One half of our croft is brimming with flouncing lambs and proud, sometimes panicked mums, but the other looks something like a Hollywood care home for fallen Divas. At this time of year Shetland sheep teenagers (hoggs), start to lose their winter locks, often leaving them with just a boa style ruff around their fairly scrawny necks. It’s not a good look. However, this year I’m keeping a beady eye on the balding and “rueing” them before all their splendid locks become enmeshed with the blackthorns.
You can “Rue” Shetlands as long as they are good and ready. It involves massaging down they’re body, teasing last years growth from the new. I don’t think they LOVE it – but they don’t seem to mind too much and it’s quiet, which is more than can be said for the electric shears. Best of all, I end up with lovely soft wool without any pesky undercut. Consequently, I have been spinning like Rumpelstiltskin’s mistress, driving Yorick to distraction with a random click every time the wheel rotates. Still – I have a few bundles of mighty fine knitting wool. Result!
Here’s a few pics of yesterday’s orders in the making.