Sunday, April 04, 2010

Yesterday, Margie and I drove down to the K-9 dog training ranch of Terry Parrish in rural Escondido for the sheep shearing. The Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild had emailed about this event. A glorious day and unbelievably beautiful country not far from city life.

The ranch is across the road from the San Diego Wild Animal Park, which is in the distance.

We brought our spinning wheels and spun along with some of the other guild members.
There were about 100 sheep that were going to get haircuts. These were predominantly Dorset and Rambouillet sheep.
Sheep waiting to be shorn.

Here is the shearer at work. He is from Oregon and planned to shear about 100 sheep during the day. He puts this Rambouillet sheep on its back end to immobilize it during the shearing.
Almost done. The fleece comes off in one piece.
Here's one of the dark brown sheep being shorn.
The fleece intact.
Margie discussing the characteristics of the dark fleece with some spinners.
Bags of fleece ready to be chosen by spinners.
Here are some of the sheep after their haircuts.

The other fun thing of the day was a short, very informative talk and demo by Terry on sheepherding by her dogs. Based on the whistle commands given to the dog, he corraled this little flock of sheep. Terry said that each dog can distinguish the subtle difference between his owner's whistle and that of another.
There were many, many sheep dogs at the ranch yesterday. These dogs were just dying to get out there and herd the sheep, but most of them had to stand and watch. All of them seemed focused on the sheep and had their ears perked up like this little guy.

What a great day!

Last week I worked on a couple of new fibery things. I recently got a shipment of some fibers I have not dyed before: Polwarth wool and Blueface Leicester Wool blended with Tussah Silk. After dyeing a batch of each of these, I spun up some sample skeins. The verdict is in -- I love both of these new fibers. This is the BFL/silk in "Sargasso Sea" colorway, 380 yards.
Polwarth wool, randomly handpainted, 425 yards.
I am also continuing to pursue my interest in felting. Here is a felted scarf in progress -- it still is in need of embellishments and stitching.
Happy Easter or whatever you're doing today ---

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

We were hiking in the Lagunas -- south of where you were, but also gorgeous! I wish we'd seen the sheep-shearing, though, it looks like quite an experience. I love that Sargasso Sea colorway, too, absolutely gorgeous.