Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who said men don't knit and spin?

Below are a few shots of men doing...brace yourself............women's "stuff"...gasp!  Yes folks, I have actual digital proof that there are men out there that love to knit, spin and weave.  Contrary to what most men are led to believe, "male parts" do NOT, I repeat, do NOT fall off when men engage in these activities.   I'll admit, I did a double take when I first saw that there were several male artisans committing unspeakable acts of creativity, but upon closer inspection, I soon realized they were not only knitting, spinning and weaving, but they were doing it well.   It didn't take me long at all to become accustomed to seeing men sitting at spinning wheels, holding knitting needles or weaving at their loom, in fact, it was rather nice.
Male vendor knitting away the day

The man on the left is the vendor that has the rug loom pictured below.
The gentleman sitting at the wheel is 1/2 of a husband and wife team that dresses in period costume as part of the marketing strategy for their booth.  

Rug loom

Everyday is a gift from God.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fiber Fix

I spent this past Saturday and Sunday in Waukesha at the Wi Spin In.  This was to be a maiden voyage for the FFSSA booth, and I was not disappointed.  I spent a lot of time coveting things from other booths, but did manage to spend a fair amount of time speaking to other vendors and customers that were shopping about Shetland sheep and their fleece.  Time and again I heard, "Wow, very nice, or This is Shetland?"  I like to see the reaction of folks when they realize that Shetland is not scratchy and coarse.  Right after you see "that look", they start looking around to see if you noticed and then they feel compelled to comment.
It was just nice to have some fleece/wool/yarn/sheepy fellowship and recharge my batteries.  
Great people, friendly vendors and a nice weekend of being immersed in everything fiber related.

Basket of needle felted balls in various grades with micron data key provided
One of many contributions from Sabrina)

Left side of the display table

Right side of display table
Double coat samples on left and single coat samples on right

Needle felted sculptures donated and on loan from Sabina with micron data attached
The mouse was, hands down, the star of the display!!!
 (you better give me a name for him soon Sabrina)

Display board and right side of table
Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep Association booth 

Mioget fleece
Fawn fleece
Everyday is a gift from God.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On the road again.........

Flowering crap at dusk

Woohoo, we are free...........(can you spot the cross bred lambs in this photo?
Flowering crab at sunrise

Close up of the flowering crap bloosoms
On my way to Waukesha, Wi for the WI Spin In this weekend.  I will have a booth there promoting Fine Fleece Shetland Sheep and I may even sell some roving.  :)
Maybe I'll see you there..........................
Toodles for now.
Everyday is a gift from God.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spots...gotta love em'

Tuesday mornings gift  

Challis x Bug ewe 

Challis x Bug ram 
Great birth coat on both these babies and if the end up being built like their parents, they will both be staying right here.  No horn buds on the ram so far.  (crossing my fingers)
Challis is gernerally pretty wild and sticks to herself, but now that her lambs are here, she ubber quiet and very content.  There's so many things that I like about this ewe, but the first thing that struck me about her was her structure, she has a leg in all 4 corners and properly proportioned...not too small, not too large and has good fleece to boot.  Her fantastic mothering ability is just another reason to pass along her genetics.  Thank you to Lori of Sommarang Farm for allowing me to lease her.
Everyday is a gift from God.

Monday, April 16, 2012

23 and 24

Friday was a rough day.......we had to attend a visitation for a 9 yr old boy that did not survive a 4 wheeler mishap, and it was the hardest visitation that I've ever had to attend.  You can imagine the turmoil my emotions were afterward, and we came home to Dot in distress.  She was having strong contractions and it was obvious that she had been having them a little while,  I got the flash light and investigated further and found that she wasn't making any progress at all.  After a lot of nail biting and considerable effort on Dot's part, I managed to pull out a fairly large ram lamb, Dot is not a large ewe.  Dot was exhausted, but she was ok and the ram lamb just shook his head a bit and I grabbed a towel to get him somewhat clean and then placed him by mom's nose and she immediately started mothering him.  Fast forward 30 minutes....I now have a nursing lamb and happy mom, so I head for hay and water and when I return there's a very tiny ewe lamb that's joined the party.
That marks the first Shetland birth that has needed my assistance in any way, and I'm hoping it's my last.  I was emotionally spent by the end of Friday when I stumbled to the house about 12:30 am.  And the whole time I'm heading back up the hill to the house I'm thinking "I have 3 pregnant ewes to lamb yet".  (grin)
And the other thought I had as I was sitting and waiting was.......Birth and Death, we never know when either is going to occur.  
Dot with Tina Turner and Buddy Holly about 12 hrs after giving birth.
Kimberwood Dot X Sheltering Pines Bug

