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Blueball Mountain Spindle & Needleworks, the Yarn and Fiber Shop in Historic Downtown Elizabethtown KY, has become the focus of the activities of All One Farms. The Farm, itself is still where the Sheep are raised, Gardens are kept and large dyeing and processing takes place. We continue to live simply, still seek to be self sustaining and remain conscious of our role in the universe. Every day is an adventure and it doesn't always take me where I plan. Come journey with me and share my experiences as I continue evolving my dream. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Shearing Day/Picture Day On The Farm
Last night the call came that our shearer was coming tomorrow. The weather was predicted to be warm for a few days. The sheepies would have time to get used to their new light coats before the weather shifts into more seasonably cool days and cold nights.
As always, this farm life is an ongoing learning experience. The last shearing, in fact the first shearing for the girls and our ram was in April under less than ideal conditions. George , who is known throughout the state as THE shearer you want was not available. Since the girls were due to lamb and since they had not been shorn since the previous Spring, the decision was made to go with a local guy who was learning the craft. Well, we did what we had to do , but the results were not great. Being the old pros that we are now, having been at this now for , oh, about 16 months, or so, we have learned a thing or two. We concluded that it was better to shear these long wooled Shetlands again in the Fall. And George was availalbe! So, drop everything else! It's Shearing time again.
There is no comparison between a shearer who has been working with sheep for decades and the newbie we had earlier. The ewe girls and ram boys look wonderful and were minimally stressed through the process. And the fleeces are beautiful! One reason for shearing now was to avoid getting the hay trapped in the fleece as fall supplementing became necessary. Despite a few flakes on the surface of their coats, the fleeces are all beautifully clean. And....all in one piece, unlike the last effort. The wonderful thing about Shetlands is (well, there are many) the variety in their fleeces. Some are wonderfully soft and crimpy, some are curly and some are long and wavy. Being a primitive breed originally from a cold climate, they often still retain a double coat with the outer coat being coarser than the inner softer coat. According to George, out little flock has minimal outer coat and have a very fine softness.. The amount of crimp varies but each has it's own character. And the colors! Another wonderful thing about Shetlands is their variety of colors, within one animal. I love working with the colors and either keeping them separate in the roving and yarn or blending them. Well enough words...roll the video tape! Each girl and boy posed for their portrait before they got their trimming. Here they are...hopefully: