Willa Lena is not happy.. slight edit

I don’t how these guys always seem to know what I write about them (I think Dorothy, the cat, tells them), but Willa isn’t pleased with my comment:

“Willa’s fleece is my least favorite Jacob fleece. A post on that one of these days.”

She’s been rude to me all week (btw – can you see that she is six horned with fully fused tops?) – although that might be partly because I’ve been sneaking around behind the ewes and pulling their tails up to check udders (or sometimes actually doing a quick grope). I sure do like shearing before lambing! But, it’s not going to happen this year.

When I say “Jacob fleece”,  I am not including those fleeces that would not pass JSBA inspection per the  JSBA Breed Standard. Her fleece is not kempy, does not shed, is not double coated, is not  quilted, is not  freckled.

It’s a nice fleece and I like it. I like having her fleece and her fleece type in my flock and I like having her.  I do not like how dense her fleece is. It is not the open fleece that I think of when I think Jacob. Her fleece lacks demi-luster.  When I’m checking backbones,  I have to put a bit of effort (compared to the rest of the flock – I’m not actually breaking a sweat or straining any muscles) to get through her fleece. Her fleece is, to me, a downy fleece (which is not the same as a fleece from a down breed of sheep).  It’s a wonderful fleece for socks on my CSM – lots of bounce, strong. I just like fleeces like Zevon’s or Tango’s better.
***ETA: While I do know how to handknit, I’m not terribly good at it and I don’t really enjoy it. I love to crochet, so that’s what I usually do. I also machine knit on a Brother Bulky machine – KH230 with ribber.  Socks are made on fantastic and elderly circular sock machine, a Legare 400. When I call a yarn a good knitting yarn, I’m describing something that knits on one of my machines. The main thing I want in sock yarn is elasticity. I want it to be soft enough not to irritate my feet after a few hours. I prefer a yarn that does not readily felt. I want to wash my socks in the machine on a gentle cycle (air dry, of course) and not by hand. Willa’s fleece is perfect for a yarn that will perform wonderfully on my CSM and make a pair of socks that will be comfortable and will last. I love the diverse fleeces in my flock! There is somebody out there with the fleece for any project I have in mind. Thanks, guys 🙂 ***

I never can get a good scan of locks or a good clear photo of locks. I would love to get advice from anyone that has figured this out!

These locks were all ripped directly from the sheep – not sheared – so the butt ends are not what you’d see from a shearing. These are all from 2009 lambs and I grabbed the locks today, so you can see the progression of the fleece over the last year. Willa’s fleece was tightly curled, completely consistent, and dense at birth – showing little skin color through her fleece.  Zevon and Tango had consistent  birth fleeces, light curl,  with skin color showing.  It’s so interesting to see how the fleeces develop.

Tango is a two horned and he’s the first two horned ram lamb I’ve kept. His fleece is just that good.


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7 Responses to Willa Lena is not happy.. slight edit

  1. I love when you do these posts. I wish we were closer – I’d invite myself down for a clinic! 😉

  2. Patrice says:

    And of course I mean y-o-u-r photos… and why does it say I posted this at 4 am? I don’t post anything but z’s at 4 am…

  3. Patrice says:

    I just love you photos of fleece amoebas – or are they slugfleece?

    Baa-aad jokes….

    (my house is cold and yet I type… three layers, sweatshirt hood up and gloves….)

    jus sayin… brrrr… Wool is looking really good from where I sit.

  4. Great post Linda! Zevon’s fleece is the type I really like. I love the description of Willa’s fleece and know the type. It is very hard to part! I would love to see lamb photos of the three – Zevon, Tango, and Willa.

    Two of my girsl didn’t get sheared before lambing and I can really appreciate shearing before lambing now. Sorry to hear that you won’t be able to shear before they lamb.

  5. Shari says:

    Sounds great. Dancer looks like a ratty big fat scruffy fur ball right now. She has a LOT of fleece. She was hand sheared last yr and it was done quite early. I think she will be thrilled when it all comes off this spring.

    I misjudged on due dates for lambs. I am revising my expected date for Hazel to February 8th. I am thinking that Aysha is getting close as well. I can’t wait to see what Aysha/Zest bring us!!! She usually doesn’t show and is actually REALLY showing now. Maybe it will be triplets!!!!

  6. Dancer’s fleece is much more open than Willa’s – Willa’s is DENSE. I’ll send you a sample from Willa after we shear.

  7. Shari says:

    Interesting. I appreciate these “info” posts that you do. Linda . . . I have come to understand the demi-luster comments that you’ve made in the past. I believe that Willa and Dancer may have similar fleece types. (Although perhaps Dancer’s staple length is longer.) Thanks for posting this stuff! I would have already imagined that Dancer’s wool would make fabulous wool socks.

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