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Old 02-26-2011, 12:42 PM   #21
noseysheep
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Originally Posted by RuthieinMaryland View Post
Hi, all!

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!

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??
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:50 PM   #22
RuthieinMaryland
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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
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:53 PM   #23
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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
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:03 AM   #24
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Wool article...
Hi, Suzeeq!

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
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