At long last, all the girls have their summer haircuts. We ended with Emily, because honestly she's the trickiest to catch, being the oldest and most skeptical of people (and our never-fail shepardhess Adelaide was out of town for a few days, so we were left to our own devices!). But the flip side of that is that Emily has experience being sheared for years now, and therefore not at all nervous about what was being done - she was a perfect angel - so well behaved and still for the shearing. It turned out to be a nice note to end this, our first season shearing, on.
I think we're (both) a little bit relieved that we don't have to think about shearing again for another year. It's an endeavor, and for certain a fine art and skill that is all so new to us. Steve feels committed to learning it, though...and did an excellent job, I dare say, this first go round. The switch to the stand really helped quite a bit, making things go a bit more smoothly, and surely easier on the back.
And so, now I have four big fleeces bagged up and in various states of storage, washing, drying and carding. And four sheep out in the yard who I think are quite grateful for their summer cuts.
I'm still working on spinning the very first one - Charlotte - in pockets of time here and there. Spinning outside is delightful, but my favorite time for spinning right now is during our near-daily June afternoon thunderstorms. After working outside in the hot, hot sun...it's such a treat to come inside and watch and listen to the storms roll by. Music, and reading from the tired, hot bunnies all around me - and a bit of spinning. Bliss. And each bobbin I finish, I like a little bit more than the last - I'm learning so much each time I sit down at the wheel.
While this is not my season for knitting, there is a bit happening here and there. A row here, a row there, a few stitches everywhere. It's a welcome break and perfect transition from the more physical labor that's happening out of doors these days, and the mental and visual work of the magazine. This is Charlotte's fleece, which is making its way into a cardigan for me - Antler, to be precise. It'll be the first time I've done real cables (oh, I do so love my faux cables), which has always intimidated me a little bit. But that's just silly - it's wool, it's yarn, it's knitting. It's just learning a little something new.