Yesterday, I told you that I got to attend the Chancellor’s Sheep & Wool Showcase at Clermont State Historic Site, and I explained a little about why they hold a sheep festival there in the first place. Today, I thought I would show you some of the neat things we got to see and learn about.
Being a sheep and wool festival, I did get to meet some sheep!
A friend helped me get a closer look at the sheep, but they weren’t too interested in talking to me. In fact, they were much friendlier to a fellow sheep:
We also got to watch a sheep shearing demonstration. Shearing is when the wool is cut off the sheep. Removing the wool is kind of like getting a haircut: it doesn’t hurt the sheep. In fact, in the hot summer it makes them more comfortable!
Fred DePaul showed us how sheep are sheared using both old-fashioned shears (which look just like big scissors) and with motorized shears. Fred was very gentle, and the sheep stayed very calm. I tried to convince Bob the Livingston History Sheep to get sheared, but he decided he wanted to keep his wool coat to himself. He told me that after a sheep gets sheared, the other sheep don’t recognize it right away, and he didn’t want me to forget who he was!
Once the fleece is removed, it is washed (to get out all the grass and dirt that got on the sheep while it was still wearing the fleece) and then carded (kind of like combing the fleece to get all the knots out). Then it can be spun into yarn, and knit, crocheted, or woven into fabric!
Here I am with some fleece that still needs to be carded:
Here I am with some roving (fleece that has been washed, carded, and in this case dyed pretty colors):
Speaking of spinning, there were lots of spinners at the festival!
All of those people spent the day out in the sunshine spinning their fleece, and teaching anyone who was interested in learning about how to spin! I wonder what they will make with all the yarn they made?
Here is some yarn that was for sale at the festival, that was spun from wool, just like the spinners were making:
So while I was at the festival, I got to see pretty much the whole process of going from a sheep to a sweater!
I got to see some other neat animals too… more on that tomorrow.