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View Full Version : What type of sheep does Fishermen's Wool come from?


TrueIconoclast
02-22-2011, 02:36 PM
Hey everyone.

This is kind of a random question, but I was wondering if anyone knows what type of sheep Lion Brand's Fishermen's Wool comes from. The only thing is says on the package is "100% Pure Virgin Wool containing Lanolin".

I'm unclear as to whether "virgin wool" refers to the TYPE of wool, or the maturity of the sheep from which it came. Here is a link to Lion Brand's Fishermen's Wool page:
http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/fisher.htm (http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/fisher.htm)

If I had to take a guess, I would say that whatever breed the sheep are, they are highland sheep, because the wrapper says that this wool is water resistant and perfect for keeping you warm even when damp. However, this is just my thesis, and I will be quite interested in comparing my hypothesis with reality. (I'm preparing for my career - mad scientist....bare with me).

Thank you everyone! :) Have a nice day, and happy knitting :knitting:

suzeeq
02-22-2011, 05:22 PM
It's water resistant because of the lanolin in it and 'virgin wool' means it hasn't been processed before. Wool from all kinds of sheep has lanolin in it, not just 'highland' sheep, though some of them are washed less to keep it in that product.

KatzKnitter
02-22-2011, 05:31 PM
A virgin wool sheep has never had sex.

wellslipmystitches
02-22-2011, 06:11 PM
Yes Katz, But they've been subjected to some shearly, naked events where they dropped their coats with little protest!!!
Ohhh, the scandal of it all!
Why don't you add this to the new laugh line in The Lounge? It could use some spicing up.
Jean

suzeeq
02-22-2011, 06:25 PM
Here's what Wiki says about wool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wool). Scroll down to the Yarn section to see what virgin wool really is...

wellslipmystitches
02-22-2011, 06:46 PM
Suzeeq, That's quite an article about wool. I enjoyed learning about it. I wonder, with the percentage coming from Australia (terrible flooding) and New Zealand (now an earthquake) is it likely that the price will escalate in the coming year?

We never hear about the loss of animals even when they're so important to a nation's economy.
Jean

KatzKnitter
02-22-2011, 06:59 PM
Why don't you add this to the new laugh line in The Lounge? It could use some spicing up.
Jean

Jan wouldn't get it.

TrueIconoclast
02-23-2011, 04:07 PM
I think I have to add that to the laugh line :)

Thank you for all of your input on the wool. I am definitely going to read that article, just because if I'm going to be working with fibers, I should definitely know about fibers.

wellslipmystitches
02-23-2011, 04:24 PM
Katz, Jan is the pattern guru of this forum, IMO, and not to worry, she'll get anything you can hand out.
Jean

TrueIconoclast
02-23-2011, 04:50 PM
Suzeeq - that's a great article. Thank you for sharing that!

Little Audrey
02-25-2011, 12:12 PM
Silly! Fishermen's wool does not come from sheep! It comes from fishermen! aka, if made in Turkey, it probably comes from the Middle East.

KatzKnitter
02-25-2011, 04:35 PM
Turkish fishermen are woolly?

suzeeq
02-25-2011, 06:31 PM
They spend a lot of time at sea....

RuthieinMaryland
02-25-2011, 10:01 PM
Hi, all! :waving:

I just wanted to clear this up in the interest of refining our knowledge of knitting terms and techniques.

Yes, Fisherman's Wool does indeed come from fisherman. Sheep have nothing to do with it (unless the fisher folk have some really wild parties when they're ashore, which is a whole different subject - not covered here - but may explain where the lanolin content comes from!)

First off, there are fishermen all over the world, some in warm climates and some in cold. This effects the thickness, quality and color of their "wool" as well as the difficulty in shearing the fishermen. Those who live in the colder climates strongly resist this process since frostbite is a distinct possibility.

In those locales it's not unusual for teams of shearers to lie in wait at the docks when the fishing boats come in and pounce on unsuspecting fishermen, shearing them hairless before they can raise an alarm. It is rumored that a good 4-man shearing team can clip a dozen fishermen in less than 15 minutes. Personally I think that's just an urban legend put about by those living near the docks to frighten their children into staying safely indoors after dark.

Those fishermen living in warm climates tend to produce a softer, silkier and lighter-colored "wool", mostly on their chests and in a few unfortunate cases, their backs. They are far easier to shear since they are so much more comfortable without so many follicles in the heat and humidity. In these locales, the truly professional shearing teams make sure that the shear-ees have a good layer of SPF 40 sun block on after the clipping.

All in all, it's truly an arduous task regardless of which climate you're working in. Keep that in mind the next time you buy a skein of Fisherman's Wool or enjoy the wonderful garments made from it.

I hope this helps fill in any gaps you all might have had in your understanding of this subject! And many thanks to all those wool-less fisherman world-wide who contribute so much to our knitting culture!

Happy knitting everyone! :roflhard:

Ruthie

cheley
02-25-2011, 10:17 PM
Hi, all! :waving:

I just wanted to clear this up in the interest of refining our knowledge of knitting terms and techniques.

Yes, Fisherman's Wool does indeed come from fisherman. Sheep have nothing to do with it (unless the fisher folk have some really wild parties when they're ashore, which is a whole different subject - not covered here - but may explain where the lanolin content comes from!)

First off, there are fishermen all over the world, some in warm climates and some in cold. This effects the thickness, quality and color of their "wool" as well as the difficulty in shearing the fishermen. Those who live in the colder climates strongly resist this process since frostbite is a distinct possibility.

