Monday, April 15, 2019


This cartoon was in an email from Interweave this morning. What??? So I clicked on the link, and am sharing it here. I've never put out yarn scraps for the birds, but I know of others who have.

Of course, fleece scraps would be perfectly fine to leave out for nesting material – and yesterday I could have supplied a great many birds. I sternly told myself that two sheep HAD to be relieved of their fleeces, and duty-driven person that I am, I was obedient. I decided to start with the boys, since I have reservations on two of those three fleeces. In addition, Blake can be reliably rooed, which is easier than shearing (for me), and he has been limping on a front foot. Ever since Nightcap came with a slight limp, I think I've had foot root bacteria in the Ram-ada Inn lot; Blake is so good on the stand that I figured I could soak his foot with zinc sulfate while rooing him (he was; I did). This year I rooed him at the perfect stage; the fleece came off easily and he had a lovely covering of short fleece when I was done.

Next I did Bittersweet, who took much longer. By the time I finished cleaning him up, I was finished (for the day, at least), as well!
Anyway, between the two of them, the trashy discarded parts (necks, bellies, britch) equaled the weight of a marketable fleece – if not more. 😳  I always feel guilty tossing that much beautiful wool, but I don't have the time to try and salvage spinnable fiber. I think of bygone days on the Shetland Islands when fleece was livelihood; I'm sure they utilized every bit.

Speaking of utilizing every bit and public service, the turkey vultures are back! Three of them found something on the north side of our fence earlier this week, so I grabbed my iPhone and snapped some photos.

As you can see, the grass is greening. The earliest spring flowers are fading and others are taking their place. The last varieties of daffodils/narcissi to bloom:

The white flowering plum is opening,
and pretty weeds adorn the grassy verges of our driveway that are too wet to mow.

That's it for today from . . .


Card and Comb said...

Very excited to get Blake's fleece this year!! It will be my first covered fleece. I'm interested in some skirtings if you haven't tossed them yet, and if shipping is not too crazy. I'm actually curious to see how the unblanketed parts are...


Susan said...

I didn't know! I do occasionally put bits of fleece and yarn out for the birds - no more! And I'm surprised that even fleece is not safe, according to them. I've been using my dirty bits for fertilizer - apparently, natural sheep's wool is a good fertilizer for plants, when buried at their roots. I would love to be able to shear or roo my two but they are not even a tiny bit as well-mannered as yours. That green looks so good!

Retired Knitter said...

I think Turkey Vultures are huge and ugly. - at least up close!

Debbie said...

Beautiful fleece and beautiful blooms.

Photos of the turkey vultures are great.

Mama Pea said...

Yikes, I didn't know about yarn either! I've never put it out for the birds but I do put out dryer lint which I've now learned is not good either. This was a good public service announcement!

We have turkey vultures in our area, too, and they are indeed ugly looking creatures! But they do a good job of "cleaning up."

Michelle said...

I'm sorry, Jennie; I already stuffed both boys' discards in a trash bag. Blake's neck was FULL of hay, but Bittersweet's was probably worth some effort. But I can save the neck fleece of another sheep for you if you don't mind waiting a bit.

Susan, I've heard of using dirty fleece around plants but have never tried it.

Elaine, turkey vultures have grown on me over the years. ;-)

Thanks for all the compliments, Debbie!

Happy to be able to pass along the PSA, Mama Pea. :-)

Card and Comb said...

I don't mind waiting - I have quite a few fleeces to scour still this season - and would love some neck wool if you didn't have any other plans for it. Thank you Michelle!

Michelle said...

Jennie, unless it is REALLY trashy, I usually offer the neck wool free to whoever is buying the fleece. Few want to mess with it, so I can probably send you several different 'necks' – and will be happy they are being utilized!

Claire MW said...

So lovely to see all your flowers coming on. We are way behind as usual, but I do have some crocus just coming out. I put out our rabbit's fleece in a net bag when they go through shedding times, but it's only about an inch long, so I don't feel like it's dangerous for the birds. I don't put out yarn though.