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.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

'Wow The Pumpkin'

Wow The Pumpkin is the largest pumpkin ever grown here on our farm. We grew a bunch of giant pumpkins this year, just for fun. We know a key secret is to snip off certain flower buds so that much of the vine's energy goes into growing a whopper, but we didn't want to do that! (giggle, giggle) The flowers are so pretty, and it's fun to see who's opened, who's growing a pumpkin, and what color the pumpkin is. We also grew a bunch of white pumpkins this year. The sheep love them as much as the orange ones. Yes, Wooly Bear has gotten an early Thanksgiving treat! It would just not be right to go into winter without giving him his favorite treat!!

Swifty's posts are still coming....I know, I know.....I'm late! He is such a fun dog! He loves to get wet so cold windy days seem just right to him. We are actually managing to keep up on our fall chores this year despite multiple challenges. That means certain fencing has been removed from our back grazing pastures, opening them up for flippy runs. That's dog-speak for great fetching of a soft type of dog frisbee that sails long distances. Swifty LOVES to run in the wind to snatch it! He's very sweet, bringing it back and placing it politely in my hands...well, as politely as an excited young pup can manage! His other favorite activity of late is rolling in the tall grasses...thrashing with joy at just being outside and being silly. Notice the 'buzz' in his eyes in this photo? He's a very intense dog, which I find very pleasing when outside with him. He is constantly tuned into me and waiting for the next cue or whistle. I love that about Border Collies! He's my barn buddy no doubt.

Notice the new photo of Wheely Wooly Lerwick on the side of the blog? He was a lamb last year. We gave him some ewes for breeding and he now has his own lambs on the ground, which we love!! Wheely Wooly Splash is out of Lerwick. Splash has the softest fiber our farm has ever produced! We bred these sheep under the guidance of the 1927 Breed Standard, minus the Appendix A. We will not breed Appendix A sheep here, for it demands modern criteria on the sheep, and we are striving for the genuine Shetland. He's getting ewes again this year. I am so impressed with his fleece, conformation, and temperment! I save all the best fiber for sales, but I did save one small skein of midside wool from him for myself...of which will become another lace scarf. Lerwick is out of Wooly Bear.

Last, can you believe I mowed today! It's Nov. 1st and I was mowing. That's got to be a first! The nice thing is that the sheep are still grazing! Tomorrow will be cooler and rainy..."a Shetlandy kind 'o day" I say!

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