Yesterday the weather perked up and we went across to the Melton Mowbray country show, I have some pictures of the fibre related bits to share with you all.
There was a pen full of alpacas, I think the owner said they are all Hucaya, but she has some Suri alpacas too. I have been learning the difference thanks to The Wonder Why Gal's super blog post. I was quite pleased to be able to identify the bag of Hucaya fleece by myself.
A bag of each of Suri and Hucaya came home with me, so I have another 200g to play with during the Tour de Fleece. I am looking forward to being able to compare the two.
A lovely alpaca shot taken by my OH. It was a very hot day and I think this one had had enough of being patted. I think the out of focus blob in the foreground is a stick, but near animals you should never look too closely just in case!
Too hot for this sheep in his long woolly coat!
There was a "Sheep show". They do a bit of a talk about sheep and farming followed by a shearing demo. This is a mini one with just four sheep. I learnt that the Suffolk breed was made by crossing the Norfolk Horn with the Southdown.
The one labelled as Suzie Southdown (behind the shearer) was actually a boy, I don't think we were meant to notice!
A shearing close up. The sheep receiving her haircut was a Scottish Mule. I claimed a handful of the fleece to add to my collection of breeds, it is soaking at the minute as it is very sheepy.
We noticed that the shearing demo sheep had had a belly trim, so I guess they do take some of the fleece off in the spring to avoid them getting too hot and reduce the fly strike risk. The show travels round all summer, which would be a long hot time to spend in full fleece.
There were some stands displaying spinning and knitting, but the people on them were busy chatting so I spent my time admiring the critters that give us their lovely fleeces instead.
If you would like to see some photos of the non fibre bits of the show, they can be found here.