Sunday, November 7, 2010


I am just so excited and proud that I have to tell everyone the news:

My very good friends Al and Cate entered 2 fleeces from their shetland sheep in the

ROYAL WINTER AGRICULTURAL FAIR in Toronto, Ontario recently (this is one of the biggest Agricultural Fairs in Canada).

Earendal Kinwulf (Out of Kalwa Taure Esme - and Cherrington Merlin) - took 3rd place in the
Natural coloured wool class. Kinwulf is a 3 year old wether (shown below).

And -
Cherrington Sarah (Molly) shown below - a 9 year old ewe that I sold to Cate a few years ago - took 5th place! She's 9 years old!!! Wow - a 9 year old ewe against yearlings!

1st, 2nd and 4th places went to yearling icelandics. There were dozens of fleeces entered in this class - and so this is a wonderful accomplishment for shetlands.

You can read more about this in Cates post at: Earendel Farm

Of course - In my Humble Opinion - this reinforces a lot of what we've been working on for the last several years. I will take a moment to tell you a bit about: "The Cherrington Project".

The Cherrington Project - An Overview:

About 16 years ago - I set out in search of some little sheep to cut the grass in my large 2 acre back yard. In Harrowsmith Magazine - I came across an article on Shetland Sheep and the Dailley Farm - Oh boy - little sheep! And so I set out to find the little Shetlands (the Dailley farm is about a 2 hour drive from my farm).

I was introduced to a lady "Dale" - who owned the farm with the prefix "Cherrington" - and I purchased 3 sheep - 2 ewes and a ram.

I knew very little about sheep - but I was excited to get these great little sheep.

Fast forward about 5 years. Dale has sold her farm - and has decided to disperse her flock - which has grown to about 30 sheep.

Knowing that I will offer them a good home - she gifts me with about 15 lovely "Cherrington"
Shetlands - with the promise that I will love and cherish them - and always give them a good home.

Around this time - I am starting to learn about fleeces, spinning and genetics.

For those of you who don't know about the Cherrington Shetlands.

All of the Cherrington Shetlands and the Skerryvore Shetlands are directly bred back to the original sheep brought in by Colonel Dailley. Dale and Chickie (the owner of Skerreyvore Shetlands) selectively picked sheep to breed for the softness and handle of the fleeces - both of them were spinners.

Back to the Future.

About 5 years ago - Cate and I met and became friends, and she started to raise shetlands as well - in Particular she wanted to work at preserving those lovely Cherrington Shetlands.

Together - we have been working very hard to maintain the remainder of the Cherrington Flock. Many of the Cherringtons that I have - are now residing at Cates farm - and together - we have been very selective in the breeding of our sheep - for a single coated - fine, even crimp.
Most of our sheep are directly bred out of the original Cherrington flock with very little outside genetics. We maintained 3 lovely Cherrington Rams - Cherrington Charles (who died about 5 years ago) - Cherrington Merlin - a lovely ram who passed away last year, and we still have Cherrington Harry - who is now 10, and arthritis is starting to take over - so this past year, Cate and I purchased a lovely white ram from Carole Precious (Dailley Pachino)- with a stunning fleece - and wonderful conformation and horns to help carry on the genetics.

We are still working on selective breeding of the remaining Cherrington ewes - and offspring.
We selectively breed only 2 - 3 ewes every year - and scrutinize the fleeces - not only by us - but by a group of several spinners. Sorry folks - we haven't microned the sheep yet - but that is coming. So - that's kind of the story about what we're doing and how we're doing it. We're trying to maintain this lovely little island sheep and their beautiful fleeces.
Cate and Al are very proud to have done so well at the Royal - and I'm so proud of them as well.

We think this is wonderful for our little breed of sheep. Sorry that I have rambled on on so long, but wow - I don't get to crow very often.

Just a little addendum to the above:
Cate tells me that the Sheep to Shawl Judge purchased the 3rd place fleece during the fleece auction.


Michelle said...

I read about this on Cate's blog, and am just as delighted to read your report on it! It is news worth crowing about, and so gratifying to read of your joint efforts to breed soft, fine-fleeced Shetlands.

Cornerstone Fibres said...

Well done with the shetland fleeces :) your fleeces have always been some of my favorite to spin -shetland is wonderful!
Kim and crew

Nancy K. said...

You have every right to crow! Congratulations on a job well done ~ even if it is still a work in progress.

Caitrin and Al said...

Are we having fun yet!

Tammy W. said...

Thanks Everyone - lots of hard work and patience produces
AWESOME sheep and fleeces.
We are excited - and yep Cate - I think we're having fun :-)

Hopeful Farm said...

Hi Tammy, Congrats to you and Cate. I just returned from the royal and saw the fleeces and they were very nice, Michele