Some of the PDX Knit Bloggers and Portland Spinnerati went on a little field trip yesterday.
I went to have fun; ToolMan agreed to play "paparazzi" for me, since I would be too busy to deal with the camera.
Did I mention they have sheep there?
Cascade Farmstead sheep to be exact.
There was a section of fencing put over a couple of sawhorses which we all stood around while Eddie got set up.
It was amazing how the sheep let Eddie move them around, turn them, over, and straddle them while he sheared.
As soon as the fleece was off, somebody grabbed it and flung it up on top of the section of fencing.
Then we watched and waited while Eddie finish up the next sheep.
Duffy was just a little too happy with the fleece she picked out. (She has some great pictures of the day over on her blog, by the way.)
Then, it was back to work on the next fleece.
Kathleen told us about watching a sheep shearing and going to the Ashford store during her trip to New Zealand last year.
Eddie started on one side of the sheep, working from the neck down, throwing the fleece upside down over the sheep.
Then he flips the sheep over, head down, to release the fleece.
Back to work!
I think Kathleen and Tami were having a minor disagreement over who was getting the next fleece . . .
The last one was the one everybody was waiting for; it was a blue ribbon winner at OFFF last fall.
A fleece so black, you couldn't photograph it.
Even flash didn't help.
I think Tami would have wrestled to the ground anyone who tried to take this out of her hands.
Finally, the last sheep was sheared and the last fleece skirted while Eddie packed up to go to the next farm.
I want to wash and process the fleece myself, so I didn't want a whole one. Thankfully, Pam agreed to split this lovely black and gray one with me.
After the last fleece was bagged, it was time to clean up. Some people took the yucky bits which had been thrown and fallen under the fencing to use for mulch.
Then it was time to hand out the fleeces and pay Rhonda so she could pay Eddie. Microeconomics, live and in person. Or maybe it's "trickle down" economics.
The sheep, though no worse for their experience, were not all that happy to be loosing their
In fact, they looked downright skinny without all that fiber on them.
The spinners, however, were more than happy to be taking those fleeces home.
Needless to say, both bags had to be inspected immediately upon entry into the house.
The alpaca passed inspection pretty quickly.
The sheep fleece apparently needed a more through going over; Andy Rooney tried to take it out of the bag and roll in it, but when I wouldn't let him, he settled for rubbing his head through it and trying to paw it.
Now, I just need to get these washed and processed. Hmmm, I think I'd better Google "washing fleece" for starters . . . .