Welcome to Shave 'Em to Save 'Em (SE2)

Hi all! I asked Our Unraveled to create this subforum so everyone could get on board with this great initiative. The Livestock Conservancy started the Shave 'Em to Save 'Em project to make people aware of heritage breed animals that are in danger of disappearing because breeders need to be connected to customers. If you join the Conservancy for $15, you get a passport and when you buy fleece or roving or yarn, you get a stamp to put in your passport. There are contests, too, and it’s a wonderful way to become familiar with different breeds of fiber friends.

@LeoLady is very active in spinning SE2 breeds. If you search her in some of the forums, you’ll see some awesome photos.

Information on the program can be found here:

I just joined the FB group. I don’t go on there often. BUT if I buy I will seek out vendors from there. Thanks

I signed up! Not sure when or where I’ll start, but it will be fun to give it a go!

YAY!! I found you. Long story short, I lost the notification from @JenC about this forum. Hi all. I’m working on my Gulf Coast Native and finished my Florida Cracker. In the bag for the next spin is 4oz of Santa Cruz. I’ve met some really nice shepherds already and the fiber I’ve gotten from them has been really nice.

You can go to the website for the Livestock Conservancy. Once you join, you get access to a complete list of the shepherds that are participating in the challenge. So far the hardest fiber to find has been Hog Island. I’m on a list for some next spring.

@LeoLady, could you (and anyone else, like @JenC ) list the names here of the sources you used to purchase your fiber? I’m in over my head when I go to their FB group and their website–so many places to choose from, but I think my preference would be to purchase directly from the shepherds as opposed to a 2nd-hand source, like those who buy from multiple shepherds then sell on places like Etsy. I think the shepherds would be more directly invested in their particular breed and I’d like to support them directly. (I grew up on a dairy farm, so I know how much a farmer invests in his animals!) I know we discussed this a bit over in the SdF thread, but I wanted to get a list going here so it will hopefully get some people going who weren’t necessarily involved in that discussion. Thanks!

Also, I wonder if there would be a benefit to having a group started for SE2SE?

The list is long and gets longer. I could post the shepherds I’ve talked to here but, once you pay the 15.00, you can get into the list and see the shepherds that are part of the challenge. Thing is that list grows almost daily. Let me see if I can post the link here to get to the breed list.

Not sure what you mean since I’m pretty clueless about how things work here. I thought this was a group. Not?

Here is a link to the directory on the Livestock Conservancy web page. You can search just sheep and then tell it to show you only SE2SE fiber providers. If you do that, the map will light up with red arrows. Below the map is a list of the providers, what breed or breeds they have and where they are. Each provides an email address to contact them. https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/breeders-directory

I guess I was mostly just looking for the list of the shepherds you personally have purchased from since the list IS so big!

@LeoLady, It’s pretty much the same thing–I was thinking of making a group in the Group section, but truthfully, this suits the same purpose. Never mind my off-the-wall comment there!

In a group, is there control over who is in the group? That might be an advantage. I’m not a fan of trolls.

I honestly don’t know–I’ve not set one up myself, but I would think so. Hadn’t thought about trolls, but we do have a large number of users on this site. I have joined one or 2 of the groups, but all I had to do was click the Join button, so I don’t know if anyone is able to filter out applicants. Again, as far as who could be removed from the group, I don’t know if takes a moderator to do that or if the person who started the group has that control.

Seems like you can have a closed group. I can walk through the process if you like, then announce here.

I am pretty excited to see this sub-forum starting. A goal I had when I signed up as a SE2SE “fiber artist” (which cracks me up) was to locate shepherds that I could buy from in my own rather challenging state of Texas. Statistically Texas is a huge fiber-producing state, yet I rarely saw fleeces or spinning fiber for sale anywhere. So I started looking at all the vendors listed on the Livestock Conservancy’s online Breeders Directory map within 500 miles of Houston, and I contacted a few of those producers, and started finding some that I could work with to get some fiber. So far, I have corresponded with 3 shepherds and have found them to be helpful and lovely. I have purchased CVM, Leicester Longwool, and Shetland from my home state. That has given me plenty to do while I acquire other breeds. Some Gulf Coast Native, Karakul, and Santa Cruz have also come my way from out of state.

Some who read this will have seen me flicking away at a charcoal gray Shetland fleece from West Texas during “Spin de Fleece.” 4 ounces of spun yarn from that fleece will let me check off that breed, but I will spin a lot more for the future sweater. Since the program lasts for 3 years, I am do not mind having a sweater spin as a side project. It will always be special to me that I will have a sweater totally from Texas.

As much as possible I will work directly with Texas shepherds, and when I run out of sources in Texas, I will venture out of state. The nice thing is that more and more producers are finding out about the program as we go along, and there are more listings on the map to check out.

Here is some purchased Karakul roving spindle spun, my first completed 4 ounces. It is the most rustic yarn I have ever handled, and I plan to make a felted tool caddy or pot holder with it.


@Carlota Welcome! I live in your neighboring state of Louisiana, about 4 miles from the Texas border. Like you, I was intrigued by the challenge, and like you I’ve met some lovely shepherds through the program. Louisiana does not have a high number of wool producers so I’ve sort of been all over the country. My project for the challenge is simply to spin, however, my side work is to create an Erin sampler afghan from the finished wool. The biggest surprise for me has been the low cost of the roving or batt. I will, eventually, venture into getting some raw fleece but I need to build up my courage to do that.

I love hearing what ya’ll are doing with your wool. I’m trying to decide if it will be something I can combine all into one project, like an afghan, or if some of it will be too course for that option, but I’d like to get 4 oz of each and get it spun up.

@LeoLady, let’s maybe just sit on it for a while and if it looks like a group would be a good thing, we can put one together. We might want to consider doing some sort of SE2SE challenge for spinning (or include knitting, crochet, and weaving since you can purchase the yarn already spun) Anyone want to take that on???

Hi @LeoLady! And thank you! I think it is nice that you have a project in mind for your future yarns. I agree that the prices are low. One thing I have discovered from processing from scratch is that once the fleece is washed and cleaned of VM and second cuts, the yield can be quite reduced. But this is only an issue for me if I have specific plans for the fleece, such as socks, where I really want to begin the spin with at LEAST 4 ounces of clean and combed fleece. It is going to be fun to hear everyone’s experiences as we go along, and to find new favorites.

I just ordered my first 2 breeds–a mix of black and white Jacob and some Lincoln longwool, which I am cringing at, because I have a friend who gave me several fleeces of LL and it’s been cleaned and pin drafted into lovely soft roving that will take me forever to use, but I love it! Also, I have a black LL fleece in our basement waiting to be skirted and cleaned as well. Again, it was free, but neither of these were SE2SE shepherds, so I had to order some anyway. Oh well!