Sunday, 11 January 2009

Keeping warm on cold nights

It was ages ago that I posted about my first visit to the Dartmoor tannery, salted lambskins heaped in the back of my car. Five months have gone by and I've been back and forth, collecting the skins and delivering more for curing.
And here is a picture of two of the resulting skins - a lambskin (right) and a sheepskin - that I've kept back to snuggle into on winter nights. I can't believe how warm and comforting they are, how they seep heat into your back and ease the efforts of the day.
What's fascinating about the Badger face is the black belly, and this results in a natural chocolate brown or black border in contrast to the creamy centre. The sheepskin (from a ewe that went for mutton), has a blacker border and shorter pile (she had been shorn a few months before), whereas the lambskins are completely unshorn, so have that curly Mongolian look that has been so fashionable the last few years. Every one is slightly different, no homogeneity here, with some having a darker base layer of fleece that gives a lovely variation in tone.
For years I've been hoping to do this but lived too far from a tannery, but now I am content that every useful bit of the sheep has a purpose.
Several were given as Christmas presents, and others are being sold, contributing to the keep of the sheep. The next batch to go includes a lamb with a big brown spot on the side; I wonder if I can justify keeping it for myself?


Lindsay said...

Those lambskins look lovely and cosy!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Can't your hubby - Farmer Giles keep you warm these cold winter nights? After all you can't whisper sweet nothings to a sheepskin!

paula said...

Gorgeously toasty!

Winchester whisperer said...

My old cat used to sleep in one and would pull it up around him to make a nest. Unfortunately the wool used to get stuck in his throat which gave him a hacking cough.

Mopsa said...

Thank you Lindsay - they are!

YP - you can whisper sweet nothings UNDER a sheepskin tho!

Paula - you should know!

WW - I can honestly say that I've not had that problem so far.

colouritgreen said...

I saw your lambskins waiting on the side when we went and picked up our lambskin - which now resides on the back of the sofa for extra snuggliness!

Mopsa said...

How serendipitous CIG! Did you like your skins too? How funny that you made the connection too!

colouritgreen said...

yes - ours lovely and fluffy and sinkintoable. on the sofa - too nice for the floor yet

small world eh