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My Story

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My Story

As a shepherd and a fiber artist, raising sheep and working with fiber are the focus of each day. Whether tending lambs at birth, shearing the flock’s carefully maintained fleeces or rendering dye baths that make each hand-dyed batch of yarn truly unique, my work is both creatively challenging and enormously satisfying. Located on 220 acres in the Berkshire foothills of western Massachusetts, Springdelle Farm is home to both my flock and my fiber art studio.

Sheep & Wool Production

Since 1997 I have been building a healthy flock of sheep especially chosen for the quality of fiber they produce. I enjoy the presence of these sweet, gentle animals and their well being is a top priority. My approach to producing fleeces of exceptional quality includes selective breeding and careful flock management. My sheep wear special coats during much of the year to protect their wool from dirt and plant contamination. Maintaining a clean barn and managing weeds in the pasture are all part of the process. I am rewarded on shearing day with a pristine wool clip.

My Flock

My flock is composed of Border Leicester and Cormo sheep - two distinctly different breeds that hail from different parts of the globe. I have selected these breeds for the types of fiber they produce.

Cormos are a fine-wooled breed originating from Australia with the crossing of Saxon Merino and Corriedales. Like Merinos, Cormos have very fine, crimpy wool and also many skin folds, which means more body surface area for growing wool. Their fleeces are dense, snowy white and incredibly soft. An adult fleece can weigh as much as twelve pounds. The softness and bounce of yarns produced from Cormo wool make it ideal for scarves, sweaters, baby garments or any item worn next to the skin.

Border Leicesters are an English longwool breed. Their graceful heads and Roman noses give them a regal appearance. I've chosen this breed for its long, lustrous corkscrew locks which take color beautifully, but also come in lovely natural shades. Yarns made from Leicester wool make soft yet durable socks, blankets and sweaters.

My Dye Studio

Located in the heart of the farm, my studio is where I dye the yarns and fibers from my flock and also a small, select offering of luxury fibers from beyond the farm. I discovered my passion for dyeing nearly a decade ago. Largely self taught, my methods include immersion dye baths as well as hand-painting. My color dappled yarns reflect nature’s changing hues throughout the seasons. I never get tired of exploring new processes and color combinations.

When not tending sheep or dyeing yarn, I enjoy handspinning, knitting ,weaving and dabbling in surface design techniques. I offer fiber arts classes throughout the year.

~ Barb

 
Cormo Sheep at Springdelle Farm
 
Border Leicester Sheep at Springdelle Farm
 
Yarn from Foxfire Fiber & Designs at Springdelle Farm
 
Hand Dye Woven
 
Sheep at Springdelle Farm


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