Earlier this summer we had a visit from a new sheep shearer. It is good to know there are still people training themselves in these skills. I hope to shear my own sheep someday, but for a first time it was nice to watch a professional. After we were able to herd Madge and Fanny (my California Varigated Mutants) we brought them to the barn for shearing. They were quite dramatic about the whole thing, but eventually I think they were relieved to lose the weight! I have some small carting brushes that I might use to play with these new fleeces once they are cleaned. I also discovered an interesting place in Monroe, WA that processes wool–Gretchan’s Wool Mill! I am looking forward to meeting her. She does not have a minimum order. Next year I will have all of the sheep sheared so that will be a lot of wool to deal with for me!
My great grandmother used to weave and spin. I grew up with her old spinning wheel in the living room, but no one in the family carried on those skills. This year we had a family gathering at Easter and all of the placemats and napkins were some of the wonderful pieces that granny left behind from her loom!
I hope to get better at spinning and weaving in the years to come. There are some good resources for learning these things at Northwest Handspun in Bellingham, Knot Just Yarn in Burlington and Northwest Weavers Guilds if you are interested.