Gideon and I were trying an experiment to see whether we could get 3 clips off the Gotlands: early summer, autum and February. But the weather in February was too awful and some of them were too young or small in October. We finally sheared in early May.
So some of the fleeces were totally over-grown, matted and useless – we have learned! They may look vaguely OK on the outside but if the fleece is completely solid or the underpart is matted, then they cannot be spun. I have seen such fleeces washed and used as a vegetarian sheepskin but these were so messy it was not even worth trying. So we shall wait till November or December for the second coats this year, though we can shear the lambs in August.
The resulting flock is now all nice and neat again! I did get a reasonable yield of BFL fleeces and the Gotlands shorn in October were OK, so only lost around 9 all told, out of 27 shorn. But we do try for the best quality so I took the all the fleeces to the mill for a training session and we were very picky!