Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shear Panic

Spring is in the air, I can tell it's just around the corner. The backyard chickens have finally ventured out of their snowy den and have now become back porch chickens.

And the pasture pets are soooo ready to be sheared. They need to wait a few more weeks, as I don't shear until March, because Angora goats have to be sheared twice a year. This way I can shear the goats again in September. There is a method to my madness, but their fleeces are ready to come off now!

Which means panic is setting in for me, because my well-intended goal every year is to have the previous year's fiber spun. I am happy to report that my Shetland cloud is now completed and looks beautiful! If I do say so myself.

I love Shetland sheep because of their size and personality and variety of colors. From left to right: Diego (white with black spots), Genevieve (brown), and Comfrey (black). Diego's fleece has a nice length and is very soft. Genevieve has a very short, but bouncy fiber. Comfrey is a bit longer and really, really soft.

Diego and Genevieve live right here with me, so I can't wait to see how their fleeces turn out this year. Here's a pic of them in warmer days.

L to R: Diego, Genevieve, Tomas, and Pierre.
Right now, I am spinning on my Lehigh Valley "Italian", but I'm excited to report that I have an Ashford Country Spinner on it's way so I can do some BIG skeins. That baby has a two-pound bobbin. You'll be the first to know when it arrives! It almost makes me wish shearing were today! Of course, I have several pounds of last year's fiber blends still to spin....


  1. Ooooh, how did I not find your blog before? And here you are friends with Corinne and Maggie and Miss Effie! Shame on me!! I am ogling your angoras and am very envious indeed. In fact, I may have to visit and conveniently find that one of them got itself into the back of my Jetta. Hmmm...

  2. Thanks for your comment, Claire! I'm assuming by your "handle" that you have your own crazy flock of fiber animals! I have one Angora that I call "Pierre the Ass". He's HUGE and so rude. His fleece is incredibly coarse until you wash it then it's like silk! He's so lucky his fiber is nice...or else he might find himself in the back of a Jetta!

  3. Well I sort of do, at least I did, but I've been dispersing my flock (my llamas to Hedgeapple farm in Earlham and my sheep to Stamps Family Farm, etc) because I'm moving back to Canada soon. I am taking 1 goat and 1 sheep with me, along with my 2 angora buns and my superb barn cat. My one remaining angora wether is either going to Eden Hills or to a local alpaca farm. Sigh. I've been looking for sources of coloured or white angoras in Canada and am having trouble finding any on the East coast. Darned nuisance taking ruminants across the border though. Grumble.

  4. Punky would probably love to come herd those Shetland's second nature to her!

  5. CAS, I know! Even my couch-potato Border Collie gets the "herding eye" when she sees those sheep!