Friday, February 28, 2014

Shearing at Riverbank Farm

Ron the Dog and the goats
Monday was shearing day at my brother-in-law Matt's farm. He had sixteen sheep on Monday, but that number is about to explode, as most of the girls are due to lamb next week. Looks like there are lots of twins, too.

Pauline gently sheared all the sheep in quick succession. Move slowly to keep them calm, she says, but she works at such a steady pace that we were done in no time. And I would bet that most, if not all of the sheep weighed more than Pauline.

Levi was the working dog of the day. He would select a sheep and nudge it out of the sheep pile so Matt could move it along to the shearing carpet. Then he would wait for his next command, perfectly still.

One of the geese is protective of Matt. It bit me in the leg as I closed myself into the same room as him, and then knocked on the door incessantly. I should mention Matt is a veterinarian, so Riverbank Farm sometimes feels like the Land of Misfit Animals.

Dennis is the new barn cat, a return to the SPCA, on clearance. His cat instincts are hilariously screwy. He has no fear whatsoever.

But the sheep are not misfits. There are registered Clun Forest sheep, black and white Cheviots, and one Border Leicester cross.  I am antsy to get this wool spun, as we have never had Clun Forest wool in the mix.


Last year's clip was recently spun, resulting in forty five pounds of two-ply for me, and a slew of blankets for Matt. He sends the wool to MacAusland's Woollen Mill on Prince Edward Island, one of very few mills that still weaves blankets.  (Side note: Years ago we received a blanket for Christmas in a stapled grain bag.  I had to step away and pull myself together. It remains one of my most cherished items.)

Five bags full
I could not resist a little dyeing on Wednesday.

So I think I'm all set for yarn. I'll have plenty for sale to dye at Fiber College in September!

Have a great weekend, I know I will.

p.s. - forgot to mention new Aussie puppies on the farm, 5 days old.  g a s p.


Anonymous said...

I love that green.

Mary Lou said...

Great photos. Now when i work with your yarn I can imagine how it got to be.

sadie said...

That post and the naked one before it were so great they made my day.
I once streaked at summer camp and went on to go to nudist beach resorts for years. It seems to be the ticket to clothes-optional freedom.
A stapled grain sack would have undone me too :)