Thursday, January 20, 2011

WHAT SHETLAND FLEECE CAN BE

As anyone can see the above mid-side samples of two Shetland ram lambs aren't Merino in type. Nor are they BFL or Cheviot in type. The left sample is Wintertime Grasshopper(polled spotted fawn katmoget twin sired by Sheltrgpines Bug and out of V Creek Princess Buttercup). The right sample is Wintertime Waterbug(grey scurred single sired by Sheltrgpines Bug and out of Owl Hill Lady Grey). Micron testing is being down down at Texas A & M.

On the righthand side is Winter Sky Khan(Wintertime Black Forrest X Winter Sky Khaya)...polled moorit krunet single. On the left is Wintertime Barqs who is a moorit gulmoget polled ram sired by Wintertime Black Forrest and out of Wintertime Ruby. The tips of his fleece actually felted under his coat due to a LOT of roughhousing with the other polled boys in his pen, so they were removed.
The bottom line is there is absolutely nothing in the world (including Cormo)that is as exciting to us as truly fine-wooled Shetland fiber. It is a joy to produce and work with.


7 comments:

Michelle said...

Beautiful fleece samples, Karen, and I agree completely; they are Shetland - and only Shetland - in character! Long live fine Shetland fleeces; keep showing us the way.

Kelly Bartels said...

Check out the luster on that moorit sample!

Laura said...

Very nice. Yes I agree that there is not really any other wool as exciting to spin as nice Shetland. (I do like fine mohair as much though and put the two together....) I love the light grey sample with the dark tips. I have a polled grey ram lamb with a similar fleece, but he has to go to market as I don't like his conformation or growth rate.

Nancy K. said...

Beautiful fleece samples Karen! Could you tell me how long the staple length is?

Since you've been working on fine fleece for so long, perhaps you could give me your opinion regarding polled/scurred vs horned Shetlands. Would you say that the finest fleece tends to come from polled lines? It seems to me that it's always the scurred or polled boys that have the finest fleece. Which, of course, is disappointing to me because I do like horns on my rams.

Karen Valley said...

Hi Nancy--These samples are from fleeces that have been growing for nine months. They are from 2-3 inches in length and probably will only add another inch by shearing time.

I have found extremely fine fleeces on horned animals as well as polled. Tennyson had beautiful horns and an amazing fleece even at five years of age. I just spun up the last of his fiber and it was springy and elastic.

I think more of the polled breeders are working towards finer, single-coated fleeces which may be why there is a tendency for those lines to appear to have a larger precentage of soft fleeces. Meghan has a fully horned ram lamb right now that has a dynamite fleece...ditto Stephen Rouse.

Spinners End said...

I love that black tipped fleece! As always, beautiful stuff.

Andy said...

I adore the gentle grey sample using the dim tips. I possess a polled grey ram lamb using a comparable fleece
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