In those locales it's not unusual for teams of shearers to lie in wait at the docks when the fishing boats come in and pounce on unsuspecting fishermen, shearing them hairless before they can raise an alarm. It is rumored that a good 4-man shearing team can clip a dozen fishermen in less than 15 minutes. Personally I think that's just an urban legend put about by those living near the docks to frighten their children into staying safely indoors after dark.

Those fishermen living in warm climates tend to produce a softer, silkier and lighter-colored "wool", mostly on their chests and in a few unfortunate cases, their backs. They are far easier to shear since they are so much more comfortable without so many follicles in the heat and humidity. In these locales, the truly professional shearing teams make sure that the shear-ees have a good layer of SPF 40 sun block on after the clipping.

All in all, it's truly an arduous task regardless of which climate you're working in. Keep that in mind the next time you buy a skein of Fisherman's Wool or enjoy the wonderful garments made from it.

I hope this helps fill in any gaps you all might have had in your understanding of this subject! And many thanks to all those wool-less fisherman world-wide who contribute so much to our knitting culture!

Happy knitting everyone! :roflhard:

Ruthie:passedout: :passedout: I should of "never" read this under the influence....cuz I may never "touch" fisherman's wool again..hahahahaha

KatzKnitter
02-25-2011, 10:35 PM
I'm humbled by the wealth of knowledge you two have, and also by the fact that you copied the article from the same site.

fatoldladyinpjs
02-26-2011, 12:31 AM
The Merino wool I get from my local yarn shop is from Peru, so maybe the prices won't be so bad.

KatzKnitter
02-26-2011, 01:03 AM
I've seen people at Ravelry commenting on Fisherman's Wool, saying they didn't feel any lanolin in the yarn.

I've forgotten the original problem in this thread. :roflhard:

Now, seriously, folks:
Why do so many yarns come from Turkey. Do they raise a lot of sheep or goats there, or have a lot of mills?

suzeeq
02-26-2011, 10:07 AM
Lots of mills.

cacunn
02-26-2011, 12:29 PM
and I thought the virgin wool came from sheep that had never had wool before, but then the sheep could be pulling the wool over my eyes.

noseysheep
02-26-2011, 12:42 PM
Hi, all! :waving:

I just wanted to clear this up in the interest of refining our knowledge of knitting terms and techniques.

Yes, Fisherman's Wool does indeed come from fisherman. Sheep have nothing to do with it (unless the fisher folk have some really wild parties when they're ashore, which is a whole different subject - not covered here - but may explain where the lanolin content comes from!)

First off, there are fishermen all over the world, some in warm climates and some in cold. This effects the thickness, quality and color of their "wool" as well as the difficulty in shearing the fishermen. Those who live in the colder climates strongly resist this process since frostbite is a distinct possibility.

In those locales it's not unusual for teams of shearers to lie in wait at the docks when the fishing boats come in and pounce on unsuspecting fishermen, shearing them hairless before they can raise an alarm. It is rumored that a good 4-man shearing team can clip a dozen fishermen in less than 15 minutes. Personally I think that's just an urban legend put about by those living near the docks to frighten their children into staying safely indoors after dark.

Those fishermen living in warm climates tend to produce a softer, silkier and lighter-colored "wool", mostly on their chests and in a few unfortunate cases, their backs. They are far easier to shear since they are so much more comfortable without so many follicles in the heat and humidity. In these locales, the truly professional shearing teams make sure that the shear-ees have a good layer of SPF 40 sun block on after the clipping.

All in all, it's truly an arduous task regardless of which climate you're working in. Keep that in mind the next time you buy a skein of Fisherman's Wool or enjoy the wonderful garments made from it.

I hope this helps fill in any gaps you all might have had in your understanding of this subject! And many thanks to all those wool-less fisherman world-wide who contribute so much to our knitting culture!

Happy knitting everyone! :roflhard:

Ruthie

Is fish-farmers wool similar to fishermans wool?

Hubby is a fish-farmer, and that could save me a whole heap of money satisfying my wool needs!

Now, I can shear sheep, and very fast I used to be too..the result of a mis-spent youth as an agri-student...so, is it a similar technique, ie sit him up on his bum with his head in my armpit, and start with the belly wool?? :cool:

RuthieinMaryland
02-26-2011, 11:50 PM
Hi, Nosey!

I'm sure a fish farmer's wool is a sub-category of fisherman's wool, perhaps a bit silkier like a good merino or even cashmir. If you are indeed married to one of the more cashmir pelted fish farmers you are a very lucky lady! Just think of the beautiful socks and sweaters and such he can help you produce and how much money you can save on other inferior yarn. I sure hope he'll be a good sport about it!

Let us know by all means and PLEEEEEZE send photos or better yet, put a video of the shearing process on You Tube!

Happy knitting (and shearing!),

Ruthie

RuthieinMaryland
02-26-2011, 11:53 PM
Hey, Cheley!

Under the influence is probably the only way anyone should read this! And when your hangover subsides I'm sure you'll be able to get back in touch with Fisherman's Wool!

I hope I can!!!!!

Happy knitting,

Ruthie

RuthieinMaryland
02-27-2011, 12:03 AM
Hi, Suzeeq! :waving:

Thanks so much for the great article on wool. I've read a portion of it and will go through it a few more times, there's so much data there and all of it valuable.

Thanks again!

Ruthie :clink: