They walk 'round and 'round the show ring while the announcer reads their story. Each competitor writes up their own story - something about themselves, their sheep and their wool clothing. Here is what Dave wrote:
"Hi, my name is Dave Lawniczak and this is my Scottish Blackface ewe lamb, Sweetpea. We are from EverRanch Farm in Auburn, Washington. Sweet Pea is just 4 months old, and this is her first trip off of our farm. This is also the first time that either of us has been to the Skagit county Fair.""The Scottish Blackface Sheep breed originated in the highlands of Scotland. Their long, coarse fleece provices them excellent protection from rain, wind, and other elements. The Scottish Blackface is the most numerous breed of sheep in the British Isles, but is not very common in North America.""Today, Sweet Pea and I are showcasing the good looks one can achieve by wearing wool. Sweet Pea is looking stylish in her 100% pure lamb wool fleece. This is accented with a wool scarf in a tartan pattern, and finished with a Scottish Clan Pin. I am wearing 100% wool slacks, a stylish 100% wool Pendleton hat and a lovely 100% wool handmade sweater vest that was a Christmas present from my lovely wife, Franna. She sheared, washed, carded, spun, plied and knit this for me. I offered input and suggestions as I thought is was to be a gift for someone else!! We would like to thank you for dropping by and watching the show. Feel free to drop by and say hello to Sweet Pea, and all the other EverRanch Sheep. Have fun at the Skagit County Fair!!! "
"Franna and Bossie thank you for attending the 2007 Skagit County Fair. We are wearing our wool clothing for a comfortable evening at the Fair. Franna is a native Washingtonian and Bossie is a Gotland-Finnsheep cross ewe lamb. They both live at EverRanch Farm in Auburn, Washington.""Gotland sheep are a medium size, short tailed, luster longwool breed of sheep who come in all shades of grey. They were developed in Sweden primarily as a peltsheep, and now provide wool and meat as well as pelts. The elven cloaks in the Lord of the Rings movies were made from Gotland type wool. Gotland sheep are being introduced to North America through the use of imported semen from pure Gotland rams in the UK and Sweden. Nine different foundation ewe breeds are accepted in the upbreeding program.""Franna's pure Gotland wool vest is an example of the use of Gotland pelts. Bossie shows off her natural grey coat in Gotland-Finnsheep wool. Franna's all wool slacks are comfortable all year and never need shearing. Their pink accessories show off the richness of the natural grey Gotland wool.""Please visit us in the sheep barn to find out more about the wonderful qualities of natural wool."
It even includes the soft, crimpy neck fleece (lock on the top right).
Luna's fleece is very nice for a Blackie. She has very long staple - almost to the ground in full fleece, less kemp than a lot of Blackies and a nice handle.
Typical of Scottish Blackface, Luna's fleece is dramatically double coated. The outer fibers are the long ones, and are very coarse - 40-ish micron? I need to test it someday. The inner coat is surprisingly soft, and quite long as well. These locks are shown, top to bottom, inner coat, outer coat and both together. It washes up much whiter than shown here!
Yes, I saved the "best" for last. Here is Spot's fleece. It is very dark with a bit of sunbleaching on the tips. If you look closely, there is a white "dust" look on the cut ends. Spot is now grey, and at shearing was just turning grey. The very ends of the staples are grey. Very unique.This is one of the staples showing fineness and crimp structure. The judge kept a lock closeby and used it to compare to the other fleeces. Handspinners - if you can find nice Finn fleeces, don't pass them by!
Well. What do shepherds do once they get home from the show with their sheep and all the paraphernalia? We start practicing for the NEXT show of course.... Below, friend Clarissa, takes Bossie for a walk.
Then they pose for the camera. Don't you think they make a great pair of "ewe lambs" for the Ladie's Lead?