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.

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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!).

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

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

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

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…which was – sorting fleeces!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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