Here’s a list for you:
80’s rock bands (okay, this one is a little loose)
The Ikea catalog
So, what do these things have in common? This podcast, and the Shetland Islands, way, way (way) North of the North Scotland mainland (Did we mention it was up North?). In fact, the Vikings - Scandinavians, if you’re politically correct – made a pit stop in the 8th and 9th century on their way to Iceland, and dropped off people and animals to this beautifully remote island chain in the North Atlantic. One of the many hardy animals that adapted to the lifestyle there over the last 1,000 years is the Shetland Sheep, one of the cutest little animals we’ve seen so far (Paloma the ewe’s tail was wagging like a dog when we met her, and that kept going for anyone that might pet her over the next hour). With super soft and very fine wool, they are very docile, petite, and thrifty on the feed requirements. This primitive breed is a keeper, especially for those that don’t want a lot of upkeep in the keeping part. If you’re a textile person, you can spin the finest of shawls with this one, with sheep and wool in practically every Viking color you can think of.
Judy Lehrhaupt is the owner of two flocks of sheep and a few sheep dogs as well, and she not only does the raising, herding and shepherding, but she’s a master spinner and a fleece judge. Ewe Can Do It is her farm, where she spins/spends her off-time when she’s not teaching school. We met up with her last Fall at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, and hope you enjoy listening to her as much as we did.
The little sheep from the Big Country (yes, couldn’t resist another 80’s music reference).