Saturday, December 30, 2006

"The Gentleman's Sheep"

Or, I've been learning about the Leicester while in Williamsburg with my parents.

These are the sheep raised as part of the Colonial Williamsburg rare breeds program.. They are lovely. One not very well known tidbit, they do sell fleece. The adults must be bought by the fleece, but the lamb's wool can be bought by the pound. So, I now have some amusingly authentic fleece for my stash. I hope to get it washed and spun at some point in the not too distant future, but I think we all know it's been a long time since I posted about spinning, and there's a reason for that.

As George Washington said, "It is a shame that it is illegal to import them (the Leicesters), for they have greatly improved my flock." I believe the rationalle used was that since the illegal action had already occurred (importation of the breed to the colonies), that breeding to them and using the sheep was valid... I happen to think that's a bit of a stretch, but..

Oh, and Virginia is a bad place to try to raise sheep. It can be done, but the climate is, a bit more humid that would be, strictly speaking, ideal. It's also a bad place to raise cotton as a cash crop because the type that grows here has a sticky green seed instead of the smooth black seed of cotton that requires an even warmer climate to grow.

I have seen a bed rug. Goodness those are unattractive. Especially the one that looks like a refugee from a 1970's VW minibus (black ground, blue octagons, orange squares, 1.5" loosely spaced tufts of yarn for the pile). I wouldn't want to make one, I might, actually like to sleep under one, but then I called my mother one year looking for suggestions for heavy non-insulative blankets. Yup, I'm odd, I like to know where my blankets are and in the summer, that means heavy cotton no batting.


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