Each year the Lower Mainland Sheep Producers Association (LMSPA) holds the Wool’n Ewe A-Fair, an event that features hand shearing, spinning, weaving, felting and sheep to shawl demonstrations It’s an opportunity to meet local sheep producers and artists, see how a fleece is judged, bid on award winning fleeces at a live auction and learn about different breeds of sheep.
Deanna, Lynda and Merrily of the Fibreshed team had a display to spread the word about our Sunshine Coast Fibreshed. They were also searching for more sources of quality B.C. fibre to add to our Resource List.
There were about 70 sheep fleeces up for auction. Each fleece was displayed in a bag with a sheet giving information about how it was judged. They were divided into classes of breeds. The Down Class included Suffolk, Clun Forest and Shropshire.
The Primitive Class, White and Colour, included Shetland and Icelandic.
The Fine Class included Romeldale, Merino, CVM, BFL and various crosses.
Lastly there were the Long Wool White and Colour fleeces. The long wool breeds were mostly Romney, crossed with Polwarth, Cheviot, BFL, Merino, Suffolk and others.
Champions of the day were: Spinners Choice, Gotland, “Mr. Goodyarn”, 5.75 pounds, sold for $42.00.
The Reserve Champion was a Merino X Romney, 4.5 pounds, sold for $91.00.
The Grand Champion and BC Purebred was a Clun Forest, 6.5 pounds, sold for $92.00.
There were also sheep shearing demonstrations. This 5 month old lamb is getting its first shearing.
We were fortunate to get a little workshop from Lynn Anderson of West Coast Colour on assessing fleece.
One of the fibre producers we added to our Resource List was Michele Franklin of Intriguing Designs. Her creations have been featured in several high-fashion magazines. She has five English Angora Rabbits that are free ranged and are not caged at all. In the mornings she opens the shed door to their 20×30 outside pen for them to roam and play. At night they hop into their shed and she closes the door to protect them from predators. She sells the fibre to pay for their vet bills and feed. Here Michele is holding the beautiful Haley.
We learned a great deal at Wool ‘n Ewe and it offered us a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about the Sunshine Coast Fibreshed and add a number of B.C. fibre producers to our Resource List.
Merrily Corder, Lynda Daniells