This is traditionally the time of year on crofts around Shetland, when the sheep have to be clipped, including these sheep on Dad's croft. The weather this summer has been particularly wet and cold, and we started to wonder if it wold ever be good enough weather to do it.
After a very rainy start to Saturday, the sun came out and shone enough to dry up the sheep's fleeces and after a lot of running so we got the sheep in the cro (the pens where they are clipped). Tib the sheep dog seems to think she is a sheep so we have to do all the work while she runs around with them. She is also very camera shy so I didn't get any photos of her!
Thankfully our neighbours were passing and came to the rescue. Dad still uses the traditional shears but the clippers are so much faster when the person is experienced.
The fleeces are rolled up then put into bags.
Here I am last year using the shears - Its back breaking work and I applaud anyone who does it for a living! And I am very slow - I reckon Liam could do ten in the time I did one!
The wool (or oo in Shetland dialect) will be delivered to the Woolbrokers (Jamieson and Smith) in Lerwick soon where is begins its journey to become yarn. You can read what happens to the wool in their store and how they sort it in their blog post here. They have a series of very interesting posts on their various weights of yarn which you will find by clicking through the post.
I always wonder if any of our fleece ever comes back to me as yarn!