shepherd's diary

A Shepherd’s Diary: March

In this month’s edition Michael is gearing up for the start of lambing and has high hopes for his wife Eliza’s stylish scarves, woven by hand from the wool of their Romney and Jacob ewes..

The sun is shining as I write this, the grass has started to grow and the ground is drying out – perfect lambing conditions.  Unfortunately I have not quite started lambing yet!  Let’s just hope it carries on like this!  My ewes have all been moved into the lambing field (nearest the house), the only field with any grass left because I have been saving it all winter, and they look like they are ready to start anytime.  Now the mornings are lighter I can have quick look at them from my bedroom window before getting out of bed! To make up for the lack of lambs I have a very nice Sussex heifer calf, born to an in-calf cow that I picked up for a good price last autumn at the Ashford Sussex cattle sale.

There was a good crowd in attendance at the Hailsham Fat Stock Show, and there were some really good pens of lambs.  I didn’t have any prize contenders but I had 30 hoggets and a couple of cull ewes for sale that reached a fair price.

The cold east wind that blew for a few days in the middle of the month gave me a good excuse to stay inside and catch up with some paperwork, but the corner of my study is currently taken up by a huge box of wool from our Romneys and Jacobs that we got spun into yarn last year by Diamond Fibres of Horam.  My wife Eliza was inspired to create something with it and wove a very warm and stylish scarf.  To see each stage of the transformation from raw fleece to yarn to scarf is really amazing.  I’m sure you will see her next wool projects on the catwalks of Milan, Paris and Hailsham.

Eliza - sporting her hand woven woolen Scarf
Eliza – sporting her hand woven woolen Scarf