Thanks Sheep

That’s Tess looking right into the camera with a mouth full of hay

I spent a good part of this week selling and shipping the sheep’s wool.  I didn’t know what to expect when I first decided to get some sheep and sell their wool.  I figured there would be a demand for it, being it’s from Bedlam Farm, but I didn’t expect the long list of people who would want it and that I wouldn’t have enough for everyone.  I’ve already begun a new list for the next batch which will probably be ready around October.

Now that I know it can work, and how beautiful the wool is and how satisfying the whole process is, I’m looking forward to starting all over again.  I got wool from Tess, which was a lighter brown with some white in it, and from Suzy which was a rich, deep brown.   I was surprised at how clean and bright white Zelda’s roving (to be hand spun into wool) came out.   Socks is my smallest sheep and the people at Vermont Fiber Mill didn’t think I had enough of a fleece  from her to make it into wool, so I had roving from her too.  Susan, who bought some of Socks roving said she plans on making a pair of socks out of it.  She was kind enough to offer to send a photo when they’re done.   My friend Suzy, who my sheep Suzy is named after, will be hand spinning some more of Socks’ roving.

I learned that the sheep coats were not so easy for me to deal with.  Zelda refused from the beginning to keep hers on.  And one morning I came out and Suzy’s coat was around her waist.  I had to cut it off.  I don’t think I’ll be using them again.  I’m sure they work in keeping the wool clean so there’s less skirting (picking  out the hay and dirt)   for me to do to get the fleece ready for the mill and they keep the wool from fading in the sunlight.  But, I found I don’t mind the skirting and I did a good job and I do love to see the sheep in the fields in their own wool coats.

I feel closer to the sheep now that we’ve worked in this way together.  I’ve learned a lot and I feel like this year I’ll have even more fun with the whole process, because I’m familiar with it.  So thanks to everyone who helped make it work and thanks to my sheep, Tess, Zelda, Suzy, Socks and Ma.

5 thoughts on “Thanks Sheep

  1. I love it that Tess’s wool is the lighter one that I chose. How apt given that my puppy is Tess as well ~ and ironic that she is much lighter in color than my other setter. I can’t wait to start knitting ~ so many reasons to love this wool. And the best part is hearing your story of “wool gathering” and how much you enjoy it. Keep sharing the process, I think everyone enjoys learning along with you!

  2. Maria, you never cease to amaze me. Your creativity and devotion to animals even extends to your sheep. What a wonderful thing to be able to raise them, watch over them, shear them and see the whole process come to fruition in the process of making yarn. You should feel so proud of yourself. I think that is what we were meant to do. Recycle life’s processes so that they then become useful in other ways. Congratulations to you and your sheep.
    I look forward to the next chapter with you and your sheep.

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