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.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Handspun Yarns

Handspun yarn is so amazing! Before I had my own sheep a few years ago, I purchased wool and roving from other producers (some not Shetland) and spun it up on my wheel. This is Weathered Barn from Hidden Valley Farm...the Carol us upper midwestern spinners know as the "I'm so glad you live near me so I can spend all my spare cash on your luscious roving Carol".

This is a natural colored yarn made from a ram Nancy Larsen had at Sheepy Hollow named Duke. He was emsket, and when I saw his wool on his back I started hyperventilating. Yes, she would save it for me. When time came to buy it, I didn't buy it all, worried if I was crazy. I regret now not buying it all. Duke has become famous in our house as his wool has been spun and knitted into treasured articles of clothing. Some of his yarn was displayed, but not for sale in our booth and received endless compliments. Nancy, if you still have him, send me a picture of 'ole Duke!

This dreamy wool is more from Hidden Valley Farm. It was such a pleasure to spin! I gave most of it away as gifts. Some of it was made into a simple scarf that draws endless attention at our booth as a display item, to show the beautiful things you can make with handspun yarn.

Handspun yarn, especially from Shetland sheep, is so very lightweight and dreamy to knit with. There are many breeds of sheep to spin and knit, and everybody has their favorites. Mine is hands down Shetland! While I enjoy other fibers very much, Shetland has a way of drifting from needle to needle in such an ethereal way. It is strong, soft, and silky. It makes knitting nearly effortless, and the colors are such a pleasure to either use naturally or to blend with naturals and dyes. It doesn't pill, is easy to wash, doesn't squeak on your needles, and is incredibly warm! I always come back to Shetland, and now I have many Shetland fleeces of my own and my own flock of purebred Shetland sheep. I continuously have something going on my wheel. If you spin or knit or crochet, try Shetland wool!

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