Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shawl for Gilbert Stuart Homestead

It has been a while since we all worked on the shawl for Gilbert Stuart Homestead. Richard completed the piece which was unfinished when we packed up after demonstrating at the Homestead. Iris Westcott kindly drove Richard and me to present it to the museum director. We have suggested that it be auctioned off at their next fundraiser. This donation of the shawl was made in the name of the Guild.
The piece was woven from a commercial wool warp and a suffolk hoggett fleece that Richard and I received from Peckham Farm, URI. Guild members combed and spun the weft yarn and Richard wove it in a huck-lace pattern.
Thanks to all who participated and it is great to help this beautiful historic site as a group.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June Meeting and CVM Fleece

Yesterday's meeting was wonderful. Thanks to all of you who worked so hard to put it together. And a big thank you to the members who gathered up and skirted all of that fleece. What a huge job! And in the heat, too.

I'm posting some information on how to wash fleece and about CVM sheep.
Click here for information on the CVM breed. After reading this, I can easily see why they are named California Variagated Mutant.

Here's a little bit of information on the fleece quoted directly form the CVM site:
Fleece: CVM color patterns vary widely, especially in the darkness of body wool. Unlike many sheep, the CVM will not fade with age, but rather darkens from birth to their first year. With the wide variety of color patterns, including dark grey, black, brown, moorit and spotted, not excluding the barred face badger pattern typical to the original CVM's a breed description has been difficult. Fleece should be bright, uniform and dense, of high yielding, long staple, fine wool. Sheep will average about 8lbs of wool yearly with spinning counts from 60-62's quality. 12 month staple length averages 3-6 inches. Wool should have a well defined crimp from base to tip, be pliable to the touch and free from kemp or objectionable fibers.

Now, for the washing. I do my fleece in the machine. These directions are from a site on alpacas, but I do the same for all my wool fleece. Because I'm in a hurry this morning, I will give you the link. It goes through all the steps and tells you how to wash small batches using a salad spinner or larger ones in your washing machine. Click here.

I hope someone else will write a post about the weaving demonstration. It certainly caught my attention. I think I have found a great way to use up some of my wool.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

RI Sheep and Wool Festival 2008

Much fun was had by all at the second annual R.I. Sheep and Wool Festival at Coggeshall Farm in Bristol, R.I. this year on May 17th. The RISG participated in a Sheep to Shawl demonstration as well as other in other areas.

June's meeting is this Saturday at the Coventry Historical Society. Directions are here. Hope to see you all there for the meeting where you can view a tapestry demonstration by Janet Austin.

Here are some tapestry links:
American Tapestry Alliance
All Fiber Arts