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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shaela Shetland Yarn

What is Shaela Shetland yarn? Shaela is a word used by the people of the Shetland Islands to describe a general color. Shetland sheep can be any one of, or combination of, 11 different colors (to sum it up simplisticly!) Shaela is one of them and looks sort of like the yarn in the picture below. Taking out my handy dandy Shetland Handbook from 2004 (I stick with that copy because the newer copies have had information removed that new, more modern breeders don't want people to know about the genuine Shetlands. To truly learn what Shetland sheep are, you have to go back to the more honest literature on the breed.) In it, the color shaela is described as "dark steely-grey; like black frost" (p. 7).
Shaela Shetland Yarn

This yarn came from a lamb that was born black, as shaela sheep are. By the time this little guy was about....8? months old, his fleece had turned this lovely steely-grey color already! The tips remained black from his "birth coat", making up the black you see in the beautiful yarn. I am absolutely stunned by the depth of color this fiber offers! It is very rich and bright! Once again Shetland sheepies, you amaze me!!!

Update: Birds, birds, birds! Winter is weakening it's grip! Saturday morning, a Red-Winged Black Bird was singing in the tree that shades the chicken coop from steamy summer morning sun. Friday afternoon, two Sand Hill Cranes were courting right on the shoulder of the road!!! As we slowly, slowly passed by, I saw the cranes right out my window and their heads were as high as mine!! These birds can be nearly five feet tall so it was exciting to get so close, literally just a few feet! Sunday morning on my sleepy way out the door to the barn, the Cardinal woke me up with a very bright greeting! The mourning dove promply chimed in! Then, I heard it!! Robins!!!!!!!! Robins were singing in the maple tree in the front yard. Aaahhhhhh! Finally!

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