Shearing Day: Seven Sisters Farm

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The skirting tables March, 2017

We had quite a weekend this past week–shearing day! Our first! And we loved every minute of it thanks to Cathe of Seven Sisters Farm and the good work of many Spinners and Weavers Guild members. The day began at 8:00am and ended with a chili lunch. It was punctuated by good humor, an excellent shearer, team-work, skirting, and fun. There was a 3-legged barn-cat named Tigger; at least four different breeds of sheep (Finn, Cormo, Leicester Longwool, and Corriedale); and a community of folks coming together in a warm barn on a chill morning.

My dear Spencer captured the day on video, so if you are hankering for a shearing experience of your own, check out his film.

And here are some of my pictures from the morning. What a day! And I didn’t even come home with any fleece . . .


Prepping the sheep in Cathe’s barn; some were jacketed

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The shearer in action; Beth looks on and Cathe talks wool (right)

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Onlookers; Spencer is in the back filming


Spencer takes on the skirting table


One of the beautiful Finn fleece


Kristi and Cathe sort the Longwool fleece–which will be millspun


A neighbor’s sheep all shorn and heading back to their trailer

This entry was posted in community, Cormo, Corriedale, fiber, Finnsheep, Leicester Longwools, shearing, sheep, spinners and weavers guild, unicorns, video. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Shearing Day: Seven Sisters Farm

  1. metaspencer says:

    What great pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathe says:

    Great photos, and Spencer’s video is wonderful. Thank you for all of your help and the great press!


  3. What a great post and video! I am organizing a sheep shearing day for my knitting guild so this video came at a good time! Hope we have nice weather like you. How did the farmers keep track of the different fleeces coming off (10 am hour?) – or they probably just know by the fleece…


    • Oh good, Rachel, that’s great to hear! As for sorting, Cathe and Kristi had their own methods. I think they were less concerned about the longwools because they were all headed for the mill. The others were wrapped in sheets and tagged with breed and sheep number.


  4. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos and footage. I’ve never seen the shearing process in this much, labour intensive detail. 10 sheep an hour is incredible!


  5. Mary Giger says:

    Awesome! I can smell that wonderful sheepy smell!
    That gray Finn wool looks dreamy. Thanks to Spencer
    For filming the event. Ands thanks Melissa for all that you share.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alina says:

    Always fascinating to see the process before all these beautiful skeins get into our stash!


  7. Wow, this looks like a great day out! I really enjoyed your photos and Spencer’s video – that sheep shearer was incredible to watch! Plus I’ve never seen sheep in jackets before, it really makes such a difference to the fleece, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The jackets are insane–they have to keep resizing them as the fleece grows, but the magic when they come off in the end is incredible. I have processed one jacketed fleece and it was a completely different experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d say so… Less cleaning needed, for a start! I imagine it also eliminates the changes of any fine bits of grass or twig showing up in the finished yarn – although sometimes I like coming across those as I knit. It reminds me of the connection between the ball of wool in my hands and the sheep it came from!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean about the hay bits–my current yarn is an Illinois Shetland that has so much VM in it that I feel like I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with the sheep! I love it so.


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