Monday, June 27, 2011

Big Busy Wooly Week

 We're overly busy this week. Besides a deadline for some illustration work, our annual sheep shearing day is set for Wednesday. Kevin Ford, our blade shearer, will be here along with two other shearers (who use electric shears). We will be shearing in Bernardston, at the greenhouse barn. With over 250 ewes to be shorn, it promises to be a very hectic and stressful day. There is a wool pool happening in Massachusetts this coming weekend. Hence our need to get the wool off the sheep and to the pool to hopefully help to cover the annual cost of the shearing. 

Everyone here (that would be the three of us) cannot wait to get this yearly task done with. Talk about stress. Moving sheep, shearing, bagging wool, then moving sheep again. We've got some extra help to help wrangle sheep, skirt wool, bag wool and hopefully get it all done in one day. 

Now we have to keep the sheep dry as they cannot be shorn wet. Looks clear for a couple days but chance of thunderstorms on Tuesday evening. 

The sunflowers here are from Old Friends Farm, one of the many talented farmers who do the Amherst and Northampton Markets with us. They are greenhouse grown but oh pretty and cheerful sitting on the porch table. Haven't put a seed in the ground yet but will be very soon! Next up after shearing.


Jennifer and Steve said...

Good luck with your busy week! So far the newspaper/compost is working on those super weedy beds. Yay! I do have some other weeding to do so off I go before all my other tasks get started too. :)

Anonymous said...

How does this work? Will you get any wool back for your own uses? Or, is there some kind of collective and you may get a product back made with your wool? Just trying to learn more about the process!

Lynn said...

Thinking of you as I am waiting for my first ever knitted piece, diaper bag from your book, to FELT in the washer. Had to put it back for another go as I could still see through the fibers after the first round of HOT/COLD wash rinse.
Hope this works. Have a teddy bear in a second pillowcase too.
Your photos here are lovely.

Caffeine Girl said...

Good luck with the shearing. It certainly does sound exhausting! But we knitters appreciate it.

marit said...

250 sheep??? Good to have good shearers then! I'm waiting for some dry weather- we have a few sheep (only 21 ewes and 8 castrated rams + 19 lambs) out on the monastery island of Selja, they are Old Norwegian , and mostly their wool just falls off. Anyway, the lambs should be tagged and earmarked, and the sheep checked and shorn...but it's pouring down here:-(, awful summer so far!

I hope you get a chance to take some photos of the shearing, it is always interesting to see how the pros does it!

Elaine said...

Do the sheep seem to be happy after they're shorn? Do you hear them breathing a sigh of relief to be rid of the extra weight? Is Julia interested in spinning the wool from her favorite sheep (Olympia, etc.)? Do you ever dye some of the wool (in your spare time!!) for other projects?

Allabitrandom said...

I hope it all goes well. Now, is that why tough denim trousers get to be called Wranglers? I can feel a dictionary moment is required!