The Sourwoods are blooming and you know what that means?
Our ladies have been busy all Spring and we are hoping to see the results of their productivity coming soon. This coming week we'll take a peek into the hives to see what we have. Stay tuned!
More yarn and roving are on the way!
We are blessed to have a mill so close! That means we can pick up our yarn and roving as soon as it is ready. We got the first part of our order in May just before we headed to the Bluegrass State for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. You can see some of those new items below.
Well, OUR NEXT BATCH IS READY and we're picking it up on Monday! This will be our very first batch with our Leister Longwool (LL) fiber. We are so excited!
As you may know, we're part of the Livestock Conservancy program. Our sheep, the Shetland and the Leicester Longwools, are on their Conservancy list. We are doing our part to ensure these North American heritage breeds do not become extinct. Our LLs are our newest breed and that's why this first batch of their fiber is extra special for us.
The history of the Leicester Longwool
Leicester Longwools were developed in mid-1700s England by innovative breeder Robert Bakewell, the first to use modern selection techniques to improve livestock breeds. Bakewell transformed a coarse, large-boned, slow-growing animal into one that grew rapidly for market and produced a higher quality fleece.
News of Bakewell’s ideas reached the colonies and intrigued George Washington so much that he referenced them in several letters. Washington was particularly interested in Bakewell’s sheep, writing that he made the “choice of good rams from the English Leicester breed” for his own flock. Leicester Longwools quickly became a highly prized and popular breed across all of Europe and America. However, in the 1800s, the breed lost favor to the Merino and other fine wool breeds. This decline led them to possibly being extinct in the U.S. by the 1940s. The breed was reestablished by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in the 90s by importing sheep from Australia and commenced the start of several other conservation flocks.
Leicester Longwools are medium to large sheep, weighing 180 to 250 pounds. Fleeces are heavy, curly, soft handling, and lustrous with a spiral-tipped staple up to eight inches. Leicesters are eager grazers and make good use of abundant pasture. They're a docile breed and easy to handle, but they do not care for herding dogs. Herding with dogs is likely to result in the whole flock proceeding to the barn backwards and facing down the dog!
Find in-depth breed bios & resources on our website: http://ow.ly/B1zv50HR3nP
Anything Fiber Sale
Sat, July 30 9:30a - 2:30p
AB Tech Conference Center - 16 Fernihurst Dr. Asheville, NC
The Anything Fiber Sale is THE yard sale for fiber people. We'll have some yarn, roving and fleeces available at our booth. Learn more about the yard sale, hosted by Local Cloth, here.
Save the Date
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair
October 21-23, 2022
WNC Agricultural Center 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd. Fletcher, NC 28732