Slowly but surely, I’ve been dyeing small batches of the remainder of Tinkerbell’s 2016 fleece. The plan is to card each color separately, then combine some of them into fun batts with gold and/or copper add-ins. Should be fun to see how they turn out!
I love Cupcake’s fuzzy face. But sometimes, all that delightful fuzz can become somewhat limiting… to a poor ewe’s eyesight! Cupcake looked like her cuteness was becoming a bit of a burden, so on the advice of another shepherd, we tracked down a pair of utility shears (they’ll cut anything and are much safer than handshears in this sort of situation) and gave her a much needed trim. Who knew? She’s got eyes under there!
This weekend took an unexpected turn and ended up becoming quite an adventure! We ended up driving across the state with a large dark ram in the back of our truck. Steve drew a lot of attention in the McDonald’s parking lot! (Someone even asked if he was a llama…)
We were headed to Cherich Farm in Mt Calvary, WI (birthplace of Mary, Cupcake and Tinkerbell) to choose next fall’s back-up ram. We realized the breeder buying Steve was located in the same part of the state and just managed to coordinate with both farms to work out dropping him off at his new digs and then buzzing away to pick out someone new. I’m kicking myself now for not getting a parting picture of Steve – he looked like a giant chocolate marshmallow when we took his coat off. I’m delighted that the buyer agreed to send us his fleece after spring shearing.
We hadn’t originally planned on returning home with any sheep in tow, but we arrived at Cherich Farm thinking “Hey, we’re here. In a truck. And it’s already outfitted with a topper. And lots of hay. Hmmm….”
So after working our way through a pen of 18 yearling rams and getting a crash course from Rich Beuscher on assessing wool on the hoof, we settled on a bigger bodied white-fleeced boy who didn’t share too much ancestry with our 2015 Cherich ewes and asked if there was any reason we couldn’t just take him home with us right then. Rich swapped out his ear-tag for a scrapies tag, and we were all set!
#1623 (who quickly became “Angus” on the ride home) has a nice consistent fleece with beautiful crimp, luster and a “skoosh” factor to die for!
Because Cherich shears its sheep in October, it’s funny seeing our flock all shaggy and Angus with just a few months’ growth. Between that and having Steve’s old collar on him, you’d almost think we had a poodle out there, hanging with the sheep. For now, A.J. has moved in with the ladies and Archie is pulling ram-companion duty. They seem like they’re getting along nicely.
Yeah, I think he’ll fit in here…