jeudi 26 décembre 2013

Christmas Knits

Well, Christmas  was quiet enough to get started on my next knitting project. The yarn is single ply from on my bobbin #5. I wanted to spin a woollen yarn and one that was relatively chunky. Ok I don't think I exactly succeeded on either count  but it is satisfying to have something to be able to knit up.

There is a way to go until my spinning skills are refined enough to produce a yarn that looks anything less than rustic but its all practice. The stitch I have chosen is designed to complement the textured yarn. A tutorial on how to knit yourself a scarf in bramble or trinity stitch  was all that was needed to get me started. This video makes it very easy to follow!Although mine doesn't have quite the same accomplished look to it :-)



I am hoping to add a little twist to my scarf to  release it  from the rather mundane but that all depends on whether I can produce something that is aesthetically pleasing and workable. It make take me a while but I'll post something when I get there! 

mardi 24 décembre 2013

Have a Woolly Christmas!

This year my project has been to re-interpret what you can do with Ouessant wool. It has been a very busy year, in lots of ways and Christmas is about the busiest time of year for me.  However I still managed to get some wool in there somewhere. If you look closely at the photo you will see the needle felted hearts I made earlier are now decorating the tree. I am more than ready for some rest and recuperation  and if lucky tomorrow will be relatively quiet. I have a little yarn project all ready to start:-) Have a good one!

vendredi 20 décembre 2013

Wassail!


I was going to do a post on the winter solstice which is tomorrow. Unfortunately my photos of the golden sunset, were rather more tarnished than golden! However as I was wandering around putting everyone to bed I couldn't help but notice that on this apple tree there are JUST two apples left! They are beautiful and ripe and yet incongruously were left still hanging on a bare tree. It was too good a photo opportunity to  miss!

Wassailing LINK celebrates the apple and the drink  and passing of the wassail is traditionally celebrated around Christmas. Providence! I will leave  with a  old chant  recounted when wassailing, of course its sheep related :-)

Next crowne the bowle full
With gentle Lambs wooll,

Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
With store of all too,

And thus ye must doe
To make the Wassaile a swinger.

LINK 

dimanche 15 décembre 2013

Heritage Flock - PNRA Parc Régional National d'Armorique


Recently I ventured deep in the heart of Brittany, it is a magical place, where myth and legend come to life. The area is rich with celtic symbolism and the geography and landscape does much to draw you close to its beating heart.  Its dark corners hide goblins and faeries in equal measure.

Nestled into the landscape is Ménez Meur seat of the Parc Régional National d'Armorique.  LINK here is a flock of Ouessant sheep  whose origins can be established back to the earliest days of the breed.  They are without doubt a flock whose heritage is a long one.

I was fortunate to visit the flock earlier this year, I was able to spend a quite a bit of time with the flocks (one white, one black)  and came away with the  lasting impression that the breed is in sound hands.  I may have also come away with a sheep  or two oops:-)


Gaia (PNRA)
The importance of recognising the connection of this breed with its cultural home cannot be underestimated and is never more in evidence than when you visit their native region. My trip into Finistère ( the end of the earth) was all too short and I will make time to return.

lundi 9 décembre 2013

Gary

Looking Good Mate x 

dimanche 8 décembre 2013

Winter Regime


I was asked the other day about feeding the sheep in the winter. Everyone has their own thoughts on this subject and opinions will vary.

The ewes are currently getting a bucket of windfall apples a day between them. I''ll know when they are fed up of them as they'll start to leave them. For now I view it was a welcome addition to the grass and hay provided over the winter. The rams have their own supply of windfalls  and this years bumper crop of apples means that the ground under the tree is still a carpet of apples.

A salt lick is always available and periodically the sheep will take advantage. I prefer to use one specifically manufactured for sheep to ensure that the mineral content is balanced for them.

Hay is self serve and I have racks  dotted around the place, so that even the less forward sheep can find a rack to browse from.

