I’ve been around sheep most of my life, but until I had my own sheep that are raised for their wool, I was never as excited for shearing time as I am now.
There’s something special about raising and caring for sheep. You get to know them. You take care of them. You feed them and help keep them healthy. Then, once a year you give them their annual haircut, process the wool you remove, and then either package it or use it to create art.
When I think about it, it’s utterly amazing that I get to do this. In the Academy, I teach people how to needle felt all types of creations. In every course and with every animal I felt, I’m actually using the wool that we sheared from our sheep! It’s mind-blowing.
Shearing time is at the end of March. We have close to 300 sheep so it will take us two days to get them all sheared. Fortunately, we have that brand new barn to use, giving us plenty of room for shearing. It’s going to be two days of all-hands-on-deck shearing.
We’re pretty excited because we’ll finally get to see the quality and quantity of wool from the past year’s flock. Unfortunately, if you recall, our sheep contracted Salmonella this past August. Some of our sheep died and others got quite sick. When we shear these sheep, we expect to see it affecting the quality of their wool. Depending on the quality, we may have to purchase some wool this year. If that happens, we’ve already located some Romney flocks in the US that we can buy from.
Still, all we can do is shear our flock and see what we get! It’s all part of the adventure.
For those who don’t know, shearing doesn’t hurt the sheep. It really is like a day at the salon. It’s necessary to remove their wool for their overall comfort. I mean, can you imagine how uncomfortable you’d feel if you never had a haircut and your hair kept growing, and growing, and growing?
When we shear our flock, we’re caring for them and making sure they’re comfortable. We then get to use and share this renewable resource that we raised up ourselves! It’s a win-win for you, us, and the sheep. So, let the shearing begin!
Also, another happening in March is a Flower Power Felting Retreat with Jean Hainlen. We’ll be felting flowers to welcome spring using lovely wool fibers. We’d love for you to join us!