I sheared our sheep at Easter and still hadn't done anything with the fleece. I was never going to spin all of it, but the British Wool Board buys fleece from farmers. I'm kind of a farmer, so I called and registered my flock. "How many?" the lady on the phone asked me. "Uh, Eight. No Twelve. I mean 12 sheep, 8 fleeces." She let out a little cough-like laugh. Whether that was because of my tiny flock or because I can't seem to count, I'm not sure.
The fleeces were decent quality, but fleeces live on sheep, and sheep live outside. My sheep have been scratching themselves on painted sheds and living in a hay field. I gathered up my creosote-stained fleeces, gummed up with grass seed, and put them - along with a groveling note promising to buck up my act next year - in the bag supplied. I sewed it up with bailing twine as instructed and dropped it in to our local feed merchant. I'm not waiting for a cheque, I'll just be glad if they don't call and scold me.
I've spun one of my Dorset fleeces together with one of the Romney fleeces from my shearing course, and the yarn is soft. And you can have it in the colour of your choice, as long as it's white.
Hanging wet with a weight, to set the twist
I also knitted a tea cozy.
I can't explain that one. I didn't need a tea cozy. I drink copious amounts of tea, but quickly. My tea never has time to get uncomfortable. I did read a clinical psychology dissertation from Antioch University arguing that knitting reduces stress. I'm going with that. There's a Facebook page called 'I knit so I won't kill people'. Maybe I should start one called 'I knit as a salve to my animal-killing day job.'
I've entered my elderflower cordial, and sloe gin too. Both are tasty, but perhaps a bit more homemade than the judges would like. I mean, how much sediment and cloudiness is permitted? The rules aren't clear. Neither is my sloe gin.
I couldn't enter any chutney as we've eaten it all. I hope to have enough eggs to enter in the Farm Produce class, but the chickens have decided to moult en masse which means egg production will be way down. Those hens not moulting are broody, or laying in the hedgerow. If I follow the dogs and I'm quick I can sometimes find a nest, but the quality of those eggs could be dubious. They don't lay them with a date stamp.
The show and five classes has cost me the princely sum of £3.50 to enter. The only thing I have to lose is my dignity and some self-esteem (what's left after my call to the Wool Board anyway). If that happens, I always have my knitting.
Does anyone need their tea cozied?