Feeding grains is personally not something that I like. I find that Ouessant  sheep really don't need the high protein content. I will supplement and a base of luzerne granules can be used with the addition of ewe nuts and or afalfa and molasses as a coarse mix when needed. This mix can be varied according to the specific requirements of the group of sheep being fed and is more sensitive to individual needs than a highly concentrated commercial feed supplement.

vendredi 6 décembre 2013

Feeling Felty For Christmas

Needle Felted Christmas Hearts - Ouessant Sheep Wool 
 Coeurs de Noël Feutré à l'Aiguille - Laine Mouton d'Ouessant

Well, after some heartache ( groan) I finally finished the christmas felty decorations in time for Christmas!! Needle felting is very forgiving of mistakes and if things don't work the first time they are easy to adjust and adapt and still obtain a good result. I liked the use of ribbons and embroidery to embellish the basic idea and this type of added decoration can be taken in many different ways.

A quick search will throw up lots of excellent ideas. One such search provided a tutorial and many different ways to decorate felt ornaments. This uses wet felting as the basic method   but needle felting should also be  possible. 

LINK - Judy Coates Perez Blog

mercredi 4 décembre 2013

Country Stroll

Santa taking a quiet stroll before things get hectic.

Needle felted Santa - 100% Ouessant Wool  / Père Noël feutré à l'aiguille 100% laine Mouton d'Ouessant

samedi 23 novembre 2013

Automne en Bretagne


The rich reds and golden sunshine of autumn  in Brittany. Punctuated by fluorescent orange jackets of the huntsmen....... so hopefully they avoid shooting each other .............they are *mostly*  successful. Two hundred metres from  taking this photo a magnificent pheasant made his way across the road, we looked at each other, nodded and he went on his way. The joys and madness of living in Brittany...

samedi 16 novembre 2013

Ramly Headaches

Ti'beau has a set of horns that would give anyone  a headache,  but I was thinking more along the lines of keeping rams and unbred ewes on the same site.  A recent conversation reminded me that I am lucky to be able to house my rams seperately to the ewes when needed, in such a way that the rams cannot stress over not getting to the ewes when they are on heat. This isn't the case for everyone and keeping rams and unbred ewes apart, fences in place and stress levels down when they are in close proximity can be difficult.

Owning a ram comes with a set of responsibilities, no matter how calm and docile out of breeding season the hormonal influence cannnot be under estimated when an on heat ewe is around. They can become dangerous and even a Ouessant ram can cause injury. Think carefully what the reasons are behind a decision to own a ram, if you really want to breed then there is no reason not to look at the options for  the loan of a ram for a breeding season. Problems associated with in-breeding can be avoided and you still have the option for lambs without the difficulties of a testosterone fuelled set of horns for more than a few weeks at most.  The alternative is to own and all male flock, bachelor groups of rams work very well provided there are no ewes in the vicinity to upset the balance.

This years breeding groups will be together for a maximum period of six weeks, long enough for the ewes to cycle a second time if not bred the first time around. After that the rams will all rejoin the bachelor group and peace and tranquility will be restored for everyone.

Il est parfois difficile quand vous avez le ou les béliers au même endroit que les femelles  surtout s'il y en a que vous voudriez pas reproduire pour un raison où l'autre. Malheureusement souvent ceux qui débutent avec un couple ( mâle et femelle ) tombent sur ce problème  assez vite à cause du consanguinité et le fait qu'il est souvent plus difficile  à placer les mâles. Un bélier même si c'est un mouton d'Ouessant peut être agressif s'il est frustré et qu'il sent une brebis en chaleur.  A devenir propriétaire d'un bélier n'est pas sans responsabilité. Un troupeau des moutons constitué des femelles et les mâles castré peut être un solution. Si vous voudriez des naissances,  à trouver quelqu'un à vous prêter un  mâle peut être un option à fin de limiter les difficultés . 
L'option d'avoir un troupeau constitué seulement des mâles  est impressionnant  à voir et moins  turbulent  qu'un mâle séparé des femelles. Il n'est pas obligatoire à prendre un mâle  avec une femelle surtout si vous n'avez pas l'expérience, soyez prudent, mais n'oubliez pas un mouton seul est un mouton malheureux il faut au mois deux.

dimanche 10 novembre 2013

Plan B


Irritatingly blogger seems to want to automatically lighten this photo no matter what I do!!
Originally this yarn which is from on my bobbin # 4 was destined to be alot more funky than it is. However I wasn't adventurous enough and instead I got a yarn which is chunky and textured. Thats OK, plan B.  I haven't crochet'd since I was in my teens :-o still, it isn't difficult and I picked a knot which is so simple to do how could I go wrong? Well I did a couple of times but lets gloss over that :-).

