|Love of fiber takes hold early: a fiber artist is never too young to begin|
|Quality yarn comes from quality fleeces|
|Bagged fleece ready to skirt at a community shearing event|
3) While you are making these decisions is a great time to get your hands into as much fleece as possible, your own sheep fleeces as well visiting other farms.
Visiting during a shearing (call and ask first!) is a great opportunity to see fleeces up close and personal and still still be able to match them with individual sheep. Most sheep-keepers who breed for fleece are delighted to have you visit during shearing, particularly if you are willing to help with some of the rough skirting, and that is a great opportunity for you to educate yourself about fleece in general, but also to get a real hands-on feel for what you would like in your own fleece-improvement program. You need as many points of fleece comparison as possible, and you should make honest-to-goodness pen and paper notes about the qualities you like, as well as which individual sheep and fleeces have the qualities you admire.
|Sorting skirted fleece for staple length or other qualities.|
Cotswold waiting for shearing
Cotswold after shearing
|"Have you any wool?" chants the nursery rhyme.|
And that's a different spin on things!