Thursday, 11 December 2008

Christmas Auction

Today I went to the Christmas sale at the Auction Mart in Stornoway. The cattle are sold off for the festive market and the fat lambs the same.

Sometimes you can pick up one or two really good lambs - Suffolks or Cheviots - that will breed well with the Hebrideans.

We are still trying to produce a cross that will have a fleece with the same characteristics as the Hebridean, but in white. The grey is ok but because it tends to come from the older sheep, the texture is different and it doesn't work that well mixing it in a cloth, though its better than nothing. The thing is with the black Hebrideans, the black gene is recessive - you need a black one coming from both parents to produce a black lamb, but the fleece gene seems to be passed on through either side and the softer, crimpier fleece dominates over the more kempy, rougher blackface type fleece. Over the years we have had quite a few successful crosses, but not enough to produce a consistent supply of the wool.



This picture is of my other half outside the mart at the pens looking at what is coming up in the sale.

Now inside to the ring where the auctioneer (who comes over for the day from Dingwall) expertly handles all the bidding and sales. The two lambs in the ring were first prize winners in the pre-sale show.
After the show we repaired to the Stag Bakery tea room in town and had sausage roll, hot chocolate and a big cream cake to thaw us out as it had been a very cold morning.
Then off the the Arts Centre - An Lanntair to see how sales were going. Sea Anemone hats had gone well (check out http://www.scalpaylinen.etsy.com ), and I left some sample gents neck ties in Hebridean, Harris, Hybridean and Linsey Woolsey tweeds as well as a pure linen one.
A quick visit to Lewis Crofters for poultry grain, hay and some goodies for the sheep to munch on and then home for tea.
Back to the spinning this evening.........








3 comments:

Alejandro said...

The island looks like a beautiful and nice place to live, right?

Calana Crafts said...

Poor JF looks really cold, I think he needs warming up.....

Scalpay Linen said...

It is a lovely place to live - most of the time. The photo at the top of the blog was taken during summer. Just now its a bit cold and very muddy round the croft!