I have had a small flock of sheep for over twenty years. They are raised for their beautiful wool, rather than meat. I use all of this wool in my work, which includes weaving, felting, and hand-spinning. The breeds of sheep that I have are known to produce superfine wool, which possesses the combined intrinsic qualities of softness, warmth, and is very lightweight. Most of my flock is Merino sheep, which are considered among the finest of the superfine wool breeds.
Since the beginning, I have also kept a few Romney sheep because their wool is so easily spun into lovely yarn, they have a sweet temperament, and they have such adorable faces. Most sheep breeds are shorn once a year in the spring. However, Romney sheep are a long wool breed, so need to be shorn twice a year, in the spring and the fall. I have both naturally colored sheep (black, brown, &/or gray fleeces that happen to be the most popular) and white (which can be dyed to any color).
The majority of my fleece is sent away to a mill in Vermont to be spun into superfine yet strong yarn that I use in my weaving. I also keep some raw wool so that I can have it to spin into yarn for the added interest of texture in my weaving.
This Saturday, I will be bringing a selection of handwoven and felted items from my wool (throws, wraps, scarves) and note cards made from wool and silk. I will also have my handcrafted hempseed oil soaps and essential oil bath salts. My fiber art can also be seen locally at the Dare County Arts Council or by appointment.