Last Thursday I had posted that a very large box had arrived in the mail. In fact, it looked like I had received a chair.
In fact, for all the dog knew it was a chair. He was not interested. But, it was not a chair. The contents were part of the year’s Master Plan. A plan that would catapult me into a new era of crafting and “makery”. It was a Navajo Churro fleece.
Now spinning is a new activity for me. I have crocheted for years and only recently have I taken an interest in making my own yarn. My interest grew from a skein of combed top that my son gave me for my birthday. To process it, I thought it might be interesting to spin so I bought a drop spindle. That drop spindle stayed in a drawer until I took a drop spindling class. From there my interest snowballed. In October, 2015, my husband surprised me with a Schacht Matchless Spinning Wheel* while we were at the Taos Wool Festival. Then, after watching videos and using two books for reference, I spun my first skein of yarn. What fun!
So now, with the arrival of that box, I will now begin a new endeavor – making yarn from a fleece just like people used to do for survival before machinery took over the major part of processing fiber.
First of all, I want to say that I did not expect to receive my fleece so soon. I expected to start my project in the summer or maybe in the fall, but for some reason I decided to look up Navajo Churro fleece on Etsy one night. From this search I came across Cheryl from Lots a Vintage. Cheryl and her family raise Navajo Churro sheep and she said that she had some fleece on hand. She gave me a great deal too. I could not pass this up, so not only did I receive my fleece earlier than expected, I also received it for a lot less than I expected.
Why Navajo Churro?
Why did I purchase Navajo Churro? For several reasons. I spun my first skein of yarn with some Navajo Churro fleece that I picked up at the Taos Wool Festival. These sheep also have long fibers, so spinning this fleece is a lot easier for a beginner like me. I also wanted Navajo Churro because there is so much history behind this fleece here in the West. The Navajo Indians have been using it to stay toasty for centuries. They have also used it to weave their beautiful rugs and blankets and continue to use it still. Here are some pictures that Cheryl sent me of her sheep:
The fleece I acquired is from one a white sheep named either Donnie or Phillip. Cheryl says that the sheep are her family’s pets so I felt assured that the fleece were well taken care of. This is important because care of the sheep affects the strength of its wool.
I hope you will find this journey interesting. My next post in this series will be on skirting wool.
*Mike purchased the spinning wheel from Allie at Dazzler’s Best.