Sunday, March 19, 2006

Since we're talking "primitives"...

I debated whether to put sheep pictures or knitting pictures up today. I know I really should put some knitting stuff up here, but thought that since I showed pictures of a primitive fleeced Shetland, in my last post, I may as well show my other primitive fleeced ewe today...
Is she beautiful or WHAT???

Zodiak is a 4 year old, black/iset Shetland ewe. "Iset" is a marking in which white fibers grow in among the darker fibers of the true fleece color. It is NOT grey (which is genetically Ag). In grey, the dark fibers actually lose their pigment and fade to grey. In iset, the dark fibers stay dark but white fibers grow in, in addition, giving a beautiful, 'frosted' look to the fleece. Both black & moorit sheep can develop iset fibers. It gives the fleece a lovely, heathery look, when spun into yarn. My iset fleeces are always among the first to sell. Although, Zodiak's fleece is not as long as Savannah's (see previous post), it is still clearly double-coated and consists of a shorter, finer undercoat and a longer, guard-hair type, outercoat. A number of people have told me that they love to dye iset fleeces because the black fibers do not take up the dye but the white ones do ~ resulting in amazing black & "whatever" color combinations in roving and yarn. I'll have to try that one day.....
In the meantime, I promise to get some knitting pictures up here this week! I start my new job, tomorrow and will not have the luxury of time that I've had this past week, but I'll try to keep this blog updated as regularly as I can. Coming up this week, watch for..."On the needles..."

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