Getting to Know Ewe: Columbia Sheep and Their Wool
Are you ready for the new issue of Spin Off? I wrote a new article for the Summer 2017 issue about my first fiber love—Columbia sheep. It’s always a pleasure to write about sheep breeds that I enjoy using, especially when it’s a breed that is less commonly used by handspinners.
My family kept a flock of Columbia sheep while I was growing up in Indiana, and I’ve always had a soft spot for their friendly faces and copious fleeces. An American breed originally developed for Western rangeland, Columbias have easily adapted to many different landscapes.
Once I started writing my article about the history of Columbias and their versatile fiber, I was off to sniff out some fleeces. I ordered fleeces from Montana, small-batch combed top from Washington, and dyed combed top from Kansas.
When I returned home from a fabulous weekend teaching for the Peachtree Handspinners Guild in Atlanta last August, a giant box was waiting by my front door. My spinner’s radar detected wool fumes, and I excitedly opened the box.
My plan was to design some spinner’s socks for Spin Off. I often wish I had some beautiful, woolly socks to keep in my spinning bag. I began washing, combing, and spinning samples to make sure my plan was on the right track: 4-ply cabled yarns in cushy, snow-white Columbia.
I’m eager and anxious to see the new Spin Off in my mailbox—I hope you are, too!
Featured Image: From whence woolly words wander forth… Photos by Kate Larson
Learn about Columbia sheep and other breeds!