Thanks to the internet and youtube to be precise I found an eloquent and easy to follow guide to how to do this knot and make a shawl. LINK Now let me tell you I had resolved not to make a shawl,  however plan B and all that . That being said I am pleased it has turned out as well as it has and I have learnt from doing it. 

This is more the actual colour of the yarn
So I can tick off one more project completed, more learnt and I have found inspiration for the next project, but for now back to christmas decorations!!

Un châle au crochet  de laine de mouton d'Ouessant! Enfin , ça me fais plaisir d'avoir réussi à filer la laine de mes moutons. Les moutons que j'ai élevé, tondu et maintenant peux dire qu'ils sont pas uniquement pour tondre l'herbe c'est  vraiment un bête à laine, on retourne au débuts de la race.  Même s'il  y a du travail encore pour l'apprentissage du filage, je suis contente.

samedi 9 novembre 2013

Gary and the Giggly Girls

 Gary having a back scratch
This years ewe lambs are not being bred, one reason amongst several is because of  Schmallenberg disease. It falls to Gary  then, the long suffering wether to keep them company. Gary is extremely paternal and takes his duties seriously, however he is long suffering, the giggly girls are so named because they can behave like a group of hysterical teenagers at times. Gary offers them a stable influence always  calm and collected, when the time comes I'm not sure how we'll do without him. Neither are the giggly girls.

Tonton Gary ( mâle castré) reste avec les agnelles de l'année qui seront pas mise à la reproduction, à cause de la risque du virus schmallenberg. Elles lui adorent, il est doux, calme et toujours là au moments d'angoisse. Bon continuation Gary et bon courage!

mardi 5 novembre 2013

A Christmas Affair

These are not yet finished but are shaping up nicely for christmas decorations
Ils sont pas encore fini mais ils me semblent d'être pas mal  comme décorations de noël

dimanche 3 novembre 2013

On My Bobbin #5

There is an advantage to growing your own fleeces and that is that you will have a  selection available to choose from when it comes to selecting for specific projects. Here I specifically wanted a woolly fleece and wanted to spin a fat yarn. In truth I would have liked the yarn to be fatter but my spinning skills are still being honed. This will form part of a black and white project if all goes well..

J'ai choisi une de mes toisons plus laineux pour un projet en noir et blanc, l'avantage d'avoir un troupeau de mini-moutons est qu'il y a plus de choix par rapport à la laine.  Je cherchais  à filer un fil assez épais on verra plus tard si c'est suffisant.....

samedi 2 novembre 2013

Rich Russets

Autumns bounty is plentiful this year with an early start to the chainsawing, this is mostly cherry.
Nous profitons des cerisiers d'automne!

 Apples in abundance...... Its'ok we have enough, no, really more than enough!
 Pommes en abondance,  vraiment, on a suffisent.....

Titian!



dimanche 27 octobre 2013

Getting Fresh

The rams are in full rut and even though they are still no ewes in sight they jostle between them for position. No harm done, the bachelor group is a tight knit community of rams of a range of ages. Each has learnt their place in the hierarchy and even if there is always a youngster willing to chance his luck with one of the mature rams, for the most part the group is peaceable.  Soon I will put the breeding groups together, the final decisions are not yet made and probably won't be until the day the rams go in. Tonight the wind is also freshening, I suspect there will be more damage than the ramly scuffles of last night.

C'est la saison de lutte, on  le voit bien. Les béliers bousculent entre eux. Il n'y a pas de danger, la hiérarchie est bien établi, même si  ça n'empêche pas les jeunes à taquiner les adultes. Il  y a encore du temps avant que  je  mets les béliers avec les  brebis, les décisions sont pas encore finalisé, entre temps soit gentil.....

jeudi 24 octobre 2013

Something's Needling Me

Needle Felting Punch - White Ouessant Wool ( Flick Carded Locks)
Manche pour les aiguilles de feutrage - Laine blanche à mouton  d'Ouessant

This year my mission has been to explore some of the ways of using Ouessant fleece. To that end I have been experimenting with the various  methods  to prepare the fleece and also how it can be worked. One way is needle felting and it is one which in the right hands can be beautifully creative despite a simple ( if murderous ) looking tool. 

