Something a bit exotic at shearing day
Exotic sheep shearing event offered variety of home-spun creations.
Everything from felted woollen horse blankets to homespun and hand-knitted baby booties was on display, and for sale, at the Exotic Sheep Shearing Day at Brian Hales’ Wimbledon farm on Sunday.
Among the more artistic creations was Whena, a Swedish Tomte gnome created by Jenny Hughes Allan.
“Every farm should have a Tomte gnome,” Brian said.
“These Norwegian and Swedish folklore creatures work tirelessly for the farmer, caring for his animals and keeping his farmyard in order.
“In return they demand only respect and trust from their farmer and at Christmas time, a plate of porridge with a pat of butter on top.
“If treated well they will protect the family and the animals from evil and misfortune, but if offended they will play mischievous tricks on the farmer and there are many legends written about how the Tomte sought revenge.”
The legend of Whena is set at Te Rehunga, near Dannevirke, where her creator, Jenny Hughes Allan, was born. It tells of how it assisted her grandma Mary and the animals living on the farm.
Created from a variety of wools, including karakul wool from the Hales farm, Whena has won many awards for Jenny who now lives in Wellington, having exhibited and taught in Australia.
Tomte gnomes, with genuine Wimbledon whiskers, could be purchased at the exotic sheep shearing day.
However, those buy one were able to take away the Tomte spirit to protect their property.
“But don’t forget to give respect and trust at all times with a bowl of porridge and a pat of butter on top at Christmas time,” Brian warned.
Eighteen breeds of sheep were on display on Sunday, but not all were shorn.
Nine cafes dished up meals made from various exotic breeds in traditional ways and enthusiastic crafters exhibited their work.
The exotic shearing day began at 10am, with smoko available in the woolshed and all hospitality and admission free.
Whena, a Swedish Tomte gnome created by Jenny Hughes Allan who was born at Te Rehunga. Whena has won her creator many awards and was on display at the exotic sheep shearing day at the Hales’ Wimbledon farm on Sunday, October 7.