Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sheep Shearing Day at the Museum of Appalachia

Yes folks, friday was sheep shearing day at the Museum of Appalachia, in Norris TN.  It is a day everyone around here looks forward to all year long.  I think I can include the sheep in that statement.  Can you imagine wearing your heavy winter coat in some of this very warm East Tn weather we have been having!  I sure can't!

Lou Ann and I headed out early yesterday morning so that we could be in place by 8:30 am.  Karin met us there, and together we schlept all our gear from our cars to the appointed place.  Lou Ann had a handy little wagon she had purchased to help us out with all the bits and pieces we need to make a good display and working demonstration.
The museum had tables and chairs ready for us to arrange and bedeck with our tools.   On this table I had some clean wool from the shearing last year, and I used my wool combs to show the kids and adults what I had to do to get that jumbled mass ready to spin.  I also had some hand cards handy, though this particular fleece does not do well on the hand cards.

On the far end of the table I decided to bring some store bought beautifully colored fiber, ready to spin.  I did this so that those who were interested would realize that they didn't have to start with a fleece if they wanted to learn how to spin.

As the sheep were shorn, I would go pick up the fleece and bring it to the sheets I had set out to display the whole fleeces.  Then I would go about the process of evalutating the fleece.  All the time talking to the crowds that gathered.  I would tell them what I liked or didn't like about a particular fleece.
 There were one or two that were totally felted  into one piece.  I have learned that it is not worth my time to try to do anything with those.    Once the fleece is evaluated and I have skirted off the felted bits and poopy bits, I roll it up and set it on a sheet off to the side.

At the end of the day Karin took a couple of fleeces and I took some as well, they are airing on the front porch as I type this.  I will sort through the fleeces again before I wash them, making sure I am not bothering to wash something that I cannot use.

Finally when all the shearing was done, I think I counted 15, I was able to sit down and spin for awhile.

Lou Ann who kindly snapped these pictures was busy all day showing kids how to weave on her new box loom.  This was the table also held all the things that you can do with that handspun wool.  Lou Ann and Karin had brought their Inkle looms, another portable weaving tool.  You can weave many things with these smaller looms, straps, belts, ribbons and even mug rugs!  So versatile!  I wish I had a picture to show you of Lou Ann in her element!

Then it was time to pack up and go home!  I don't know about Karin or Lou Ann, but I was in bed going to sleep at 8:30pm!

That is it until next time,  until then, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, (or whatever craft your into!)  Tina


LA said...

I think you summed up the day, nicely! I was in bed by 9:30!

Theresa said...

What a wonderful day you all must have had. Well, maybe not the sheep, but no doubt a few pets and some extra rations more than made up for the stress.