Fiber Arts

What is Shave 'em 2 Save 'em?

From the Livestock Conservancy:


In our ongoing commitment to making it more profitable to raise  heritage breeds, The Livestock Conservancy created the Shave ‘Em to Save  ‘Em Initiative. It’s a program that will recognize fiber artists for  using wool from breeds on our Conservation Priority List while connecting shepherds of heritage breeds with customers.

The Livestock Conservancy has long said that the way to save  endangered breeds of livestock is to give them a job. In the case of  wool sheep, we need to start using their wool again. Because of  marketing challenges, some shepherds discard or compost the wool after  their annual shearing rather than cleaning it and selling it. In  addition to encouraging fiber artists to try using rare wools, the  program also educates shepherds about how to prepare their wool for sale  and how to reach customers and fiber artists, thereby making it more  profitable to raise heritage breeds.


Why Rare Wool? Genetic Diversity is Important!

Not only is the wool from different breeds different - vastly different sometimes - but each breed was developed to answer the needs of both the people and the environment.  Without diversity we're simply one disaster away from losing an important resource - no matter the species.

My projects Tunis:

I'm starting with Tunis

Tunis roving on a custom spindle from Tom Golding

 I've started with Tunis.  I'm hand spinning roving that I purchased from Red Rope Farm.  Mostly working it up on a spindle, so may take a while.  It's got a lot of bounce and I see this working well for socks - plenty of cushion - or a cuddly wrap!  There will be more as I progress. 

About the Breed

This breed was developed from the Tunisian Barbary sheep from North Africa.  The meat is said to be tasty, though I have yet to try it.  The fiber is 3 1/2 to 5", a warm white, is springy and suitable to a lot of projects.  The sheep are hardy, have a reddish face and legs, lambs have a tan or reddish fleece that lightens as they age.

Find out more

Tunis plied on the wheel

Finished yarn - Tunis, hand dyed.