FIBERuary Day 21  MOTHS   Whispering Pines Farm

If you have wool at one time or another you have had moths.  They ruin fleeces and put holes in your clothes.  Here are some way to discourage them from making a home in your woolen items.

Lenny’s Yarn Story

My good friend Lenny passed away in the late 90’s.  I was the recipient of her wool yarns and equipment.    There were many boxes and in one  I found a shirt box.  I opened it up and in between tissue paper were four skeins of handspun singles.  They were surrounded by Bay leaves.  Each skein was tagged with the year it was spun, they were all done in 1948!    I think there were two factors here that prevented the moths.  There were stored in a cardboard box and the bay leaves.Since that time I have always packed my woolens in bay leaves along with some lavender and other  herbs.


Moths can also come in with fleeces.  Storing the fresh fleeces in paper bags help.  ALWAYS inspect new fleeces.  A few years ago I bought three beautiful fleeces.It wasn’t until I saw moths flying around my kitchen did I realized that I had an infestation..  Most of the fleece had to be thrown away.  Luckily I got it in time as the other fleeces were fine.  I immediately washed the rest of the damaged fleece and the other two.  Another thing I like to do is add some lavender  oil  to the final rinse water of fleeces.  Be careful not to pour the oil directly on the fleece as it will stain white wool.  I have learned this the hard way by ruining a favorite Irish Sweater.  I till wear it around the house and have considered dyeing it with black walnut dye.

If you have a minor problem with moths you can put the item in the freezer for a week.  That will kill them.

Be sure and wash thoroughly woolen items that you are going to put away for the warm months.  Moths are attracted to any stained clothes.

IMG_6432As you can see I do buy Bay Leaves in bulk.  I do sell them at shows or you can e-mail me for more information.

Thanks for joining me today in FIBERuary, I hope that I have helped keep your woolens safe.








FIBERuary Peggy Hart Blanket Weaver


FIBERuary Day 15  Peggy Hart  Weaver


Photo by Tripps Eldridge   Caney Fork Farm

Red Headed Sheep

For the last 30 years I have woven blankets on old industrial looms. A large part of my work is weaving blankets for sheep farmers, who send me their wool spun into yarn for me to weave it up for them. Their blankets are unique to them as I work with them to choose a pattern that will bring out their yarn’s best qualities. The breed of sheep determines much of the look and feel of the finished blanket. Over the years I have worked with many different breeds, everything from Rambouillet and superfine Merino to Churro.
One of the joys of this work for me is that every warp is different, and that there are sometimes delightful surprises. The current project is a case in point, Tunis wool from Caney Fork farm in Tennessee, spun in Michigan as a singles at Zeilingers.  100% Tunis wool had never come through my barn door before. The farmer chose an overall textural pattern of twill floats within a plain weave background. When washed up, the hand was unexpectedly soft and supple.
Tunis is an American heritage breed, developed from fat tailed Tunisian Barbary sheep crossed with Leicester and Southdown to make the wool finer and softer. The earliest documented importation were two rams gifted to George Washington by the Bey of Tunis. The two rams were placed with Judge Richard Peters of Belmont, PA, with flocks later established in PA, MD,vA, GA, NC and SC. They became the dominant breed in the midAtlantic and upper southern states until the Civil War, when they almost became extinct due to most of the stock being eaten by troops.
Tunis are hardy, medium size sheep, and adapt to both northern cold and southern heat and humidity. They are raised for both meat and wool, with the fleece in the same micron range as Corriedale and Shetland. Wool yield is on the low side, only 4-5 lbs. per ewe. The wool is a creamy white, with a crispy texture and a healthy crimp. The staple is 3”-5”.
Tunis often bear twins, and the lambs are born red (hence the name), gradually turning
Photo by Christie Davenport
Otterknol Farm Tunis Sheep
Peggy hart