The First Shearing

I'm almost certain that there is nothing that will make you appreciate the beauty of wool as much as witnessing a lamb's first shearing. Tucked in the corner of a local farm's barn, camera in hand, I watched in awe a few weeks ago as lamb after lamb were whisked out of a holding pen and into the expert hands of two sturdy sheep shearers. 

Shepherdess collecting freshly sheared fleece

It was a mesmerising spectacle. Plumes of raw fleece were gathered by the local shepherdess and deposited into huge bags, destined for a UK mill. Crimpy escapees littered the floor and nervous lambs skittered around, a little dazed about their first experience of shearing. 

Shearing a sheep
raw sheep's fleece on floor

All under the watchful eye of Monty...

Monty the farm dog, a working terrier

It's a special thing to have seen many of these lambs arrive back in January and March and to now see them almost fully grown and in need of a haircut. The speed and efficiency with which they are relieved of their huge fleeces is impressive and before long they gathered in the courtyard looking a little skittish and surprised by the events that had just took place. The air was dense with the smell of lanolin and a gentle rain that day just added to the damp but satisfying feel of wool in the air. 

If anyone asks me of future life goals, I'm going with small holding even more than ever. 

I'm so thrilled to announce that this season on the podcast, I'll be following the story of this precious collection. A lamb's first shearing makes for a particularly fine wool with great crimp. It's untouched by the stresses of life or illness. An untouched fleece is a wonderful sight to see.

raw wool fleece

Isle Yarns and their team have been sharing the special project they've embarked on to make the most of this unique shearing for the soul benefit of the A Playful Day podcast subscribers. If you're a Patreon subsciber, you'll be able to download four feature episodes, following the journey from farm to needle to design. If you want to hear this too, please do pop over to my creators page on Patreon where you'll find me explaining more. 

In the meantime, here's a little sneak peak of what to expect:

Not listened to the podcast before? Don't worry, I have a whole back catalogue you can try before you sign up. Happy listening!