HomeGeneral ChatManyland Wool and Sheep Festival II
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5/4/2010 6:20:43 AM
patw
patw
Posts 2826
I thought you might like a report on the Festival. This year it was the most people I have ever seen there and I have been going for years. I hope this is a sign the recession is ending?

For years I have been a fan of Wensleydale yarn because it has a sheen and luster that looks like a wool/silk or mohair blend but it is 100% wool. This is because the Wensleydale sheep fibers are very long. The sheelp look Rastifarian! This wool has been expensive because the herd was small and only in England. Well I found the Wensleydale sheep there in the barns and breeders from West Virginia have a 60 sheep herd. The breeders told me that there are now about 400 sheep total in the U.S. and that will mean hopefully the price and abundance of this yarn will get better.

I was able to get 6skeins from the breeder for $18/250yds and the color is natural undyed a brown with highlights and soft as all. So now I have 1500yds enough to do a large project or something with cables. I have in mind a jacket with cables and pockets or a fancy stitch design. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm sure if I pour over all my pattern books I will find somehting. Not sure of the gauge right now I haven't had time to knit it up but I am thinking it is DK weight.

If anyone is interested in having the details on the breeders to get some of this yarn I will be happy to post.
PatQOC
5/5/2010 12:10:58 PM
Jamie
Jamie
Posts 3462
Hi Pat, Thanks for your report from Maryland S & W. Yes, I'd like to receive information about the breeders of Wensleydale yarn. I have spun some recently and really like it.
Thanks, Jamie
5/5/2010 6:26:33 PM
Sandra D
Sandra D
Posts 4497
Thank you, Pat for the news about the Wensleydale! I just happen to have "Book of Wool" checked out from the library, so went and looked it up. The book said it has the highest luster of all the English longwools. I have some Bluefaced Leicester, another English longwool and that already has a nice sheen. I imagine your Wensleydale must be very lusterous! Also interesting was that the Wensleydale are all descended from one sheep! I guess when he was born in 1839, the English farmers recognized what superior qualities he had and propagated them with his descendents.

I'm sure whatever pattern you pick it will be terrific and a pleasure to knit!
5/6/2010 7:10:04 AM
Les
Les
Posts 4244
Mmmm, sounds nice. Lucky you!
5/7/2010 2:18:01 PM
Jamie
Jamie
Posts 3462
Pat, Your report on the Festival was interesting. It's a big event! I'd love to hear more about the Wensleydale yarn and fiber. I've spun some this year and really like it. Thanks, Jamie
5/11/2010 7:01:08 AM
mrgcole
mrgcole
Posts 1
I missed it this year due to illness, but I'd like to know about this wool, Please..
5/13/2010 11:46:57 AM
patw
patw
Posts 2826
patw wrote:
I thought you might like a report on the Festival. This year it was the most people I have ever seen there and I have been going for years. I hope this is a sign the recession is ending?

For years I have been a fan of Wensleydale yarn because it has a sheen and luster that looks like a wool/silk or mohair blend but it is 100% wool. This is because the Wensleydale sheep fibers are very long. The sheelp look Rastifarian! This wool has been expensive because the herd was small and only in England. Well I found the Wensleydale sheep there in the barns and breeders from West Virginia have a 60 sheep herd. The breeders told me that there are now about 400 sheep total in the U.S. and that will mean hopefully the price and abundance of this yarn will get better.

I was able to get 6skeins from the breeder for $18/250yds and the color is natural undyed a brown with highlights and soft as all. So now I have 1500yds enough to do a large project or something with cables. I have in mind a jacket with cables and pockets or a fancy stitch design. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm sure if I pour over all my pattern books I will find somehting. Not sure of the gauge right now I haven't had time to knit it up but I am thinking it is DK weight.

If anyone is interested in having the details on the breeders to get some of this yarn I will be happy to post.
PatQOC
5/13/2010 11:47:27 AM
patw
patw
Posts 2826
patw wrote:
I thought you might like a report on the Festival. This year it was the most people I have ever seen there and I have been going for years. I hope this is a sign the recession is ending?

For years I have been a fan of Wensleydale yarn because it has a sheen and luster that looks like a wool/silk or mohair blend but it is 100% wool. This is because the Wensleydale sheep fibers are very long. The sheelp look Rastifarian! This wool has been expensive because the herd was small and only in England. Well I found the Wensleydale sheep there in the barns and breeders from West Virginia have a 60 sheep herd. The breeders told me that there are now about 400 sheep total in the U.S. and that will mean hopefully the price and abundance of this yarn will get better.

I was able to get 6skeins from the breeder for $18/250yds and the color is natural undyed a brown with highlights and soft as all. So now I have 1500yds enough to do a large project or something with cables. I have in mind a jacket with cables and pockets or a fancy stitch design. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm sure if I pour over all my pattern books I will find somehting. Not sure of the gauge right now I haven't had time to knit it up but I am thinking it is DK weight.

If anyone is interested in having the details on the breeders to get some of this yarn I will be happy to post.
PatQOC
5/13/2010 11:58:19 AM
patw
patw
Posts 2826
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you about the Wensleydale sheep and yarn in the U.S. I found two vendors of Wensleydale yarn and fleece. The first is from West Virginia:

CRIMSON SHAMROCK
RR1 Box 3352
Eglon, WV 26716
Phone 304-735-6413ina,
They have a 40sheep herd and sell the spun yarn for $18.50/250yds.

The second is a couple who now have a store in PA:
FLYING FIBERS - Jeri Robinson-Lawrence
406 Kathryn Court
Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone 717-396-8648

DH and I took a field trip to Jeir's store the week after the festival. Its only 1 1/2hr drive and we made a day of it. Jeir has a lovely store and although she has Wenslydales in her herd and she spins and dyes herself; the Wensleydale yarn she sells comes from a supplier in England.

Jeri's prices have gone up since I last bought from her about three years ago at MD Sheep and Wool Festival. They went from $11/sk for DK weight to $17.80. She said the increase is because when her supplier went to auction for the Wensleydale, ROWAN YARN CO showed up and bid against them driving up the price. It seems that Rowan is going to be featuring a Rare Breeds section of their company and feature some of the more rare breeds of the UK. That's fine and good I suppose to keep these breeds going and prehaps that will lead to some good patterns but really to bad for us with the price! It will be interesting to see what Rowan does in their fall magazine.

I hope this was helpful. I am still just stroking the yarn I have; can't decide yet what to do with it.
PatQOC
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