For the last two years we have visited the Ecomusée De Pays De Rennes for their annual Shearing Day (La Tonte). Each year the shearers have very kindly given me a free fleece. Unfortunately, I don't get told the breed of sheep and, yes, I know now that I should've asked. You can see the breeds of sheep and goats that they keep here. I do know that they haven't given me Ouessant fleece. (Interestingly, I recently found out that one of our neighbours (Hilary at Le Fosso) keeps Ouessants so maybe next year? I think the fleeces are probably either Bleu De Maine or Avranchin looking at the descriptions on the site. This year's fleece weighed over 7kg - it was the heaviest they'd had that day.The fleeces are not skirted before I get them and the sheep are not kept coated do there is a lot of dirty work to do before I wash them.
The photo above shows the two washed fleeces in bags I knocked up from some fabric I had lying around. The rightmost bag (also the smallest) contains the fleece from last year. The other two bags contain this years fleece. It took over a week to get that fleece skirted, washed and dried.
Some of the fleece drying:
I've carded and spun some of the first fleece. I tried spinning it long draw - I definitely need more practice at that technique. It came out very bulky, thick and thin but also very soft. I have since crocheted and fulled it into a small birthday present for Meleri (more details are here on Ravelry):
As for the rest of the two fleeces, I think that I will probably dye the fleece first and then card it. I think that it could be nice combed but I don't have any combs yet. Although the sight of the two large bags containing the second fleece are making me yearn for a drumcarder.