Friday, June 28, 2013

Alaskan Inuit Bear Masque, pieced and quilted by yours truly! I bought these hand dyed fabrics back from Skagway Alaska; what a beautiful vacation/cruise that was! Ports of Call were Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and the gorgeous city of Victoria, British Columbia!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Beautiful Colorado sunrise over the pastures, the Shetlands are already out for their daily grazing!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Look at these NEW decorative threads and yarn, just listed in my Etsy Store!  These are perfect for using your cording feet, and to make Fiber Art projects!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Serger Seminar with Baby Lock National Educator Lori Hernandez

SERGER SEMINAR with Baby Lock Nation Educator Lori Hernandez!!! This is a 2 day event, sign up for either 1 or both days!! Come and join the fun at J&M Vac and Sew in Fort Collins:

Look At My Newest Handmade Fiber Art Yarn Scarves

These are the Fiber Art Yarn Scarves that I currently have for sale in my Etsy Boutique; I teach classes on the construction of these scarves utilizing your home sewing machine (no knitting or crocheting involved), USE this coupon code to receive 25% off: 25PERCENTOFFBLOG

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shetland Fleece Types

Above all else the Shetland fleece should be soft. An overly course fleece is a serious fault. There are three accepted types of Shetland fleece: Kindly/Single-coated (usually short and very crimpy); Long/Wavy (medium length and crimp); and Beaver/Primitive/Double-Coated (very long, usually straighter, but still soft.)
Shetland Fleece Types
  • Kindly/Single-Coated: Upper right in photo: Extremely soft and downy, usually very crimpy and dense. Roos nicely if caught in time. Short staple, typically 2 to 4 inches in length. Has a tendency to collect debris, but this can be easily removed through the use of the combing process during fiber preparation. Ideal for the softest, next-to-the-skin garments such as baby clothes.
  • Longish and Wavy: Upper left in photo: Most typically seen. Fleece lengths are normally in the 4 to 6 inch range, with a slight “wispiness” on the ends of each lock. The fleece has a very open quality with the ends of each lock well-closed. Spins very easily. Nice for worsted wool applications, as in fine woven fabrics or knitwear with well-defined patterns that must be retained, as in Fair Isle sweaters.
  • Beaver/Double-Coated: Bottom in photo: Long and luxurious. Fleece lengths are usually in the 6 to 10 inch and even longer range. The ideal double coat has well-defined separate coats that can be readily separated. The outer coat is hair like, while the undercoat is soft and downy. The two coats may be spun separately or together. The outer coats serves as a protective layer against harsher weather. This is the most versatile fleece.
Single-Coated EweSingle-Coated Fleece
A single-coated ewe & fleece.
Long/Wavy RamLong/Wavy Fleece
A long/wavy ram & fleece.
Double-Coated EweDouble-Coated Fleece
A double-coated ewe & fleece.
As an “unimproved” breed, the Shetland was not originally intended to have a completely uniform fleece from head to tail. Traditionally, one Shetland fleece was put to multiple uses by the crofters on the Shetland Islands. It has been accepted that the neck wool is the finest and crimpiest part of the fleece, and was used to make lace shawls and hosiery. The shoulder wool is also more fine and crimpy, and was used to make undergarments and baby clothes. The wool from the midsection could be used for soft sweaters and outergarments. The britch wool was used for socks. This variability in the Shetland fleece is traditional, and should not be discriminated against in the show ring. Again, the softness of the fleece is the most important trait.
Efforts have been made on Shetland and mainland Scotland to make the Shetland a more commercially viable breed. The Modern type Shetland does have a more uniform fleece from head to tail, and is usually very soft and crimpy with a medium length single-coated fleece. This type of fleece is more easily handled by commercial processors.

Courtesy of NASSA:



History of Shetland Sheep

The roots of the Shetland Sheep go back over a thousand years, probably to sheep brought to the Shetland Islands by Viking settlers. They belong to the Northern European short-tailed group which also contains the Finnsheep, Norwegian Spaelsau, Icelandics, Romanovs and others.

Qualities of the Breed

Shetland Sheep are a small, calm breed of sheep — ideal for a small flock!
Shetlands are one of the smallest of the British sheep. Rams usually weigh 90 to 125 pounds and ewes about 75 to 100 pounds. Rams usually have beautiful spiral horns, whereas the ewes are typically polled. They are fine-boned and agile and their naturally short, fluke-shaped tails do not require docking.
They are a calm, docile and easy-to-manage breed. Most respond well to attention and some even wag their tails when petted!
Although Shetlands are small and relatively slow growing, they maintain natural hardiness, thriftiness, easy lambing, adaptability and longevity. Shetlands survived for centuries under harsh conditions and on a meager diet, although they do very well under less rigorous conditions. Having retained many of their primitive survival instincts, they are easier to care for than many of today’s commercial breeds.
Use the links below for more information about Shetland Sheep.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Here are some new scarves that I made for my Etsy Shop (just click on the shopping link at the top of the page to visit my Etsy Shoppe: