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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pretty Ewes and Birds

 I think Lil' Rainbow has stunning color.

As you can see, here on Wheely Wooly Farm, we are all about wool!  These old pictures show how fleecy our sheep are.  We love the older breeds, which give such nice fiber for a multitude of end points.  Today's modern sheep are so standardized, it's hard to use the wool for more than one or two things.  Sheep like the older breeds give you endless opportunities for all kinds of things fiber!  That is my style and we love these sheep!
Sweetie looks all white, but her fiber has a touch of honey tones to it sometimes.

We also love the dynamics of Shetland color.  A spinner will never get bored with all the lovely colors these old-style sheep give!  From their first fleeces on, the colors are changing, giving endless possibilities for combinations, pairings, and blends.  Just one more thing to love about Shetland sheep!

We are just home after a weekend away showing poultry.  We came home with Best of Variety and Best of Breed for our seven year old Sweetie Tweetie, who's a bearded Buff-Laced Polish.  This bird has a string of trophies behind her now, although there is no trophy for this weekend's winnings.  
Here she is, out with the other hens one day.

She has a nice sized crest, beautiful slate-blue legs, and lacing all the way through her tail feathers.  She is of good size and always keeps herself neat-as-a-pin.  We also got a blue ribbon for our little black cochin bantam rooster, Chimpy.  We call him Chimpy because he makes monkey noises when you feed him something special like watermelon or cracked corn.  And Blue Belle, our blue standard cochin pullet brought home a third place ribbon.  Her purpose will be to brood eggs for us in the future...hopefully! :) 

Showing poultry is great fun!  The weather was gorgeous, we met up with some special friends and made a few new ones, and had good food all weekend.  And each morning at the hotel, we woke up to crowing...just like home!  It was really nice.

And now, we are back to more spinning, more washing, more knitting!  The breed groups are peacefully together and enjoying the nice weather, too.  I think Lerwick is in heaven, quite frankly!  They are still grazing out there on the special pasture we saved just for them.  It won't be long now before grazing runs out, but we'll have 'compromise' spaces where they will be turned out all day unless it's heavy mud.  These spaces are areas they will graze down to practically nothing, making them slow to regenerate in spring.  That means, they will need a good long rest after the winter, so they have to be planned out ahead and utilized on a rotational basis as well.  

That's about it for now.  Hope you all have a great start to the week!  If you are running out of a knitting project, or are starting your christmas shopping, be sure to come find us at the market this coming weekend!  We are ready for your holiday and winter needs!  Wheely Wooly Farm yarns make GREAT gifts, and we often have recipients coming back for more.  And don't forget about the Wheely Wooly Farm's Finisher's Club discount!  It's a great way to get more yarn for your larger projects such as shawls or blankets.  Happy Monday everyone!


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