Category Archives: Sheep

The Good Shepherd

Yesterday was a busy fiber day. A neighbor brought over a few sample fleeces from her flock for me to scour. When she dropped the bags, I immediately took a small sample indoors to wash up just for a look at how the fleece might behave.

Louis, our Aussie shepherd, who was around our Shetlands at a very young age, followed closely, curiously sniffing the air. As I ran a pot of water at the sink, he began crying at the door. I followed, letting him out for what I thought was a potty break. While waiting for the dog, I busied myself outdoors setting up the scouring equipment. Then I looked over and found Louis situated beside the bags of raw fiber just outside the garage. Not thinking much of it, I called him in and he immediately whined and paced at the back door.

Assuming he hadn’t finished his doggy business, I took him out again and noticed he ran straight for the fleeces, plopping down beside them and looking quite proud. The sweet pup was guarding his “flock.” Talk about instincts! I finally had to put the fleeces away to manage our loyal shepherd’s sanity. A good dog and good shepherd indeedy.

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RealEyes Podcast on Our Farm Story

http://realeyeshomestead.com/permaculture-realized-podcast-episode-2-permaculture-journey-health-apples-fiber-alpacas-samantha-graves/

Levi at RealEyes Homestead, which is a permaculture farm adjacent to our farm at DeYoung has just started doing podcasts. They’re great! And we’re particularly fond of the second ever, the story of our farm. Please take a listen and then sign up to receive additional podcasts from RealEyes.

Shetland Cotton Candy

Introducing Shetland Cotton Candy, hand-spun, hand-dyed local Shetland yarnimage from the farm. The roving looked so much like cotton candy, well, let’s just say, I have a great idea for next April Fools Day.

It’s currently drying, but if you are looking for the perfect yarn for a baby hat or footies, this yarn is for you. Will be available tomorrow for sale. Email for details.

healingtreefarm@gmail.com

Sheep (and Alpaca) to Market Demonstration

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Coming up July 11th from 10a to 1p – Our Sheep to Market Series has been condensed to a one day celebration of fiber. Join us at the farmhouse to learn about processing wool from sheep and alpaca to a finished end product. Participate in skirting and washing, carding, and spinning fibers on both a drop spindle and the wheel.

This workshop is FREE and open to anyone interested in learning more about fiber art, but please register via email at healingtreefarm@gmail.com. You may wish to bring a snack or light lunch.

***If you’d like a starter spinning kit, please email me for details.

Twist

While spinning some of the oatmeal Shetland fiber the other day, a wisp of brown became twisted in the first ply. I watched the contrasting colors whirl as they inched closer to the spool; an imperfection so eloquently represented. I wondered whether the two sheep who produced these colors were close pasture mates. Maybe they looked out for one another the way sheep do, or perhaps they were mortal sheep enemies. It’s hard to tell with sheep.

Regardless of their sheep preferences, here in this place of quiet meditation, with the steady hum of the drive wheel and the clinking of the hook, they have blended to create a thing of beauty; differences erased with a twist.

It is the twist that makes the yarn strong. And in the twist that morning, I discovered a subtle metaphor for family or community. Some of the fibers are short and crimped with high luster, others are long and straight. Combed, they blend into handsome roving and strengthened when brought together by the cyclical power of the wheel. We are all made more beautiful when we offer up a little of ourselves to the greater good. Especially when we don’t let our differences define us, but compliment the uniqueness in others. We are all subtle variations in hue and luster made stronger by the twist we share in common.