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9861Re: [SCA Newcomers] this might seem wierd

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  • wendy brown
    Mar 31 9:13 PM
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      Dear High Board Diver, ;-)

      I'm sure the things people will make from the things that are given will be beautiful. I don't know anything about weaving.....yet. I hope to someday. I have been to only one SCA event and this week for Fools War is staring to look rainy.
      I made it through colon cancer and I'm sure if anything happened my young son ( he's 11 ) would see to it that I got to give my Shirelings a gift too.
      Making a scarf or something out of the subtle shades you are talking about sounds like fun. There are a few petting zoos here so I will ask if any of them have a person who makes yarn out of the wool. Otherwise I'll try ordering from the company you mentioned.
      I haven't heard of a spinners guild here in the Beau Fort Shire but I will ask around.
      Thanks again Bill,

      Kingdom of Meridies
      Shire of Beau Fort

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: beauhooligan <beauhooligan@...>
      To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 5:09:46 PM
      Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] this might seem wierd

      Hi Wendy,

      In my vicinity the place to turn Is a store called
      "Rumplestilskin" in Sacramento, Ca. This is a full service
      store with everything from cleaned and carded fleece to
      spinning wheels, looms, and crochet / knitting material and
      gear. I love the place. They will also put you in touch with
      the Sacramento Weaver and Spinners Guild. These folks are
      real "know it alls". There are some of the most talented
      people in all of the fiber arts. Members taught me how to do
      things I never dreamed of, like breaking down flax and
      turning it into linen. The store has a constantly turning
      stock of anything from whole washed fleece to coned yarn
      ready to weave, and a great selection of yarn for the
      knitter. The store is a survivor, as the economy of the last
      ten years has seen great places like "Straw into Gold" in
      Emeryville fold under; a serious loss to Bay Area spinners
      and weavers.
      As to black fleece, there really are black sheep. It's hard
      to find, but natural black wool sliver is out there. As to
      pure black as opposed to gray; natural fleece is Mother
      Earth organic, so even fleece from a black sheep has a
      certain amount of variegation. This is one of the things I
      love about working with un-dyed wool. The slight variegation
      produces depth and a visual texture that no dye pot can
      achieve. I have probably 20 rough tote containers full of
      everything from washed fleece to yarn that is hand spun,
      plied, and coned that are waiting for my next trip to the
      Guild. One of Mary Ann's specific last wishes was that I
      give this treasure trove to the guild after she went to
      wind, and it be given to the members. The Guild has periodic
      fashion shows and competitions, and the whole shebang is to
      be given to the members as prize awards so that her efforts
      will live on with the people she loved, and those who have
      come after. And, no, none of it is for sale. I take "if I
      die" instructions to the exact letter. The big 48" four
      harness Gilmore floor loom will be sold when I can bring
      myself to let it go, as will three or four spinning wheels.
      I'm going to keep three spinning wheels, the drum carder and
      spool winder, and a very nice eight shaft Schacht Baby Wolf
      loom for my future efforts. I just don't need the rest. I'll
      post the items in the Guild newsletter and give those folks
      first choice, then sell the smaller items on eBay. The
      Gilmore loom will have to be sold locally, as breaking it
      down and shipping it would be very expensive. One of the
      best things about Gilmore looms is that the Gilmore
      manufacture is done right here in Stockton. Mister Gilmore
      was a kind of genius at simple, practical, and elegant
      designs that are fit to survive generations of use. He
      passed some years back, but his designs live on. He was a
      great man, and the whole weaving community took a loss when
      he went to wind.
      To all who are interested in fiber arts; the best first
      step is finding a weaver and spinners guild, even if you
      have to drive 50 miles or more to be involved. Sacramento is
      48 miles away, and I have never, ever, regretted the drive
      to participate and learn from these wonderful people. I've
      even been a model in the fashion shows, and for this big
      redneck that's jumping off the high board ;-)=

      Bill H.

