Shearing Time and The Rewards of Fiber



My spinning wheel I love.  A special gift from my husband several years ago.

My husband and I spent the evening watching football as it’s become part of fall traditions.  I loved pulling out my spinning wheel last night and placing it right in front of my rocking chair to spin a while.  There is something so peaceful and rhythmic about spinning fiber.  I spin both sheep wool and alpaca fiber.  I’ll probably spin my dog’s hair and try that.  I’ve never tried spinning other organic fibers like milkweed or dogbane but that’s possible too.  Spinning is really something that is quite rewarding whether you are a great and experienced spinner or not.  Even new spinners can use their final product, though lumpy and inconsistent.  It’s called ‘art yarn’ and actually knits up beautifully specifically because of all it’s variation in thickness along it’s weave.  On our farm we have a shearer come to shear both our alpaca and sheep.  Our alpaca were sheared last week.  We did this later in the season than usual this year and thus left their legs and necks warm and simply sheared their bodies.  You can see in this morning’s picture of Ella (black) and Derek (fawn) what I am referring with regard to clip pattern.


Derek and Ella in the sun after their shearing last week.

I am excited as I now have their fiber ready for us to skirt (manually separate the dirty fibers out), wash the fiber, card the fiber (rolling it out so all the fibers are laying the same way) and then spinning the fiber on my wheel.  Working with alpaca and sheep is a very rewarding adventure.  I’d recommend a book or two if you are just curious.  This is one of my favorites, “Adventures in Yarn Farming.”  It really captures the beauty and spiritual awakening that happens when you get reconnected with the land, these amazing animals and begin working with your hands to create.


A book I love that captures the beauty of this journey many of us take into ‘yarn farming’.

Off to go skirt fiber !!

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