I had a wonderful day today visiting Kathy Wither's ranch here in Tuscon. I am so lucky to live fairly close to her and have been out to visit several times. She has Angora goats, sheep, llamas and alpacas plus a few stray bunnies and geese. She is a fiber artist and teacher that is fairly well known here in the area and has some wonderful things in her shop out at her ranch. Her URLs are http://www.uniquedesignsbykathy.com for her ranch website and her blog is at http://uniquedesignsbykathy.blogspot.com She is always very generous with her time and attention when you go out to see her and will show you around and talk about her animals. I bought some red mohair the last time I went out and fell in love with the color and texture of the fiber. It's so beautiful. I will take a picture of some yarn I did soon.
So today she had open house and was shearing some of her flock. So I just had to go out and gawk at the shearing, and maybe score some more of that red mohair that I was addicted to now. She had a shearer there named Penny who did an amazing job of shearing and handling the animals. She told me she had been shearing sheep since she was 9 years old. She apparently has a farm in the area and I can't wait to go visit her and her flock. Here is a picture of Penny and her volunteer sheep wrastler Chris.
Now to the important part. Kathy let me pick which red mohair goat I wanted to have shorn and I choose the most beautiful one as we all agreed. I only feel slightly guilty that Kathy was partial to this fleece herself because I am so happy to have it. Besides, she said I could. So I watched them shear Creme de Menthe a red angora goat and then I took the whole bag home with me! Oh delight! I must post the before picture of Creme de Menthe who gave up her yearling fleece to me. She was gorgeous, to be sure.
Kathy has over 20 babies right now at her farm as all her mommas are giving birth within the last few weeks. I can't imagine taking care of so many little ones. In any case, if you are in the area you should visit her place. It's amazing. What a fun day for a fiber addict!
The beautiful Creme de Menthe. She did not like being sheared one bit.