I raise black and white sheep and my friend, Colleen, raises brown sheep so between us we have all the natural colors. I used some of her wool in my show at the Artery. If you’re just starting to read these posts go back to this one to read about the concept of this show.
The story: Colleen Simon got her first sheep about 15 years ago. Since then her spinning and sheep raising hobby has evolved into a fiber business. She keeps about 20 ewes of varying shades of tan and brown and markets their wool as roving and yarn at the Davis Farmers Market. Colleen is an expert felter and creates felted hats and embellishments from her fiber. She sells her creations at the Farmers Market as well as at local festivals and Grand Hand in Napa. Lambs are sold to Superior Farms in Dixon.
Colleen’s flock is a blend of fine-wooled Romeldale, CVM, and colored Merino sheep. The Romeldale is a rare breed that was developed in California in the early 1900’s. Breeding long-wool Romney and fine-wool Rambouillet sheep resulted in a breed with heavy fleeces of very soft wool. The CVM or California Variegated Mutant is a not-so-appealing name of the colored variant of the Romeldale that has a multi-colored brown fleece and “badger-face” markings. The wool is very soft and measures 20.6 to 25 microns.
Colleen lives about a mile from me and we have shared sheep and fiber adventures for years. We make a good team because my flock grows black and white wool and hers grows brown wool so between us we have all the natural colors.Some of the beautiful shades of wool used in the shawls below.
Detail of the show on the right. I also wove two plaid shawls that are in the show but I don’t have photos of those. The photos below are of soft CVM scarves.