The  needle/s stab the wool,  leading to the wool felting. No messy wet blobs  of wool that  look more like an item the cat would sick up, drying around the place. Take a look at the video below to get an idea of how it works. The needles detach and fit comfortably in the handle of this nifty little tool making this a hobby that you can take almost anywhere. My first attempt at needle felting used a modified needle for injecting the sheep!! Now I am fully tooled up and ready to go. Whilst making cute little felty animals may be some peoples idea of fun I thought I would start with something that can decorate the cristmas tree so watch this space. I only hope I can find the time to finish it before the tree goes up!!

Le feutrage à l'aiguille coût presque rien et  une fois que vous avez acheté les aiguilles vous êtes prêt à commencer. Ceux qui connaissent la race  bien savent que la laine du mouton d'Ouessant a une tendance  à  feutrer très facilement. Donc, quoi de mieux qu'un feutrage créatif! Pour savoir plus comment faire,  un petit recherche sur l'internet vous donnerez des idées mais pour commencer 



 c'est à vous.

samedi 12 octobre 2013

IGOU meeting 2013 Pölzig

Erik - IGOU  Bester Bock aller Farben Pölzig 2013
 Overall winner all rams with his Breeder / Owner E Hübner

Thanks to some great photos once again it has been possible to share in this years IGOU show. Sheep at this years show would  not look out of place  at the national show here in France but as these photos demonstrate the breed has clearly made  a comfortable transition to Germany and German breeding. Great stuff.

Some of the rams entered in the two year old black rams category.
The traditional colour black predominates and the overall standard is clearly high. 


Black yearling  ewes and hat competition;-)

A selection of brown ewes getting the judgely laying on of hands. There is something to be said for individual presentation of the sheep. It does make it easier to compare the sheep especially across a group.

Emile and Lavall

These two rams are close to being celebrities. Originally purchased by IGOU on behalf of the breed club members from France. They have been made available to club members, indeed  the ram Erik  Overall winner all rams  this year was sired by Emile.

Remus 7 vom Tannenhof  Breeder  A Jansen  Owner J Schneider
Winner Adult Black Rams

(L)  Enigma Breeder H Roller Owner F Starzman  (R) Marile ( runner up ) Owned and bred by J and A Bergmann
Enigma was judged Winner Adult Black Ewes and Overall Winner All Ewes


Photos courtesy of J Schneider 

vendredi 11 octobre 2013

Dreamy

I rather like the soft focus on the picture. Minimax looking dreamy

J'aime bien  le flou de cette photo, Minimax rêveur

jeudi 10 octobre 2013

Early Morning Lie-ins

Getting some clear photos of the ram lambs developing horns has been impossible. However with chillier later morning starts the rams are not so keen to get up in the mornings and I am able to catch them napping before they start the day. Finally an updated photos of Eusa the watch word for this season is definately horn symmetry and his are just perfect. I will get some photos for horn comparisons on the blog soon but this years horns are definately ones I will be watching for some time to come.

Il à été presque impossible à photographier  le développement des cornes des jeunes béliers mais je profite des graisses matinées. Enfin une photo à jour de Eusa, à suivre mais j'aime bien le symétrie de ses cornes. Dès que je peux je ferai un article à comparer ses cornes avec les autres de l'année.

mardi 8 octobre 2013

On my Bobbin # 4

This yarn is two halves of the same fleece one was carded and then spun the other combed and then spun. It is possible to tell the difference by eye although the camera and flash tends to flatten everything. The top bobbin is combed the bottom carded. No reason to do it this way other than I was interested to see how much of a difference it made. This is once again a trial to see whats what and how things work. Plying tonight.

Deux moities de la même toison une était cardée puis filé l'autre peignée. Juste parce que je voulais voir si vraiment il y a une différence.  On peut la voir  la différence à l'oeil mais pas si facilement en photo et avec flash. Le retors ce soir

dimanche 6 octobre 2013

You're never too old.......

I choose not to force weaning of my lambs, except for the ram lambs who are seperated at four months in order to prevent an unplanned accidental mating. For the ewes and their ewe lambs the maternal bond remains. Whilst it isn't that common to see lambs still suckling at this time of year it does happen occasionally. Hasnie is quite happy to let her lamb suckle and shows no signs of trying to rid herself of a nuisance pushy youngster, quite the opposite she seems ( perhaps anthropomorphically) to enjoy this intimacy with her lamb.

