SW01 Breeding and Producing for Wool with Sue Blacker

Thursday, April 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Home Arts Building

Students will look at the characteristics of different sheep breeds and options for adding value to their wool, covering fleece assessment and options for specific products depending on breed, together with packaging and marketing. This class will focus on shepherds and will include hands-on work, but will be mainly a discussion to bring out the experience of those attending and discuss their decision making and other options – based on the instructor’s own experience of breeding Gotland sheep for 20 years and the work of her wool mill with many other breeds as well as angora goats and alpacas.

Class Code: SW01 Class Fee: $30. 20 student maximum.

Sue Blacker manages The Natural Fibre Company and Blacker Yarns, a UK-based commission spinnery with branded range of knitting yarns. The company specializes in spinning fiber from rare and regional British sheep breeds, also mohair and alpaca along with full organic processing accreditation if required. Sue has a degree from Cambridge University and worked in the City on stock-broking investment analysis before returning to her native Cornwall to have a family, start sheep farming and work in charities, economic and environmental development. A knitter since childhood, she has now woven the threads together!

2020 Catalog Cover Artist

Presenting our 2020 catalog cover, featuring an original woodcut done just for us by Bobby Rosenstock of JustAJar Design Press.

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Sharing a post from one of the contestants in our first ever virtual Junior Spinning Competition, which was held via Zoom as part of our Virtual Online Festival. Congratulations go to all of the contestants, whose ages ranged from 8 to 14. Here is how everyone placed:
Adeline - Most Even Yarn (spinning wheel category)
Grace - Fattest Yarn, Longest Yarn (spinning wheel category)
Caroline - Skinniest Yarn (spinning wheel category)
Theodore - Lumpiest Yarn (spinning wheel category)
Ava - Most Even Yarn, Skinniest Yarn, Longest Yarn (drop spindle category)
Preston - Fattest Yarn, Lumpiest Yarn (drop spindle category)
Astrid - Most Even Yarn, Longest Yarn (e-spinner category)

Special thanks to committee member Patricia Sanville for organizing this online competition!
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3 days ago  ·  

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The Maryland Make it With Wool program relies on its sale of Wool Wax Creme at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival to fund their activities. Since the festival was cancelled, they are selling the products by email this year. The post below shows the products available with instructions on how to order.

MIWW is an annual youth-centered sewing and needle work competition designed to promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics, yarns, and fibers. Preliminary competitions are held at the state level, culminating in the National Finals and Awards Banquet at the American Sheep Industry annual convention.

Please help keep Maryland youth sewing by ordering your wool wax creme today (plus it's a really great product, too).
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4 days ago  ·  

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