Friday, 19 April 2013

Lambs and Fleece

Yesterday I went over to visit my friend Katherine. She's known as Barberblacksheep on Ravelry and has her own mini flock of sheep. Rather jokingly she calls them her useless flock as there's a lot of castrated males, and quite a few are getting on in years, but the reality is they produce lovely fleece, partly because they're castrated males, so no pressure of lambing which weakens the fleece, but also because she takes fantastic care of them, and shears them herself.
They're a bit of a motley bunch, partly pedigree Gotlands, some BFL's, and Welsh Mountains, but there's also some lovely cross breeds, her Black Welsh Mountain/BFL cross is a particular favourite of mine.

There were 2 main reasons for my visit. First was to say hello to the newest arrivals. Alfie and Siwan, BFL/Gotland crosses born less than 2 days ago.

First time mum Rusby and her lamb Alfie

Old hand Rasta and her lamb Siwan. 

Taking these photos involved a lot of lying around on the straw, and deletion of lots of blurry sheep photos! 

Rasta in particular is friendly, she got really ill last year, but Katherine nursed her back to health, and as a result she's worked out that humans have treats, and give good scratches. She spent lots of time trying to work out if the camera was going to give her any food. 

Looks like her daughter is going to inherit those friendly characteristics. 

I also got to do some lamb cuddling, though Rasta was feeling a little left out. The look on my face is probably similar to the look I gave her last weekend when I was house sitting. These girls were told very firmly to keep their legs crossed until Katherine was there to look after the new arrivals!

The second reason for my visit was this little lot

I helped Katherine go through her fleeces and we picked out and sorted and bagged up a collection for me to take to Wonderwool next weekend. They're mostly pure Gotland, but theres a few of the cross breeds. Some as whole fleeces, others in smaller amounts if you just want to try spinning this for yourself. If you won't be coming to Wonderwool then I'd recomend going and joining Katherine's Ravelry group as there are still a few fleeces she kept back to sell via the post. 


  1. What a lovely post Katie and really fantastic to hear you are going 'direct to the source' for fleece. Have a great Wonderwool!

  2. Looks like there's some lovely fleeces here. I may have to investigate.... I like a nice coloured wether fleece.

    1. It was very tempting to keep them for myself! Katherine and I hand picked through every single one, there's a bit of VM (but hardly any) in this years one (Gotlands are sheared in the winter), but no pooey bits, and lots of lovely open locks. The older fleeces from previous shearings are in beautiful condition, and such gorgeous colours.

  3. Such beautiful sheep :D