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.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Most EXCELLENT Sheepy Read!
Order from NASSA!
If you have a love of Shetland sheep whether it's a passing interest, or a craving for more factual information, this is a must read! It's the proceedings from a conference that occurred in the year 2000 at a lovely place on the edge of Lerwick, Shetland Islands.
This amazing wealth of information was made available by the very board members of NASSA that understand what the genuine Shetland sheep is...a longish, wavy fibered breed that is lovely to look at and very unique. I first read it myself last fall, and CRACKED UP over, and over, and over! I've heard A LOT of stuff flying around about Shetland sheep in recent years. If you want to know what's real, and what's myth, you gotta read this!
For example, on page 17, you'll find out about the "wide variety of fabrics" that were created out of Shetland wool. Reading further, you'll learn about how rooing was once out-lawed! You'll learn about the "myth" of the "kindly" Shetland, and some truths about some reports written about the sheep and the political motivations behind certain claims about the fiber. You'll learn why some "Shetland" flocks exhibit higher mortality rates, while others don't. You'll learn how the Shetland Flock Book Society was started and why, and how that pertains to genuine Shetland lovers today. You'll even learn why the wool has changed visibly from longer to short over the years and why that might be. Also, the health of the flocks on Shetland is covered...very helpful for us North American shepherds who have not seen a hard run of disease in our sheep yet. Learn about old grass and new grass....and yes, there IS such a thing! Read about color in the wool, and the loss of it. Read about Hunter's Hope...the name I've given to the dreams that flew over the ocean with that first ever flock to set hoof on North American soil. Read Alan Hill's contribution to the meeting. He was one of the judges in Wisconsin last year I believe. Very interesting! Don't miss the discussion on lamb health of newborns and how that is a good indicator of genuine or not genuine. Last, learn about the disastrous results of modern crossbreeding, and why those who propose Shetlands are super short wool sheep know sooooooo much about genetic resistance to Scrapie! All very, very, very interesting stuff!
This booklet didn't cost much, and you can get it through our organization, North American Shetland Sheepbreeders Association (NASSA). Here's the link www.shetland-sheep.org
When I got it in the mail, I quickly glanced through it (or so I thought I would!)...only to be pulled in immediately. The rest of that day is history, for I was not available to anyone after that! I read it cover to cover many careful times, making notes, underlining, and re-reading. If you love Shetland sheep, if you own Shetland sheep, or you're going shopping for Shetland sheep, or you are going to breed Shetland sheep, this is a MUST read!