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.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The joys of summer market and camera issues


Today was the first day of the summer market, and what a joy it was to be there!  The skies were partly cloudy for most of the morning, calming down the high heat.  It was pleasantly hot on the street, and we set up in 70 degree temps!  It's summer!! Not long after getting unpacked, the wonderful smells of coffee and cinnamon buns filled the air, mixed in the gentle breeze with fresh dill, sweet onions, and fragrant soaps!  A couple of booths down from us, gorgeous bomb peony flowers were real eyecatchers in knockout bouquets.  The line for eggrolls was soon very long, and produce stands were very brisk.  By 8am, wagons were strolling by with quarts of blueberries or strawberries half eaten, children riding inside with fingers stained and faces smiling.  

What a joy it is to experience summer in this way!  Just as holidays have their fragrances and sounds, so too does the market.  As I drink in the freshness of it all, seagulls are calling overhead.  Soon, knitters were pondering summer knitting and their next projects.  Some love the natural colors of the sheep, some love Claire's brightly dyed yarns, and some love it all!  One of my favorite things to do is knit by the campfire, or on the beach with my toes in the sand.  With Lake Michigan so close, it's not hard to make it happen!  Today, I heard tales of knitting in the shade under old trees, on decks, and pool side while kids splash around.  How pleasant!  It's the perfect way to pass the time during the heat of summer.

Switching now to the photo above, grrrrr!  I'm having problems with my camera unfortunately.  This photo is of the rams in their pasture.  I have a few boys in there, most of them wethers.  This works out really good as Shetland rams have a deep need to be social organizers.  They MUST have a group to manage, and this drive is deep within their makeup.  Wooly Bear, seen here, is the king of the pen.  He keeps his group in line, and in order.  The underlings know their boundries and are kept out of mischief out of their respect for the top guy.  Without a group to manage, rams can become, well, remodelers of your farm!  It makes me feel good knowing that I have given them the opportunity to live the most natural life for them as I can.  Remember, if you don't give your ram a group to manage, he'll turn his attention to managing YOU!

On a final note, we need rain.  I surely thought I could make it happen by simply putting freshly washed laundry out on the line to dry.  Didn't work.  Any other suggestions? 

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