Tuesday, March 27, 2007

One down, three to go

There it is, 4 lb. 3 oz. of Valentine's fleece, skirted, bagged, and ready to go to the Shepherd's Extravaganza, a fleece show/sale in April. Val was the first to be sheared, and, I suspect, had the most second cuts (the clippers didn't glide over her like they did the others). Since she surprised me so with her color change, I wanted to get "up close and personal" with her fleece first.

When I spread it out on the skirting "table," Brian thought it looked like the bearskin rug he saw at a neighbors'! I guess it is a bit reminiscent of a grizzly's pelt....

This photo shows the marked color change her fleece underwent. It changed gradually, though; her fleece is not banded. Neither does it look iset, particularly; the light fibers appear to be silvery beige, not white.

Although I've asked more experienced shepherds their opinions and spent quite a bit of time looking at photos and descriptions on the Shetland Sheep Information site, I'm still not sure what to call her color. She doesn't appear to have the agouti (Ag) gene which causes fading (Rechel and Bella are both black sheep with the Ag gene); neither does she appear to be a modified color. What I DO know is that her fleece is gorgeous, and I can't wait to process and spin the parts I skirted out and kept!

That's it for now at . . .

6 comments:

Kathy L. said...

I sure wish I had a neat skirting frame as you have seem to found! :)

My Ailee was like Val, although we knew she carried Ag as she had "sugar lips and eyes"...she went from a nice brown, to greyish-brown, to greyish-white (grey) to grey! I hope she stays grey as it's the nicest color.
I meant to reply to your posts on the List, but have been soooo busy getting stretched every day, plus getting Ralph ready for a trip this week, home one day, then gone again for 5 days next week. Whew! I need a vacation! :)

Kathy L. said...

PS...I meant that the grey Ailee turned is very, very light.

sheperdchik said...

Wow, looks like your shearer did an excellent job of getting the fleece off in one piece! My guy messed them up a little getting them off. That looks great!

Lauren said...

AS always, lovely things keep coming out of Boulderneigh. The color is exquisite, so creamy in its variegation, and looks like it will make a great Aran sweater (no time like the present to start, young lady). Keep the pictures coming; I want to see roving, the spun yarn, and gauge swatch. Yes, I want it all.

Bill Stearman said...

Mi Michelle,

I have a couple that look like Valentine's. They are moorit, with iset (IMHO). That will be a fleece that will sell well and be fun to work with because of the colour. I have too much iset in my flock at the moment and am working hard to introduce lines that don't fade to either iset, or age greying. Both UK rams used for AI are non-fading at 5 and 7 years.

BUT ... I'll always want some iset in my flock ... 'cause the fleeces sell sooooo well.

Bill

Franna said...

Michelle, What a gorgeous fleece! I can't wait to see it at the Shepherd's Extravaganza. :)
My vote is that she's Moorit iset because she faded later than the Ag's fade. It would be interesting to look at her fibers under the microscope to see colors of the individual fibers.