Les agnelles sont pas  forcement sevrées, les jeunes béliers sont séparés des brebis à l'âge de quatre mois afin d'éviter une saillie accidentelle. Je préfère où c'est possible qu'il soit fait naturellement,  il est rare quand même à voir une agnelle si tard dans l'année téter sa mère. J'ai l'impression que Hasnie n'est pas malheureuse.

mercredi 2 octobre 2013

Autumn Has Arrived

Its been a while since I've had the chance to spend some time with the sheep. This year the summer has been long and hot and dry, so very dry. Its still very warm and the grass is positively roaring away, the sheep content themselves with a little hay to balance out the  fresh flush of growth.

Ca fait un petit moment depuis j'ai  eu du temps à rester avec le troupeau. L'ambiance d'automne, bienvenue  après un été très sec.

dimanche 29 septembre 2013

Strike One!

I didn't have the presence of mind to take a photo so this character will have to do:-)
For the first time since I have been keeping sheep one of the ewes has been struck by flies.  The weather has been warm and positively muggy with little wind. Ideal conditions for those irritating little flies who just love to hang around the sheep waiting for an opportunity to lay a few eggs. To be honest I count myself lucky that I haven't had a problem previously and even today it was little more than a slightly grazed patch on the surface although I suspect there is more damage under the skin itself. Knowing your sheep and being alert to any changes in their usual behaviour certainly helps and in this instance I knew something was amiss the ewe was trying to hide from herself as well as flicking her tail quite vigorously.  Catching her up wasn't too difficult as she was preoccupied with trying to get at the little wrigglers and a close inspection of the fleece soon revealed the source of her irritation.

When faced with flystrike first shave off a wide area of fleece around any areas that look affected to ensure that you have fully got to the bottom of all the affected areas on the sheep. This produced a number of wriggling maggots and a raw patch of skin about the size of a 2 euro piece. I treated topically with antiseptic and also gave a long acting injectable antibiotic to ensure no residual infection would add to any problems. I also treated with an injectable systemic  parasiticide. I don't have any topical products suitable for this type of use and the injection will ensure that any maggots that have retreated under the skin to avoid removal are well and truly dealt with.

Followed by a liberal application of a topical preperation to keep flies off. Hopefully not to return any time soon.!


Quel horreur! Les myiases............ avec ce temps humide la risque est forte élevée. Aujourd'hui j'ai trouvé une de mes brebis s'est cachée dans un coin. Elle avait l'air fortement perturbée  et c'était pas trop difficile à trouvé le problème. Avec quelques petits bestioles dans la laine, j'ai vite commencé  à tondre l'endroit pour que je puisse voir la taille du problème.  Heureusement elle n'était pas fortement affectée et j'ai réussi à retirer le plupart  des asticots. Elle avait une plaie que j'ai traité avec du bétadine puis elle avait un  injection contre les parasites externe qui tue les asticots, surtout ceux qui je n'ai pas réussi à trouver parce que ils se cachent dans la peau :-( 

D'habitude mes moutons sont pas affecté par  ce genre de problème mais c'est importante à rester vigilante quand même.

samedi 28 septembre 2013

Technically.......

From this..
From the day I first sheared one of my sheep I have been fascinated by their fleece and its properties.  To hear that most Ouessant  sheep fleeces are binned just seemed plain wrong and I set about the challenge of learning how to convert a fleece to a useable product. There are LOADS of uses!! One has been to learn how to spin and with that the various process that go into preparing a fleece, washing it, dyeing it and oh so much more.

I have only just begun to put my foot on the ladder but I set myself an exercise to produce a finished sample which would encompass many of the processes I want to learn and here it is.

To this!
OK, so its not sooo impressive, I mean it doesn't overwhelm me but trust me there are a lot of hours and blood, sweat and tears put into producing this little swatch.  Despite the Ouessant being traditionally a black sheep I started with a white fleece I wanted to work on the process of dyeing as well as spinning etc. What I have learnt is that there is much more for me to learn and I am looking forward to the next project.... I confess its already in progress.

lundi 23 septembre 2013

View of The Ewe's

Coooeeeee! ( click to enlarge)

dimanche 22 septembre 2013

Bon Dimanche

MiniMynx

jeudi 19 septembre 2013

Génial ..... le Géniole!

