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Spinning

My head is spinning with sheep stuff!  Our first shearing day is on Saturday.  We are excited and anxious because once again this is new ground for us.  Remember, two years ago we had two dogs and now we have 80 animals on the farm!  It's all a learning process and right now we are learning about sheep.

Ziggy's just a gorgeous girl.

We are really enjoying our Jacob Sheep.  They are just pretty!  I wonder how they will look after shearing with their big fat pregnant bellies. It should be fun to find out.

Tiny is not so tiny now.  In fact, she is as big as a barn!

And then there is the question of what to do with the fleeces.  There's so much to learn in that area! 

image from wikipedia
Skirting
Roving
Carding
Picking
All this terminology I don't know.

But there is one thing that has always intrigued me ~
Spinning!

The closer we get to shearing the more I want to figure it all out and do it myself rather than sell the fleeces or send it off to be made into yarn.  I know it won't all be good.  Actually, I look at them with all the hay (vegetable matter ~ yes, I have that new term down) in their coat and wonder how any of it will be good.  I am assured it will be though.

And so, I am making an appointment to try spinning and I'm dreaming about wheels.  I love this little number right here.  Ok, I know I shouldn't pick a wheel according to looks but wouldn't this be cute tucked away under my staircase with a comfy chair?  It even has a little ladybug on the wheel somewhere that will fly around and around.  Never mind the fact that it is RED! 

image from schachtspindle.com
Anyway, my mind is spinning and hopefully my hands will be too soon.  It's inevitable really since I have been crocheting for 20+ years and now have fiber sheep.  Right?

If you are a spinner, please feel free to comment or email.  I would love to know what you use and how you prepare your fleeces!  And if you don't spin, well, tell me that I'm not crazy for trying something else new!

And since we are talking sheep, just take a look at this cute little thing that Shannon at Kenleigh Acres custom made for me to give Wayne at Christmas.  Isn't she cute?
She looks just like Ziggy, spots and all!

Thanks, Shannon!

Comments

  1. Hi Kim .. I found your blog recently and just love it ! You are living my dream !

    I too have a golden retriever named scout ..she is 17 yrs old and looks much like your scout. I'm so sorry she passed on ..I know the pain as we lost our other Golden Maggie the day after Thanksgiving this year .we miss her so much.

    I was reasding about your shearing and I follow another blog "Thistle Cove Farms" http://thistlecovefarm.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-with-friends.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThistleCoveFarm+%28Thistle+Cove+Farm%29

    She raises sheep and spins. I imagine she could give you tips and help ..she is the nicest gal her name is Sandra.

    Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year ..
    Sara

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  2. Hi Kim; did you get my response to your Christmas Day email? Hope it was helpful. Us spinners are grinning, knowing our way down the rabbit hole you're about to fall into. ;-)

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  3. I think you will be great at spinning and love it! I know several people who spin, and like anything, it's something that you can easily learn, but it takes time.My former employer ( I lost my job last month for no reason having to do with me or my cooking), back to what I was saying- my former employer had a wool studio with a wheel or 2 or 3 and a huge loom. There was wool in cubbies everywhere and knitting needles all over the place. I was like a kid in a candy store, but I never had the time to have anyone teach me. I hope you have a great time with it!Maybe I will be looking at the same thing when our sheep arrive.

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  4. Sweet Magnolias,
    Thanks for the link!
    Michelle,
    Yes I did get it! Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement!
    Patrice,
    Sorry you lost your job. I bet you will be spinning in no time too.

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  5. good luck with your latest venture! that little stuffed sheep is too cute!

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  6. Shannon's Ziggy is darling! (As darling as Ziggy is!)
    I can't wait to see the pictures of your naked sheep!

    My mom used to spin. I would sit there for hours watching the fibers turn into yarn. Good luck - can't wait to read more about what you decide to do!

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  7. You have me wanting to spin and all I have around here is Ella's fur:) Hmmm.

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  8. Hi, just ran across your blog, very interesting oh and Ziggy is cute! I also have a farm but with cows, goats dogs and chickens, I have been looking into sheep lately but not sure about skirting, carding, roving etc...looking forward to your future comments! :)
    Kim

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  9. I can't believe how far you've come in two year... TWO YEARS!! You guys have done sooo well.

    Oh, and you shear at this time of year?? And when they're pregnant? It's all so different from us, but I guess the climate (maybe the breeds) changes everything.
    Happy spinning!
    A x

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  10. I love the comment about the rabbit hole you are about to fall down... I bet it is one of those things that can be wildly exciting and will take you in unexpected directions.

    Seems counter intuitive to sheer in the winter, but I am sure you have researched that thoroughly.

    What a delightful adventure!

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  11. Michelle at Boulderneigh sent me and thanks to Sara for her kindness toward me.
    You have indeed "fallen down the rabbit hole" and have to be crazy... but in a Good Way -smile-... to have sheep. Sheep are a woman's livestock and there was a day when I could handle them by myself. That day is past and I now require assistance. I have Shetland, Romney and Merino with some crosses. Carly Shetland is my favorite ewe and a lot of my sheep come when called, knowing they'll receive treats. Some are wild as March hares though and I'm extra careful around them.
    Jacobs are wonderful but a primitive breed /as you know/ and they can be extremely wild, just as Shetlands.
    Kathy at Spot on Cedar Pond has Jacob's and she spins and weaves; I imagine a visit with Kathy might help as well.
    There are several wheels at Thistle Cove Farm; I find they all contribute something a little different but could easily get by with just one wheel. The Schacht wheel is lovely and the double treadle is a dream to spin. I have a friend who had breast cancer and she found the double treadle much, much easier than the single treadle.
    Kim, there will be those who tell you the "right" way to do things. Listen to them but follow your heart; you'll find your right way and it may differ from what the "experts" tell you. My friend was severely criticized because she used a double treadle yet it worked for her and the MAN who criticized her was, IMHO, being a bully and cretin.
    In the past, I've taught at University and fiber festivals a course entitled "How To Make Your Small Farm Pay"; perhaps it's time to teach that course again or even an e-book or hard cover book.
    There are seasons in life and I've just had a major change; I've been thinking about new directions and am trying to be sensitive to God's whisper.

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  12. oops. Forgot to say your order is a trifle off; it should be

    skirting - clean the fleeces
    washing - removes lanolin, etc.
    picking - opens up the fibers
    carding - prepare rolags or
    roving - prepared fiber ready for
    spinning
    then knitting, weaving, crochet, etc.
    you can also felt with cleaned, raw fleeces or prepared fleeces.
    I am Not an expert but am willing to share what I know.
    Or think I know -grin-.

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  13. It does seem strange to shear sheep in the winter but it is a common practice. From what I understand, it is done for two reasons. The shearing is done before lambing so you can tell when the sheep is ready to lamb. And the other reason is to have as little hay (vegetable matter) in their fleeces as possible. Apparently,they stay pretty clean when on green grass but once they are eating hay they get pretty dirty. Plus, when they shear, they don't remove all the hair. We'll, see. Winter does seem like a funny time to shed your coat!

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  14. Thistle Cove,
    Thanks so much! I think I'll be emailing you!

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  15. You are going to love your woolly adventures :) My sheep have introduced me to so many wonderful people! I look forward to shearing pictures. So glad you like the little felt Ziggy. I had fun making her for you.

    Another reason for shearing right before lambing is that the ewes will seek shelter, thus bringing their lambs inside during inclement weather. With their woolly coats on, they can withstand pretty nasty weather.

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  16. Once you get good at it, you should video tape it for us. It would be fascinating to watch!

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