Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Shearing, #2

Little Angel was next.  Mostly because she is anything BUT an Angel, and constantly gets under the electronet fencing by simply absorbing the shock with her fleece...

I hand shear my little flock, mostly because I haven't mastered the electric shears (beyond cutting myself - 5 stitches) and it allows me to sort of "skirt as I go" meaning I can take all the fleece I want, and leave the yucky stuff for clean-up later.  Here, I have taken some nice fleece off the neck and shoulder, and have left the burdock messy right leg for waste.  I will continue on and get most of the rest of the "barrel" (body) and although it won't look like a traditional fleece, once it's washed and cleaned, it's all good...

BTW- I can afford to be picky, since I seem to have an accumulated "backlog" of fleece..which my chickens discovered in the barn and decided one bag made a really nice nest.  Don't tell the hubby...he is still waiting to see yarn from these guys...

I also am in love with my smaller hand shears that I got from the Nasco farm catalog.  I ordered these as a backup to my larger ones, and have stopped using the larger ones altogether.  They list as single bow, dagging and trimming shears with a 3 1/2 inch blade, 10 inch length overall.  They retail for just under $34, and I want another pair!  At the rate I am using these, I will need them, and a sharpener as well...

Here, she has rejoined the others, all munching away on apples.  Hattie, the first to be shorn is in the background.  The grey in Angel's musket fleece really shows through when she is shorn.  The wether to the right is her twin - Alexander.

He's probably next...

But it's not all fun and fleece around here.  We have other projects going on (so it looks like I'm earning my keep...)

I just finished fixing up the front yard a bit where our well head is garishly located near the porch and the driveway.  DH was afraid someone would drive into the well (not sure what type of visitors to the farm he envisioned, but I didn't argue...) so he covered it with a bright orange bucket and plunked a little wishing well wanna be in the front.

It then went on to be one of the settling spots on the property where it just seems fitting to drop off lumber, spare pots, and pails without a home.  Kind of anti-Martha Stewart.  So I changed all that one day while everyone was at work.


With about $50 in lumber and what not (it's awful what split rail fence goes for around here...) I transfigured the dumping ground to a respectable landscaping moment.  And the DH bought in completely once he realized the fencing presented another opportunity for planting flowers along its length.  And still protected the well head against raging drivers.  Or whatever.

And I've earned my dinner for another day...

9 comments:

Karin said...

Hehe.. your shears sound like the tools in the hardware store they market for women! Do they have purple handles? :)
No no I am GLAD you have found shears that work for you, and I am incredibly impressed with you for shearing your own sheep. Totally impressed.

And: love the new landscaping opportunity. You are so creative in so many ways!

melanie said...

hee-hee, yes, they are "girly-sized" but they also seem to scare the sheep less, so that's a big plus in my book.

kristi said...

I think you did a great job on the fence & of course I love the fall mums! I have often thought about trying my hand at hand shearing....gosh knows what a job I would do on the sheep! Is that a geese looking to get at those recently planted mums:)

melanie said...

In the last photo, which blogger so helpfully decided to "crop" (you can click on it to see the whole thing) you can see our two geese, Candy and Cane. They were looking over my work, to see if it earned their vote of approval. They know better than to actually taste Mommy's mums, or any other garden item...What you can't see is the blue paint on their heads from the porch painting last weekend. Apparently they did NOT approve of DH's work, as they found all the spots where he blobbed the paint!

Wrensong Farm said...

Ok, now you've scared me about trying to use my "power shears"! I thought I would give them a try next Spring......maybe I need to pick up a pair of the "girly-sized" shears that you like, for back up. :P Great post, great pics!

melanie said...

Well, the other factor that convinced me to hand shear is that the nifty move where you flip the sheep on its arse and they remain still while you shear has never succeeded at my place. Apparently my wily little Shetlands did not get the memo about remaining still while prone, and it turns into all-star wrestling no matter how closely I keep them to my legs or press on them as the shearers do.

Don't let my lack of coordination with power tools scare you off, just consider all the factors.

Oh, yeah, did I mention how much easier it is on my back to stand upright and shear on the stanchion? I ain't getting any younger...

Karin said...

Hey! You've been tagged!

Pamela said...

Came here via Kristi's Harvest Thyme Homestead and so glad I did. Can you give a bit more info about the small shears? My googling didn't work on it.

Also love the revamped well head. Very, very nice!

melanie said...

Pamela-
Go here:
http://www.enasco.com/farmandranch/

then search for item #C26743N

Let me know if you still can't find it...