This is Artica’s 2022 Raw Fleece. Artica is a purebred finnsheep lamb that was coated/ jacketed much of the year. Very low on VM (vegetable matter- hay, straw, grass from the pasture). I skirted it myself. I’m a hand spinner as well as a shepherd. I dislike VM as much as the next spinner…in fact, maybe more so. I get a little ruthless about skirting and removing all wool that has VM in it so you are only getting nice wool with Point of View Farm fleeces. It weighs 1 pound 14.4 ounces.
I spent a good amount of time on the skirting table picking out any stray hay pieces I found making sure that is the case.It is really quite wonderful and free of contaminants.
Artica was born at Point of View Farm in 2021. She was THE ONLY white lamb born here in 2021 out of nearly 100 lambs. Her dam Pearl is one of our white ewes and sometimes she has white lambs and sometimes not. It depends, color genetics are like that sometimes. I love the loft and luster in her fleece. the crimp is quite beautiful and her wool is fairly consistent.
Raw fleece means it has not been washed yet so it will smell like a sheep and need washing either before or after spinning (if you like to spin in the grease- this fleece would be a candidate for that). Pearl’s fleece was carefully and professionally shorn New Zealand style (in a single piece) by a shearer who takes pride in his work, is careful, gentle and knows what he is doing. It is not easy work but, a good shearer makes it look easy. Our shearer has shorn all our award winning fleeces at Rhinebeck and Maryland Fleece show and sales for many years. He has been shearing sheep for decades and is a good friend too. We very much appreciate his quality shearing and sheep handling skills. He is good at what he does. He’s fun and always has a joke and good story to tell. If you raise quality wool sheep you might suspect how important good shearers and good shearing is. A year’s worth of wool growth can be ruined in less than 5 minutes with carelessness at shearing…by the shearer or the helpers (who might forget to sweep the floor between sheep for example). We are happy we have an excellent shearer and helper crew here who are kind, humane and have a sense of humor when things don’t always go as planned (yup, that happens).
I LOVE to dye white finnsheep. Artica’s fleece would be beautiful dyed….but, of course, the way it gleams in the light is pretty special too. You decide.