So there's your raw fiber, slumping in its container, possibly glaring at you malevolently, daring you to try to scour it. Dump it out onto clean concrete or an old sheet. If alpaca/llama: separate it into a thin layer, pick out the obvious big stuff, remove handfuls of the very badly contaminated stuff. Fluff it up, while holding your breath. Return to container. If adult wool: unroll the fleece and place it tip upward, sheared side (butt) side down, arrange in a shape the way the sheep grew it. It should be shaped like an animal hide.
It's been a wonderful 10 years, but I've had my lease (amicably) terminated on this fine old building. Our closure date is Labor Day, 2018, in 2 1/2 months. We opened on Memorial Day weekend, I think it's only poetically fitting that we close on Labor Day weekend. I plan on having a huge blowout sale, everything goes including furniture, fixtures, supplies, tools and some equipment.
We had our usual 4th of July, with the shop open 7 days a week, we don't do much. I did sneak off to a barbecue and chatted with people about the upcoming An Tyr War just south of us. It's a Society for Creative Anachronism event held yearling, with jousting, sword fighting, archery contests, and lots of cool stuff to purchase. Cindy and I got into our Renaissance costumes and wandered down there a year or two ago, had a good time. What we like best is that all those folks traveling home on Sunday stop in our shop to stock up on wool goodies. I was very proud
"Better Late Than Never" has been our family motto for many years. It is however a lousy way to run a blog. Apologies to anyone out there reading this stuff. June came in warm and sunny, but just about the time I wanted to shear my sheep, the June Gloom hit, with just enough rain that nobody could mow a lawn, or shear a sheep. I caught my shearer, Wendy, just as the sun was breaking through the clouds one morning, and two days later we did the dirty deed. She had some trouble with her equipment, her favorite shearing tool had broken, she was waiting for parts,
The sun is shining, which means it's warming up inland, which means 40 mph. 50 degree winds for us here. We scurry outside first thing in the morning before the wind comes up and do our nonwindy chores, then scurry back inside to don coats about 10 a.m.
Ok, yes, although I know it's now April, the March winds are finally here with a vengeance. And it's the usual mix: torrential rain driven sideways by the gusts of wind. We keep our sense of humor by watching the free ranging hens, as they turn tail to the wind and are blown inside out like an old umbrella. It never ceases to amuse. Not so amusing is our current dilemma with our rural water system, and our (if I can be so indelicate as to mention it) septic line. It seems the well and the septic must have heard us talking about squandering our tax return
March is the month where everything begins to grow again around here. The plum trees are a riot of blossoms, the sheep are somehow weaseling through the fence into my fruit orchard and trying to kill the trees by eating their bark...
February is always the month where I watch the intrepid daffodils poke their grey-green leaves up from the deep green of last fall's grass, and begin to show their blossom buds. Last year my mother and I planted 20 different varieties, including GREEN ones, all along one side of my driveway. This year they've flourished and spread, and are making an incredible display. We're hoping to get the other side of the long driveway planted this year.
I love January, where the entire year glistens like a new car, pristine and stretching out before us with infinite good possibilities...
Whew, December went by faster than usual, with myriad custom orders to fill, freshly sheared lamb's wool to intake (poor wee lambies!) and it seems we barely got our Holiday decorations and lights up before it's almost time to take them down again. December is one of my most favorite months, I love the music, the food, and the short days and long winter evenings to play with all the fibers we have garnered and gathered from far and near all summer long. The unexpected lamb's wool was of such high quality we just had to have it. And I'm pretty sure those naked lambs