Sunday, July 23, 2017

From Fleece to Yarn

It's hard to get on a professional sheep shearer's schedule when you actually need them if you only have four sheep so this was our first year to try shearing the sheep ourselves. You can read everything out there and watch a bunch of videos on YouTube but at some point you just have to go for it. 

We started with Hershey, our smallest Shetland, and over the course of a week worked through the flock. The professionals can shear a sheep in 4 - 5 minutes. It took us 45 minutes each for the first three. Ian, the last one, was a real pill and we had to do a section at a time over a three day period. He looked pretty ridiculous during this adventure. 
Etta, Mac, Ian and Hershey minus their winter coats
The next step is to skirt each fleece (remove the nasty parts) and then bag them up. Then it's off to the wool mill to be turned into yarn.

Etta, Mac, Ian with Hershey in the front
Etta and Ian each had 2.9 pounds while Mac had 1.85 pounds and Hershey had 1.5 pounds which all together will probably yield around 4.5 pounds of yarn or 5000 yards. Over next winter I'll turn that yarn into a variety of projects on my simple loom. I can hardly wait!


  1. Fabulous! 45 minutes doesn't seem that long on your first try. Congratulations.

  2. My back thought 45 minutes bent over was way too long :) But the results were very satisfying and I really feel a sense of accomplishment.

  3. You did great! Even grooming our poodle takes longer than that! And we come away with no yarn whatsoever!