Friends of ours live in
Kyrgyzstan, and were able to distribute warm clothing to the children in their town. Toni had a stash of children's hats that
she sent to them. These two happy boys are wearing their new hats knitted from homespun wool from our sheep. The natural colors
are one of Toni's favorite combinations.
Cheviot fleeces are unique in their crimp. While other breeds have a flat
wave of crimp, ours have a helical, or corkscrew crimp. This tends to add loft to the yarn. It is ideal for blending
with flat fibers such as mohair. Although you can felt it, the crimp limits the success in this area. One felter I
deal with buys it anyway - she says she just beats it into submission! It is a medium wool and the staple runs from 2 1/2
to a full 4 inches. This makes it very easy to draft. As a judge said to me when I first began promoting this breed,
"they are the best-kept secret in spinning". It is easy to process or spin "in the grease" because it
is fairly dry - not greasy.
We sheared at the end of April, and sold several of our 25 fleeces at
the shearing and we have sold several more here at the farm. They run from 3 to 4 pounds each and are easily shipped.
On September 9/10 we took the remainder to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival and almost all were snapped up. However we do still
have a few white ones and one dilute black left in stock. I will post details on them ASAP. Prices are $10-$12/lb. All of
my fleeces are skirted right out of the field and then later skirted again and picked. One of the NJ judges came to me and
said my group was the most well-presented fleeces he had seen. I do take pride in getting them ready to be washed and carded.
Our fields are clean and my winter hay feeders are specially designed to avoid VM contamination. A small sample is available
by mail of any fleece and includes the name of the sheep and a snapshot where possible.
We have a large selection of roving available just now.
We pulled out a very desirable group of fleeces from last year's NJ show and gave them to our frends at Cloudberry Mill for
processing. They did their usual great job. Roving sells for $20/lb and is only made from our best fleeces. The dilute black
(a tweedy mix of black and white fibers) varies in shade from light to dark grey. We have discovered that this particular
wool dyes very beautifully, with the white fibers taking up the color, and the black fibers muting it. I call them "jewel
tones". Small samples of the fleeces I will list (as soon as the dust settles!) are available free, so that you can make
an educated choice. Where possible I include a snapshot and name of the sheep.