Friday, May 2, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday: Shearing Season is Underway

Last Saturday, I volunteered to help a local farm on their Shearing Day.

starting the take-down

The owner helps when I shear for one of my clients.

stretching her out

She has a lot of livestock experience and I always learn something from her.

shearing the blanket

She uses another local shearer, Steve Salter, who I've talked to but hadn't yet met in person.

two stations set up in the garage

We send work to each other when we get calls that we can't support.

shearing the top knot

So I thought it would be fun to do some of the other jobs on shearing day and that I might be able to pick up a few pointers.

shearing the brisket

He's been shearing much longer than I have and shears significantly more animals each year.  So I was not disappointed.  :-)

shearing the blanket

I learned several tips and techniques that will make me both a better and more efficient shearer.

the blanket comes off in one piece

I always hear good things about him, and he said he hears the same about me.  So it was great for the both of us to see each other work.

the last boy of the day prepping his ammo

30 alpacas were sheared on Saturday.   I did six.  Steve did the rest.  My personal record is 18 alpacas in one day.  Steve did 17 before lunch.

fruits of our labor

I begin my regular clients today and our farm tomorrow.  I love the opportunity that comes with a fiber harvest.

two of the boys I sheared

Happy Shearing Season and Happy Fiber Arts Friday (updated link)!


Natalie said...

I love their shaggy heads when they are cute. I've only ever seen alpacas sheared on this complex table that flips around. Nice to see it just being done on the floor. I was thinking it required so much specialized equipment. And I had to laugh at your time comparison. I do that all the time with my pottery. I was so pleased one night at the open studio because I threw 10 pots (my personal best in one evening at the college) until I turned around to see that someone who had joined us for the evening threw 48 in the same amount of time. WHA??? While talking. They told me afterwords he has thrown over 30 in an hour before.
Good luck with your shearing.

Chrisknits said...

All of that lovely fiber! Wow!!

MarmePurl said...

Love the term 'fiber harvest'

Spinster Beth said...

It always looks so brutal! Ropes, alpacas on their sides, fleece everywhere ...

Vivian said...

Alpacas always have such a funny look when they are "done". Enjoy the harvesting season!

Kathryn Ray said...

@Spinster Beth - it's not brutal... the alpacas are only restrained... not "on a rack." The restraint keeps everyone safe.

WonderWhyGal said...

Hooray for Shear Season! I've almost sorted all of my fleeces now. Cheers for all of your shearers!