Spring time is certainly the busiest time for us- we lamb and shear all around the same time! Making sure all goes well with lambing as well as managing all the lambs, tagging, vaccinating and keeping accurate records make April pretty busy. Since lambing is the biggest stress on an otherwise healthy ewe, we try to shear right around lambing because stress can create weakness in the fiber, so the ideal time for that weakness would be when you shear because you are cutting it anyway! I am always excited for shearing but relived when it is over because it can be a lot of work to organize. Sheep have to be penned up the night before and they must be dry. When are sheep are finally naked, that means I am skirting, photographing and storing fleeces!
I tend to get pretty excited about books. Although The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes was published in 2009, I just found this excerpt on the TwistCollective.com! In The Softness Myth, Clara talks about some of my favorite things: selecting respective fibers for projects, measuring softness and defining micron counts. She even encourages knitters to seek out other breeds beside just Merino, comparing the loss of these other breeds to heirloom seeds! Very brilliant and inspiring. I enjoy thinking that there is a purpose for every type of fiber out there. Don't know how I missed this book in 2009, but I just ordered it!
The article linked is reprinted from The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes. Copyright (c) 2009.
Leah Saltzman of Shepherdess Wool talks about sheep, farming and fiber.