Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shearing Day and Happy Mother's Day!

Last week, Tuesday I think it was, a friend of mine invited me to go down town for a bit, have a beer, loose a couple dollars. Soon after we got to the casino, I got a call from the guy that sets us up with a shearer every year; they would be here on Saturday, he said. Ok, I said, see you then! I walked back to my chair wondering how I was going to pay for this, I had $8 in my pocket.
When I left about 2 hours later, I had $178. Yay!!! The shearing was paid for.

So they came yesterday, but I was really apprehensive about them shearing my sheep. These two have sheared for me three times before and I have never been able to convince them to slow down and take their time when shearing my sheep. I am pretty sure I'm the only spinner they have ever shorn for. I went to the appointed house to meet up with them, and ask them to come by my place last, because I didn't want them rushing to get to the next flock. They only had about 50 sheep to do that day, so I wasn't too worried about it being too late or them being totally exhausted. I waited as they finished up with a couple of my friends ewes to ask the first question, then asked how much they were charging this year; $10/ewe, $20/ram! Holly Shite! Even with my winnings (you know in a family with teenagers, $20 here and $20 there is not unreasonable, I didn't have $170 left), I didn't have enough to pay to get all my sheep sheared, it would have come to $160. I decided to have them do all the ewes (except for Gracie, the new one), and the kids and I would do the rams.

When they did finally get here, I had decided that I wasn't going to take any BS; if I was going to pay them, they were going to shear the way I wanted, slow and easy, or they could just go on home now! After agonizing over it all day (I was a bit emotional yesterday, havent been sleeping well and I think it caught up with me), it turned out all right I guess. They got here and I explained that I wouldn't have them do the rams, too expensive, and that I would like them to remember that I sell the wool from my sheep to other spinners and that it is part of my income from my sheep. "Please, please! Take your time!"
They surprised me by only setting up one motor and shear, and the brother who I've always thought was good at what he does, got in there and got started. He took his time and did a fairly good job on the first ewe and I relaxed. Things went very smoothly, the brothers taking turns every two ewes, and I soon had 6 bags full (I dont keep Misty's (suffolk) or Scarlett's (suffolk/CA red)!

This is Crimson; poor thing got hamburgered last year by the 'other brother', she was not happy to be in this possition at all. She almost made sure this guy was done having kids.
This is Eliza; her's in my best fleece so far. Of course I still have to shear the wether George (corrie/tunis) and Guss (tunis ram), both of which I have been anxious to play in.
These are locks from Eliza (right) and her brockle daughter (half suffolk); amazingly they are very much alike! Babs' is a bit shorter and possibly a bit courser, but not by much; both are pretty soft!
This bit of yarn came from Eliza's lock above.
Eliza's fleece...
Gonna get into this today, wash some, maybe dye some, it is my day after all and I can do what I want to! Well, up until I have to get the kitchen and dining room ready for company; Mom, Sis and kids are coming for dinner!
Happy Mother's Day to you all! Hope your day is filled with the love of family and friends!


Mim said...

I think the locks, close up look like the type of shetland that I like the most to spin. I think your shearers are learning their trade finally!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'm so glad shearing went better this year, and that some extra funds came your way (even if I don't condone gambling)! My shearer did better this year, too; no nicks, still some second cuts. But he didn't worry so much about the sheep looking "good" when he finished, which I think reduced the second cuts some.

Sharon said...

Gorgeous - we got sheared too, but I haven't had a chance to see what we got.

Kathy said...

Let me know if you would like me to send you Penney's contact info for shearing. She's the gal we use who is so good with the sheep and shears with almost no second cuts! She's a spinner as well-just started.
She also taught Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs to shear alpaca. Can't say enough about what a great job she does and she does come up your way. :)
And a very belated HMD!