Friends, we are SO EXCITED.
On February 20th, we’ll be headed down to the mill to pick up our first run of Bobolink yarns! It’s really hard to express how excited and delighted I am to have this project come to fruition. We will have about 250 skeins available wholesale to interested stores. Our Bobolink Yarns Launch Tour will include trunk shows at Notion Fabric and Craft as well as Norwich Knits. Interested in hosting a trunk show? Get in touch!
While we eagerly await our finished yarn, we are also about to begin shearing season! We are scheduled to attend four shearings in the next two weeks, with more to come later in the season.
We start with Scuttleship Farm, where the Romneys and Dorsets look better than ever after Sean and Annie changed their feeder technique to reduce hay damage in the wool. I have a special order for their Dorset, so we will be picking that up as well.
The next shearing is my own for my own yarns. We’ve really strived to reduce hay chaff in our wool as well, with mixed results. The ewes look great, but the ewe lambs who squeeze in to feed lower than the ewe lambs have massive wool damage. Next year, we’ll shear all of our lambs in fall and let them grow shorter, tidier wool for winter. The fall-shorn lambs in the barn now really benefitted from shearing- they are more active, less encumbered by fleece and easier for me to evaluate for fatness because they aren’t hiding under a mountain of fleece.
Next stop, Cate Hill. I can’t wait to see this year’s fleece. I have so many questions for Maria about the variety of wool types her East Friesians and crosses have. We have a lot to chat about generally, too. You would think that neighbors who are only 20 minutes away would see each other often, but we’re all so busy it’s almost impossible.
Snug Valley Farm is next on the journey. Ben and Kelly Notterman are cattle management and marketing experts whose sheep are thriving. They are frequent presenters and educators who teach other farmers how to optimize their grass management. I am grateful to be able to help them better utilize the wool from their flock, which just hasn’t been a priority when so many other enterprises on their farm need their time and attention.
It’s easy to feel like this is the best job in the world. Even in cold weather, with my fingertips nipped with cold, I love the tactile experience of touching the soft greasiness of raw fleece. I love the world of wool’s natural colors, even within a single fleece. I love photographing the process. I love how sheep respond to being relieved of 5 or 10 lbs of extra weight. They often skip away happily and then have to sniff all of their friends whom they don’t recognize without their heavy suits.
So wish me luck, and know that in three short weeks, we’ll have some amazing yarn to share with you!