Country Living

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!


11 Responses to Country Living

  1. Great smokin carders!!! That’s a FLEECE. And her farm is great – lovely. We usually got our tree’s there, too. Have fun with that – and lets do a dye day for sure!!

  2. Beth says:

    Wow what a great gift. I would say I would want some if I knew how spin….love watching people spin….maybe someday.

  3. Beth says:

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog, you got it, when I’m ready to go to Loops again will let you know. Oh, and I could have sworn you already knew how to knit and that Chris was going to teach you how to crochet (ducks)….I’ve seen your project and I’m envious. chuckles.

  4. Opal says:

    that sure is a great big honkin’ fleece! one thing you might want to consider is sending the fleece off to be processed at a mill. especially if you get the other fleeces. it would save you a ton of time and free you up to do more spinning. 🙂

  5. Laurie says:

    LMAO! A fleece on the doorstep! How cool is that? Put on your sheep warshing clothes and have a big to-do. Maybe like a barn raising…only with fleece…and water.

    Your neck of the woods is beautiful.

  6. Rebekah says:

    well you can’t beat a free fleece!

  7. lobstah says:

    Neat story about getting the fleece. Cleaning it sounds hard though!

  8. tiennie says:

    Wow! That does look like a kabillion pounds of fleece!

  9. nat says:

    that looks a mighty fine fleece – I have tried to email you without success. Are you having troubles with your emial account that you know of?

  10. Terri says:

    Wow that fleece looks huge. Can’t wait to see what you do with it as I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. I like the sound of getting a fleece, cleaning, dying, spinning and knitting it though. :o)

  11. Asa says:

    Wow, what a great gift – how generous of them. Do they have any idea of what wool means to knitters?

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