Saturday, April 4, 2009
Today was Shearing Day at Woolen Meadow Farm (www.woolenmeadowfarm.com). I went down to sell things, buy fleeces, help, and generally hang out. As always, I had a blast. Sue, the owner, gets a professional shearer in, and friends and family help catch the sheep, skirt the fleece, label and bag and weigh it. Skirting means pulling off the icky bits around the edges. The photo shows a black-faced ewe. As you can see, sheep are very messy creatures, so Sue keeps hers covered in light coats all year long to keep the straw and so forth (Vegetable Matter, or VM, as we call it) off the coats. Besides the belly, which is always discarded, and any dirty bits around the edges, the neck is always a total loss; the continual movement of the head and the feed that gets in the fleece means that it's always matted and useless.
I got fleeces from Gritta, who was bred on the farm but is now a neighbor's pet, Carly, who is a beautiful silver-gray, and Lola, who had the prettiest white lamb's fleece I have EVER seen. AND, I sold merchandise to several people, so I am now officially happy and exhausted.
I still have to WASH all of these...