I love my Romney sheep, especially all of the fabulous fleece that I get to play with!. I am lucky to have a flocker that I can shear twice a year, and I‘ve found that the saying “three bags full” is true - each fleece yields three oversize bags of roving from the wool mill!
Aside from the carding, all further processing is done by hand. One of the perks of housing your sheep at a wool mill is not having to card every fleece, but even then there are some that I do process on a small drum carder myself. Shearing, skirting, spinning, dyeing and felting are all done by hand.
There is always roving and handspun yarn available - and each sheep's fleece is processed separately so you know who you’re knitting with!
I got my start in sheep at age twelve, showing crossbred wool-type sheep in 4-H. After a few years at the University of Connecticut, I decided one day to just dive in - and drove to Moosehill Farm in Massachusettes to buy a ewe of my own. One sheep turned into three sheep, turned into 16 sheep, pretty quickly!
I chose the Romney breed first because they were adorable, and had usable wool. As I reserached and improved my flock, I came to appreciate them for all that they are; truly dual-purpose, easy-keeping, good mothers with gentle temperaments. While each of my sheep's fleeces is unique within my flock, ease of spinning and heavy weights are uniform across the board. And they really are the CUTEST sheep, by far.
I do not run an organic program, nor do I run a 'grass-fed' flock. It isn't that I don't appreciate those farms that can and do run specialty programs, I am just not able to do so. I use whatever processes and feed sources are necessary to keep my animals healthy and in good body condition - which means vaccinations and vet care as needed, and a tailored grain ration in addition to seasonal pasture and locally-grown hay.