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Topic: Shearing Beatrice  (Read 2036 times)
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MissingWillow
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« on: March 22, 2011 11:55:07 AM »

We had our sheep shorn last weekend.  Their fleece is heavy and our days are getting warmer so it was time.  We raise two breeds of sheep- texel and katahdin.  The katahdin are hair sheep, they don't have wool.  They have coats similar to dogs.  The texels are the only ones that get shorn.  Beatrice is one of our texels.  We put them up the night before in close quarters to keep them warm so their lanolin will flow.  It makes the job easier for both the shearer and the sheep.  When we first got sheep, I thought we would shear them ourselves.  We purchased a how-to DVD and realized how absolutely backbreaking it looked so we decided to have a professional come do it for us.  Two years ago, our sheep met up with a skunk a few days before the shearer arrived.  All of our wool that year went into the garden!    



The shearer usually does 80-100 sheep in a day.  Can you imagine?  You need to be strong, flexible and have a very good back to do this.  


He's got a set pattern that he follows, and uses his elbows and knees to restrain her as he's working.  He starts with the belly wool and discards it as it's inferior for spinning.  The sheep are surprisingly calm during their ordeal.  



Her fleece stays together in one piece.  It weighs almost 7 pounds.  Her wool locks are very springy with good crimp. I learned this from some local spinners.  I, alas, don't spin or knit.  My fleece will go with me to the farmer's market when it opens next month.  



She's much happier without her winter coat and is due to lamb any day now.  She's very sweet, loves to be scratched and likes to smell my face.  She's my favorite, can you tell?   Smiley


Beatrice finally had her lamb, a little ewe.  Isn't she cute?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011 01:39:15 PM by MissingWillow » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011 12:04:29 PM »

Awwww!  She's beautiful!  Wish I was a knitter too - the wool looks wonderful!
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011 12:12:41 PM »

She's a beauty, indeed. And very lovely pics, too. I'm a bit envious of your sheep Tongue I want some, too! The wool looks so nice! I can imagine that it's a pleasure to spin it.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011 12:21:23 PM »

Hi morrigan.  Now that we've got fleece again, I'm planning to try to spin a little with the spindle you sent me.   Smiley 

Thanks thisbird!  She's my favorite. I even have a painting of her from a swap partner. 
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011 12:36:46 PM »

Such beautiful pictures and sheep MissingWillow! Looking at them gave me such a serene feeling...thank you so much for sharing  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011 01:00:01 PM »

Oh this is so cool!  Thanks so much for sharing with us.  And Beatrice is a sweetie!
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011 02:34:14 PM »

Hi morrigan.  Now that we've got fleece again, I'm planning to try to spin a little with the spindle you sent me.   Smiley 
 

Cool! Cheesy Will you post pics of your yarn?
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011 02:36:44 PM »

Cool! Cheesy Will you post pics of your yarn?

Only if it's not hideous.   Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011 02:45:49 PM »

omgosh! I wanna squish her and love her and spin her wool.  What a beautiful creature.  And thank you for sharing the pictures and process with us!
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011 04:08:43 PM »

So glad ya'll are enjoying the photos.  I thought you lovers of hand-spun yarn would enjoy seeing where the process starts. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011 04:18:59 PM »

I'm hoping to get to shear or watch it happen this year at least... Just some dorset, but I'm so excited to maybe get to be a part of it!  Your pics made me even more excited at the prospect!
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011 04:35:43 PM »

Most shepherds welcome handspinners and crafters on shearing day.  It's nice to have extra hands to help with skirting the fleece (removing any unwanted bits) and it's fun for folks to see the shearer and stock dogs working.  You'll have fun! 
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SusanSummerland
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011 01:23:32 PM »

Beatrice is beautiful! Talking about shearing sheep reminds me of The Thornbirds. I can see she is much happier to have all that heavy wool off her little sheep body. Thanks for sharing her with us!
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011 01:40:33 PM »

Beatrice had her lamb a few days ago.  I've added a photo on the first post.   Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011 03:47:23 PM »

eee! she's so cute!!!!
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011 05:44:51 PM »

So adorable!  Congratulations!
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2011 06:07:11 AM »

Beatrice and baby are so cute! And as far as the shearing, what a workout...that guy must have abs of steel or something Smiley
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