Ryeland Sheep & Fleece
Ryelands are one of the oldest British sheep breeds and have been in the UK for hundreds of years. Their legs are covered in fleece as well as their bodies, which along with their cute noses, gives them the distinctive ‘teddy’ appearance. They are great mothers, good for both fleece and meat and rarely suffer from foot problems. They can have either coloured or white fleece. Wow!
The wool is great for spinning or needle felt. it has a rather unique ‘crispy feel to it without being at all scratchy and will not pill or felt easily when made into knitwear.
The Best Wool for the Job
I think that imported Merino is over rated as a spinning fibre, although its availability in as coloured tops makes it a good choice for UK based feltmakers who do not want to work specifically with indigenous fleece. If you live in a country that produces it in larger quantities such as Australia or New Zealand, it is a good choice for you of course. And there are breeders this side of the Pond of UK version of the breed, called Bowmont. Although Merino type wool is soft it is prone to felting, hence its popularity with felt makers. it is lovely for babywear if the parents don’t mind handwashing. But Ryeland is a good all rounder and I love its ancient roots as a breed.
An Exciting New Retreat for Textile businesses
Janet has launched her very first Retreat specifically for those with a yarn, fibre or fibre animal business. She has provided 1-1 mentoring for many years and this is something she is really excited about. The Retreat will take place at the same amazing venue as the Create With Fibre knitting and spinning retreats. So the views, food, wine, woodburning stove and time to spin, knit or crochet will all be there. At the same time, we will talk about the business dilemmas and plans we have. There will be 1-1 time with Janet and also a chance to actually get down to the nitty gritty and do some work on those plans. Together we are stronger!