Cherry Bomb Baby

I live in a pile of bricks with a fire puter-outer, a Halloween enthusiast and a pretend lemur, who sometimes admits to being my second son. I have a kitchen for flowers. I know all the lyrics to the Spiderman theme song and (am forced to) sing it everyday. I cook with color. This was a blog mostly about yarn spinning and natural dyeing. Now, it is fair to say, it lacks direction entirely.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sheep Shearing

We went this last Sunday to Ardenwood farm for their annual sheep shearing. I've been planning this for a long time and took my camera with. I got zero sheep or sheep shearing shots-totally ridiculous I know. But I did get a couple of pictures of these:

Sheep shearer shoes! I asked the shearer if he was wearing some kind of felt shoe and he said, yes he was and that they were specifically for shearing. I'm not so sure he understood what I asked, possibly they are leather. Certainly, they have a specific purpose or history. So far, I've not discovered it, all I've found is this. If I can get a hold of my cousin-in-law in New Zealand who LIVES on a sheep farm then maybe I can get to the bottom of these.

From off of the shearer's truck: many bags full.

And a docent slowly spinning on a great wheel. I really wanted to try the great wheel until I could hear it painfully creaking and wobbling around. Maybe I'll wait for a larger wool festival. I don't think they were offering the viewers a turn at the wheels anyways but my fingers did itch just to see the great wheel. I've never tried it.
There are no pictures of the sheep themselves since there was a huge crowd around the barn before the shearing began and my kids were in no mood to sit there and stare at a bunch of nervous romneys and suffolks. We did go back and peek in the barn once the shearing was in progress and I saw one shorn sheep with a few cuts on her breathing in shallow, quick breaths. I don't know much of anything about sheep shearing or animal husbandry but I know a scared animal when I see one. I hope it was of a particularly nervous disposition and the other sheep didn't have any cuts and seemed fine walking around. Still, the crowd was enough to make me anxious as well.

I brought a pair of handcards and my turkish spindle in my bag on this outing. Don't ask me why, clearly it was insanity and these things did nothing but take up precious room in my bag but I felt safer knowing that they were there. Just in case.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This is shamefully, not a fleece from this spring's shearing. It is from last year's! So, it is definitely time to get it washed-to make room for some more dirty fleeces. Seriously, I love the smell of raw fleece, my kids and their playmates can be somewhat less understanding. Sadly, I'm undecided if I will be washing more raw fleece this year or not. We in the bay area are facing a serious drought this year. All of the washing water can (painstakingly) be used in the garden (it involves a lot of hauling on my part) and so the water wouldn't be wasted but its still something I debate about. I may have to take a look at the fleeces all together and see if there is anything really worthy of me processing by hand. I'm loving what I've been getting back from Morro Fleece Works so much that I may send most of it there this year. This is the last of Piper's dirty(romney) fleece:

And then clean. Shiny, shiny, shiny!

Of course, I should be finishing this post with a picture of Piper's yarn, but I haven't gotten there yet. This is more of Rita's merino blended with alpaca in a simple, soft 2 ply. I've made a couple of hats with this yarn now and I seriously can't get enough of spinning it. This is my total make out yarn now.