and afford. 

The other thing is something I have been battling my whole life: self doubt (the “am I good enough”, can I do it) In short: the mental thing all craft people/artists deal with on a day to day basis. Normally I can pick myself up and smile in a relatively short time, but now, especially when not feeling a 100%, that "springing back" and getting on with it is a bit slower than usual. But hey, what to do? That’s right: keep…so I do and I have to admit it helps so , so much that everything what I do from early in the morning until I go to bed, is something that I happily pour my heart and soul into. It is hard but at the same time it is so much easier than having a “real job” if you know what i mean. As always, the fibres slipping through my fingers onto to the bobbin on my wheel help me centre, feeling the fibres, preparing the dye pots, centering on the NOW and not on the mountain of work that still needs to be done, the fun messages from fibre friends(YOU); THAT is what saves me: Wool, Fibres, the quest for rare fluff, the adventure, all the people who I consider to be part of my “tribe” in the fibre community with their passion and love for what they are doing, they save me. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the fact that you take time out to read my blogs, give the fibres good homes and are passionate about your craft. And every now and again, when I dig a hole for myself trying to do too much, or stress myself out by stupid thoughts and deadlines or the pressure gets to me, I know I just have to take a breath, sit down at my wheel and let the spinning centre me and calm me down. NO doubt, I will always be a bit like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, looking at his watch and yelling out “I’m late! I’m Late !” , but I won’t be turning into the Mad Hatter soon I do, You are all invited to the tea party !

For tonight’s blog :Castlemilk Moorit sheep and don’t forget : if you like some Icelandic white tops or grey tops, message me on Facebook, Ravelry (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 ! 
 Big hugs, 

Castlemilk Moorit Sheep

Castlemilk 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 !!!

Warning : There is only a very limited quantity available.

Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry. Have fun !!!

Castlemilk Moorit Sheep Tops   

100+gram tops, Natural AU$23

Dates to put in your Calendar !!

April 18th

Monday 10am-2pm

Grandvalley Spinners and Weavers Spin in
Tapscott Hall, Corner Cambridge and Montrose rd, Montrose


Saturday May 7th10am-3pmHealesville Spinners and Weavers Guild Chat, Spin and Shop

Please join me with the Healesville Spinners and Weavers on Saturday for their annual celebration.
I will be doing a talk about the IxCHeLbunny farm, fibres and yarns and lots more !!! There will be fibres to cuddle (and buy) and also spindles of all shapes and sizes.

The event is open to all but everybody is asked to bring a plate of food to share with the others to make it even more fun. The Hall opens at 11am with a group meeting and my talk will start around 12. After the talk there will be ample opportunity to browse, shop and mingle.

V.C. Mullett Hall (Badger Creek Hall), 358 Badger Creek Road, Badger Creek.
The hall is located next to the Badger Creek C.F.A. Station and opposite the Badger Creek Primary School. There is off road parking.

Sunday May 29th10am-3pmVictorian Hand Knitters Guild Show Coburg Town Hall

THE extra ordinary super fluffy yarny event in Melbourne !!!
I will be there with lots of hand dyed tops for spinning and felting and happy rainbow yarn and sock yarn, some extra special art yarns and much much more!!!!
As well as some amazing Lair of the Bearded Dragon spindles and bowls that are pure magic to spin with !


Friday July 15th- Sunday 17th, 9am-5pm

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
THE event of the year !!!! Not to be missed!! I will be there in the Flower (Power Bunny) Shed again with heaps of new goodies, hand dyed and hand spun, IxCHeL new blends and rare sheep breed adventures and much much more ! Including a world first of something AMAZING AND FUN!!!!! Shhh not telling ! but it is AWESOME !!!!


2nd of October
Black n Coloured Sheep FIELD DAY  in Cranbourne!

Landscape dyes 

 100g tubs   AU$11 

Want to dye your own with easy to use acid dyes? I have been selling these Landscape dyes at my workshops and shows for a long time :  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.

Have a creative week!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? : Always happy to enable.

All my contact details are here:

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. Message me on facebook or 
3. Message me on  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.

Thank you so much for your help and support !


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