Because of the Pandemic and the shutdown in the spring, Liz was later that usual coming to the farm for shearing. So it’s been less than five months since she was last here.
We both agreed that Biddy’s and Suzy’s wool was too short and to shear it only once this year. As the sheep get older, their wool often doesn’t grow as fast. But she still trimmed their hooves.
A few of the sheep had cracks in their hooves that she trimmed back. That means they may limp for a few days, but they’ll heal better than if she didn’t trim them as close.
She also checks their eyes and teeth. I could see the difference between the younger sheeps teeth and the other ones, which were worn and had more space between them.
Liz got to the farm after four and none of us really thought about how much earlier it gets dark now. So by the time she got to Rosemary and Kim we moved into the barn and turned the lights on. But even the dim lights of the barn weren’t enough and Jon came to the rescue with a flashlight.
Liz will come back in the next couple of weeks with the three new Romneys.
Asher and Issachar, the twin sheep that Liz gave me two years ago, recognized Liz right away. Unlike the rest of the sheep who huddled in the corner of the barn, Issachar came over to her as she set up her shearing tools and gave everything a good sniff.
And Asher gave Liz no trouble at all as she walked him over to the shearing board and turned him on his back and clipped off his wool.
It was quiet in the barnyard this morning. The donkeys came out in the rain for some old bread that I brought them, but the sheep weren’t moving. Not even Zinnia could rattle Rosemary into leaving the pole barn.
It was only a week ago that I put up six of Suzy’s Scarves and four of her Shawls for sale. As of this morning, they are all sold.
But Suzy isn’t done yet, I don’t believe she will ever be done spinning and knitting.
She sent me the picture above of roving that she’s considering combining for a new shawl. The brown roving on top is from my sheep Asher. I’m really curious to know how Asher’s wool spins and knits. And I can’t wait to see what Suzy does with it.
When she has another shawl for sale, I’ll let you know.
It’s only been four months since the sheep were shorn at the end of June, but their wool is long and thick and they’re ready to be shorn again. Usually, I shear them every six months but the shutdown pushed the shearing back in the spring from April to June.
Our shearer Liz Willis will come on Friday. I’ll have my plastic bags ready to keep the wool separate when she shears each sheep. And in the next couple of weeks, I’ll bring the wool to the Vermont Fiber Mill.
In September when I got the spring wool back as yarn and roving, it sold quickly. I’ll expect to get this wool back in the early spring. It’s a hopeful thing to do, be thinking of Spring when the Winter isn’t even here yet.
“I absolutely love how my shawls depict the natural world…that is their foundation. It is a year long rhythm, caring for my goats processing their fiber, spinning it into yarn and knitting it into shawls – culminated here…” Suzy Fatzinger
I thought Suzy said so well what I see in all of her scarves and shawls yet didn’t have the words for.
I see that rhythm and Suzy’s love of the natural world in her scarves and shawls. In their pattern and colors for sure, but they are also imbued feeling. From the loving care of her goats to her vision and work to create wearable art that people literally want to wrap themselves in.
Suzy’s shawls and scarves are selling quickly, but I still have a few for sale in my Etsy Shop. You can see them all and buy them here.
And if you don’t like to shop on Etsy, you can email me at [email protected]. I take checks and paypal.
Focus, I told myself this morning when I went into my studio.
Liz is coming to shear the sheep a week from today and I needed to finish her quilt. Rainy and cold, it was the perfect day to hunker down in my studio and get Liz’s quilt sewn together and tacked.
I had a few interruptions, all good, when I texted Suzy to give her the address of the most recent person to buy one of her shawls, a few calls from Jon who was in Saratoga at Cardiac Rehab, and a long and enjoyable phone conversation with my friend Jackie. I tacked while talking and as always with Jackie got a good dose of laughter.
And now, as the rain beats a soft rhythm on the fall leaves and the trees are turning to silhouettes out my window, I tied the last piece of yarn on Liz’s quilt.
At this time next Friday, I will have two more sheep and Liz will have a new quilt.