Close to Home…Post #7 – Jacob Wool

I’ve been writing about sources of wool from Solano and Marin Counties and from Oregon, but of course I used my own wool too for the Artery show. How to choose a representative photo of my sheep? I used more than one. I can do that because it’s my show.Fanny FannyLola Lolarams-frontRams.

Here is the story I wrote for the show:

I developed Meridian Jacobs after my family moved to Meridian Road, north of Vacaville, in 1999 and I purchased Jacob sheep. The Jacob sheep is a rare breed that is hardy and well-adapted to low-input, sustainable farming practices. My flock of 65+ sheep grazes irrigated pasture much of the year and is supplemented with locally grown alfalfa during the winter.

The sheep provide me with unique wool and tasty lamb and are the core upon which I have built a multi-faceted business, selling fiber (from my sheep and other yarns featured in this show), teaching classes, and creating the Farm Club. Lambs for meat are sold to individuals and to Superior Farms in Dixon.

The Jacob sheep is striking in appearance with it’s spotted fleece and multiple horns. The sheep are shorn in the fall and yarn is spun at two California mills. My flock’s wool measures from 27 to 31 microns. By sorting fleeces by color and grade I produce a variety of natural shades and can use the softer fleeces for blankets and garments and coarser wool for felt items.

Meridian Jacobs evolved as I turned my passion for wool into a business.

I had a limited amount of yarn from this year because I sold so many fleeces at shearing day. Some went to Farm Club members and I used most of the rest. It is beautiful yarn.Artery 2014 Jacob blanket Artery 2014 Artery 2014 These are all throw-sized blankets.Jacob blanketThe cool thing about Jacob wool is that you get all of these natural colors without dyeing. For this blanket I used odds and ends of the yarns that were left in warp and weft. It was going to be a poncho along with the other blanket on this warp. I have a poncho that I wore in high school:ponchoYes, I still have it because I always planned to use it for a pattern. (When I put it on it makes me look 17, right? Glasses are gone. With camera angle, you don’t see as many wrinkles. You can pretend that I bleached my hair back then.)Jacob wool 2014Anyway, the fabric in the first “poncho” photo was larger than the poncho that I wanted and it looked and felt so nice as a blanket that I didn’t cut a hole in it. (Good thing–it has sold to someone and it will be shipped to Australia.) This fabric was about the right size so I did turn it into a poncho. It can be purchased at the Artery (or from me after the show).887-4This is a scarf from more of the left-over yarn.

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