I have probably mentioned this, but I live in New Jersey. I know that there are a lot of Jersey jokes, and everyone thinks that NJ is what you see when you land at the airport – which I admit is not very nice. But I live in the country. Really. I pass cows and goats and llamas all the time, and I know its summer when I see the corn growing in the fields all around me. I love where I live – I really do. There are disadvantages – I have a two hour each way commute, shopping is at least a half hour away, and for a long time – fine dining was the local pizza place (now we have some nice restaurants). But I do love it. Its peaceful, green….and I can get fleece. For free. Really.
My son Dan’s best friend’s grandmother (that sounds really convoluted, doesn’t it?) has a farm. Its really an amazing farm – it dates back to colonial times – one of the few working colonial farms in NJ. For a long time, we bought our Christmas tree there – it was just a beautiful experience – hiking out in the woods, cutting down the tree. She had an ox that would drag it back to the little shop she had for the holidays, where you could get a cup of hot cider and buy some locally crafted holiday ornaments. If I could, I’d buy the farm – its really just a neat place. Anyway – the last time I saw Ryan he mentioned that she had sheep – one thing led to another (could it have gone any other way?) and I asked him to find out what she did with the fleece.
Tonight, as I sat on the train, my cell rang – it was Ryan who told me he left me a present.
Its a big damn fleece – I don’t know what it weighs, but I’d guess a kabillion pounds. Ok, maybe not that – but probably between 8-10 pounds? I had asked Ryan what kind of sheep she had – I think its funny that non-knitters/spinners are completely confused by the question….he said “they are sheep – what do you mean type?”. I asked him to ask his grandmother what this was…..I wonder if I can figure it out by looking at the fleece – it’s not border leicester or corriedale because I have had those and the texture is just all wrong and the color is yellowy and not what I remember. Ryansaid it was cleaned but it still has a lot of lanolin in it, as well as a lot of vegetable matter. But …its free! And its local! And I know the person that had the sheep!
And she has 6 or 7 more that she will sell me for 10 each – and I’m thinking…maybe I should get them (you know, stash fleece for retirement? What if I can’t get fleece when I retire?). Or would someone reading this like it? I would be more than happy to buy it and ship it to you…but word of warning – Ryan says the others aren’t cleaned.
I bought a Corriedale fleece at Maryland this year that is still waiting for me to clean it – and now this one – so maybe I’ll have a “clean-the-fleece” weekend….I’m going to leave the Corriedale fleece natural, but I am thinking about dyeing this one….hmmmm…..
Next time I promise to post the rest of the reviews of the Philadelphia yarn stores….but for now, I’m going to go outside, and enjoy country living! And let me know if you’d like me to get you a fleece!