I was able to rid the fleece of VM and skirt out the dung tags as I went, so everything I put in the bag was ready for washing. Another advantage was that I was able to put all the belly and britch wool in another bag to be used for the more durable knitted garments, just as the ladies on the Shetland Islands did years ago.
I guess the entire experience really made me appreciate how much work it takes to simply clothe a family from that era. The rooing was only a small part of that process...there was washing, carding, spinning, weaving or knitting of the wool too. My quiet day of sitting on a bucket to roo 2 sheep made me realize just how much work those poor women had to do just for clothes.... yikes..I'm spoiled.
Here's a link to a picture of the rooing process from the Shetland Archives: Shetland Museum Archives.
Here's another link: Rooing shetland sheep, both links clearly show the Islanders rooing Shetland sheep.
Since it's very obvious that rooing is a Shetland trait that was of great value to the Islanders, it's confirmed for me that this trait was and is a very Shetland Sheep-like trait that should be preserved. Now I must ask myself if there is cross breeding going on that has masked this trait in some of our little sheep over the years, or if there's always been a few that never roo? My quest for further education of these little wonders continues, but in the meantime, I'm loving the journey.
|Bug right after I started rooing his neck
|Closeup of the neck being roo'd
|Bug just after I finished rooing him. Notice how long his new growth of wool is in March!