Fleece from Greece

Skiathos sheep
Skiathos sheep come in wonderful colours and patterns

I have a long lost cousin who lives in Greece. Maggi is my third cousin and she is a gardener by trade, creating gorgeous living works of art in the mountain gardens of the island of Skiathos. We have become friends via Facebook over the few years since that side of the family discovered my side of the family. Maggi is interested in my spinning and asked if I would like some wool from her neighbor’s sheep. Of course I jumped at the offer.

Lamb is popular in Greek cooking but the fleeces seem to mostly go to waste. After Maggi asked her neighbor for a fleece she found six of them outside her gate one morning.

I suggested that wool from Greece might pass through Canadian customs easier if it was washed so Maggi and her husband set about washing it. They washed one fleece in a wheel barrow.

Some time later a parcel with Greek stamps arrived in the mail.

Flece from Greece
Fleece from Greece

It was fairly coarse, off white with little black hairs, and the staple was quite long. Quite a nice fleece over all and they did a good job of washing and it was not felted. I offered to make a pair of socks for Maggi as it can get quite cold in Skiathos in the winter and houses are not insulated and heated like here in Canada.

A lock of the fleece
A lock of the fleece

Maggi wanted colourful socks so I dyed the fleece in red, yellow and blue and carded it on my drum carder. The wool took the dyes nicely and had a heathered look because of the black hairs.

Dyed wool
Carded and dyed wool

The finished socks were certainly colourful and Maggi reported that her feet were nice and warm.

The finished socks
Colourful socks for Maggi