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, September 11, 2013

Got your pumpkins ready?

One of a kind acorn and pumpkin knitting needles
handmade here at Wheely Wooly Farm!

It's hard to believe it, but pumpkin time has already arrived in the fields around our farm!  As we tour around the countryside, we are already seeing the rows of pumpkins neatly lined up around barns, farmhouses, and hay wagons.  How appealing!  

The hot, humid weather has finally passed with cooler, less humid air here to stay awhile.  As the humidity subsides, my energy grows!!!  I've got fleeces drying, bobbins filling up, knitting at the ready for every spare moment, and of course, my new sheepy coffee mug usually sitting nearby either with steaming coffee in it, or the cooled remnants of relaxing moments now past.  I'm still spinning Iris.  Iris just goes on, and on, and on.  Love it!  There are bouquets of zinnias all around the house.  Outside, the sheep are pleasantly grazing once again.  I had kept them up near the barn for shade a couple of days lately, as it just seemed too hot to be out on pasture.  Today, things were really quiet because their mouths were full of clover buds and green grass.

Our pastures are starting to lag now, even though we've had some rain.  I have one rotation left so I hope the grass will start growing faster soon!  We have managed to graze straight through the slump of summer, with only a few days up at the barn for shade when it was super hot.

I forgot to mention that I also picked up more sheep soap at the festival.  I can't show you that, though because it came home and was opened right away. lol  Sheep soap (made from sheep's milk) is like goat's milk in that it takes the sting away if you happen to get into nettle or have bug bites.  Sometimes when I rotate fence, I'll get into a little nettle.  When I come in to wash up, the milk-based soaps take any sting away almost right away.  Truly, a sheep farmer shouldn't be without the stuff!!  If you'd like to try it, or get some positively SCRUMPTIOUS sheep cheese, click on the link to the right here for the soap.  

Tonight, a friend stopped by with two spinning wheels recently acquired.  Both need to be restored.  Both had beautiful drive wheels, old bobbins, and flyers with old hooks and tiny orifaces!  It was really interesting to study them over.  One had wood on the treadle that didn't match the rest of the wheel.  You could see the original wood was gone, and the repair was worn from use. It must have been a well-loved wheel that was repaired and used some more.  I like to imagine who might have spun at such a wheel.  What did they spin?  Did they knit?  Were children sitting nearby, listening to the wheel spin?  Did the wheel ever travel by covered wagon?  So many people of older years will stop by when I spin for the public, and tell me how one of their best childhood memories takes them back to sitting on the floor near their mother's or grandmother's wheel, listening to it go 'round and 'round.  Just thoughts. 

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