Thursday, August 21, 2014


Just back from delivering our old bed to the recycling depot, it went into an enormous machine that presumably gobbled it up.  Took the bed apart yesterday and then constructed the new one when it arrived which  took up some time.  But though hardly a help for when we move, throwing things away is a first start. We have a 'rag and bone' man come down the road every week, not with a horse and cart but an old van from which he rings a bell, last week he took a large generator.  Today our friend in Cornwall went to see a cottage for us, small, damp and cold is his verdict, so that one is off the list.  It was pretty though from the outside, opposite the church, and had been the post office for the village.

The sheep itself, their wool has to go through a whole process before it achieves the spinning flexibility of the tops below.  Creative Commons photo

The Bluefaced Leicester evolved from a breeding scheme, to develop the Longwool sheep in the 1700's, by Robert Bakewell. Originally known as the Dishly Leicester. The breed was developed over the next 200 years and became commonly known as the Hexham Leicester due to it's early concentration in the North of England. 

Today it is known as the Bluefaced Leicester and is now the most popular crossing sire throughout the British isles. 

Oatmeal Blue Faced Leicester, with tussah silk
 Soft and silky this blue-faced leicester fibre is a joy to spin, more expensive than Merino, which though soft is not as lustrous.  Why oatmeal? well it will make a subdued background for fair isle work.  The silk tussah fibre dyes beautifully but stranded with other wools will always be darker than the wool.... It is not really blue-faced, it comes from the mixture of white and black hairs on the face, and it is used as a 'mule' sheep which I believe means it his bred with other types for meat etc....

Autumn sedum
The garden begins to fall under the spell of golden light in the morning, chill air, that Autumn feeling, but the bees are still busy in the bean flowers.

Second crop


  1. The farmer's niece breeds Blue Faced Leicesters are thinks they are so beautiful. All I can say is that beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder. Interesting to read in your post how lovely their wool is to spin - maybe I will see them in a different light now.

    1. Yes on looking at the breed I was not too struck by them, though they have a 'roman nose' but there is a silky lustre to their coat, spin shetland wool, and it is very coarse to the touch.