It was time for Kayla's first ever shearing. Kayla is a Navajo-Churro heritage breed ewe lamb, from Mickey Clayton of Dot Ranch Navajo-Churros in Scio (http://www.dotranchchurros.com/). She was born last December, and since Shelly, the lucky recipient of the fleece, was here, no reason not to do the job. Thus, a quick call to Dusty McCord, local shearing guy, and Tuesday afternoon he arrived and sheared our tubby little ewe, much to Shelly's delight. On Friday, we went out to Mickey's with the fleece for her to evaluate, and if this wasn't a family blog, I'd quote her exact words, but let's just say, she was quite pleased, as was Shelly and Mickey's helper Michelle. They flayed it out on a skirting table and played a bit with it, decided it didn't even need to be carded and could be spun just as is. Which is what Shelly intends to do when she returns to Encinitas in a few days. And since N-C is traditionally used in weavings, it's just serendipity that Shelly owns not one but two looms. Much of the fleece, because it's from a lamb, is suitable for next to skin wear, which is reserved for only the finest wools. Her fleece won't always be that fine, but the colour was incredible and will stay that way, and her fleece will make very fine, durable outwear as well as rugs and the like.
Kayla was a perfect lady for Dusty, which is super nice for a first timer. He didn't have to fight her in the least, which made his job fast and efficient, with minimal second cuts (something handspinners don't like to see in their fleeces) and nary a nick to Kayla. It was also great that her first shearing was such a good experience for her, low stress and no injury. When he finished, he plopped her back on her feet, and she walked away calmly. Just what I wanted to see
Kayla walks away, much smaller than she was when she started
I'm pretty sure that's Shelly's happy face there