The Phillips Farm is about a mile down the road from my place and I used their wool in the show at The Artery. Story: The Phillips family lives down the road from my farm and they raise a small flock of Suffolk sheep for lamb and meat production. For the last few years I have acquired their fleeces and used the wool in woven blankets and for felt projects.
Suffolk sheep are an English breed developed in the early 1800’s and brought to the U.S. in 1888. Suffolks are large black-faced sheep that are often used as a terminal sire for range flocks. They produce a lofty, medium grade fleece measuring 25.5 to 33 microns.
I sort the fleeces and have the softer wool spun into yarn for use in blankets and shawls. The coarser wool is carded into batts at Yolo Wool Mill in Woodland that are used for felt projects and pillows. The natural springiness and loft of Suffolk wool makes it the perfect pillow stuffing. I sent these fleece samples for testing and the result came back 29.4 microns. In the past I have used this wool for blankets but with access to a friend’s felt loom (machine for needle felting) I decided to use most of it for felt this year. The felt I made is a combination of the Suffolk wool and Jacob britch wool. I made three series of placemats (10 to 12 in each). I also made larger (door) mats and smaller (mug rug) mats.Cutting up all that felt leaves odds and ends of felt. What is better to do than to turn them into weaving projects? So I made these woven felled wall hangings… …and dryer balls. I delivered the prototypes of these to the Artery last year and found a customer who wanted to juggle with them. Here’s a short video of that.
…and dryer balls.