Thursday, 3 July 2008

A good lesson!

At Woolfest, Lenice Bell kindly invited me to come up to visit her and have a lesson in shearing.
So today I travelled up to Eaglesfield (less than an hour away as it happens) to see Lenice on her lovely farm and meet her beautiful flock.

As promised, Lenice had a few sheep ready and waiting for me, so we got stuck in. Interestingly, this is a horned Shetland ewe.

After watching and listening carefully for the first couple, I was handed the shears and had a go myself. I found the most difficult thing the initial opening up of the fleece, especially the scary bit where you're going up the neck, but after that I don't think it went too badly, although I felt a bit awkward and my sheep didn't look nearly as neat as Lenice's.

Guess which one I clipped!


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I won't say, but I'd sure like one of those pretty katmogets in MY flock!

Tammy said...

Wow Jenny - that is totally awesome - and with hand shears no less. I'd love it if someone taught me to shear that way - congratulations - for a beginner you did a fantastic job!

Jenny Holden said...

They're nice aren't they? Lenice just bought them in quite recently. You think they're nice you should see the whole flock! I met my Rosie's grandma and she's the spitting image :o)

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I really still needs lots of help! I was quite determined that my sheep would be hand sheared and that the fleece would be taken along the rise as far as possible to get a nicer fleece next year too.

Nancy K. said...

What a wonderful opportunity to learn! I met Lenice, a number of years ago, and she is SUCH a nice lady!

Did you learn how to "take the sheep down" and use different positions for shearing and everything???

I use a hand shears to trim up my girls a couple of months after shearing but have never tried to do a whole, full grown fleece! I just do my girls with them standing tied to a fence. I can imagine that one would do a much better job with the sheep in the correct "position"...

Jenny Holden said...

I don't know where you'd start with them tied to a fence! But then my sheep aren't very well halter trained as I'm sure yours are. I had a go at halter training Rosie today and it didn't go too badly.

I did learn the positions for shearing and how to move around the sheep, but it takes a lot of practice to get it all right I think. Long way to go yet :o/