WOOL COLORED FROM HER OWN SHEEP – Evalyn Jones of Gridley is raising 15 sheep which she shears and has the wool processed from to be able to dye it for crocheting projects. The different stages of the wool are shown with the wool on the right which is sent to Morrow Bay for cleaning and the colored yard she is holding can be used for many different things especially crocheted barrettes she sells. (Photo by Lisa Van De Hey)

Evalyn Jones is a member of the Manzanita 4-H and Live Oak High FFA and raises sheep as her breeding project. Raising 15 market lambs means there is a lot of wool available, something Jones finds very useful. She shows at Butte, Nevada and Yuba-Sutter County fairs along with the Silver Dollar Fair. She has two large purple Grand Champion ribbons from the Butte County and Nevada Fairs and was rewarded with a Reserve Champion in wool which means a lot from the Romney Marsh sheep breed. This English variety is a smaller structure, developed years ago as a dual purpose breed with good wool characteristics and easier to handle. Their wool is usually sold to hand spinners. The lustre of the wool shows when colored and stays in the wool.

At 15 years-of-age, Jones keeps very busy when she isn't caring and feeding her sheep. She enjoys wrestling, playing softball, sewing and crocheting. Her fleece was on display in Sacramento and enters her many different wools in special shows. When she has sheared a large amount of wool each year she sends it to Morrow Bay for cleaning, then on to Tacoma, WA where the wool is spun into large finished yarn rolls. Jones enjoys dying the wool with Kool-Aid in many vivid colors, even in tie-dye form. Once the colorful wool is done Jones crochets some of it for barrettes to sell. They are very professional in appearance just like the yarn.

This is Jones' seventh year raising sheep and shearing the wool. It all began with two bottle-fed lambs which she bought from Mendenhall's in Loma Rica. For the rest of this story please pick up a 3/20/13 edition of The Gridley Herald.