There are two frames of mind when it comes to owning sheep: the romantic notion of wandering the fields with the calming sounds of bells and baas or the nitty-gritty reality of swearing at a stubborn ewe that has gotten into the same pickle yet again. The truth lies somewhere in between and there lies the rub.
I am here to confess that I hoard my fleece for two reasons: 1) I spend many a day chasing down a ewe or lamb and trying to find time to market is often on the back burner 2) I remember every moment I spend with my woolies. When I see each fleece, I hear baas and bells.
We raise a combination of miniature cheviot sheep, blue-faced/border leicester sheep and a cross of the two.
Miniature cheviot wool has a distinctive helical crimp which allows for an elasticity that is perfect for anything that needs stretch like socks or hats. It is a spinning and dyeing dream. It takes dyes readily creating both lovely, bright colors or intense darks from the white and dark brown wool. Miniature cheviot wool produces high volumes of yarn at low fleece weight. This translates into a fantastic, light knit product with great wearability.
Our leicester wool has a longer staple and a slightly higher micron count than the cheviot. It is an optimal choice for hard-wearing everyday items such as sweaters, mittens or socks. Many of our sheep have a wonderful luster to their wool that translates to a beautiful clear and bright dyed product.
This is what I see when I look at my fleece. As a shepherd, I invest time, love and energy into these amazing animals. Each one has a story and uniques personality. That being said, 42 bags of fleece is a bit much. For those of you who are interested, there will be a sale coming up soon. Keep your eyes peeled!! You too may hear bells and baas.