Monday, June 12, 2006

Iowa sheep and wool

This tale is long in the telling so sit down and let me spin a yarn.
The trip was cool, uneventful but still cool. Iowa is dotted with small towns. We made it there in 2 hours . The Motel 6 we stayed at was nice, though the room was small for the price we paid. The outdoor pool would have been nice if the weather had cooperated. Sixty, over cast and raining off and on. But that was saturday. We rolled around West Des moines and found the guitar shop John was looking for. They were closing, so we took a trip to Borders, and ran into ...yep knitsters!
They pittied me enough to hand me some 15 needles and Brownsheep yarn. I made eyelets while we chatted. They told me about the three yarn stores in town. (I only got to one, there was a festival going on ya know!) But I met one of the ladies from Creative Corner at this meeting. I will say that West D, is much the same as West O. But more developed like they started it. Their Sheels only has a tree where ours has a ferris wheel. Friday nights dinner was in care of Culvers. Not all that great but I'd never eaten there before. We did not have the famouse custard, so maybe we will go back.
Saturday was up early, at the gate at 8 am.Breakfast came from Hy -Vee. I took some time to meet the wool judge, the vendors, and find 2 of my friends. One was Luanne Thompson of Thompsons corner, felting teacher and Jacob sheep owner,

the other was Di anne Boehm, Angora rabbit breeder, and Babe dealer.
There were about 15 or so vendors in the building selling yarn, fiber, fleece and equipment...
I bought stuff from almost all of them. I got some knitting done on sock 2. (I know the photos are Long overdue!) There was drop spindleing going on because I left the wheel at the hotel. The weather was bad. One lady brought in a great wheel, it was taller than John who's 5' 8" There is more but I'll post more tomorrow. There was a great yarn shop, cool sheep and a river running thru it. I gotta leave ya hanging!


Blogger Snarled Yarns said...

Sheep and shopping

Ok where did we leave off? Oh yeah, the beginning of the shopping and seeing of sheep. Before I start, here is a good link to the sheep breeds I’m talking about.
Well first I searched for brown wool. There were several shades available. And I had the option to dye white wool as well. So I bought some coffee brown corridale, 7 oz
brown merino blended with white pygora, 1 oz
and chocolate colored CVM.8 oz

The CVM and the Pygora blend also satisfied that “fiber I haven’t spun before requirement.
I did notice that when I got home that the blend matched my alpaca closer than the Corridale but I bought 7 oz of the Corridale and only one oz of the P/M blend. If I buy white alpaca roving from Desoto again, I can blend it with the CVM…if I want to.

I wandered over to the judge in building to see the fleece contest. Many fleeces, fine medium and course. The fines were Rambulette, the med were Corridale , and Jacob, and the course were border Leicester, Romney, crosses of the two and California red. Gorgeous fleeces- heavy, clean, bright, EXPENSIVE! The average prices were 10$ per lb. I picked 3 fleeces I wanted to buy before the judging started, all longwools. They got 1st second and honorable mention. The rest all got something. One fleece that was nice but I didn’t like the color on was grand champion. It was a misty grey.

I sat down and drop spindled with these ladies while they were doing their sheep to shawl. It was a demo since there was only one team signed up. One of these ladies is the daughter of a friend of mine. They were spinning a cross breed of Suffolk. And that brings me to another point..

I have always been told that Suffolk was not a good breed for spinning. That is such hogwash! It is a rougher wool, but the fleece is so..distinctive even when crossed with something else. There is a loft that seems to have nothing to do with crimp. I can’t explain it, but once I knew what to look for, I could tell everytime. It almost made the wool look nepped, but when you looked closer, you realized that wasn’t it at all. I wound up buying a Suffolk cross and sending it to a mill. It is a grey/oatmeal. 4 months and we will see.
Speaking of mills, my alpaca wool blend I sent off to the mill should be back end of July.

Next I went out to see the sheep and the shearing demo.
They were doing a Hall of Breeds. They had California Reds, Jacobs, Dorsets, Cormo’s Navajo churro, shetland and I think a targee. I was told some Lincolns would be coming but I didn’t get to see them. There were Angora goats as well. A few had lambs and many were med to large build.

The California Red….as a baby is red, but as an adult is oatmeal. I tried to get a lamb fleece but the ball got dropped somewhere…

By then it was noon and John came to get me for lunch at Panera bread (did you know that Panera means bakery or bread store? Isn’t that kinda redundant?) and to check out a yarn shop we found called
Knit together. Nice place nice people, only been open since March. The photo will say the rest…sigh
There are some others I missed called Purls, and Knitwit as well as Creative corner. This means once again that we will have to go back.

Well that’s enough for today, I’ve got knit meeting tonight

6/20/2006 9:56 AM  

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