Recycling…Babydoll Style

The Babydoll grow their coats all year. The amazing thing is that their coats actually help them stay cooler in the summer months as well as warm during cool weather. Of course a full coat in the summer would make them miserable, but the short wool that has grown out after shearing in the spring helps in other ways too…protection from biting flies and from sunburn.

When the weather turns cold, their coats seem to grow much faster. When the snow comes, it is interesting to see how great they insulate. Snow never melts on their backs, revealing that the wool truly traps their body heat inside it. My flock prefers to sleep out under the stars, even on the coldest nights, as long as it is not windy.

In the spring, they are ready to give up their coats. They want a new one each year, and I’m very happy to comply…and eager to receive their hand-me-downs. These are a few of the items my daughter and I have “recycled” from their discarded wool coats:

Natural-Colored Wool (Brown and White):

Dyed Babydoll Wool:

This shawl was woven by my daughter on her rigid heddle loom:

Babydoll Wool Blended with Another Wool:

This sweater was made with natural colored handspun yarn, one strand of Babydoll wool and one strand of Shetland wool:

This next sweater has a story. “Glenfiddich” was a Shetland wether that was given to me as a “bonus” sheep when I purchased my first flock of Babydolls.

As Glen got older, we thought he’d rather live with the peaceful ewes than the sometimes-rowdy rams. He enjoyed that life, and especially loved little lambs. He would often “stand watch” over a ewe and her newborns. When the lambs got old enough to wean, Glen would live with them and become the leader of the young flock. During his last years, Glen was a “gummer”, having lost all his teeth. He enjoyed sneaking into the barn each morning, so we could feed him a little grain without the other sheep realizing the special treatment he was getting. As Glen got older, my husband requested that I make him a sweater with Glen’s wool as a rememberance. So I used one strand of Glen’s wool (leaving it very textured…to look more like Glen) and one strand of Babydoll wool (from his buddies), to give the yarn more elasticity. This is the sweater:

One morning when Glen was almost 15 years old, he died. It appeared that he’d simply been walking along grazing and then went unconscious. We were relieved he got to live a good life up to the very last. Although it was a sad day for us, we are glad we have our memories of him and of course, “Glen’s Sweater”.

Babydoll Wool Blended with Another Fiber:

These yarns were made with one strand of Babydoll Southdown and one strand of bamboo fiber:

In my Etsy shop, I also offer Babydoll yarns that have a very fine nylon added for durability. These are good to use for socks or other garments that are expected to get a lot of wear. They look and feel very similar to 100% Babydoll yarn:

My husband prefers the 75% Babydoll Wool / 25% Fine Nylon single strand yarn to use in his CSM (Circular Sock Machine):

The nylon helps with durability while the Babydoll wool lends elasticity and warm to these very cozy socks.  You can usually find some of the socks he’s hand-cranked in my Shop.

Next:  Needle Felting