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.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Got my socks on...the blizzard is here!!

Good thing I finished those socks quickly, as they are certainly needed! Snow had been predicted for a few days now, but that storm has turned into a truly defined, all out blizzard. We don't get "real" blizzards here very often, once every decade or so at the most frequent (although we all feel like every storm is really like a blizzard in our minds!). Here is a picture of those wonderful Gwendolyn socks...warm and thick, AND with a pretty top band. Blizzard away!

This next picture shows that gusset I detailed in a blog entry a week or so ago. This is what it looks like when it's done. The vertical stitch columns coming down the heel on the left are where you pick up those stitches. The result is a little triangle in the fabric that cuddles your heel just right. (Blizzard...sustained winds of at least 35 to 40 m.p.h)
I have lots of Marybay yarn to sell! At least 10 skeins all two ply spun on the Kiwi. It is incredibly soft and a challenge for me to not pig it all for myself! It has a lovely buttery cream color with wonderful lustre and oh so soft!!! (Blizzard...visibility reduced to 1/4 mile or less for at least three hours.)
Here is the rest of the fiber from Marybay I have yet to spin. It is the lovely neck wool that I will card before spinning as it is so fine. This is where I get intimidated...the wool is sooooo nice that I freeze up and fear I'll wreck it! It is truly exceptional wool. (Blizzard...considerable falling and blowing that means several inches up to a foot of snow or more.)
All the schools in most of our state have closed for Wednesday. Our govenor has declared a state of emergency throught the whole state! I don't remember that ever happening before! Our sheep are cuddled up in the barn, along with everyone else except the chickens, who are dozing in the coop. My sheep are sure spoiled! The air temperature is pretty high yet...around upper twenties as is typical when it snows, but as this low pressure system moves out, we're going to fall into a rapid deep freeze of below zero temps. Yuck!! That's what I hate the most. I can handle the snow and all that, but the below zero stuff is miserable. We've weathered out these storms before and we'll do fine unless the power goes out. Then it's a scramble to keep the water tank from freezing up before the water can be distributed.

So with all this blizzard stuff going on, I'm so glad to have my socks! It's hard enough to go out in these storms to care for the animals, but imagine going out and never noticing cold toes! That is my daily life here. My feet never get cold, and I'm usually outside for an hour or more. I wear rubber mud boots...not even winter boots. And cold floors are not even noticable, unless I put my cotton socks back on! Then I feel like I'm standing on an ice rink!

Happy Blizzarding!


  1. Your blog is lovely... as is your yarn! Good luck to you in this blizzard, that is one thing I don't miss about either Chicago or Nebraska. Wool socks ROCK!

  2. Hope you're surviving up where you are - I haven't been outside yet today - Larry has been plowing paths to all the flocks (down to 7 different groups now as we took a few to market Monday - very good prices, by the way!). After that is done I will feed those small groups who don't have big bales and check on all to make sure no one is stuck in a snowbank!!

  3. That yarn is amazing - your photograph is perfect, it really shows the sheen of the fiber!

    We did not get the blizzard that you all got, just the bitter temperatures and cold winds ;)

  4. Is that your handspun???
    Wow! It is just beautiful!
    I am totally in awe!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thank you for the compliments! The handspun is from a purebred Shetland ewe named Marybay.