Not even a year ago, we had the first shearing of our little flock. Since that time there has been the joy of lambs, the heartbreak of lost lambs and ewe, the realization that there is A LOT of fiber that comes from 19 sheep, followed by the acceptance that I can't do it all myself. So, some fiber (7 fleeces to be exact) was shipped off to a mill for cleaning and prep into roving for spinning and the rest I kept to process myself. The mill prep stuff has returned ready to spin. My stash...well, I got 4 fleeces washed, one (Rose) washed/picked/carded/spun to yarn and the rest are waiting. However, in about two months it will be shearing time again and the fleece flood will commence all over again.
Back to Rose. She is a white ewe with a lovely staple length and crimp. Since she is older, there are some definite changes to her fleece, but it spins like butter and has a wonderful softness. From her raw fleece weight of 1.64# I was able to get four skeins of navajo plied heavy worsted/aran weight. Not enough for a sweater, but a pillow would do nicely.
Pattern: Flower Pillow Knowing there was not enough yarn to do the back or the flower within the pattern, I just made the front panel. My plan initially included use of a different handspun for the flower, but the color tones did not mix well with Rose. A few weeks ago, a good friend showed me some dying techniques and let me practice dye a mini skein of Rose's yarn. After searching Ravelry for an alternate flower pattern, Agnes (a cottage rose pattern) was chosen. I made an envelope back pillow cover from some unbleached muslin and hand sewed the front panel to the cover.