samedi 11 août 2007

Sheep and Fleece Day

Last weekend we held a Sheep and Fleece day hosted by Val Grainger. In the end there were ten of us I think with a couple who were unable to make it at the last minute. Following tea and biscuits and introductions, Val started with a powerpoint presentation on her laptop.

Running through a variety of topics, lots of information and discussion. The weather was fortunately good ( the only decent day that week!) and we were able to have lunch in the sunshine a chat about all manner of sheepy things. People had come in some cases from quite some distance. Following lunch a practical session with Esmi, Lillie and Gary as slightly uwilling practice subjects well except Gary who as usuall wanted to be the centre of attention!

Lillie getting a trim

Gary and Gabrielle ( I think Gary had passed out by this stage;-))
Gary was practice sheep as he really doens't mind being handled ( despite the photo!) so we all got a chance to work out which bit goes where.
Finally Val brought along a numbe rof samples of different fleeces so we could take look at texture and quality and also a demonstration of peg loom weaving. A good day with great company. A huge thankyou to Stuart for the photos I was too busy to take any.

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The Ouessant Sheep originates from the island of Ouessant, part of a tiny archipelago just off the north coast of Finistere, Brittany. The island of terror as it was known to some, was swept by the full force of the atlantic’s weather, the hardy sheep adapted to survive on poor grazing from salty clifftop meadows. It was the women of the island that raised the sheep, renowned for their black wool to weave into cloth known locally as berlinge and their meat with its sweet and delicate taste.

La race "Mouton d'Ouessant" est originaire de l’île d’’Ouessant qui fait parti d’un petit archipel au large du Finistère, Bretagne. L’île de l'épouvante comme c'était connu par certains était balayé par les intempéries de l’atlantique, ces moutons rustiques s'adaptaient à survivre sur les pâturages pauvres des falaises salées. C’était les femmes de l’île qui élevaient les moutons réputés pour leur laine noire à tisser « la berlinge » une étoffe régionale et leur viande avec un goût doux et délicat.

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