Rare Opportunity

While I am very behind in updating my blog, I have been busy exploring new frontiers—rare breed sheep and cotton. 

During the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, I had the honor of attending Deb Robson’s two day Rare Breed Workshop. Deb co-wrote the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, a must have for anyone interested in sheep and fiber.  Throughout the two day workshop, I had the opportunity to spin several fiber samples from rare breed sheep:

Black Welsh Mountain (coarse fiber but great for a rug), Gulf Coast (lovely to spin), Oxford (soft), Santa Cruz (a challenge for me to spin), Navajo Churro and many others.  I feel in love with Northern Ronaldsay and now I am trying to find more.

 If you ever have the opportunity to attend Deb’s workshop, go for it. You will not be disappointed!  Don’t forget to check out Deb’s blog: The Independent Stitch.

My second adventure led me to a Dyeing & Spinning Cotton Workshop at Mannings (a weaving school and fiber supply shop) in East Berlin, PA with Joan Ruane. Joan lives in Arizona and doesn’t visit the East Coast too often.  When I saw the workshop being offered, I grabbed the opportunity to go.  My very first thread on this blog was about growing cotton from seeds that were purchased from Joan;  it was very exciting to get to met her in person. She is a very enthusiastic and patient teacher and I highly recommend taking her class, if you get the chance.

This two-day workshop entailed: dyeing cotton lint, learning the proper way to card cotton, setting up your wheel and attempting to spin on a tahkli spindle.  I still need more practice on the tahkli but at least I feel a bit better about spinning cotton on the wheel. 

 I am looking forward to spinning our own homegrown cotton, too.

Rare Breed Samples

Rare Breed Samples


Cotton in Various Stages

Cotton in Various stages


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