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, November 21, 2010

So Thankful!

It hasn't sunk in yet.....for we came sooooo close to losing the preservation and protection efforts by the early shepherds of Shetland sheep; efforts I've come to love and appreciate! I am so thankful to have this breed, and all of us here at Wheely Wooly Farm wish to continue those preservation efforts long after the sheep are out of the woods. Our farm goal is to pass on these special qualities for the future generations to enjoy, to the best of our ability. Just as our national early breeders strove to create that for us, we strive to create that as well. I am so deeply thankful in how our breed organization's elections have turned out! Clearly, the bashing my farm name has taken in trying to protect the diversity has paid off! Soooo many others feel as I do, that diversity within the breed is a beautiful part of Shetlands to be protected, not lost. Their voices were certainly clear in this election!

So congratulations to the newly elected board members!! Wheely Wooly Farm is soooo glad you are all coming on board!! We sincerely hope the healing for everyone else can begin now, and the enjoyment of our breed can be restored, especially as we approach the holiday season!

Speaking of stuffing:

Wooly Bear, Thanksgiving 2009

All of us here at Wheely Wooly Farm warmly wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Sweetie's Wool, near last rib

As is typical, the end of the warm weather usually means I'm ready for a break. I managed to pace myself pretty good this year, alternating hard outside work with spinning where ever I felt like it on the farm. I love spinning or knitting out by the sheep. It just seems right! :) As you can see in the picture of Sweetie's wool, she has fiber that is very fine, soft, and easy to spin. Her yarn is a family favorite. Some of her 2010 wool just went up for sale today.
Swifty's namesake? MaryBay's yarn waiting to be balled up

Wheely Wooly Lerwick's Wool; VERY fine and dreamy!

Wooly Bear and Lerwick are with their breeding groups now. I can't wait for Lerwick's fleece! Wooly Bear's lamb's fleece was really special, and is now mostly spun up. Their fleeces are nice, but it's their personalities that really make them stand out. They are both very nice rams! But the worst time is yet to come, when they have to go back into the same pen together. We'll see how that goes when the time comes.

So as the holiday season approaches, we are ready...and I didn't panic that so many of my animals were outside during the first day of the gun deer hunt this year. I usually wake up to gunshots going off every few seconds! Not this year. The hunters have been very good. HUGE sigh of relief...until a neighbor called. She watched Goldie fight off a hawk in a hayfield this afternoon. I'm not sure a hawk could carry my chunkster away, for he has soooooo many mice in his belly at any given moment and weighs such a chunk that I don't think a hawk could lift him....but just in case! I'm so relieved that one turned out alright!!! We would miss our farm clown terribly!!

On the relaxing reading topic, I've been cracking up and loving reading old ads from Shetland Island newspapers, that relate to Shetland sheep. FUN! I've learned a lot! I've also been fascinated by breeds in Scandinavia. The similarities are fascinating...holding my interest for hours, even long after I have to put it down and move on with my day. I've also loved learning about the people of Norway that migrated there from Denmark. The huge bridge linking Denmark and Sweden today is absolutely stunning! It's amazing what one little breed of sheep can do to your curiosity!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Copycat Threat!


Speaking of funny things animals do, last night after all were in bed and the house was quiet, Swifty was in the living room with me...bouncing off pillows, chasing Annabelle, bringing me countless tennis balls, and pulling the stuffing out of his little stuffed sheep. As I tried to relax in between countless giggling at his puppy goofiness, he suddenly began barking a strong, sharp of true "Who's there!!!" Made me jump and practically bump my head on the ceiling!! I leaned forward and tried to distract him, so he wouldn't wake everyone up...while he ran a circle around the sofa, still barking. Then, so quick that I didn't see it coming...while still barking a very grown up "WHO'S THERE!", "I'm a tough boy...I'll scare you away!" bark, he came wheeling around the sofa, flew through the air, and landed square on my lap, just a little unsure he wanted to handle the threat!!!!!!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yep! Ah ha! Workin' hard!

Yep! Workin' hard alright! Ahha...busy as beavers! Our little indoor sheep dog is in training as you can see. Yep! Workin' hard! Her job is to mash the poofiest, highest, cushiest pillows she can find...oh yeah...and to keep an eye out the windows to make sure someone is alerted if any sheep go boinging by!

You'd think this is sheepy Valentine's Day. Today is the day the rams get to send valentines, and take the girls out. Wooly Bear and Lerwick are each getting a group of girls this year. Below, is Lerwick. He sure looks like his sire, when his sire was this age! We are very excited about this little lamb!! His fleece is very soft, fine, wavy and nice, his horns are perfect, his conformation and tail are just right, and his personality is very desirable. He's a calm and friendly fellow who is very easy to handle. He also has a very bright expression. We are very hopeful he will pass his great qualities on to his offspring! Time will tell.

Wheely Wooly Lerwick

Lerwick is getting Honey and Gwendolyn this year as well as others. He really cannot believe his good fortune! Upon being put in with his girls, he immediately began his work.
After a long time of checking things out and chasing girls, he noticed something bright in the corner. I couldn't believe it! Pumpkins have a strong lure!! He couldn't resist a quick....quick....bite, then back to the girls! (notice the hens setting behind the fence? They are Henny and Penny, who are now 5 or 6 years old. We love having them around.)

Pictured below is Mona, Lerwick's mother. She is a very nice size for a Shetland with good conformation and a very nice fleece that is a dream to spin, and very soft to wear. Both Mona and Wooly Bear have outstanding personalities that make them friendly and easy to handle, without being Wilbur (giggle, giggle)! Mona is our flock matron, in charge of everyone. She was the last to lamb last year...saving the best for last!
Miss Mona

I'm sure things will stay really quiet around here for awhile. Wilbur is content out with Wink, Cosmo, and Pumpkin. Wink and Pumpkin have turned out to be NICE little rams as well, but we wethered them early on. Oh well! So now the Sheepy year has completed it's annual run. It's almost time to sit back and rest as far as the sheep go, until the boys all go back together. In the meantime, I'm spinning, spinning, spinning! (Have I mentioned how much I love to spin??)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's on my bobbin

This is a lovely black ram...of which I do not own. :( This fleece is the nicest single coat I've ever spun. He has bad horns though, so this might be his last full clip. This is the closest any single coat, in my years of spinning experience, has ever come to my supersoft double coats. It has been a joy to spin!
Since this is the month of giving thanks, THANK YOU to all who follow our farm blog, and support our sheep. We love being in touch with all of you! We especially love to see/hear how our yarns are used! We hope you'll continue to enjoy following our farm story and getting to know our flock of Shetland sheep.