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.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Color, comfort, and style all in one!
Headband season is upon us and who can resist these stylish Shetland headbands? The colors pop on gray, dreary days plus they are very comfortable to wear, perfect for shopping, errands, social events, or simply heading to work. The black fiber is all natural color, meaning the black color will never fade, bleed, or wash out so you don't ever have to worry that in washing, the brighter colors will get dingy as synthetic fabrics do. We make these headbands in many colors, with each one being completely handmade. When I say completely, check this out!
Each sheep is lovingly cared for on a small family farm, where the sheep are tended every day. They are never left out overnight, so that our native wildlife can do what they need to do at night and the shepherd can still sleep, dreaming sweet dreams rather than blood curdling dreams. During wicked blizzards with extreme below zero cold or dangerous tornadic storms, the flock is brought in, as these weather conditions simply do not exist in Shetland sheep homelands and we'd rather not put them through that stress. The flock is lambed out each spring, which is natural and healthy behavior for animals, with some ewes getting rest years as needed. Number of lambs is not as important to us as healthy ewes. The flock is sheared by hand each spring, on specially selected days so that each sheep's health is not compromised, but rather benefits from a good spring haircut. Most of the wool is immediately assessed and processed, by hand, immediately after shearing, and is often completely spun up and ready for sale three weeks later, depending on suitable drying times (spring weather is unpredictable that way around here).
On top of all that labor and love, we engage in rotational mob-type grazing here. It's a LOT of work, as we are frequently moving fencing. Mob-type grazing is extremely good for the land AND the sheep. As a result, our pastures have improved, the soil has improved, and we have less parasite worries. The land is treated as though a herd of deer moved through, with cloven hooves aerating the soil, grass loped off (which regenerates it), and natural fertilizers left behind to feed the roots of the plants. It's a perfect system that can go on and on, as long as the shepherdess has the energy in heat, humidity, and mosquitos to rotate the fence! lol It's a labor of love, and very rewarding when the sheep run out the next morning to fresh, new grass. They positively sparkle with happiness! It's moments like that when the shepherdess ends up standing with the sheep, just relishing the simplicity of it and the flock's happiness. I usually get stuck there. :)
Anyway, if you are looking to be warmer this winter with a sense of style, and a desire to make a lifestyle choice and statement that reduces your impact on the very biological world that feeds and sustains us, these headbands are the right choice for you! And they are an awesome deal at just $12. 95 each, plus 5% tax!! Email us for availability (link on the right side of blog). Hurry though, as this price will be going up soon!