Was back at the farm on Friday to help with the bagging of fleece from the remainder of the alpacas. This time the shearer was Australian with a female assistant, the poor girl was in the firing line of all the green spit & by the time we were done I think we’d all had share. Instead of a sandbag on the neck to hold them down the assistant straddled the necks and helped turn the animals for the shearer. Such beautiful fibre & so much came home with me!
Last night the 2 Romney sheep in my back garden were shorn, they are so huge the shearer has his hands full trying to move them around to give them a decent hair cut. They bleated for ages after with sheer (shear) joy. It has been fun watching their reaction to the fox cubs over the past couple of weeks, they just dont know what to make of each other.
Today I was able to see some amazing alpacas being shorn at Fletching. It may look cruel but this is a tried and tested method of calming the animals while removing their fabulous fleeces. The dont produce wool-only sheep are wool producers-we call their coat a fleece when it’s entire but its a fibre rather like hair. I have spun many of the colours from Vicky & Chris but today I managed to bring home some fibre from the dark grey male which is all shades of grey with some black thrown in for good measure. I have been trying to collect all the natural colours over the years & want eventually to knit something in fairisle.
As a spinner you are asked to do lots of strange things, recently the Guild were asked to spin some Siberian Husky fibre for their rescue charity and of course I had to volunteer to do that. I’m waiting for the package to arrive!
Last year the Guild were asked to spin a number of very large skeins of chunky natural wool for a production of Robin Hood in which my hero Russell Crowe stars in. Many of our members & other local guilds took part so I’m now looking forward to seeing the movie which is due out later this month.
Another claim to fame was a production called Sewn, this was produced by University of Sussex students and loosely based on Rumplestiltskin. I had to teach 2 of the actresses to spin and in the end a close up of my spinning was filmed as the students couldn’t spin continuously for the camera.
You never know what will come your way!