Mountains of fluffy fun

Even the sheep are putting their wet gear on …

The weather is becoming a bit wild and woolly here...which means the fire is on, ready to warm the house but most importantly: getting the mountain of yarns and fibres ready and dry for the handknitters guild show at the Merri-Bek hall in Coburg on May 13th and 14th. In my mind I thought at one point that we were still in April, but hey, that was wishful thinking for sure!  With only a week to go to get all the yarns dry, skeined up, labelled and packed it is starting to become a mad scramble again…lol. I guess that’s  my modus operandi I cannot escape Studying for exams or preparing for shows: why do I always seem to leave things til the very last minute to get everything ready? One day, I will start preparing even earlier and will sip cocktails on the verandah, relaxing, instead of this mad hatters party eality I’m living in…rofl. Never mind!  I can always relax AFTER the show!
don’t forget to book your free tickets ! And get all the information about what is going on when you scan the QR code on the poster here:
Handknitters guild show 2023 poster
This week has all been about dyeing, dyeing and …dyeing plus plying the handspun angora yarns, wallaby yarns, guanaco yarns and more! I’m afraid I have let the social media stuff escape me for a bit due to lack of time but I hope, fingers crossed , I will get a chance to post preview photos of all the yarns and fibres hopping to the show with me, together with magnificent spindles, nostepinne, wrist distaffs and bowls made by Paul aka Lair of the bearded dragon. 

I am also prepping and dyeing the May clubs next week! The shipping of the away club will be a tiny bit later than usual but I am hoping to get everything dry and ready a bit later than mid May. The teaser labels will appear on social media this weekend so make sure you follow me on Instagram where I am @ixchelbunny 💕🐰💕
Now, where was I? Oh yes!! The handknitters show or let’s just call it “the fabulous fondle of fluff & yarn weekend” of the year! 

what can you expect?
short answer to that is : A LOT!  There will be heaps of super interesting and fun vendors there selling their handdyed yarns and I will be there as well with the Bearded Dragon himself, in our stall, the first on the left as soon as you walk in the entrance door to the show.
I did post some videos of last years show on social media so if you would like a sneak peek of the happening, please do!
What will be on offer?
short answer? A LOT!
Here’s a list to help you organise a shopping list:
handspun angora 
handspun angora wallaby
handspun angora possum
handspun guanaco and vampire deer yarns
sock weight yarns spun in Victoria and dyed on the IxCHeL farm, ranging from fun speckles to saturated semi solid colours
Silver Star sock yarn superfine merino cashmere and bling! Handdyed fabulous fun and super soft!
luxurious merino silk and cashmere sock weight yarn
IxCHeL merino/mohair and fine lambswool tweed yarns in over 20 colours!
Gaia DK yarns hand dyed speckles to variegated and semi solids
ALL THE FIBRES I HAVE IN STOCK in the shop will be going to the show! Together with drop spindles, bowls, dealgans, support spindles, phangs, bowls and all the tools. 

o-oh! I think I need a “bigger boat” to get everything to the show😜🤣😂

This week I have a fab blend for you on offer : 
A Ouessant/Blue Faced Leicester/Mulberry Silk blend that is so smoochy and soft and fluffy you have to try it ! The different colours in all the fleeces blended together made a gorgeous base to dye on and resulted in amazing tonal values of the dyed tops. 
I love dyeing tops that have different coloured fleeces in them: it is magical ! spinning this blend will give you a gorgeous heathered and saturated, magical colour play yarn, that is soft and suitable to close to skin wear with a gorgeous drape.

Located 12 miles off the French coast in the Sea of Iroise, the island of Ouessant (or Ushant in English) is the original homeland of Ouessant Sheep. 
 Ouessant sheep are the most primitive of the native French breeds. For centuries, they were raised in isolation on the island where they played an integral part of the self-sufficient closed economy, providing both wool and meat. By the end of the 18th century there were over 6,000 sheep on the island of Ouessant. But economic improvements along with a move toward modernization at the beginning of the 19th century radically changed the future prospects of this small primitive breed. ortunately, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a number of wealthy families imported small numbers of traditional Ouessant sheep to the French mainland to graze the lands around their estates. 
Ultimately, this seemingly insignificant event insured the survival of the breed. Today, Ouessant sheep are sought after both as companion animals and as “environmentally-friendly lawn mowers”. 
They have also gained a certain amount of popularity in several different European countries : Most notably Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. 
A member of the Northern European Short-Tailed breeds, Ouessant sheep are distant cousins of the Shetland and Icelandic breeds. The two most distinctive features of Ouessant sheep are their size and their color. 
Considered by many to be the smallest breed of sheep in the world, adult ewes measure less than 18″ (46cm) at the shoulders and rams are under 20″ (50cm). 
Additionally, Ouessant sheep come in a number of different colors : Including black, white, brown, and grey. It is true that the small size of Ouessant sheep contributes to the breed’s characteristic charm and appeal. However, their diminutive size also means that the breed is not commercially viable in the modern world of agricultural production. In fact, one of the primary objectives for breeding Ouessant sheep today is the preservation and conservation of the rare genetic resources that are found in the breed. 
Despite their small size, these charming little sheep produce a particularly beautiful and versatile wool. Ouessant sheep have a distinctive double-coated fleece with an average fiber diameter of 25 microns and, on average, fleeces weigh approximately 750 grams (1.5 lbs.). It is important to keep in mind that Ouessant sheep are an unimproved breed, which means that from one sheep to another there is less standardization and more variability in wool type and quality than one would normally find in modern improved breeds. 
For the handspinner, this variation presents a unique opportunity : From one small flock of Ouessant sheep it is possible to produce wool that can be used for a wide variety of projects, ranging from lace shawls to hats, cardigans, and even rugs. 
 I have taken great care to only select the finest of the Ouessant fibre and blending that with the shiny Blue faced Leicester and the mulberry silk  to create a beautiful heathered effect when dyed.


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