Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles
Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sweet Shetland Sheep!
Shetland sheep are very sweet. Here is our little ewe, Sweetie. We purchased her for her lovely, soft beaver coat and small size. She is perfect for our daughter who was not wanting to be lugged around by a huge animal. It couldn't have turned out sweeter! This little ewe has a personality that is sweet as can be, and her wool is so soft and lovely that we have decided not to sell her yarn. My daughter has claimed this little sheep as her own!
Shetland sheep can be wild if not handled or taught to trust their shepherd. This ewe was a challenge to catch until we brought her home and worked with her a bit. She was naturally elusive and shy. In time, she learned to trust us and to be haltered. Soon she was going on walks around the farm.
Today, you can walk up to her and pet her, or put her on the halter for hoof trimming or whatever you want to do. She has a sweetness and gentleness about her that is amazing. She is also playful, often pouncing all the way to the barn each night! Her wool is very easy to shear with blades, and makes very soft, bouncy yarn. This year, her fleece of 12 months yielded 4 1/2 pounds of wool, skirted! Here is Sweetie just after shearing.
Of course, little girls love to have fun with their sheep! My daughter made an Easter bonnet just for her!
We carefully designed holes for her soft ears and were sure to place the flowers in back so she wouldn't be tempted to snack on them. What we didn't figure out was that she was sooo wooly, her hat kept falling over her eyes! Sweetie has been a treasured addition to our flock!