New Hampshire Sheep and Wool is just around the corner and we’ll be debuting some new yarn lines. We’ve spent the winter and early spring working on a number of really great yarns. Those of you coming to NH this weekend will get the first look. First up is our line of Natural Colored yarns.
Beautiful Natural Colored Lamb’s Wool in deep dark chocolate brown, light taupe gray brown, heathery charcoal gray and bright white. Sheared just a month ago and spun into a fresh, springy 2 ply yarn. Also coming along for the ride are two colors of a 50% first clip kid 50% lamb’s wool blend. These are incredibly soft and supple yarns. Pictures really do not do them justice.
These yarns are Complete Farm Products meaning that they are produced completely on our farm from the growing of the fiber to the skeining and labeling of the yarn. We’ll be posting photos of some other new yarn lines later this week. In the meantime, it’s back to packing for the show!
So here it is June 20th and we are getting ready to load up the show gang and head down to the Great Frederick Fairgrounds in Maryland for the – group formally known as V.A.G.M.A. – E.A.G.M.A. ( Eastern Angora Goat and Mohair Association ) Annual Angora Goat Show and Sale. The Show is next Saturday and Sunday June 26th and 27th. White goats will show Saturday. The Colored Angora Goat Breeders Association NATIONAL Show will be held on Sunday. We show AAGBA registered white goats. One thing that is really nice for us about the EAGMA Show is that we are NOT retail vendors. No product to haul. Just pack the goats and go…… right ! Just that easy. We’ll be looking forward to seeing all the goats and their people and spending the weekend catching up with all the latest in “goat”. Thirteen of the Buckwheat flock will be showing. Hopefully that’ll be a “lucky” 13. We did a dry run to the vet’s and back with all 13 on board for a health check and interstate transport papers. Came home, cleaned the trailer ( power-washer, yeah !) and loaded some clean bedding. All that remains is to round up the feed and water buckets, sort through the travel medicinals, and wait until Friday to head south. I hear the forecast is for a hot and sticky week in Maryland. With any luck that’ll clear out for the show. We’ll post how the goats placed when we return. Maybe we’ll see you there as well ?
Yesterday we sorted through a bunch of our ewes. Now that kidding is winding down, its time to get ready for lambs. We have 22 bred Cormo and Cormo Cross ewes – we think. The Cormo Crosses are our Natural Colored Fine Wool sheep. So, starting next week, we’ll be shearing some sheep as we prepare for lambing. We like to get the fleece sheared before the ewes lamb — for one thing it allows the lambs to find a teat with ease and for another it keeps the fleece from getting contaminated from the birthing process. We also have the remainder of our goats to shear as well – yearling does and bucks, adult does and bucks. So in the next few weeks we need to harvest the fleece off of about 100 animals. As we shear, we do a “rough skirt”. That means we remove as much of the undesirable parts of the fleece as possible before putting the fleece into a bag. Undesirable parts include; any fleece with manure stuck to it ( these are called “tags” ), any fleece discolored by urine ( called “stain” ) , any parts with a lot of vegetable matter ( VM , the handspinners nightmare in fine wool ). We also separate the wool from the underside of the sheep’s body – the “belly wool” – and bag that separately. This wool can be very different from the rest of the fleece. Sometimes it is shorter in length, sometimes the crimp is different and sometimes it is of a different “fineness”. Most of our sheep are covered which keeps a large percentage of the fleece very clean and free from debris. This fleece is then carefully re-skirted, bagged and offered for sale. Some of our fleeces – the really special ones – are kept and entered into competition at some of the local fairs. There is nothing more beautiful than a pristinely clean, freshly sheared fleece. This year, the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association, a local sheep breeder’s association to which we belong, is having a Spring Fleece sale. It will be held on Saturday May 16 at the Elmendorf Inn in Red Hook, NY at 10:00AM. We’ll be participating with some of these beautiful fleeces. See you there?
It is always nice when yarn customers show us or tell us how they have used our product. This beautiful lace shawl was entered by Lynne in the Skein and Garment Competition at the Fingerlakes Fiber Festival in Hemlock, NY. Look at the “close-up” below. Amazing!