Monday, September 29, 2008

Shearing the sheep

It's been a good week. About 10 days ago, I bought my very first sheep: three icelandic girls and a boy to go with them. They have beautiful fleeces and sweet temperaments. They will come close enough to let me pet them, and yet they're not so friendly as to make me nervous. They still get that they're sheep (and that I'm not).

Before Shearing

I wanted to get them sheared as soon as possible so they'd have time to regrow their fleeces before it starts to get cold. A local shearer came this morning to do the job. It was really fun to watch. He tucked a sheep between his legs, turned on his trimmer and then starting with the belly hair--which he said was no good--stripped the sheep of their fleeces in just a few minutes. (The world's record is somewhere under 45 seconds.)

Willow loses her har Honey gets shorn

Laika really wanted to be in on the fun, but could only look on from beyond the barn door:

Laika looks on

We talked a little after he was done. He told us he was going to New Zealand in the winter to learn more about his trade. I was very impressed. I love it when people follow their dreams!

After shearing

As for me, just having sheep of my own has been a dream a long time in the making. Right now I can see them out my studio window, grazing in the new bit of pasture that we fenced in for them the other day. They look utterly content. It makes me happy. (Course, that's my pumpkin/gourd patch in the background.)

Sheep in the field


  1. So cool. I had not realized sheep were in the offing...what a lovely surprise. Will you be doing the whole spin-your-own thing?

  2. Indeed! I've already started "scouring" the wool... which mostly consists of soaking it in very hot water with Dawn (grease-cutting) dish soap. It's lovely wool.

    Spinning is endless though, not sure when I'll get to that :)


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