Before I started felting I wanted to commune with the sheep, meet the wonderful shepherdess and mill owner I’d heard so much about, and talk sheep at the wool design studio nearby.
Is this not the happiest sheep you’ve ever seen? This little guy lives at the mill where the wool I’m getting will be cleaned, carded and turn into wonderful, easy to use batts! These sheep I couldn’t hang out with one-on-one so I promptly went to the petting zoo down the road.
At the petting zoo the sheep are smarter than the visitors — they give you a feed bag when you get there and guess what, the sheep know what’s in the bag when you walk in the pen. For someone who loves sheep of all varieties I was alarmed and embarassed to be running away from some seriously large sheep. Luckily it happened so fast it didn’t get caught on camera.
Yeah, the sheep’s sticking it’s tongue out at me — it got the feed, end of story. The history of domestic sheep is a good one — they were one of the earliest animals in history to be domesticated — they show up in artwork dating back 6000 years. Most people believe they come from the Mouflon, which now only exist on Sardinia, Corsica and Southern Iran. Currently there are over 200 breeds of sheep and even more hybrids — all that fleece has different qualities including feltability and weight — the two most important ones for the yurt.