Friday, February 5, 2016

Fresians and Divas



What a week it has been !! Made it back safe and sound after our couple of days away on the Gippsland Coast . We were hoping to relax and have some sunny time with nice walks along the coast and watching the boats go by. What we got was wetter than trawlermen on the Northsea and thunderstorms that rivalled a New Years Eve Fireworks lasting the WHOLE time we were there. I love a good fireworks as the next person but having it going on non-stop was a bit much.  I can only say how grateful I am for my warped sense of humour, which, I have to admit, was starting to wane a bit towards the end of our mini “holiday”. 

 Nevertheless, We came back  to more or less sunny conditions (who knew!!) and it was straight back in the dyeroom and studio for me to get the Outlander adventure done and posted AND start prepping the February clubs which will be ready to send early next week. Can’t forget the update of this week either, so I was certainly a busy bee. No rest for the wicked they say.

To start this update off I am going to tell you something about a Dutch sheep breed that almost faced extinction in the 1970s : The Dutch Zwartbles. It would have been a shame to lose this breed because I think it is supercute with it’s black and white markings on its face. 
Luckily, the breed was saved and is now increasing in numbers and there are even breeders in Ireland who have these beauties on their farms. The Zwartbles origins come from the most Northern part of The Netherlands in the province of Friesland where they had to be able to withstand lots of cold, wet and icy weather and that’s where their dense fleece comes into play: it keeps the animal nice and warm. The zwartbles is a result from a cross between the Dutch native sheepbreed called “shorttailed Friesian” and the Hairy Drenthe Sheep.
The Dutch Zwartbles was originally a meat and milk breed and a producer of super nice black wool. The dense fleece of the Zwartbles is very springy and is a deep black with the occasional brown sun burnt tips. 

The staple tends to be a bit blocky, medium long and displays a very nice crimp. The staple is fairly open and varies in micron from about 23 to 35microns. The wool is very easy to spin and you can choose whatever spinning technique you like. It does have an extra bit of bounce to it so keep that in mind. When knitting your zwartbles yarn you will notice that it is crisp and therefore enhances your stitch defenition and weave structures, but it also has a very nice springiness to it so it is a good durable yarn. It’s great to use it for hats, gloves and jumpers.

Have a look at these cute Zwartbles sheep. Especially the lambs are just too cute !

Cute zwartbles lambs enjoying some sun


busy Zwartbles mum


remember the two lambs you saw in the previous two photos? Well, they are all grown up now!


keeping watch


"I’m ready for my Portrait now …"


Not only Zwartbles tops are on offer on this week’s blog but also some very fluffy DIVA tops!

Have a fun weekend !!


Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry. Have fun !!!

DIVA Tops   

Superfine 15micron merino,Cashmere, Angora Bunny, Suri, Silk and Glitz

100+gram tops     AU$24
Fabulously soft to spin and work with.



Zen with a Twist-sold-

UFO-Sold-


Swan Lake-SOLD-


Sun Spots-sold-





Stormy Sea-sold-


Rainbow-sold-


Pumpkin Harvest-sold-


Mushroom Faeries-sold-



Moss Monster-sold-


Monster Mash-sold-


Icy Heather-SOLD-

Honey Blossom-sold-


Green Ivy-sold-



Honey Bee-sold-


Friesland-sold-


Berry Wine-sold-


Dutch Zwartbles Sheep Tops   

A cute Rare sheep breed with super lofty fleece
100+grams tops AU$20



Zwartbles top -sold-


Dates to put in your Calendar !!

March


Healesville spinners talk ..date to be confirmed later

April 18th

Monday 10am-2pm


Grandvalley Spinners and Weavers Spin in

Tapscott Hall, Corner Cambridge and Montrose rd, Montrose


May

Date to be confirmed later

Victorian Hand Knitters Guild Show Coburg Town Hall
THE extra ordinary super fluffy yarny event in Melbourne !!! I will be there with lots of hand dyed tops for spinning and felting and happy rainbow yarn and sock yarn, some extra special art yarns and much much more!!!! As well as some amazing Lair of the Bearded Dragon spindles and bowls that are pure magic to spin with !

JULY

Friday July 15th- Sunday 17th, 9am-5pm

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
THE event of the year !!!! Not to be missed!! I will be there in the Flower (Power Bunny) Shed again with heaps of new goodies, hand dyed and hand spun, IxCHeL new blends and rare sheep breed adventures and much much more ! Including a world first of something AMAZING AND FUN!!!!! Shhh not telling ! but it is AWESOME !!!!


August

Date to be confirmed

Black n Coloured Sheep Show in Cranbourne

Landscape dyes 

 100g tubs   AU$11 



Want to dye your own with easy to use acid dyes? I have been selling these Landscape dyes at my workshops and shows for a long time, just never thought to put them on my blog. 
They are extremely easy to use and come in great shades. 
Just contact me with the name of the colour you are after and I will get right back to you.


Have a creative week!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable.

All my contact details are to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry.
Have fun !!!




How To Order:
1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !



 RABBIT ON !
((hugs))
Charly
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Friday, January 22, 2016

My Preciousss! : A new blend adventure

The Fellowship of the Ring
This update is a special one, because I just could not contain myself when I finished putting this blend together which is so shiny and silky and has such a beautiful drape. So, I had to share it almost immediately as it came off the blender! It is excellent for spinning, weaving and knitting with. But hold on…I’ll start from the beginning of a new fibre adventure at hand: My Preciousss!

