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.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

color, color, color!

Here is little Honey. She just turned one year old, so she's now called a yearling. I do not breed my ewe lambs, so she won't be put in with a ram until this fall, so that she'll lamb her first time (hopefully) when she's two. That is when Shetlands are considered "mature". She is MaryBay's lamb. It seemed to me that MaryBay was a very loving mother, and I think Honey will be the same. She is very sweet. She also has Tigger springs in her little hooves!
I bought Honey for her amazing fleece. It is my favorite type. After spinning MaryBay's fleece, I felt I'd just finished the nicest yarn I've ever made. (See yarn photo on right side of blog.) The wool is stunningly beautiful, soft, and has an absolutely lovely handle! As you can see in this photo, Honey is rooing around her head and neck. Rooing is not good on extremely windy days!!!! I did manage to catch her wool, and have it saved for when I have her whole fleece. I think she'll be one of the first ones I'll shear, since she's ready.

She was born black and white, like our little Cosmo looks! That is one of the many fun things about Shetlands! Color, color, color!!!! You can see here that when she's "wearing" her fleece, she looks like, well, honey! But that is going to change...again! :) Once I shear her, this color will be gone and she will look a great deal like her fawn Mom...nearly white!

I go crazy about this color! I love to spin it because it gives the yarn a lovely depth that is unmatched. The color won't fade, bleed, or wash out. It's there forever! Unmatched! I LOVE Shetlands!

Meanwhile, Lil' Rainbow smashed out of her fence to get a lamb! That's the first time I've had a ewe break a fence on purpose. We had her in during our latest bad storm...two more tornados that touched down just northeast of our farm, doing damage. They were small tornados, but damaging. The next day there were frightening wildfires in tinder dry marshes to the east of us, and we had fifty mile an hour gusts! That blew some shingles off our roof. Sigh....:)


  1. It sounds like if all you lost was a few shingles, you were LUCKY!

    Pretty fleece!

  2. Thanks!

    We have been lucky. The damage was done to silage wagons...tumbled around and broken in two, right down the middle! An old barn went down with cows in it, but all were ok. A house had roof damage...a volunteer firefighter who was called to his own address, which is how he found out about it! So that adds up to three tornados in less than one week, all within a few miles. YIKES!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Wow! Some lovely wool colors! Looks like some of your sheep have modified colors. I love the modified colors in ouessant sheep. They are so beautiful & subtle : magical colors that are a spinner's dream!

  5. Thanks! I haven't forgotten about Gretl's yarn! I just started on the swallowtail shawl. I have pictures ready to post of her yarn so they'll be up soon!

  6. Can't wait to see your swallowtail! I LOVE that pattern & was very pleased with the results. I'm planning on making another one.