I mentioned in my last blog post that things would be quiet around here whilst I got on with the myriad tasks in hand for the Vintage Shetland Project, as well as all the other tasks that go on anyway. But I didn’t expect it to be a whole month between posts.
August has indeed been incredibly busy. In addition to the research, knitting, finishing, writing, planning etc that is going on just for Vintage Shetland Project alongside the general running of our business, there is an endless list of farm tasks to do as we try to ensure we are ready for the oncoming winter. For the first time we will also be putting our ewes to the tup so come next Spring we will have our first lambs born here at Monkley Ghyll.
Despite the loss of fleece in our barn fire we are lucky to still have a number of Zwartbles fleeces sourced from local farms which will soon be going off for spinning and today we head off to collect a batch of Shetland fleeces from another nearby farm which we hope to turn into yarn very soon too. So although it won’t be fleece from our own sheep this year, it will be fleece from sheep who live all around us and I am very, very excited at the thought of these yarns getting spun and what they will be like when they return.
We have added a number of sheep and goats to our little family here at Monkley Ghyll, with some very exciting yarn ideas in mind.
Poppy, Molly, Aretha, Etta, Nina and Simone joined us recently. These beautiful Herdwick sheep have settled in very well, the steep hills and stony ground of our farm seem to appeal to them! Known for their less than soft fleece I am experimenting with a number of ideas enabling us to make good use of this unique fibre.
Alongside them are our two Angora kid goats – Jake and Ellwood – these two boys will produce kid mohair for around three years. Their coats grow at such a rate they can be clipped twice a year and will provide 10kg of mohair each per year.
There are a number of other new arrivals who I will tell you about next but I will leave it there for now as there is much to do as the days grow shorter and the air begins to smell of autumn…
And the autumn mists come rolling up the valley
I’ll be back soon,