The rare sheep breed in the spot light today is the very special Stansborough sheep of New Zealand. In the early 1990s a small flock of rare grey Gotland sheep in Nelson was discovered, which had been brought to New Zealand from Denmark 20 years prior. The sheep historically originate from an island off the coast of Sweden, and their unique grey fleeces were very well adapted to keep out the Vikings warm.. The silky wool was even utilised by the vikings for making the sails for their medieval longships.

The aim of the Stansborough farm was to develop a fibre suitable for worsted spinning into worsted fabric. The line of sheep has been kept pure, and there has been enough semen and embryos frozen to provide the wide gene pool essential for future research and development.
During these years of experimenting and trialling, the brownish colour lent to the fleece –and subsequent fabric – by the brownish tips and brownish guard hairs associated with the pelts of the original sheep, has been modified and removed. It took 12 years to create the special wool breed of what is now a unique flock of 1000 animals – the 'Stansborough Grey' sheep – now a unique registered breed in their own right and the only flock of its kind in the world.

The lustrous fibre is shorn every 5 to 6 months to produce a moderate staple length. The best way to spin this type of fibre is a worsted spinning style so the luster will be highlighted even more.

Per shearing the fleeces weigh about 2 to 2.5 kgs and the staple lengths can vary from 8-10 cms. The micron of the pure Stansborough grey is about 22 to 29. You will find the Preciousss blend tops easy to spin, soft, silky and at the same tiume pretty durable as well. The added bonus of the cashmere and angora bunny gives it the close to skin wear properties and loft and the tencel is enhancing the drape and pearly shine. It will make garments that have a light weight, drapy and a magical sheen!

The Stansborough grey fibre was ofcourse made world famous because the yarns that were produced from the fleeces were used in the making of the fabulous woven cloaks in Lord of the Rings, with their amazing sheen and the magnificent shadow weave pattern. Pure magic!

As a big fan of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies I have been planning this blend for a long long time.
Because the Gotland like properties of the fleece it has a great drape but it is in need of loft to let it totally shine and make it close to skin wear so Here’s what I did: I blended it with some beautiful Angora bunny and Cashmere and added tencel for a lush pearly look that will make your yarn extra special !

 Let me show you some of these beautiful sheep :

A flock of Stansborough Grey
A mum with her two lambs
A Magnificent Ram (photo by M.Glans)


And here are some of the pretties you can create:


Aragorn's Cloak from the movie Lord of the Rings
Aragorn’s Cloak close up, woven in a shadow weave pattern
on the loom
a closer look of the weave structure

shadow weave pattern up close



You can create a similar shadow weave with just a 4 shaft loom..
obviously the more shafts you have, the more shadow effects you can create,
but 4 shaft with this undulating twill type structure will work
 just fine to create your own Precioussssss fabric !


Below are all the details of this rare sheep breed adventure.

Enjoy !

IxCHeL Rare Sheep Breed Fibre Adventure

Preciousss Tops!

Shipping date: Monday 25th of Feb


Here’s your chance to spin some amazingly special tops with a blend of :


Grey Stansborough gotland sheep
Cashmere
Angora Bunny
Tencel


This time only the natural undyed tops are on offer.

the tops are a 100g + each ! AU$25   SOLD OUT ! Sorry !!!

There will only be a very limited supply!!

Pm on Ravelry or facebook or email me.

Single, double or triple serves are available !


Enjoy !



a close up of the top 

How To Order:


1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook 
3. Message me on Ravelry.com where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email/ message you right back with all your order details and payment methods.


Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.


Thank you so much for your help and support !


Dates to put in your Calendar !!

March


Healesville spinners talk ..date to be confirmed later

April 18th, 

Monday 10am-2pm


Grandvalley Spinners and Weavers Spin in

Tapscott Hall, Corner Cambridge and Montrose rds, Montrose


May

Date to be confirmed later

Victorian Hand Knitters Guild Show Coburg Town Hall
THE extra ordinary super fluffy yarny event in Melbourne !!! I will be there with lots of hand dyed tops for spinning and felting and happy rainbow yarn and sock yarn, some extra special art yarns and much much more!!!! As well as some amazing Lair of the Bearded Dragon spindles and bowls that are pure magic to spin on !

JULY

Friday July 15th- Sunday 17th, 9am-5pm

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
THE event of the year !!!! Not to be missed!! I will be there in the Flower (Power Bunny) Shed again with heaps of new goodies, hand dyed and hand spun, IxCHeL new blends and rare sheep breed adventures and much much more ! Including a world first of something AMAZING AND FUN!!!!! Shhh not telling ! but it is AWESOME !!!!


August

Date to be confirmed

Black n Coloured Sheep Show in Cranbourne

Landscape dyes 

 100g tubs   AU$11 



Want to dye your own with easy to use acid dyes? I have been selling these Landscape dyes at my workshops and shows for a long time, just never thought to put them on my blog. 
They are extremely easy to use and come in great shades. 
Just contact me with the name of the colour you are after and I will get right back to you.


Have a creative week!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable.




 RABBIT ON !
((hugs))
Charly
qrcode