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, January 13, 2014

A Luxurious Flock Box!

This Shepherdess is so excited!  Check out this luxurious Flock Box!  After years with a cheapy delight, I knew I'd need to get a new box for flock supplies to take out to the barn after a latch on my old box broke last year.  I continued to use it through the rest of the season, risking the whole works breaking open and shattering the contents inside.  It created a bit of anxiety, so I carried it under my arm instead of by the handle, with the thought I'd get a new one when I had time.   Plus, my old box was a dark blue, and just over a foot tall.  That's VERY hazardous when the Shepherdess is deprived of sleep, and stumbling around in the barn with little lambs in her arms!  On more than one occasion the thing was dumped when someone stumbled over hard to see on the ground in the dark of lambing.  The last key problem with the old box was that it being soooo short, I wore out my pants going over the fence time and again to fetch something!

 This one's a dandy!!

This new box fixes many problems!  First, it has a lot more room for everything a Shepherd needs in the dark and cold of lambing.  The bottom space is a huge compartment that opens by the orange handle there in the middle.  It's perfect for paper towels and things for drying off lambs or cleaning up hands!  Kept clean and organized, I'll never have to worry about things rolling out onto the straw again!  The top part can be separated from the bottom by the orange latches on the middle sides.  The top is nice and deep, deep enough for the 8 inch bottles that have to sit in there.  There is also a tray inside for the drench tool, ear tag applicators, thermometer, note pad, and other little things.  The lid has little compartments perfect for ear tags, 20 gauge needles, bands, and other little things.  I'm now so organized, I can hardly wait for lambing to begin!  Even more, the whole works sits up high enough to be placed outside the fence, outside the zone where curious sheep could reach it, yet still reachable for me without having to crawl over the fence time and time again.  Because the top separates and carries separately, I can take it inside with me so nothing can freeze, but the bottom can stay out, ready for use.  Last, the whole works sits on wheels and there is a pop-up handle so that the whole thing can be pulled across the ground like a suitcase.  Handy!

So my old box has been retired to some other, less important use.  I'm happy I waited because that delay is what lead me to this wonderful set-up!  Do you have your lambing stuff ready to go?  I can hardly believe it's that time again already!
Shetland/Mohair blend on my wheel last week

The yarn just off my wheel last week is Maewyn's natural moorit yarn (beginning to fade lighter) blended in a ratio of 80/20 with natural colored mohair that was given to me free years ago.  January is clean-up time in the wool room, during which time I discovered this forgotten little bag of mohair.  So I carded them together and spun it up.  Glossy!  Mohair does bring more of a sheen to the yarn.  After washing and a bit of wearing, this yarn should bloom out a bit and look more appealing for a mohair yarn.

Looking back at the weekend, the ice was so bad all day Saturday, we could not get out.  By Sunday, with some work, we were finally able to get out and do some things.  The main roads were fine, but the less traveled roads were still quite hazardous!  Today is balmy and in the thirties, but we are under a storm watch, possibly being upgraded to a warning for tomorrow.  Several inches of snow are headed our way!


  1. With the horrible weather we have been having, I'm thankful we have another month before we have any lambs due, but I do need to be thinking about getting everything ready. It will be exciting enough without wondering,where everything is.

  2. Thanks! It is nice to know everything you need is handy when the weather is bad. With so much new space in this box, it was fun to plan and expand my supplies so I'll be better prepared.

  3. Happy for your new supply box, Amy! And guess what? I just found a bag of mohair in my wool room, too ;) I had completely forgotten about it...stay warm and safe on that nasty ice. We won't start lambing till the first part of May this year and I'm glad

  4. Thanks! The ice has been nasty. We've all fallen more than once, but remarkably and unexpectedly, we all bounced! lol Yesterday was a busy day of a blowy snowstorm and guess what? Our first lambs! Twins, strong and healthy and doing fine! It's no exaggeration that I am far under my warmest down sleeping bag this morning with a very hot cup of coffee!