Buddy Holly on the right and Tina Turner on the left 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lamb 21 and 22

Salicional gave me a set of twins about noon yesterday, a fawn kat ram and a gray kat ewe with some head spotting.
Pictures were taken inside, so not as nice as I would have liked.
Fawn kat ram and gray kat ewe of Salicional's

ewe (some head and ear spots)

Salicional seems to have big lambs

Closeup of ewe's fleece.  The ram lambs have a notch better fleece than his sister.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome Reba and John Lennon

I'm a bit behind on my blog posts, had to take some time to spend with family over Easter weekend.  I only had 2 lambs born since the last explosion of little ones last Friday morning.  Garnet had a very classy little moorit krunet sokket ram lamb and his fleece has got me a little excited, I'm hoping it stays nice as he matures.  Farrah, a ewe I leased from Lori of Sommarang Farm for 2 years, had a flashy little moorit flecket ewe lamb with great looking fleece on Easter Sunday in the afternoon.  My first singles this year, and since both are so nice, I don't mind that they had singles one little bit.
If I repeat myself between posts or babble on incoherently, I apologize, but the lack of sleep is kicking my butt this week.  I don't really know why I think I have to get up so much, most of the time the ewes just look at me like I'm out of my mind as they take care of their lambs that didn't need my assistance at all.  I do know that the lambing pens that we built in the shed this year are a huge improvement over past year's.  The inside pens are now filled and once the cold snap moves through tomorrow, mom's and babies are heading for the great outdoors.  I have 6 ewes left that have not lambed, and I have no idea what they are waiting for, but I need some sleep and had a nice long chat with them last night at 2 am.  And out of the corner of my eye, I could swear that I saw them take their hoof and make twirly motions around the side of their head and I'm 99.9% certain that one of them rolled their eyes at me.  I get no respect from them.  (sheesh)
Granet X Bug: John  Lennon
(I've now got all the Beetles names: Ringo, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison)

Farrah X Camden:  Reba

Sweet Dreams everyone.  :)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Rooing and new puppy progress

Last week I found another victim candidate that needed rooing. Since I started rooing sheep this year, I just can't seem to keep my hands off the sheep when they are losing fleece all over my pastures.  The spinner, knitter (and now...weaver~sort of) in me gets all twitchy when I see perfectly good neck wool laying in the dirt!!!  It doesn't matter that I have bags of wool in my garage, roving and yarn in my stash room, there's just something about the waste of fine fleece that makes the hair on the back of my neck prickle.  
Bee Sting was innocently rushing to some grain we had put out for the pregnant ewes, and since she's not friendly, I had to nab her when she wasn't expecting it.  I knew I wouldn't get another try, but I didn't need it, I grabbed her and got started with rooing.  
Color me surprised when I realized that her entire fleece was going to come off in a sheet!!!  In 10 minutes flat, she was bare naked, and free, only to have the entire flock hound her relentlessly because they no longer recognized her.  I don't think she will forgive me anytime soon.  :)  

Bee Sting after her plucking.  Give her a set of antlers and she'd look just like a deer.  
 Bianca continues to worm her way into the hearts of our sheep and our older Maremma, John.  She pesters him constantly when she's out, and despite his grumbling and vicious sounding growls, he's never done anything that would hurt her.  I even found the old guy (10 yrs.) playing with her the other day.....I just stood and smiled.  
Bianca and John 
 Bianca will now patrol the pasture fences by herself and her favorite sheep in the whole pasture is Disco, a ewe lamb I purchased from Juliann at Lil' Country Acres last summer.  Disco follows Bianca around like they are BFF's.  Nothing Bianca does deters Disco from being near, and she simply wags her tail happily. 
I'm looking forward to the day when I can leave her in with the sheep and not have to put her back into her own pen when we aren't around.  But, the time that she is out with John and the sheep is getting longer and longer.  I'm very pleased with this little gal.  
Bianca during a rare calm moment
Everyday is a gift from God.

