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Our sheep story ...
It all started around 1998 when John's (my hubby) grandpa decided to slow down at age 90 and get some sheep. He and hiswife got a flock of 10 or so Icelandic sheep. Lo and behold, the ourdoorsman, trapping, hunting, past rancher, named his sheep individually and took to feeding certain favorite ones soda crackers. Our family often went over to help with days when the sheep needed to be worked for vaccinations and such. It was a real nice time for all of us.

Soon the wonderful wool qualities of Icelandic sheep begand being brought up by John's aunt during these times, somehow with my name attached. "Jean, this wool is supposed to be great for felting". "Look at these web sites and see what they've done with Icelandic wool". " Have you ever thought about trying spinning, look we washed a few locks, its so beautiful". So, being the crafty type, I soon began searching these things out and got very interested in everything wooly.

Felting appealed to me because of the primitive nature of it, ie: I didn't need to buy any fancy equipment !! Slippers and the like began showing up under my family's Christmas tree. Then a drop spindle joined our family, followed in a few years by a spinning wheel. Finally, yarn production !! Which meant I had to learn how to knit, so hats began appearing here and there.

Finally Grandpa decided to really retire at age 95 and sell his flock. We planned on taking a few of the favorites and finally having our own little flock. Then the people who came to look at them, bought the whole flock !! we were all amazed. And since our families mind was already wrapped around the idea of having sheep, we kept our eyes open. Soon a flock of Shetland sheep were offered to us. So w
e started with 6 ewes in 2002.

Now we have 13 ewes, including a few Icelandics descended from Grandpa's flock. In 2008 I learned about crossing Shetlands with Blue Faced Leicester rams to produce lambs that would be market ready in the Fall. so we started doing that with the introduction of Ramses, our BFL ram. Its worked great for us and we now have several repeat freezer lamb customers, plus less mouths to feed all winter.

Overall, our purpose is to produce excellent dual purpose sheep. We select for good size and growth in the ewes, easy lambing, as well as good fleeces.This year we bought a pure Icelandic ram to breed the ewe lambs to, as well as a few older ewes for replacements. The Icelandic/Shetland cross has produced some really great producing ewes with soft, nice fleeces.

 I am looking forward to doing "something" with the BFL/ Shetland lamb fleeces that were sheared off the market lambs. It is shinier than Shetland, plus has some neat looking texture with the BFL crimps. Plus we got Ramses pure BFL fleece processed into roving and that will be tons of fun for felting, and probably spinning/knitting too.