English Leicesters and a Weaving Adventure

That lovely little ewe at the end of the last post is an English Leicester (also known as a Leicester Longwool in the States). These sheep are at my new friend Adele’s home near Everton Upper. They are really very sweet sheep.


Like ours, they enjoy their treats. Adele uses a mixture of chopped lucerne (from Google Australia: “Lucerne can be successfully made into hay from October to April in the irrigation areas of northern Victoria and from November to March in southern Victoria” – think “alfalfa”) and, I think, heifer growth pellets (seem to have misplaced those notes!).

Don’t you just love this photo?! I think it may find itself into a frame for our wall when I get home.

This little girl was also a favorite (I call her “my ewe” but she just wouldn’t fit into my suitcase!

Adele has one (remaining) Cashmere goat, who was very curious about what I was doing there….


…which was – sorting fleeces!


Adele let me choose all the colors I wanted from this year’s shearing – more fleeces coming in a couple months!
Adele took me to the nearby town of Beechworth where I visited the Old School House Gallery, which houses a gallery in which some of Adele’s wool group have things for sale.

Next, we dropped in to the Spindrift Weaving Studio of David Beckworth in Whorouly. There are some amazing looms here. David has a 42″ George Wood Dobby Loom – 24 shafts with a fly shuttle. Also a Jacquard loom which would be the equivalent to having a 385 shaft loom.

Here is a sample from this loom, as well as the plan for the pattern and then the stand on which the cards for this loom are punched. I could barely understand the explanation of how it all worked but it was fascinating and David and Ian in this studio are two very talented weavers.


Ian explained to me how he weaves a “cross warp weave” in the Peter Collingwood macro gauze style. It was fascinating seeing how he had transformed a loom to accomplish this and I was very pleased to be able to bring home a sample of his work. This photo shows an example of this style but mine is done with naturally dyed wool.


Thanks, Adele, for getting me to all these special places and for inviting me to stay in your home. I am really looking forward to spinning all those beautiful English Leicester fleeces!

Next stop…….

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Published in: on November 29, 2012 at 10:40 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My favorite blog so far – with the fun sheep faces, a fiber goat (!) and the wonderful loom art hanging from the ceiling! Would have loved walk inside the gallery and seen the local wool products and art!

    • Glad you liked it! I wish I could have explained the looms better as they deserved more description than I could provide. It would be very hard for me to pick a favorite sheep from this trip as they were all so unique and special. I have more photos to share when I get home!

  2. It just keeps getting better and better! I’m sooo happy I live close to you so that I can see all this wonderful stuff you are bringing home from “down under”!

    • Hi Chris! We’ll have to get together soon for show-and-tell!

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