Gold in my stash
I have gold in my stash! Superior quality Finn – best I’ve ever seen.
I think it’s the ewe on the left that presented me her fleece earlier this week:
She has soft, fine, and nicely crimped wool with almost no vegetable matter at all, and no felting whatsoever. There’s Finn and Åland sheep in the herd, the Ålands are horned, the Finns polled. You can see more photos on my old blog.
I was able to choose the fleece myself while it still was on the sheep, for which I’m very very grateful. Thank you Sari! I have started scouring the fleece, being careful not to wash out all of the lanolin as the fibers are so fine. The waxes and fat will protect them while I prepare and spin the fleece. The locks aren’t completely clean. I fear washing Finn fleece as it felts so easily. It’s better to wash the yarn, and I’m sure this will be sparkling white when finished.
These sheep love their shepherdess. Look at the ewe in the photo below! She came as close to Sari as she could, closed her eyes and just stood there, leaning against her mistress who went on shearing without being disturbed at all, she only gave the ewe a short pat on her cheek to tell she’d noticed her. It was already dark, and the light was bad, but I think you can see how happy she was.
I can understand your excitement Barbro…that is beautiful locks of wool 🙂 My girls (ewes) are all so sweet and affectionate like that…they will lay at my feet. My one Finn ewe Lacey will tell me when her babies are coming so I can rub her back and help her as the lambs are born.
Your wonderful American Finns with their long and lustrous wool 🙂
North American? 🙂 I put them all in one basket, but now I think that was a mistake. You can’t use American sheep in Canada for breeding, and vice versa, so they develop in different directions I suppose.
We do get our rams from the States but not our ewes. North American sounds good. When you say American it sounds like you are referring to just the United States. I am a very proud Canadian 🙂
Yes, I realize that now, American was an inadequate word when thinking of two states. I see maps in my mind when thinking of states, and “American” shows me the whole continent. Would you say there’s a difference between Finnsheep in Canada and in the USA? Or is the amount of Finns too small for that?
What great pictures and lovely faces…I went back and looked at your ‘old’ blog. Nice fleece. was it treated like the Icelandic fleeces I wonder, separating the tog from the thiel. I have carded them both together and made great socks for winter boots, the long hair makes them stronger.
Thank you! You mean the Åland fleece? Yes, you can prepare it the same way as Icelandic: separate or together. Finn is single coated, can be combed or carded. Carded is most common in Finland because the staple is usually short. We shear twice a year.
Thank you for your reply which brings up another question 🙂 why shear twice a year? I know they do in the southern parts of the states because of danger of heat stroke on long haired breeds but not sure that is your reason!
The cold climate is the reason. The sheep are kept in barns from October-November to May in Finland. The winter fleece is sheared before lambing in the spring for hygienic reasons. The summer fleece is sheared in the autumn when the sheep are taken indoors. That’s the good fleece, whereas the winter fleece often is very dirty and felted.
So now I know! Thank you for taking the time to reply.
Barbro I would say the quality of Finnsheep in the States is very high as the Americans are importing semen from Finland Finnsheep. We did purchase our Gotland and Finn rams from the States and I think the quality of our sheep and their fleeces is also quite high. There are not so many breeders in Canada as in the States. Our country is far less populated.
That’s reassuring to hear! Finns have been exported to more than 40 countries mainly in order to improve other breeds, so the pure bred Finnsheep in Canada and the US are good gene pools, especially if the breed grows over there. I hope it will!