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, February 21, 2017

A Little Bit of Honey

This is my dear Honey.  Yes, she is a dear!  Today I had a most pleasant surprise email from a customer.  It was very moving for me, for this wonderful customer, Liz, had purchased some Wheely Wooly Farm yarn on two separate occasions and with her amazing talent, made a very special shawl, then wrote to tell us about it, and show us lovely pictures!  It made my day!  The shawl is absolutely gorgeous!

Beautiful Honey
Purebred Shetland Ewe

Honey is as sweet as honey, and in fact was given that name by my DH, who adored her.  Honey loves people, and will come to you asking for chin scratches and sweet nothings any time you might be available!  She's the color of honey on the tips of her wool, with this lovely creaminess to light brown mid-lock.   Her fiber is a dream to spin and she gave us a lamb, whom we named Hap.  Haps are the historic names of everyday working shawls in the Shetland Islands, shawls you really live with, that you wear all day, that have to survive all that Shetland women did in a typical day 100 years ago.  
 Hap (left) and Honey, who'd been sheared.
Notice her creamy white wool when sheared?
Wheely Wooly Farm sheep often change color when fun!

 A shawl I made with Honey's yarn, with more mistakes than I care to admit.
Tip of the day...don't knit lace  a) with no markers cause you can't wait til you get home, b) children around that want you to watch a new thing they're doing and c) on a day you feel so invincible that you think a life line is completely unnecessary!! lol

 Baby Misty!  Taken when she was a wee lamb.
Today, Misty towers over nearly everyone else.
And watch out you don't trip over her...she's VERY friendly!

Misty is not a Shetland, but rather a crossbred of guessable breeding (purchased off farm).  In fact, I have her latest fleece on the wheel now, being spun.  We'll be bringing more of Pink Poodle, Glacier, and other popular colors to market soon!  I also just spun through Violet and Minty (and Penny!  Watch for lovely Penny's yarn, new!).  Minty is Scrambler's mother.  There are a few skeins of Scrambler left to purchase as well.

Honey's natural colored fleece.  Makes a spinner's hands just want to get spinning!

Liz's shawl has Honey's yarn for the main part, then trimmed with Misty's lovely Pink Poodle yarn.  The two colors are gorgeous together, for Shetland sheep natural colors have an unusual quality about them in that they pair exceptionally well with dyed colors.  Liz's talent really shines in the making of this shawl in how she paired the colors, and I hope she wears it at the market some day for all to see!  I'm guessing it will be a show stopper and she'll get a lot of compliments!

You can see more of Liz's work, her review of Wheely Wooly Farm yarn, and read more of her ambitions by clicking on the link at the right side of our blog.  Look for her Swatch Stories to read more of small farm yarn and the local movement!

Thank you Liz, and to all of our customers who've brought your projects back for us to see!  We appreciate you all and cannot wait for summer and the fun market brings in sharing projects and ideas!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Don't forget Valentine's Day!


Yep!  It's coming in less than a week!  Here on the farm, we feel a little of Valentine's Day everyday.  Sheep are really very sweet individuals, but this particular sheep is the sweetest living being I've ever met in my life.  Her name is Sweetie and on May 4th of this year, she'll be 10 years old already!!  We positively adore this girl!  She's a Shetland ewe who's given us many beautiful babies, such as Lil' Pumpkin,  Twilight, Pansy, and that beautiful ram, Starlight.  Last spring, she gave us Nasturtium, the little ewe with socks.  Twilight was especially memorable in that he went to school with us to meet the kids and show them what woolly sheep are like.  Starlight's wool sold too fast, and there wasn't enough to go around!  It is amazing how time flies, so we decided not to breed Sweetie this year, even though she is in top health and still has all her teeth.  (Funny, the things shepherds get excited about! lol)

So are you ready for Valentine's Day?  This year, how 'bout remembering some of the Valentine's of years past.  What special memories come to mind?  When those things happened then, could you have imagined, looking back from today, how much they came to mean?  The day we bought Sweetie was very memorable, but who could have ever known what she would grow to mean to us today?  We are so thankful to have her and care for her!  She has changed our lives in countless ways, and her yarns have brought connections to humans all over the world.  Do you have any memories that have grown in importance through the years to something so much more today than when they were created?

Here's to a happy Valentine's Day to you all...and happy reminiscing!