i spent mother’s day assisting a professional shearing team at our neighbor’s alpaca farm. i mean, when your neighbor needs help with fiber and you get the chance to watch a pro, really, the choice was obvious.
i guess i was expecting someone old. maybe even grumpy. i never, ever imagined this pair: two young men, well traveled and tender with fiber. they met in the peruvian andes of course.
they sheared 20 alpacas in a quick morning. we swapped stories. in those few hours in my neighbor’s barn, my current love of fiber and the fondest memories of my twenties spent travelling the world filled my mind and heart. tales of south america and asia flowed amidst countless facts of alpaca fiber and dyeing and shearing equipment and staple length.
if anyone is ever in need of an alpaca shearer, mr clipper’s shearing service comes with my highest praise.
Let me just say that you know you’ve got some real good friends when they take a day away from the demands of their own very busy farm and make the trek to your farm to shear your sheep for you. Before they shear their own flock.
Let me just say that I am seriously indebted to those dear friends…Thanks to Paul and Robin and the Hill and Hollow shearing team, my lovely Shetlands are packing around a whole lot less wool this evening than they were this morning. A few of the ladies are almost unrecognizable to me now that their distinctive fleeces have been sheared away. I even think the ewes don’t quite recognize one another! And now some of the lambs that were born early in the lambing season look like giants when they stand next to their dainty mamas. Last year, I sheared my own small flock with hand shears. It was a fairly long-winded process for me, and a little hard on the back, but one that I enjoyed very much. This year, though, I have added a few more sheep to the medley and well… here’s the news… I’m pregnant. Maybe I forgot to mention that. So to think about hunkering down over the sheep for their parlor time, and to think about how my already expanding body (the fourth baby does that to a woman) would feel after the shearing process… well, my aging self is learning her limits. I think that it was in the same breath I told Robin that I was pregnant I also asked if they would please, please shear for me this year. We joked that the whole reason I got pregnant again was to have the leverage to guilt-trip them into shearing my sheep… heeheehee. (It worked!)What a truly lovely day it was. The weather was nearly perfect, the sheep were mostly well-behaved, and I got the gift of spending time with some of my most favorite people in the world. And my sheep are shorn. That’s my perfect image of the perfect baby shower. What a lucky lady I am.Now, would you look at this pile of wool!!! Baby #4 will have no shortage of woolen garments to wear, I can assure you!