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, August 23, 2013

Grab your market basket!

I can hardly believe that market day has whirled around again!  This summer is really flying by and there has been much to do.  But before I go on, I thought you'd enjoy a picture of a sunflower from our garden.  This little cutie is sure nice to have in vases around the house!
Cherry Rose sweet!

I'm sorry I did not get a picture of Chickaline the broody hen with her little brood yet!  She has three little black/white/and yellow chicks (Barred Rocks), and one buff Ameraucana chick.  I will surely try to get that picture soon.  In the meantime, I've been working on mittens that I wanted to complete before fair, but didn't get them done.  They are made from fiber raised here on our farm, in fact the yarn comes from Wheely Wooly Whirlwind...we call him Whirly for short.  He's the little fellow who was born during the bypassing tornado near our farm one year.  His fiber has a wonderful depth to it, which looks harmonious with dyed colors, making them pop.   
Whirly Mittens with Friesian Dyed Crocheted Flower

As you can see, the thumb is on a piece of scrap yarn, and hasn't been knitted yet.  This is a very simple mitten pattern that can be whipped up in very little time.  Shetland mittens are outstanding for winter here in Wisconsin.  I use them for barn mittens, going away mittens, spring mittens, deep cold mittens and driving mittens.  Each one is treasured!!  Deep cold mittens are double layers.  Barn mittens get felted as they freeze to stall latches and water bucket handles when the fibers get wet from sloshing around.  Going away mittens are clean and perfect looking, and usually smell pretty like hand lotion.  Driving mittens are lighter weight, to compensate for the heater in the vehicle.  Driving mittens are also made with longer cuffs, for days when snow needs to be brushed off the windshield, to prevent that nasty cold wrist problem.  Over the years, I have found that britch wool is best for all these mittens.  It is stronger, and can take the snow better.  I do not find them itchy in any way, in fact, I treasure them!  This mitten will be knitted down to the finger tips yet, probably a few more inches.  Then, I'll put the thumb in, weave in the tails, sew on the flower, and they will be done!  

So find your market baskets, grab your grocery money, and head out to market in the morning!  It's going to be a beautiful day and we have lots of yarns to choose from.  Pick up your fresh dill, sunflower/cosmo bouquets, goat cheese curds, and sweet corn, goat soap, fresh carrots, and great BBQ sauce, fresh European breads and scones, and of course, great yarn from your Local Friendly Sheep!  See you then! 

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