We were honoured to be invited to take part in 2014’s Woolsery show in a new tent celebrating sheepy skills. Vets, shearers, spinners and of course sheep came together to look at sheep and wool from various points of view. There was a chance to watch ultrasound scans, see a sheep being sheared, watch the various processes involved in turning wool in to yarn in to garments, and at the end of the day see our “sweater in a day” modelled by the fairly willing grandson of a Welcombe Spinner (he was compensated with an ice cream in exchange for having to wear a woolly sweater on one of the warmest days of the summer!).
Even with commentary and an audience to consider, the first sheep to be sheared took less than two minutes to be led from its pen, sheared, and returned, during which time (as you can see in the pictures below) it looked completely unperturbed, even though as one of this year’s lambs, it was the first time it had been sheared. A testament to the organisation of the demonstration and the skills of the shearer!
For Welcombe Spinners there was a lot of hard work behind the scenes, with Christine designing a sweater that could cope with being pieced together by various knitters and spinners, and creating a pattern for visitors to take home. Other members provided wool, washed it in advance of the show (for health reasons we had to use scoured fleece on the day, of course), and joined in with the spinning, knitting and sewing together in time for unveiling in the afternoon. Hopefully it was all worth it and our visitors enjoyed the spectacle!