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.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Inspiration, socks, fleece, and eggs!

My inspiration basket!

Inspiration can be found in the simpliest of places. I love my odds and ends basket. The variety of natural and dyed yarns inspires me on lots of garments. Borders, trims, ruffles, flowers, or name it....I'm inspired! This overloaded basket goes along on many road trips with me, a constant companion when an idea strikes. What a wonderful way to enjoy the simple things in life!
My sock basket always a busy place! Socks are something we treasure here on Wheely Wooly Farm. Three seasons just would not be the same without cozy wool socks that keep you warm even when wet! This sock has trim around the cuff that is from the barn mittens I made and posted about back in September. The white yarn is from Claire, our non-Shetland sheep. This is her lamb's wool, very crimpy and softer than I expected out of her breed...but then again, she hung around Shetlands all winter! (giggle, giggle) This is the first pair of socks I've made with her wool. I've already noticed a difference in how the fiber knits, as it's heavier to work with, and my hands get fatigued sooner. Other than that, it's been a joy so far! Even though they are not for me, I can't wait to get the feedback on how they wear! The recipient of these socks requested them.
Wonderful spinning fiber!!

Genuine Shetland fiber that is longish and wavy, as our breed standard strives for is truly a joy to spin! Here is the dark fleece I'm working on right now. The tips have that 'Shetland brown' color to them, with the deeper fiber black. The funny thing is that the yarn looks black, with white fiber when spun up. If you took this fiber into really bright sun, you'd see it is actually a brown tone. These plays on color in the human eye create wonderful opportunities for design, and I LOVE it!! Sometimes, I pair different natural colors with fiber like this, or other times I pair dyed colors, or both! The possibilities are endless and great fun! Reasons like this keep me on handspun yarn, where the colors and tones stay intact in the yarn. If machined, these elements would be diluted a great deal, if not lost all together.
Snowstorm eggs...

Last, despite the cold weather and snow we've had lately, the hens have been busy doing what they do best! Notice the variations in them? These hens are young birds, just having come into lay. The bluish/green eggs come from our Easter Egger hen, which is really a crossbred hen. Star, our beautiful black Ameraucana is either not laying right now, or laying where we are not finding them. How nice to have these!

Happy Friday everyone!

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