Friday, April 06, 2012

8 hrs~4 ewes~10 lambs

I am just too tired to do much more than post the new arrivals pictures.  One of Catherine's ram's (note the pajamas on the little spotted guy) was a little cold and weak, but after a a little warm milk and some Nutri Drench, he's up and doing great now.

Catherine x Thor triplets
White ram, yuglet flecket ram and yuglet sokkett ewe (all black/white)
They are about 6 hrs old in this picture 

Catherine and her ewe.......born approx. 2 am today (love this little girl)

Fiona and her triplets~1 gray ram, 1 white ram and 1 gray ewe.
Fiona is Texal/Charollais, Bug is the sire to these 3 lambs.
This ewe is one of only 2 crossbred ewes in my flock and she is an exceptional producer as well as a phenomenal mother.  

Hermaoine's flecket ram (born about 2 am) A little cold when I found him, but he's up and nursing well.  

Hermoine's yuglet, flecket, sokket ram (bl/white)  

Maura and her twin fawn kat rams (awesome fleece on these two)
Maura X Bug (born about 12 am)

Maura x Bug ram lambs using mom as a jungle gym at 8 hrs old!!  :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

New stuff for 2012 MSSBA Show at WSWF

It's official....we have a few new things that I had to get the approval for from the Wi Sheep and Wool Festival organizers, but I've been given the affirmative nod now and can pass along some of the ideas being planned.


***Youth Showmanship is being split into three age groups, watch the WSWF website for details, there will be a detailed list of the classes once the catalog copy is finalized.

***This year there will be a Costume Class, so start planning how you are going to dress up you and your Shetland sheep!

I'm very happy to announce that we have been given permission to have a Photo Contest specifically for Shetland sheep at this year's event.  I know that there's been a lot of Shetland owners that would love to compete at the Jefferson fiber event, but distance (and sky rocketing fuel costs) have prevented a lot of you from attending this event.  We thought that having a photo contest that is open to everyone would be a great way to let some of you be involved and show off your sheep at the same time.
There are 2 requirements:  1) There must be a Shetland sheep in the photo  2) You have to provide MSSBA with a 5" x 7" hard copy and a digital copy of your entry.  Both copies become the property of MSSBA, and all entries will be used (with your permission) in a calendar that we will be making with all the entries from the contest.  All photographer will be given full credit when the calendars are made, and the winners will get additional mention and recognition.
The icing on the cake is the prize money....
1st place  (drum roll please)  $100!!!!!  And the cover photo on the calendar.  
2nd place is $50
3rd place $25
4th place $15
5th place $10
6th place $5
Youth 1st place  $40
The entry fee is only $5.00, so it's  a very affordable way to compete at a Shetland Sheep show.

There will be a detailed list of categories as we get closer, such as: Shetlands and landscapes, Shetlands and people/person, Shetlands and kids, Shetlands and any other animal/animals.

Sooooooooo, get out those cameras, I know you have them because I've seen the spectacular pictures each and every one of you have posted on your blogs or Facebook.

Returning events are: Handy Shepherd (may be moved to Friday afternoon), Shetland sheep show, Silent Auction, Skein competition, Make it with Shetland competition, Fleece show and our Pizza party.

Velma and her boys

Finally, a couple more lambs.
Velma is one of my favorite ewes, she straight, square, has very crimpy, dense fleece and she's always given me exceptional lambs.  She's been a good mom from day one and there's just something about her that screams "Look at me" when she's standing out in the pasture.
I'm pretty happy with these little guys.

Crossing my fingers that there won't be any horns........

My only lamb without spots so far.............................

Just look at the yummy fleece.  He's really quite dark, the flash on the camera washed out the rich color of his fleece.
Last night Velma gave me a set of twin rams, one dark moorit with about 2 white hairs on it's head and one black ram with with some significant white on his head and face.  The fleece on the moorit ram is exceptionally nice.
Everyday is a gift from God.

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....