Wednesday, September 27, 2006

OFFF, Part I

I got to attend the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFFF) in Canby on Friday and Sunday, and it wasn't nearly enough time! I would have liked to have browsed more among all the vendor booths, and met more of the Shetland sheep and their breeders, but I had to prioritize. First of all, I was there to meet and hopefully choose from Lois Moore's yearling ewes. Second, Lois agreed to come to my place and give me feedback on my sheep if I could provide transportion. Third, I had agreed to help Susie Sizemore show her sheep, since she was short-handed. And fourth, Lois said I could try out her spinning wheels and learn to spin. Those four objectives were accomplished and then some, so I was busy!


First, those yearlings of Lois'. I thought I wanted a black ewe to add to my "washed out" flock of white and light grey, so Lois brought Cleopatra for me to see. But I had also seen some fawn sheep whose fleece color I really liked at the Oregon State Fair, so Lois brought Valentine, too. But when I walked up to Lois' pen of yearlings at OFFF, there was Titania, a katmoget who took my breath away. Her exquisite head was more deer-like than stereotypically Shetland, and I was immediately smitten. Her fleece was gorgeous, too; soft and fine and crimpy -- and white. Well, basically. She is moorit based, with a fleece of lightest cream. Not what I needed to add some color variety to my flock, but that head....


Valentine's lustrous, silky fleece was indeed a luscious latte color, and she was by far the friendliest of the three. But Titania's head drew me in like a siren's call. Fleece or head, fleece or head? I couldn't bear to say no to either! While I pondered, Brian followed Susie Sizemore around and helped Wally Rutledge spread straw in his stalls. He was a really good boy.

Then we drove Lois to Boulderneigh to see our girls. Lois made me feel good about my taste in sheep, advised me on what to do with Dinah's fleece, and met my horse Russell. Then back we drove to Canby, with me none to the closer to a decision. Lois advised I sleep on it.

It was more like not sleeping on it. I also prayed about it, because I know God wants to be involved in even the smallest details of our lives, and He knows which little Shetland would work out best at Boulderneigh. As I drove back to Canby Sunday morning, I still wasn't sure what to do, but it started jelling. When I walked into the barn and Valentine greeted me I knew, and I told Lois, "I'm taking Valentine." The joy of making the right choice grew throughout the day, and there have been no second thoughts! My sweet Valentine was hard to photograph, because she would always come up for attention. So I had to halter her and tie her up to get these shots.

Valentine went back with Lois to Halfway, Oregon to be bred, and will come to her new home at Boulderneigh after that. I can hardly wait!

That's it for now at . . .

6 comments:

Kathy L. said...

What a wonderful looking girl you've got there! Too bad we can't take them all home, isn't it?

Tammy said...

She is beautiful! I think you made a good choice. The one photo I saw of her earlier didn't do her justice. She looks like a sweetheart too.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thank-you both for admiring my girl; I'm so excited about her. Of course, you probably wouldn't tell me I made the WRONG choice.... :-)

Tina T-P said...

Oh, what a difficult choice - and Titania has SUCH a pretty face - but a silky fleece is hard to beat! We've moved the NW Shetland breeders meeting we organized up to Alger, as most of the people coming are from this neck of the woods - sorry you couldn't join us - Tina

Nancy K. said...

That fleece color is to die for! I'd love a true fawn like that. And I've felt fleece samples from Lois's flock and know that they are incredible. Good for you!!! How sweet that you had to tie her up to get a picture. Sounds like a real love...

Becky Utecht said...

I agree, Valentine is a very pretty ewe. I love that color fleece.