Well, I was wrong. The knitters were just taking their time mulling things over. So it looks like the cooperative is just fine. I'm going to start drawing up a contract tonight. Basically, I get the sheep and they get the wool. Yay!
I had sheep and goats for years before I had horses at home (my horses were at a boarding barn). Sheep do keep your fields looking swank - really a great combo with goats to keep the prickly stuff and poison ivy eaten. Portable electrified web fencing (I think that Premier is one vendor) is a great solution for containment and is a deterrent to coyotes though not if they are really motivated. Goats are more fun to hang out with, sheep are sweet and dim and fun to eat (I can't eat goats or girl sheep, but don't have any trouble taking the obnoxious six month old baby rams to market). I really enjoyed them, it was great having babies in the spring. It's worth looking into the local sheep community because you will need advice, shearing, slaughterhouse and a ram to borrow etc. I live in a big sheep area so it was easy to find kindred spirits and everyone was really nice - the local l4-h is a great place to start. You can feel good about eating sustainably raised, locally grown meat and those sheepskins are really nice under your toes next to the bed. Have fun!
I got 2 horned Gulf Coast wethers on February 26, and I am SO pleased with them! They are great little weedeaters and have learned to be very friendly with humans. I've started a fiber cooperative with some friends from college, and am maintaining a blog about it. You can see videos and pictures of the sheep there.
There are lots of knitting and spinning groups out there. Maybe you could offer them the wool if they pay for shearing.
That's the basic principle of my fiber co-op.
When I was in college, I belonged to a knitting circle. I contacted the girls who were in the circle with me, and a couple of them decided that they wanted to sponsor a couple of sheep. So they pay for the sheep's upkeep, and I will send them each one sheep's worth of wool every spring.