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, September 2, 2010


Whew! Summer has been flying by at an alarming pace! We have been very busy here at Wheely Wooly Farm! It all started with float building, hay, strawberries, getting the garden in, lambs, shearing, pasture rotations, Farm Fun Days, and end of school stuff. All that progressed into family gatherings, parades, farm markets, travel days off and trips, tours of farms, fun times with friends, weeding, weeding, weeding (well, not really :) then full blast into our fair, more hay, start up of school, more farm markets, more trips, weaning, fencing, putting up tomatoes, peppers, blueberries, and boatloads of peaches from our little peach tree, pears, and now apples. I still have dried beans to harvest, onions to pull, more tomatoes and peppers to bring in, oodles of raspberries to pluck from canes every day, and more pears to pick (and eggs to gather, coops to clean, water buckets to scrub and fill, fences to move, hooves to trim, bridle paths to neaten up, flymasks to scrub, nettle to pull, grass to mow, rocks to move, gardens to clean up, herbs to harvest, cobwebs to sweep in the barn, roses to sniff, and oh yeah...a great little puppy to train!!). Life here is NOT boring!!

Shetland Felted purse with crocheted flowers

The purse above is one I made awhile back from a lovely Shetland ewe I do not own. The design is one I created, based on my own needs in a purse. Then I crocheted some pretty flowers (also of my own design), and laid them on to see how they look. It's a keeper! So next, I have to sew the flowers all my free time! I'll probably have it done by tomorrow.

Did I mention I spin non-stop?

Yarn has been coming off my wheel at a nice clip. Notorious for overloading my bobbins, this bobbin will get more yarn before I wind off. Yes, I've had to superglue the ends back on all of my bobbins :). On nice days, I spin outside. On humid days, I spin under the fan. When I'm tired, I spin in front of the TV...doesn't matter...I spin wherever. When I'm not spinning or checking something off my friendly list above, I'm knitting, or trying to knit, or thinking of knitting....

Pumpkin's Scrapbook-picture pending!

Lil' Pumpkin went to the fair this year...well sort of. His little exhibitor is not allowed to take animal exhibits to the fair until next year. So he went in the next best way, on paper. The judge loved it, and learned about great little sheep at the same time...had never heard of Shetlands! The bows on the side are tied with Gwendolyn's yarn, which is a similiar moorit color (at the time) as Pumpkin is now. Included in the scrapbook is a lock of wool. Judging by the condition of it when fair week was over, a lot of people must have experienced the beauty of Shetland wool!

Wheely Wooly Gracelyn

Gracie is generating lots of excitement around here, as we drool over her wool. I've already had trouble sleeping, as I begin imagining what I'll use the lovely wool for (should I sell it, or should I make myself ...fill in the blank)! Boy, these sheep sure do grow on ya! (That's Pumpkin peeking over Gracie's back.)

Swifty has been an absolute delight! He's five months old now, and progressing in his training right on track! He is free to run around the farm, even without constant supervision, as he has proven very trustworthy. He loves his farm!! When I weed the garden, he snitches the clumps and clods of overgrown weed with roots, and takes off for the nearest shade tree. I frequently have to clean up from there, for he creates piles of weeds under that tree! Silly puppy!! When I take him for rides into the city, he barks at dumpsters and fire hydrants...all the big spooky stuff. He's also discovered the sheep water tank...on a hot summer day (tank-diving). I wondered how long it'd take him to find that one! The other day, he ducked under the horse fence in the upper pasture (horses were out grazing in back) when his back touched the fence and gave him the surprise he'll never forget! He yelped like a tornado siren non-stop all the way up to the house, scaring the daylights out of us, getting shocked again on the way out of the pasture, too!! I ran to catch him and found him panting by the back door, pleading to go inside but smiling and wagging his tail. So fragile, these puppy days!
And he certainly has an affinity for staring down anything he wants (top photo). It is emotional for me, for it is like having a little of Shimmer back for just a moment. In the bottom photo, he is demonstrating the infamous 'Border Collie Lean'...puppy style. He has remarkable springs in those strong hind legs that can burst into action in a blink! His ears are always on...but hearing is a tad selective at this the brushing teeth or combing hair! He's on a great puppy chow now and his muscles are responding much to my amazement! This photo was taken a few weeks ago. Today, you can see the muscles developing around his shoulders and rear legs. Border Collie in training!! I'm lovin' every second of it!

What's in store for tomorrow? COOL AIR! Can't wait!!

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