We needle felters talk about wool so much that we may forget our beloved sheep if we’re not careful! Did you know that many breeds of sheep are endangered? If no one desires their wool, farmers don’t breed them — and these fascinating and wonderful breeds go extinct.
To help protect these breeds, we need to give them a purpose, and of course, their wool has multiple purposes! That’s the heart of the “Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em” campaign. Organized by the Livestock Conservatory, the campaign connects shepherds with fiber artists.
Many farmers who breed sheep discard the wool after shearing. If there’s no market for it, those breeds eventually become endangered as no one breeds them. How sad for a species with such diverse features, behaviors, and of course, wool!
As a fiber artist who also cares for sheep here at Bear Creek Farm, I’m as passionate about sheep conservation as I am about needle felting itself! That’s why I’m excited to announce a special class in my Needle Felting Academy. Using the wool from the endangered California Variegated Mutant (CVM) sheep, we will create adorable sheep — in honor of the amazing creatures who provide us with our fibers.
This class supports your overall participation in “Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em,” which you can learn more about here. You can even collect stamps for making projects with wool with endangered wool!
However, this organization does not provide wool or felting kits, but don’t worry, I’ve prepared a special “Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em” kit here to make your very own wonderful sheep! If you already have wool from endangered breeds, feel free to use that instead. I also have beginner’s-level sheep kits that contain the proper needles and felting cushions…for both white sheep and black sheep!
So, if you’re looking for a fall hobby that also supports a good cause, I welcome you to join me in the Felted Friends Challenge. Let’s support the “Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em'” campaign together! There is a Facebook group to support your project, plus a tutorial custom-created by me, Teresa! It costs just $14 to participate, and you can sign up for my live one-of-a-kind needle felting sheep class here.