Monday, November 16, 2009

Where does your fiber come from?
(warning this is high in fiber content and cuteness-very long post filled with a lot of pictures)

I know that I really didn't give it much thought when I was crocheting many, many years ago where my yarn came from. Do they make an acrylic animal?

I started going to sheep and wool shows because I want to buy things that I couldn't get locally. Little did I know that I would get an education at the same time as shopping. When I looked at the content of yarn I never had seen the sheep the fiber came from. I know that alpaca was soft as well as Merino, but really never had experienced the animals up close and personal until attending sheep and wool shows. What a great education it has been. I see something new every year.

This year was no different when it came to seeing the fiber bearing animals in person. I saw all kinds of great animals.

Below you will see one of the most photographed young man at the show. Meet Zack...

This handsome young man has some pretty impressive horns. Check them out. Can you imagine that coming toward you in a sheep pen with a good head of steam??
Then we moved over to the Angoras pen. What a lovely, soft and silky group of animals

They were pets more than anthing else. The older gentleman in the middle picture is the owner. The ram who is standing up wanted his attention to be pet. He was very friendly and let others pet him but really wanted his "daddy" to scratch his head.

These are some of the most expensive sheep that were at the show. These sheep do not get sheared like other sheep. Their fleece falls out in clumps and you have to pick it up off the group when they "shed" their fleece. I have met the owner at Maryland Sheep & Wool and she quoted me a price of $600 for one sheep. Soays are small sheep like Shetlands. She told me there is a waiting list for their fleece. Now that's a good business when someone waits on a list to get the fleece.
I have never seen a Soay that is any other color but brown. There might be other colors but I am not sure. They are just so shy and very small. This would be a great sheep for someone who has small land space challenges.

As I mentioned above, I learn something new about sheep every year I go. This is my first year to see this breed of sheep named, Ouessant. You can read more details about them here. It states on that board pictured that these are the world's smallest sheep. If you google them you will see a link with tons of pictures of the sheep. They seem to come in colors besides brown. Take a look. They are so interesting to read about. I did not get a chance to touch them or see what their fleece is like. Just loved they are so small and it's a breed I had never heard of until the show.

I think the weather at Rhinebeck this year was perfect for this sheep...I bet he/she was perfectly content.
Look at that fleece! Boy wouldn't you like to get ahold of that to spin!
Here are beautiful Jacobs. One of the most fun things about Jacobs is their horns. They can have up to 2 sets and each an go a different direction. It's funny to look at their horns. Check out this guy's horns. Funny, huh?
If you are a spinner you will recongize this breed below. I love spinning with Corriedale mixed with Lincoln wool. It's super easy to spin.

Look at these project wannabes! Man that's some fleece!
These are not a new breed for me but you don't see these in too many places...
These sheep look so cuddly. Sorry I didn't get anything but the back side but their food is more important to them than my photo.
These are sheep whose fiber I have not used yet. They are attractive sheep though.

I have pictures of the llamas and alpacas but will save that for another day


Ria said...

I recognize some of those "pre-projects"!

vlb5757 said...

Aren't they just the cutest. I have more...but thought maybe some knitting should be posted soon. Hope you are well! It was so fun meeting you there.

Sharon said...

Great tour of the show and thanks. It's been a long while since I've had the opportunity. Aren't they all wonderful??

Farm Chick Paula said...

Ugh, I am so jealous... I would have loved to have been there! I could look at those beautiful creatures all day!
I've never heard of the Ouessant breed... thanks for the link- I'm off to check it out.