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, March 21, 2017

Lambs...what?! It's March already???

What?!  Wait a's MARCH already! lol  Boy, time sure flies around here!  It's easy to see why we lose track of time a bit around this busy sheep farm...just look at these cuties to the left!  Lambing season arrived here on Wheely Wooly Farm and has been completed as of last Saturday.  The barn is now full of popcorn!  The hard winter days of cold and blowing snow have been replaced by singing birds, sunshine, and leaping lambs.

To the left here is Chipping (in the background).  Yes, Chipping.  His ears are very, very, very large!  The moment he was born, his ears went up and haven't come back down since!!  He's a bright little fella with just the conformation we were aiming for.  It doesn't always go that way, so lucky us this year!  His name is Chipping...old English for market.  Yes...I has other meanings but who cares.  He's my sheep! :)  It's perfect for him because his personality and vigor match his upright ears, a very chipper little guy.

In front of him is Blackberry.  She's super soft and on a tear around the pen!  Her ears are higher now, too.  Both of these lambs are out of Cardigan, the first born out of Claire last year.  Cardigan has grown into a gorgeous ram with his mother's lovely fleece and super nice temperament.  So we held him over to see what he could produce.  This ram is what we've called a "STAR" sheep on our farm, a label we give to any sheep that resists parasites on their own, one that doesn't need drenching with dewormers.  Cardigan has that vigor.  Let's hope he's able to pass some of that on to his lambs!  Time will tell.

So with lambing season complete and the barn chores so much fun that it takes WAY longer to get them done (you know, all the awwww's and giggles, and 'so cute's and all), we've progressed to shearing.  (Actually, we were shearing some before lambs when the weather was good.)  Some fleeces are already washed and ready for the wheel.  In organizing the wool storage area, I discovered a forgotten Lil' Rainbow fleece!  That was exciting!  Her fleeces spin up easy and are a real joy to work with, so I'll actually have more Rainbow fleece available.  It's on the wheel now and almost finished.

Today I'll end with something I made last summer.  It's a dish towel embroidered in purple yarn for our ewe Violet.  She had twins last year, in between barn checks.  When I next checked on the moms, there she was, with two adorable, bright little lambs all boingy, with full tummies, and good to go next to her!  Don't know how she did that so fast, but it was a moment we'll never forget, so we stitched it on a towel.  Problem is, it's so cute, I can't bear to use it!  It hangs in a nice place in the farm kitchen where we can see it every day and remember how cute they all were.

THAT is sheep fever, folks! :)