I just returned from 5 days of sheep shearing school at the UC Hopland sheep field station in Mendocino County. While the school itself was somewhat disappointing, I did end up getting better at shearing sheep. I hope to do more!
One thing I did realize about shearing and wool is that every wool garment, every wool blanket, every wool anything, was touched by human hands. I think that's pretty cool - in an age of mechanization, it still takes a human to remove the wool from sheep.
Shearing is a dance - a dance between the shearer and the sheep and between the shearer and the shearing machine. I've never been much good at dancing, which is probably why it took me until Friday to feel half-way competent.