Cotton is expecting a baby! Or more likely babies. And the weather has been in the upper 80s, suddenly. So instead of waiting till next week for the Amish boy to shear her, Becky and I did it. Well, we did 3/4 of it anyway. We had wanted to save the wool (see the handy dandy wool storage unit on the wall of the barn?) for cleaning, carding, and spinning, but I'm not sure that will happen. I was going to buy hand carders today so we could get a start on our project, but they're $60. If I were confident that my shearing skills would improve enough to get consistently usable fleeces, I would make the investment, but most of the time I just cut wildly, trying to get finished as quickly as possible. I still have two sheep to go, so maybe practice will make perfect. If I wash and card this wool, I'll post the little I know about fiber for you all to emulate.