I am still slowly packing up the studio. The hard part is deciding what to leave so I can still do some work while we slowly work on the new space. slow is the operative word. It has to fit in around other things that are a more immediate need. It is looking emptier. I am not sure the picture really shows that. The pile to go is different stuff.
We have had several more lambs. I think we are at about 15. So the barn needed reconfiguring to make a group pen and space for lambing pens. they are so cute and of course, they can not wait.
I signed up for a stitch camp online. It starts tomorrow (17 January). It’s free but I thought it sounded fun. It’s one video a day for 5 days and they are available for a week after that. Seemed like a fun thing to try and maybe get some creative juices going. It’s here if you’re interested. https://training.textileartist.org/stitchcamp-signup-1/In
In the meantime, while sorting and packing I found some thread I got a long time ago. It is on cardboard, old-style spools. It says FILTEX on the top of some. From what I can find online it is a 40/2 polyester embroidery thread. It is very shiny. I thought I might use it to stitch on some felt balls just for fun.
And I can’t forget that it is Ava’s Birthday on Monday, Jan 17. A big 1 year old.
Time has slipped past me again and I am not prepared for posting. So since I didn’t do a lambing post his spring I thought you might like to see one from a few years ago. How can you say no to cute lamb pictures.
It is lambing time and we are busy. This post is more pictures than anything else.
These are the quadruplets I told you about last week. All of them ended up in he house as their mom didn’t have milk. This was the only shot I could get of all 4 of them. When I tried to get down and take a picture on their level all I could get was a nose shot of one of them. They are fed with bottles 4 times a day. They went to a new home. A young couple that wanted to start a small flock.
This is a nice set of triplets. One of the black ones is a girl so will probably stay as part of the flock.
This lamb is one of 2. You can see the legs of the other one under mom. He gave me a nice face shot. I love the speckles.
This mom was very interested in having her picture taken.
I know these look the same but they are not.
A future star!
This is the group pen of moms and babies. They are in the individual pens for a couple of days so we can make sure they are bonded and mom has enough milk. Then they go into a mixed pen of moms and babies.
We are about 1/3 of the way through lambing. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.
I had a big surprise last week when my youngest sister Carol sent me pictures of the newest members of her family — three ewes and four lambs!
It was an even bigger surprise to her that I use wool for felting. In her defense, she lives in central Wisconsin and has a farm and she, her husband and son run a real estate business. They are a little busy themselves.
It should have been no shock since she’s been an animal lover since she was a toddler. She’s managed a dairy farm, a pig farm and has had horses and cows of her own. Carol also has five Border Collies and felt they needed more exercise. Sheep would be great for them to herd. When she saw the sheep it was love at first site.
None of the sheep are purebreds. She thinks they are Corriedale/Dorset mixes. The ewes were pregnant when she brought them home. Since then the oldest Mom, Secret 7, had twin boys. Carol’s granddaughter Madison named them Salt and Pepper.
The black Mom, Dusty, had a dark black boy named Little Will.
The youngest Mom, Amira, had a teeny little brown lamb with tan on her face Madison named Rosie. She was very weak and they had to milk Amira and bottle feed Rosie because she couldn’t get up and walk. But an hour later she was on her feet. They will let Rosie and Amira out of the lambing pen as long as Rosie is doing well. She is very tiny.
The sheep have only been introduced to the two older Border Collies, Belle who is 2 and a half and Misty who is 1 and a half. They just visit and fuss over the baby lambs. Misty thinks all the babies belong to her. She loves them.
The three pups are only 10 months old and will get introduced to the lambs when the lambs are at least half grown. They want the sheep to feel safe and comfortable in their own space. They are going to build a special round pen for that so it will be easier to control both the dogs and sheep.
Carol is already planning on buying a Corriedale ram this fall. So, the excitement will continue.
I wish we weren’t so far apart, but I’ve been promised fleece next year. so, I’m sure a trip is in order. Another new adventure! In the mean time, I’m enjoying the pictures and updates.