Fille d'Ouessant -  Géniole
This image is from"Les Français peints par eux-mêmes" LINK  Tome II 1876 - 1878 a delightful illustration from an artist whose life appears to be little documented. It would seem to  be one of very few pictures of womens dress in the mid to late 19th century from the island of Ouessant.   I was curious to know more. Wiki dates the image to around  1877,  however a search on the artist  Alfred André Géniole revealed that he died in  1861. Why would this artist whose works can be sold for significant sums be on the island of Ouessant and when!

It seems that there is no biography to be found on the artist and of the few references to his work he  travelled widely but I did find a reference to him being in the Guerande in 1839 and also  in Saint Pol for a commission. Génioles work, although not the image above did appear in  an earlier version of the book by Alfred de Courcy LINK   the original version was published in 1842 with some drawings by Géniole of Breton folk in  regional costume. By  1841 Géniole had moved again and was in Paris.

Is it possible that the costume depicted is actually much earlier than it has been attributed by some and that it is from the earlier part of the 19th century? 

Descriptions of the womens costume of around the same time are few and far between but one account would seem to tally largely with the illustration by Géniole.  J B Beaufils a resident medical practitionner writes in  1819 in the account of his time on the island that the womens dress was  quite peculiar, they wore a type of spencer ( a short bodice with sleeves ) made in toile or printed coton which covered a wide  fichu ( fabric worn under a bodice to cover the low neckline ) the costume was capped off by a large piece of toile or batiste starched and folded, which was worn to a length to  cover the ears and hair. They usually wore a  thick woollen skirt woven on the island from the blackish wool of their flocks of sheep. In summer they often went barefoot although in winter sabots ( breton clogs) were worn.

This type of costume with some variation is periodically documented through the islands history pre 20th century and is an integral part in  understanding the islanders relationship and dependance on their sheep. I will expand on this in another post. Génioles portrait  manages to capture a youthfulness and almost carefree spirit in a lifestyle that can have been anything but easy. An artists impression, most definately but one that can be shown to correspond to contemporary accounts of island custom.

"Fille d'Ouessant" dessin de Géniole qui date probablement de la première moitié du 19iéme siècle et qui montre le costume des femmes de l'île d'Ouessant à cet époque. Malgré le fait qu'il y a très  peu d'images de cet periode , le costume de la jeune fille correspond bien avec la description publié  en 1819 par  J B Beaufils*  médecin sur l'île. 

Il a décrit le costume des femmes, elles portent  "une sorte de spencer de toile ou d'indienne, que surmonte un large fichu de couleur.....leur figure qui en  général est jolie, se trouve encapuchonnée sous un grande morceau de toile ou de batiste empesée ou plié en plusieurs doubles qu'elles font descendre sur les  oreilles....Elles portent ordinairement de gros droguet noirâtre, fabriqué dans l'île avec la laine de ses troupeaux;"

 Beaufils, J. B., 1819,
Topographie physique et médicale de l'île d'Ouessant.  : Receuil de mémoires de médecine, de chirurgie et de pharmacie militaire Huzard, Paris.



mardi 17 septembre 2013

On My Bobbin #3

I wasn't expecting to like this yarn as much as I do. I wanted to use up some fleece that had been carded and left over from another project so I spun it up for some practice. My first time with carded fleece rather than combed. Its a white fleece but technically I guess you could call it a red based fleece and the mix of fibres and colours gives the final result quite a textured appearance in a soft apricot hue. By the time I took the photo I had managed to get a reasonable draw on the fibres although to start with I found the  carded fibres quite tricky hence the slubs in the yarn. I also much prefer the more woollen - less worsted look of the fibre and so have once again tried to produce a yarn  that is less defined and fluffier.

Encore une essaie,  mais cette fois ci avec  une toison cardée. J'aime le résultat  même si ce n'est pas parfait il y a du progrès. La laine est d'une brebis blanche mais avec un  aspect roux à la toison, qui don un fil plutôt abricot que blanc.

samedi 14 septembre 2013

Getting Crafty!

