She brought with her some beautiful wool (well...almost all wool is beautiful in it's own way, isn't it! I think I have yet to meet a not beautiful wool!) from East Friesian sheep that lived at the Salt Spring Cheese Company (who make absolutely delicious cheeses!). It's a new wool breed to me, and the temptation to test was irresistible! Laura very generously shared some of her stash with me. The wool is quite soft, and felts quite quickly. I bet it would be great for needlefelting. Apparently the first shepherd to tend these sheep was also a hair dresser- a fine combo for us wool devotees!
We made some felt ropes, some felt beads and I made a flat felt to explore the properties of this wool breed. I'm working on developing a wool study collection...making a purposeful felt using different sheep breeds. I think this would be a wonderful study to share with others, and am working on setting up a website/forum for felt exploration- Felt Gathering. I had thought I would have this in place by early October, but am now planning on January as a reasonable start date. To start the exploration we will select one breed a month to experiment with and discuss and build up this resource journal/collection. We would share resources for finding the particular breed of wool, information on the breed including origin, staple length, micron count, the results of our felt experiment, and then how we would see using this particular fiber to best advantage. I'd love it if you'd like to join me! Leave me a comment if you are interested...a suggested wool breed?...and I'll let you know when I finish setting it up....I'll also announce it here as I get closer!
The East Friesian is not a traditional felting wool (as far as I know!), and it's great to have some idea on how we can best use our locally available, and under utilized wool resources. Laura mentioned that there is still a lot of this wool roving and battings available...adding to my wish list!