Friday, August 23, 2013

Blue Castello

This is a fleece shot of Blue Castello, a premium superfine emsket ram lamb (B/b).  Emsket and mioget are two of the least common colors of Shetland sheep and especially in fine fleeced ones.  They are highly prized by spinners because they are so rare and because the colors blend very well with alpaca, mohair, and angora.  Emsket has been the very hardest color to get this finely crimped and this ram lamb is the best so far that we've produced.  His fleece is fantastic in type.  Very soft and silky handle, very finely crimped, and it is dense.  Castello will be put to 4 or 5 mioget and emsket ewes to concentrate on these modified colors - all lambs should be either mioget or emsket.  Sorry, but he does not like to pose for the camera - this one was taken while he was lying under one of the hay wagons.  Very laid back in personality, nothing really fazes him.  I even had a halter on him a few days ago and he was almost trained in just a few minutes.  He did take notice and act like he was at a show, with great presence (but I forgot to get a picture).  Not freaking out doing the flop, drop, and roll like some do.   I like calm rams.  Too bad he's not signed up to show.

Blue Castello (UTS Stronsay/UTS Formosa Jade)

Bella and the pup are playing again.  This time I caught her in the act of using the waterer as her pool.  And yes, I cleaned it out . . . for the third time today (so far).

 This is better, although I have to rinse the algae slime off her.


  1. Such a beautiful fleece. It really does look blue. I'm sure you'll be spinning it soon.
    Jasmine's fleece is almost done being spun and will be a beautiful woven blanket sometime soon.

  2. Yes Elaine, I don't think anyone will be able to pry Castello's fleece out of my hands next spring! And you've got me to thinking . . . a blue lace Shetland shawl, perhaps? With at least part of it . . .

  3. Since you said this is a particularly f i n e fleece I think a lovely Shetland shawl would be perfect for part of his fleece.
    Lots of pictures, please, when you get it done next spring. I'd like to see the "blueness" of his fleece (and hope that there may be more to come!!) in the shawl.

  4. I would venture to say that Castello's fleece is in the low 20's range with a very low SD/CV. This picture really doesn't do justice to the fineness of it. It was hard to capture. I might snip a bit off and try to get a better picture. I'll try to ponder what I can put next to it to show how fine.
    His fleece is quite dense and the denser ones are harder to capture fineness, unless you get some stranding going on (which some people don't like to see . . .).
    As for the shawl, well, you'll have to allow me time to get through lambing, shear the whole flock, wash, flick, card, and spin a few ounces of his fleece before I could even begin to commence knitting a shawl!! But, it does sound like something that I would put up near the top of the list for spinning/knitting projects next year!
    I'm finding that spinning and lace out of fine Shetland wool is a fun thing to do. Proper type fleece makes a world of difference all the way around. Working on a lace scarf at the moment and hope to be done by WSWF. An easy project, but it's taken me awhile to do (various reasons).

  5. Looking forward to seeing Castello standing up. Such lovely fleece!!
    Do you actually card such fine fleece or just flick it?

  6. Elaine - I flick, then card on my Strauch. That way it comes of the carder similar to top, but with an 'aliveness' to it. I've not found any prep other than handcombing (which wastes a ton) to come close to the ease and joy of spinning than this method.