One of our sheep, Jenny, is a problem child. She has been a problem child since the day we got her. She hates to be handled, refuses to be herded with the rest of the flock, pretends she has no idea what a halter is... You get the idea. She gets a free pass because she has excellent parasite resistance, great hooves and a wonderful mothering ability.
Last year, she also refused to wear a sheep coat. We'd put it on, she'd get it off or rip it to shreds or otherwise foil our efforts to keep her fleece clean. After a point, basically when I ran out of coats to put on her, we just gave up. As a result, her fleece was so full of hay chaff that it could not be sold for spinning. It wasn't even worth paying to have it processed, as the level of contamination was such that I knew it would still be unusable even after I paid all that money.
I washed up some of it, and it was gorgeous lovely curly locks—she is 25% Cotswold—but still full of hay chaff. No selling it for doll's hair or Santa's beards.
Argh. She got me again.
The cleaned fleece sat in the basement, repository for all problem fleeces, for quite a few months, but yesterday I saw something that gave me an idea. I poked around on the internet a bit, poked around the craft and dollar stores a bit, and came up with this:
A bird's nest wreath. It can be used inside or outside to decorate for the holidays, but come spring, it should be outside! The birds will be thrilled with a source of ready-made nesting materials; in addition to the sheep's fleece, I added bits of burlap thread cut in 3-6 inch pieces. Her curly-wurly fleece was perfect to wrap around and hold itself on the wreath.
My LSH thought it needed a bit more color, so I made another one with bits of red cotton yarn in addition to the burlap.
A bit more festive, but I think I prefer the natural colors. It will be interesting to see if the birds have a preference, though.