Thanks to my nephew Bill and his daughter Madison for the pictures and to Carol for sharing this exciting experience with us.
Last year Cathy (Luvswool) and I attended the Midwest Fiber Fair and were disappointed there were no live sheep. So, this year we decided to attend the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI. Since we weren’t sure how big the Festival was and it was a two hour drive one way, we booked rooms for that Saturday night.
They had an extensive schedule of events and classes. Since we were interested in the Stock and Whistle Dog Trials, that’s where we headed first. We were under the impression they had started at 7 a.m. and we arrived around noon. We waited for almost an hour on a cold bleacher with the wind blowing like mad while they had meeting and set up the field (obviously they didn’t start early.) Fortunately, a gentleman with a headset and speaker was walking around answering questions and keeping up apprised of the activity. The first up were the more experienced trainers and dogs. It was hard to get good pictures because of the distance and the fence. The event itself lasted less than 10 minutes. Still unsure of what we were seeing, we listened to others around us say the trial went well.
Cold and hungry we headed for the food stands. After a quick lunch we perused an auction and saw a bit of the Make it with Wool competition and saw the Wonderful Wisconsin Quilts and Wall Hangings Exhibit.
There were two long buildings packed with over 130 vendors. However, it was fairly crowded and dark so we didn’t take a lot of pictures. Most everything was fiber, tools, and some finished goods. We ran across this display and thought of Zed who has been thinking about fiber packs. We thought this was an interesting way to market a variety of mixed fibers.
We even found a a copy of Ruth’s book on a display shelf.
There were contests and displays of all sorts and dozens of classes. We visited the class building but weren’t able to access it. They also had a Walk and Knit Relay challenge, and a Kids Fiber Camp in addition to judging for youth activities and sheep.
We had to visit the Lambing Barn, but passed on the Carcass competition. Here are the lambs born that morning.
There was also a Hall of Breeds, a couple of breeds we hadn’t heard of. But we did get to see many breeds we were familiar with. Although there was an Icelandic sheep there, a vendor told us she had just been to Iceland and our sheep look nothing like the real ones. Huh.
The shearing demonstration was next. The gentleman doing the shearing gave us an explanation as to why the moccasin shoes he was wearing were important to the shearing process. Having his feet close to the ground and animal, he could easily feel the slightest movement of the sheep between his legs to make adjustments as he sheared. He has been shearing for 38 years and does this all over the world. When asked how long it takes to shear one sheep, he answered in averages depending on the type of sheep, size and location. Evidently, shearing in New Zealand is quick. Sorry about the angle of the pictures we didn’t know when we sat down what view we’d have.
Really the whole Festival was indeed about sheep. There were even classes for sheepherders. By the time we got around the whole fair, we had to make one more run through the vendor buildings. We couldn’t go home empty handed.
Cathy bought a handmade broom, black silk tussah, camel/silk roving, white Navajo churro, linen embroidery threads, hand-dyed silk thread, and an eco-dyeing book.
I bought grey and white Navajo churro, black corriedale and black silk tussah.
We were glad we had rooms for the night. We had dinner in Whitewater and returned home in the morning satisfied we had seen plenty of sheep.
This week we’ve had some new arrivals. first was this lovely red Dexter heifer. born just before dark so the picture is of my son in the dark with my husband holding the flashlight.
Then we had some lambs.
This morning it was Chrissy’s turn. My hubby was going to feed the bottle lambs when he fount them. Lamb was up and dry. No problem bringing them in till Chrissy saw the bottles lying on the ground and was more interested in trying to get a drink then going in the pen with her lamb. Once a bottle lamb always a bottle lamb. she was to busy nibbling my coat to get in the picture herself.
I also washed some wool mostly it is still yucky with to much chaff in it. The brown looks ok and some of the white I can cut the curls from the felted base. The rest will end up as mulch. Free fleece is seldom usable fleece.