      wendy brown wrote:
      > Greetings Bill H.
      > You tell the story well of how hard it would be for an amatuer to start out at knitting anything. I have lived in Ga. for almost a year and am originally from Pa. I've seen lots of sheep but have only touched one in a petting zoo and those are kept sheared. I guess I know why since you explained what the sheep look like right before shearing. ( eewwww ) They aren't the fluffy little things like on the serta commercials.
      > Where can we buy un-dyed wool? I'd like to make some mittens and some hats for next winter. Do people raise black sheep and is the color real black or just a dark grey?
      > Thanks for spinning the story about wool,
      > Ælfwynn
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: beauhooligan <beauhooligan@ comcast.net>
      > To: scanewcomers@ yahoogroups. com
      > Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 2:25:56 AM
      > Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] this might seem wierd
      > Howdy,
      > There are many fine sheep ranches in the central valley and
      > the foothills of the Sierra. The bulk of this state is not
      > like LA or San Francisco! I live in Stockton, in the heart
      > of central California, and we have great participation by
      > the 4H at the San Joaquin County fair. Last year there were
      > the most beautiful pair of Corriedale sheep I have ever seen
      > entered in the 4H competition. I have 10 acres of land in
      > Mountain Ranch, just outside San Andreas, and the next hitch
      > in the winding road is Sheep Ranch. Guess what the folks
      > raise there? I have clipped sheep with electric shears, and
      > it's pretty much grab and hold, then they just submit, but
      > it is a dirty, nasty process. That is why there are people
      > who specialize in raising and shearing sheep. and others who
      > spin and weave. Very seldom does a rock quarryman also carve
      > the sculpture. When a spinner gets a whole fleece the first
      > step is to spread it out on a tarp and pick out the twigs,
      > grass, dirt, and wool that is matted with urine and sheep
      > sh*t. In commercial operations, where this refuse really
      > piles up, it is sold to companies making the cruder wool
      > products such as rugs (or Harris wool suits ;-). For the
      > small scale operation the fleece in washed by hand. I built
      > a washing tank out of a 30 gallon plastic trash can, mounted
      > on a wooden frame, with a valved bottom drain, and it still
      > works well for washing after many, many years. Washing is
      > done gently, by hand, and in cold water with very mild soap,
      > so that the wool does not matte. Soft wool is very valuable,
      > but soft wool that has long hair (called long staple) is the
      > best for spinning with a foot powered wheels. Once washed,
      > the wool is air dried on racks. If the wool is to be dyed,
      > this is done now. Dyeing wool, whether with natural or
      > manmade dyes, is almost an art in its self. Mary Ann and I
      > always admired the color of the natural fleece, and bought
      > fleece from sheep that were the color we preferred. After
      > drying and or dying, the fleece is then combed out, a
      > process called carding. Carding can be done with two carding
      > paddles, or as I do it, with a drum carder. The wool is
      > ready to spin, and spinning "sliver" is both art and
      > science. I have wheels set up for spinning fine and coarse,
      > and one that is near perfect for plying strands. I like
      > Schacht wheels for spinning, and a Louet for plying. We
      > started off with an Ashford "sleeping beauty" style wheel,
      > but came to admire the upright wheels. Mary Ann could not
      > learn to spin, so I took it on. Working the fiber with the
      > hands, and timing the speed of the wheel with the foot pedal
      > can be very challenging, especially if one is trying to spin
      > fine strands. Spinning an even strand, with a minimum of
      > thicker sections, called "slubs", is a very hard won skill.
      > Slubs can also be used artistically, and with 20 years in, I
      > am a child in comparison to the master spinners. I am amused
      > with the idea that people could just pick up the tools and
      > go from shearing, to spinning, and weaving without people
      > who can give "hands on" instruction at each step. I have a
      > ton of books on the subject, but without the patient
      > instruction I had to seek out, I would probably be mired in
      > a stack of books, with a pile of sheep sh*t. To go this way
      > find the closest weaver and spinners guild and ask for, and
      > in some cases, pay for the help. I was surprised when a
      > master spinner who asked for $45 USD for a two day workshop,
      > until I finished the workshop and realized the instruction
      > was, indeed, priceless.
      > Adios,
      > Bill H.
      > Janet wrote:
      >>In regards to finding a sheep:
      >>Do you have any 4H groups around? Or state/county fairs? I would imagine that a 4H (or FFA) group might get a kick out of your project and would probably be willing to hook you up with someone with sheep.
      >>Just a thought from someone in the Midwest. (Do they even have 4H in California?)
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