It was suggested by one of the blog readers, that my last post implied that selling the fleeces from the barn cleaning was an afterthought. In fact, the majority of the fleeces are skirted and sold as individual fleeces shortly after shearing in the spring. The fleeces that were pictured in the last post are those that end up on a shelf after I have skirted myself into madness and cannot look at another fleece. Well, not really - I love the feel and smell of a fresh fleece. But life intrudes, lambing gets hectic, summer weather gets too hot, or whatever excuse I find, and some of the fleeces get shelved to be dealt with "later". The Shetland and Coopworth fleeces all get skirted and the majority sold almost immediately. (One year our Shetland fleeces sold out in eight days!). The BWS fleeces are not as colorful and unique as the Shetland and Coopworth and I do confess to getting tired of skirting about 50 fleeces that all start to look the same after a bit. So some of them get shelved and as it gets closer to shearing time again, we clean the barn and the fleeces have to go somewhere - selling them seems a smarter choice than piling them in my parents' barn (some are still there) or in the trailer (not the livestock trailer, we use that occasionally, so I can't hide excess fleece in there for too long), or under the 125 gallon fish tank (that is actually a fleece I bought off of ebay before I had sheep of my own - I should toss that one, as it doesn't really compare to the fleece I have access to now). So this year, I decided to try to sell my leftover fleeces at a deep discount just to move them off the property. And it seems to be working! We only have about half a dozen fleeces left that haven't been spoken for yet. And that number will be a lot easier to hide somewhere, if they don't sell, than some of the excess from year's past!
By the way, we do now have a shearing date - March 18 - and hopefully, this year, we won't all have the flu or be about to come down with it!