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Author Topic: A color question  (Read 228 times)

GBov

  • Joined Nov 2019
A color question
« on: February 12, 2020, 10:11:12 am »
Does any breed of sheep come in the colors - Ginger cat yellow/orange and/or Irish Setter red?

Loving working with raw fleeces and all the pretty colors (Thank you Preloved, how can one go wrong with a fiver a fleece!) but am missing the red/orange/yellows that I had in my rabbit herd.

I know that dye will give me those colors but I find dyed wool rougher than simply washed and carded wool and, as I plan to wear what I am working on I want the softest poss. wool, even if I have to do without my favorite colors.

Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: A color question
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 11:22:58 am »
No yellows, but Manx Loughtan and moorit shetland are 'red' - more foxy really, not Irish setter.  Soay and Castlemilk Moorits have interesting reddy browns.  Shetlands have the widest range of colours, and of course you can always blend different coloured fleeces to get the colour you want.  You can also breed your own crosses to obtain a range of coloured fleeced sheep - that's great fun  ;D


I must say that I don't like to hear of people selling fleeces for peanuts, anywhere.  It devalues the product, and undercuts those who put time and effort into producing the best quality fleeces. I also hate to hear of people who collect fleece found hanging on barbed wire fences (I hate those fences too  :roflanim: ) because what they make with such dregs cannot be good, and wastes their skill.  I know that getting something for nothing always seems to be a prize, but when you are investing so much of your time and money in the prep and spinning/knitting with the fleece, surely a few £s extra is worth it.  That might have been a rant  :rant: so please ignore me  ;D
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 11:32:03 am by Fleecewife »
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: A color question
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 03:55:02 pm »
Portlands and German Red Fox sheep have fox-coloured lambs - but they pale as they grow, so won't give you red fleece to use.

The only sheep where you really can get reds, ime, is the North Ronaldsay, but even then it's pretty rare.

As FW says, Manx might be the closest. 

But all these colours fade in sunlight, which is why the sheep before shearing look much paler and the cut surface is so much darker.

Dyeing shouldn't affect the handle if done carefully, but can do if the wool is handled roughly - actual handling, or boiling in the dyepot. 

Or what about food dyes which is a different technique and shouldn't lift the scales on the yarn.

And/or you could blend with silk to put back smoothness and lustre
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

GBov

  • Joined Nov 2019
Re: A color question
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 04:01:20 pm »
I love a good rant, me!   :roflanim:

With the fiver fleeces, I am learning so much that it is worth it to start below prime and work my way up. If I had spent more I would be so afraid of "messing up" that I would take no risks and probably not make anything out of them at all. 

So far  :excited:loving it and have made hats and gnomes and bunnies and scarves and knee warmers and a scarab pin cushion. 

Interesting about the Shetland colors as so far, it is my favorite wool to work with and the breed I plan to start with when we get the space. I just bought two grey, two black and a white and actually got five different colors, one was moorit and one was actually white - very sparkly - one was black and the other two were names that escape me now - the mid blue over white and a much darker grey under black.  But if the seller didn't even know the proper names of the colors they were selling how could they know the true value? 

All lush and sheep smelling, mmmmmmmmm love the way sheep smell.

Will google those breeds you mentioned Fleecewife. :thumbsup:

GBov

  • Joined Nov 2019
Re: A color question
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 04:06:43 pm »
My to-do list is so long now SN that learning how to dye properly is off the cards, for now at least.

Having agreed to share a table at a craft fair with a friend, I will be hard-pressed to get enough things done for it so the felted quilt will have to wait for a bit.  And after all, earth tones are very restful so it can do without reds and still be loved.


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: A color question
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 04:31:46 pm »
But if the seller didn't even know the proper names of the colors they were selling how could they know the true value? 


The Shetland Sheep Society, now run from the "mainland", and the Flock Book in Shetland itself are somewhat divergent.  In Shetland, very few use names other than those used at Flock Book shows and sales in Shetland - ie, White, Moorit and Coloured (other).   (Except maybe farms whose business was selling fleece and yarn, eg Foula, Vaila and Uradale.)

I have been to Shetland Wool Week three times - 2014, 2015 and 2019, and on each occasion have spent as much time as possible with Shetland sheep and those who farm them, breed them and use their fleeces.
I always spend some time with Oliver Henry (retired MD of Jamieson & Smith Woolbrokers, and until the last 4 years, their chief grader and sorter of Shetland fleece.  Woolbrokers buy the clips from farms registered with the Flock Book, and Ollie often a judges at Flock Book events.)  It was only on this last trip that Ollie has started to use some of the colour names on the Shetland Sheep Society tea towels, probably because J&S under the management of Adam Curtis is being run as a more "marketing aware" operation ;)

Anyway, to a lot of people who have been in Shetland sheep for many decades, generations even, these new-fangled colour names are all a bit of nonsense ;)  So a longstanding breeder may well not use much outside of black, grey, white, moorit and katmogtet, gulmoget or maybe flecket for markings. ;) 

Which is not to diss those who do, at all, but to explain why some sellers might not use the other colour names.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: A color question
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 04:32:59 pm »
Oh the Shetland colours!  I'm sure they sit around the fire of a winter's evening making up new names to confuse the soothmoothers.  Probably in translation they would mean things such as: wee white sheep with smudgy black spots; wee peaty coloured sheep with darker stripey tummies; and black sheep which have had snowballs thrown at them.  Sometimes the named colour doesn't extend to the fleece, for example katmoget.  The fleeces are wonderfully lovely to spin, and very versatile.
Fleece can vary between individual animals within a flock, as well as between flocks, so you may get a wonderful deep moorit colour from one animal, and a faded fawn from another. Also I have found that moorit fleeces can sometimes be not as soft and fine as one expects from Shetlands, so choose carefully!


https://www.google.com/search?q=shetland+sheep+colours+markings&rlz=1C1ASUM_enGB714GB714&oq=shetland+sheep+colours&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l7.2049
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Polyanya

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • Shetland
    • The Creative Croft
    • Facebook
Re: A color question
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 09:20:10 pm »
Yeah Shetland Moorits tend to be anything from conker brown to a fudge colour, I have a wether at the moment who is a rich honey colour, can't wait for shearing time - but nothing like a ginger tomcat. Also moorit fleece can have a really short staple, sadly I don't use much of it but I'm hopefully for Harry (guess why he's called that) he has one of the nicest moorit fleeces.
In the depths of winter, I found there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

www.thecreativecroft.co.uk

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: A color question
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2020, 06:29:35 am »
And shetland sheep can change colour as they get older so may not be the colour they are registered as.

 

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