samedi 28 septembre 2013


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.

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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