Friday, May 18, 2012

Coats and quotable quotes

As of this morning, all of my sheep are coated. Thanks to Angela Rountree for passing on some coats she no longer needed; for the first time I had coats small enough for the lambs!


Bittersweet and Bloom weren't so sure of each other in their new duds at first.


Black Bing and his black gulmoget dam.


I enjoy seeing the sheep au naturale, but as a handspinner and seller of fleeces, I hate seeing those fleeces collecting all matter of debris. After awhile I hardly notice the coats, and swoon over the clean, crimpy goodness each time I switch out a coat for a bigger one as the fleeces grow. And of course it is their sweet faces I focus on when my sheep come up for attention.


Feedback on this year's fleeces is starting to come in. Repeat customers are a testimony in and of themselves; the comments below are from new customers, and affirm that I am making good progress towards my fine-fleece goals. A HUGE thank-you to both my fleece (and breeding stock) customers, and the breeders who have sold me the stock that has improved my flock so much!


"Your fleeces are so fine and crimpy, sooo different from Shetland roving I have bought in the past."


"Finally last night I started processing Cadbury's fleece. Oh my, it is the softest fleece I have ever processed. I can hardly wait to card and spin it.  Thanks so much for this great fleece. Which leads me to the next comment, I want to be put on your 'wait' list for next year's fleece. Your fleece is just wonderful. If all of them are even half as nice as Cadbury, I would probably want more than just one."


"I got Bramble's fleece Wednesday. I love it! I love the way the colors are varigated with the different shades of tan and caramel shot through with silvery fibers.  I was thinking I would take this fleece to the processor everyone around here uses to process into roving, but after seeing it, I don't want it 'homogonized,' I think I will comb or flick the locks instead, to preserve the colors. Very, very soft - I am going to love working with this." (A side note here. Bramble is the coarsest animal in my flock, and NOT one of my breeding ewes. The customer was informed of this and I told her not to pay me until she was sure she was happy with the fleece. As you can see, she was.)


That's it for today from . . .

13 comments:

Jody said...

Hi Michelle,
I guess I should chime in to say how much I love Bunker's fleece. I am dip washing the last of it so I can spin a fine laceweight for a Shetland shawl...thanks...Jody

Kim said...

Are these coats Rocky Mtn Sheep Suits? We've been thinking about coating our Jacobs. Do you have to bath the sheep before putting the coats on? It seems like our sheep's fleeces are much cleaner now that they're on green grass. Ever wait until winter (when they start eating hay again) to coat them? Seems funny ~ we shear in the winter and put coats on them in the summer!

Kelly Bartels said...

Congrats on the rave reviews Michelle. It's wonderful when you can get feedback that lets you know that you are heading in the right direction.
We had a similar experience at Shepherd's Harvest this past weekend.
Keep up the good work.

Michelle said...

Yep, they are Rocky Sheep Suits; I think they are the best. Some people only coat their sheep during hay-feeding season because sheep generally DO stay cleaner on pasture. However, my pastures all have trees in them, which the sheep like to rub against, collecting bark, moss and twigs in doing so. Also, I bring my sheep into the fold at night for safety, where they get a little hay to chew on. Both hay and bedding get into their fleeces then. So I coat year-round. And no, I never bathe them first. Most fleeces are washed before processing anyway to get rid of the grease, so any dust/dirt would be dealt with then.

Michelle said...

You're most welcome, Jody - and thank-YOU for your business and kind comments!

Michelle said...

Thanks, Kelly!

farmlady said...

Love the "sheep suits" and having been given some very dirty fleece that I couldn't use at all, I understand why you do this.
Thank you for being so meticulous. It pays off down the line.

Michelle said...

My clients certainly think so, farmlady!

Sharon said...

You and your sheep both are fortunate to have all that grass. I'm sure your hay budget is reduced by it. It's so pretty where you live - so much color!

Tina T-P said...

Very nice compliments on your fleeces - and well deserved - I sure enjoyed spinning Inky's fleece. T.

Michelle said...

We still have to feed hay most of the year, Sharon, but every little bit certainly does help!

Michelle said...

Thank-you, Tina; I was quite honored by your purchase and so happy you liked it!

shelly hancock said...

Count me amongst the happy customers! I feel giddy every time you post up new fleece shots, knowing first hand how wonderful it is to hand process and spin wool from your sheep.