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.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Shawl and more lambs

Remember back in January when I perched my coffee cup next to me, put my feet up, and worked on my knitting to my heart's content? Those moments are long gone now! Spring is in full fling and we've been chasing all the fun things to do around here!

Here is my shawl for the First International Show Your Shawl Day. It is one of the most popular items in our farm collection. It dawned on me that our apple trees are blooming over two weeks early this season, and the colors of the blossoms would compliment this shawl so nicely. Unfortunately, my camera (a cheap used, early make camera) is on the brink and I stubbornly refuse to buy a new one just yet, so the picture quality is not there.
So I decided to take pictures of the shawl out by the apple blossoms but wait!! We've had several days of blasting winds! Gusts have peaked over 40 mph...not exactly good bloom photo taking! Then last night, we had severe weather move through, with a funnel cloud touching down just southwest of our farm and headed straight our way. OK! Down in the basement we went. It got so green outside and deathly still, with no birds singing. Someone I know was huddled in her little boots very worried about her little lamb! But the wind, hail and twisters never materialized and it all passed peacefully, thankfully.
As you can see, the winds continue blasting today! Ahhh, intercontinental spring! Fortunately, we got some pictures before all the petals blew off the tree.

Here is a picture of our second lamb born, Wheely Wooly Gracelyn or "Gracie" for short. She is out of Gwendolyn and Wooly Bear. Gwennie was a first timer. I could tell she was about to lamb, but nothing was happening, and she was happily eating away. Check after check and all was "normal". By eight the next morning, I tried to sleep, to no avail. After checking on her one more time, I laid down with one of my lambing books to review what to do if problems come up. I figured that would help me sleep! Fall asleep I did, having nightmares about all the things that can go wrong. Meanwhile, Gwennie was out there having her lamb! Oh, Gwennie!!! She is proving to be a ewe always full of surprises!! When I entered the barn, there was an extra little baa to greet me, and this little heart-shaped head came out from behind Gwennie! Not only was Gwennie all done, but the lamb was all cleaned off, finished nursing, and out exploring already!! Ok, that was easy!
Gracie is a very fast growing lamb. She is also extremely social and playful! Her wool is very dense, thick, and cushy and beautifully soft. It covers her body excellently so chilling was not much of a problem!! I chose this washed out sunny picture because it's the best I have showing her whole woolcoat. She doesn't stand still much!

Gwennie was the one ewe I really worried about with rejection possibilities. She was always the reluctant babysitter, standing at the fence as if to say "your not really going to give me this responsibility, are you?" look on her face. She also did not like udder checks one bit. So I worried. Meanwhile, Lil' Rainbow was seeing the little lambs and missing her own that died last year, before I owned her. Theft became a very real possibility!!! She really, really wanted her own little lamb! I quickly had to remove her, which caused her more emotional pain, but it had to be done. I feel so bad for Lil' Rainbow!

More to come! Hope you are enjoying displaying your shawls today!


  1. I LOVE the colours in your shawl! And your new lamb has a very even fleece ... a quality that I like ... and perfect looking Shetland 'type'