December 05, 2023

From the Pastures: This is wool weather

Today it is like winter here in northern Illinois — a rain/snow mixture with the cold wind blowing. As I like to say, it is “wool weather!” Those wool socks, sweaters and jackets feel so cozy.

The sheep do not seem to mind the weather if they can get out of the wind. After Thanksgiving, we moved our black ram in with a few ewes for May lambs. I always think just a couple ewes will be enough, but end up with several more. My flock has quite a few young ewes with dark brown base colors. They should pair nicely with the black ram and give some deep color to the flock.

Shetland sheep have a wide range of fleece colors. I have a lot of off white/oatmeal. Really hoping to get more browns and grays. We will not have any Scottish Blackface lambs this year. We lost our ram this year and have not replaced him. I will have to look for another ram in the spring.

Last month, we participated in another online sale for our yarn and roving. Again, I was surprised at how many people from across the country supported us. The weather stayed warm, which made wool dying much easier.

Our newest employee, Sarah, has celebrated her one-year anniversary with us. She has become a great asset and learned how to operate the equipment quickly. Sarah is a fiber artist and has a lot of good ideas for color combinations and additional items to make for fiber artists. She is great with customers who visit our store. It has been a pleasure to get to know her. Speaking of customers, the variegated white and brown yarn that I wrote about last month was a hit with the customers.

Have a wonderful holiday and happy New Year!

Jane Zeien

Jane Zeien

Belvidere, Ill.