The Korrigans / Les Korrigans
Sometimes you have to take time out to have some fun. Finding a few basic things to do with prepped fibre that are so easy its kids play, wasn't difficult. The potential for all sorts of little fibre animals is limitless, here are  a few members of the korrigan family. Korrigans are a part of breton folklore and can be described as having long hair and flaming eyes - perfect! Of course nothing to stop you doing sheep or hedgehogs or whatever takes your fancy.

Il faut prendre du temps parfois à s'amuser. Il y a pas mal de choses qu'on peut faire avec la laine des moutons d'Ouessant qui sont pas compliqué, on dirait "jeux d'enfants" Les petites boules de laines qui ressemblent "les Korrigans"  dotés d'une magnifique chevelure et d'yeux rouges lumineux. Mais il y a rien qui vous empêche à faire petits moutons ou hérissons.....

 Zesty the Caterpillar

Very simple wet felted balls of wool pre-dyed and then I needle felted the head. It was my first attempt at needle felting  and there is definately room for improvement but its not overly technical .

Très simple,  une chenille en feutrage mouillé avec  des boules de laine déjà teints et la tête   fait en feutrage à l'aiguille
Pompom
Simple to do and if done multi-coloured or tonal  they can be quite striking. 
 Pompons de laine en couleurs variées pour un effet plus frappant

Needle felted cushion / Coussin  feutré  à l'aiguille

La pièce de resistance - Juliette aged 12 was kind enough to send me a sample of her work done in Ouessant wool. I Love it!! What ever your age or skill level theres no excuse for not having fun with Ouessant wool. 

La pièce de resistance  - Juliette 12 ans m'a envoyé un coussin qu'elle à fait en feutrage à l'aiguille avec la laine de moutons d'Ouessant.  Superbe! Je l'adore! N'importe votre âge ni votre niveau de compétence  il y a aucune raison qu'on peut pas s'amuser avec la laine de nos Ouessants.


mercredi 11 septembre 2013

A Bit of a Card!


Having first experimented with wool combs  I have moved on to carders. As a complete beginner spinning has come more easily with combed fibres which are practically already drafted and can be spun with little effort.  I am still working out the kinks in prepping the fibre by carding and how this relates to spinning but I'm getting there. Traditionally Ouessant wool was carded not combed, I am looking forward to seeing how I can play with this technique and the fibres to produce something creative and up to date as well as appreciating the qualities needed in the fleece from an historical point of view. The learning curve steepens.

Maintenant le cardage encore une nouvelle technique mais plus traditionnelle. La laine de moutons d'Ouessant était cardée avant d'être filée et tissée. Espérant qu'un jour j'arrive à comprendre mieux le lien entre la race aujourd'hui et l'histoire du production de la laine et la valeur de ces petits moutons  autrefois. 


dimanche 8 septembre 2013

On My Bobbin #2

A new bobbin and  a new technique for spinning ( don't worry its meant to look hairy). It does bring with it, its own technical difficulties for me to master..... in time. I am using the previously dyed and blended wool to run through a few techniques,  plus I want to know how the yarn spins up in terms of colour, how it knits up and also try out another couple of things along the way. Its all practice practice practice.


Une nouvelle bobine et une nouvelle technique de filage ( oui c'est poilu!) avec quelques difficultés pour moi à surmonter. Je voulais savoir  également comment la laine, déjà teints est transformée en fil puis plus tard quand c'est tricotée, le résultat final. Il me reste plein de choses à apprendre.

The Ouessant Sheep originates from the island of Ouessant, part of a tiny archipelago just off the north coast of Finistere, Brittany. The island of terror as it was known to some, was swept by the full force of the atlantic’s weather, the hardy sheep adapted to survive on poor grazing from salty clifftop meadows. It was the women of the island that raised the sheep, renowned for their black wool to weave into cloth known locally as berlinge and their meat with its sweet and delicate taste.

La race "Mouton d'Ouessant" est originaire de l’île d’’Ouessant qui fait parti d’un petit archipel au large du Finistère, Bretagne. L’île de l'épouvante comme c'était connu par certains était balayé par les intempéries de l’atlantique, ces moutons rustiques s'adaptaient à survivre sur les pâturages pauvres des falaises salées. C’était les femmes de l’île qui élevaient les moutons réputés pour leur laine noire à tisser « la berlinge » une étoffe régionale et leur viande avec un goût doux et délicat.

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