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 2, 2013

Spinning Iris means joy!

Only once a year does the joy of spinning Iris come around, and now is it for this year.  Iris is getting old but she's in great shape, and gave us a lovely, soft fleece this year!  It's her softest in two years in fact.  I'm working on it now, and can hardly stop.  I could sit at the wheel and spin on and on and on...

But that wouldn't get all the other things done I need to do!  I'll have more scarves in stock by next weekend, and I'm working hard at getting some new colors ready for you!  We have a lot of blacks and browns in our inventory right now, with few lighter colors, so I'm working on lights.  Iris's fleece will be for sale in yarn in about two weeks, so watch for that if you've purchased her yarn in the past and would like more.  Her yarn does sell fast.  If you want it, don't wait.

Late summer is also the time of separating the little ram lambs from the mothers, which is done.  Lark is the biggest of them, and is gorgeous!  He has the brightest eyes and a super nice fleece.  They all are cute!  But then again, I may be just a bit slanted as I know their mothers and they are my flock. :)  Then again, little Shetlands are very cute...

Our breeding group for next year are getting readied and will soon be in with their ram.  We're probably going to use Lerwick on them this year.  He is the handsome fellow we've kept around for his fleece, temperament, prolifacy and good looks.  He's also tall, and will work great for these girls as many of them are not Shetlands, or technically, not even my sheep!  Lerwick will add good growthy-ness to the lamb crop for next year and will be the ideal choice for those non-Shetland ewes.  I wish Polar Bear could get the job this year, but he can't...he's too much a baby yet.  He was the last lamb born on our farm this year, which was May.  That was an excellent strategy in the challenging times of last year's drought, and this year's goofy weather causing problems in hayfields and such this year.  Instead of raising him on hay, he got the rocket fuel of spring grass with his mother's milk, and kapow!  He's growing FAST, but not enough to work for our crosses (that are not technically mine), although he'd work great on the Shetland ewes if I wanted to crossbreed them, which I don't.

So things have been very busy here on the farm, as you can see!  I'll be doing another round of hoof trimming soon, especially before the breeding group goes together.  I've saved them some beautiful pasture just for them, so after getting their feet trimmed, they'll be out there in bliss.

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend, and are ready for getting back to the routine that is fall!  Don't forget to include knitting!  I'll be trying to finish two pairs of mittens (one of each to display in the booth), and I want to make a cowl from a pattern that was generously passed on to me at the last market.  It looks like a fun project to make, and I can't wait!  I'll let you know if I get it done!  And this week, I'm going to try to get my camera out with me!  We are overdue for more sheepy shots! :)

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