Thursday, March 28, 2013

Crimp vs. Crinkle in wool fibers

Another great article from Theresa at Under The Son Farm......

Crimp vs. Crinkle

She's done a great job of clarifying a lot of terms that aren't always clear and has pulled together some of her research and sources into a great article that helps with understanding things about wool crimp characteristics. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First 2013 lamb

Last night was our first 2013 lamb.  A nice sized black ram lamb out of Sheltering Pines Bengal x OK Acres Ringo. 
You might notice the stylish lamb coat that the little guy is sporting, it's a trial run for some coats I'm making out of fleece.  I need to make them a little shorter and round the back corners a bit, but they are working out pretty well so far.  I made 3 of them to see how they fit and worked before I invested more time into them.  My sister in law, Rhonda, makes a lot of fleece tie blankets and she generously donated her extra material for my lambie-pie coat project. 
I decided to make them fit a wider range of lambs that I'd make the tie straps cross under them and then tie them at the top, and this makes them a lot like a "robe".  I attached the ties forward quite a bit to allow for boy parts that need to be cleared underneath and after my first test fit, it appears as if I got that right.  All the truly chic lambs will be begging for these snuggly little coats, I know it helped a lot last night when it got so chilly and I had a wet lamb to keep warm. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shetland History and Education

I'd like to share some links to some great research about the history of Shetland sheep and the term "Beaver coats".    Fellow Shetland breeder and friend, Theresa Gygi of Under the Son Shetlands has spent countless hours researching and with some help from another fellow breeder and friend,  Cyndee Wolfe of Lacien Farm. 

Here is the article that resulted from that effort:

 The Historical Use of the Word Beaver

Shetland Breed Information and Terminology

There is a ton of great information here, along with her sources and references.  If you want more information and are hungry for research, this will help you. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 16th in Wiscosin

Some people get spring flowers and rain this late in March.........and some people get 3-4" MORE of snow and single digit temps.  Turns out that it's our turn for the snow and cold this year, and I'm less than enthusiastic about it.  I'm supposed to have lambs any day now, and this is not lamb-friendly weather.  Yesterday found me in front of a sewing machine whipping up lamb coats, because it sure looks like we'll need them this year.  I used my cats for guinea pigs models for fitting the coats, and they were less than amused by the honor.   I'll get pictures of my homemade lamb coats when I have actual lambs to model them. 

Here is what it looks like outside today

 Just outside the office door at about 11 am this morning at work. 

My boss's house, our cars with a couple inches of snow and the wood eagle sculpture looking as unhappy about the snow and the rest of us. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Warped Sense of Humor

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this particular fella didn't win any awards for this. 

Breeding groups (Fall 2012 for 2013 lambs)

I know, I know, it's spring......and I'm just now posting my breeding groups from last fall.  I had so much going on, I just never seemed to get it done and then I'd forget again.  It's a vicious cycle for a forgetful, aging woman.  I've had several people ask about possible lambs and since everyone wants to know the sire, I'll posting this to help me and the potential purchaser.  (since my brain fog creeps back constantly)

You can view details of the rams and ewes on my Ram or Ewe page, just click on the appropriate tabs.  Groups were put together on November 1st and removed Bing, Ringo and Elvis on 12-9.   I did use Thor as a clean up ram this year, he was in with the entire flock of girls from 12-9 to 12-26.  

OK Acres Bing
OK Acres Alabama
Lil Country Bee Sting
Shltg. Pines Ceylon
Kimberwood Dot
White Pine Killian
OK Acres Salina
OK Acres Vienna

OK Acres Ringo
Shltg. Pines Catherine
Shltg. Pines Bengal
OK Acres Sierra

OK Acres Elvis
Sommarang Challis
S'More Cotillion
Lil Country Disco
Wintertime Garnet
Faith (Shetland X-out of Fiona)

Crosswinds Thor
Shltg. Pines Anais Anais
Lil Country Meadow
Shltg. Pines Salicional
OK Acres Seneca
Shltg. Pines Temperance
Lil Country Velma
Faith (Shetland X-out of Fiona)
Fiona (Charollais/Texel/Columbia X)
Fergie (Shetland X-out of Fiona)
Janet (Shetland X-out of Faith)

Friday, March 08, 2013

Another Wish Fulfilled

I'm am so excited I am grinning like an idiot.  What has made me so happy you ask?

My very own, custom made, shearing and rooing stand!!!!! 
 My super, fantastic, talented man and I stayed after work last night and created this one of a kind aluminum sheep stand that's just the right height for Shetland sheep to be at a working level that doesn't have me bending over for hours at a time.  The sides are removable and it weighs about 20 pounds.  I cut the material, did some sanding and cleaned up the material and my husband did the actual welding and piecing of this little project.  I am giddy with happiness, strange, but I've warned you that strange things make me happy. 
Rear view
 We are going to make a hoop with a mounting rod that will keep a wool bag open and in a handy spot for dropping the fleece in while I'm working. I am also going to cover the chain on the head piece with felt so it doesn't dig into the sheep's nose and neck.  Most of the time I hope to simply tie them up with their halter, but if I get a feisty one, they can just rest their head in the head piece.

Front view
 We have also put foot pads on the legs with holes in them so we can mount a 2 x 4 onto them in case  we had to use this in an area that didn't have a hard surface.  I might add a couple tool hangers yet, but I think we've thought of most everything that I will need.  Maybe a ramp too!!!!
(we'll see how it goes)
I tried to get someone to get on the new stand and demonstrate it's purpose for the photos, but I didn't have any takers.  sigh

Friday, March 01, 2013

Talented Shetland pony

This just seemed too fun to NOT share it with all of you.  I subscribe to a Visit Shetland newsletter and this was on there as a promo for Shetland.  If this doesn't make you smile, you are made of stone. 

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....