Posted on January 22 2015
Ever wonder how the wool gets from the animal to the skein? Last Monday, Windrush farm hosted a sheering day. The weather was so beautiful. and we all learned so much. The whole process begins the night before the sheering. The animals are rounded up into the barn for the night. This keeps them calm for the morning sheering. We arrived to these amazing faces:
As observers and helpers we are given the task of keeping track of the sheep's number (from it's tag) with the shorn fleece. Johnny Sanchez is the expert sheerer. He arrived and began his work. He was so skilled, and so fast. The fleece came off in sheets. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was a sheep skin. But of course, it's not. He just has a way of sheering that keeps the fibers intact. Amazing.
The next step on the journey from sheep to skein is to weigh the fleeces. From here, you can decide to keep the fleeces exclusively separate, or you can decide to start mixing the colors and get varying shades of gray, brown, black, and white. At this point, the fleece is ready to be washed, dried, picked, carded, milled, and spun! For us, our day was complete. Some of this will turn into Local Pastures yarn! More to come on those last steps as we spend more and more time documenting this amazing process that produces the fiber that we love to play with.