Last Hebridean Post: the Shearing of Baghasdal, the Ram

Our time in the Outer Hebrides is at an end. However, we squeezed in a couple more important activities: watching a shearing and seeing a natural dyeing. In this way, we sampled croft work of both Jonathan and Denise.

First, the shearing. Jonathan had already sheared the hogget (yearling or so) rams. But the flock sire, Baghasdal (“Valley of the Bays”) remained.


He is a beautiful ram. Because it kept raining on us on and off, Jonathan decided to move the shearing to the stone building down by the shore. He uses the hand shears and did the front first, with his little helper watching what would be in store for him in the future!


He then lays him on one side, and then the other, getting the wool off. Baghasdal is being very cooperative. He also gets his hooves trimmed and is dosed for worms.


Rhubarb and Primrose decide to take a nap. This shearing stuff is exhausting!


Returned to the group, he is inspected to see just who this guy is!


We take the fleece with us back to the Big Garden as Jonathan and Denise want to get a closer look at it and Mary and I will be seeing how Denise does her natural dyeing. I am so surprised and pleased to find that I will be able to have this beautiful fleece shipped back to the U.S. after we scour it! What a generous gift!

We give it a skirting.


Then a scouring.


Meanwhile, Denise shows us the dyestuffs we will use today – stinging nettles and Sweet Cicely.



The end result of the afternoon – dyed wool (yarn), dyed fleece, and washed Baghasdal fleece. Fantastic!


It has been a phenomenal trip – a perfect place to stay, unbelievable weather, wonderful sheep, and fun and generous hosts. What more could you ask? A return trip! Boys, I will be back!




Published in: on May 25, 2016 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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