Monday, July 24, 2006

It's with a heavy heart that I must sell my flock sire of the past 5 years. Underhill Ferguson ( S11776 ) is being put up for sale. The primary reason is because my ewes are directly related back to him ( i.e., his daughters and granddaughters ) and I'm concerned that if he's bred to them there can be some dire consequences develop in the resulting lambs. I have talked to Gail about this and she agrees that I should try to sell him first and if that doesn't work then he will have to go to market. I'd much rather keep him but he wouldn't tolerate not being able to breed his ewes in the fall. He has produced some nice lambs and I will be keeping Candi ( grey kat mollett ) , Maddie ( moorit ) , Mollie ( musket ), Lacie ( grey ) and Bandit ( grey/white yuglet/flecket who carries moorit ). It will be sad around he for a while but Gail offered to lease me a black ram ( that carries the modifier ) and then Ditto ( who also carries the modifyer ) will be coming to take Fergie's spot as flock sire. Fergie will be missed terribly as he's become a good friend and provider to the flock.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Recently, a fellow Shetland sheep breeder in Minnesota had a fire and lost their entire 2006 hay crop and their pole barn. The Shetland sheep breeders across this great country have pulled together to form an auction to help these people - they are having a lamb auction and are selling fiber articles and yarn and rovings on ebay to help fed these sheep this winter. We have donated some very nice bright white kid mohair roving ( we don't have any Shetland roving available at this time ) to the cause. They have made almost $ 1000 at the time of this posting and should make a lot more. It makes you feel good, that in a time of anonymus killings and violence and the indifference found across this nation, that a group of sheep breeders can come together and form an auction and raise money to help their own ( some of whom have never met these people who were affected by the fire ) and are willing to give and give and give. It's times like this that make me proud to be an American and a farmer on top of that.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This unlikely looking piece of knitting is a bias knit scarf made out of 100% Shetland lamb's wool from one of my ewes. The pattern came from one of the 365 knitting pattern calendars ( don't remember the exact name of the calendar ) that was published for 2005. I knit this scarf as a door prize for the NASSA AGM to be held at the Indiana State Fair next month. It won't look like this - it needs to be blocked first, which I will be doing later today and it will look a lot better than it does now. The color is sort of a cream / white and is the natural color of this ewe's fleece ( it wasn't nor will it be dyed - I want it to be in it's natural color ). Will post this scarf again AFTER it's blocked to be able to show the difference in before and after.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Not much going on with the sheep as it's just too hot for them to be moving around right now. It's supposed to be in the mid 90's today with the humidity in the upper 70's. All they want to do is lie under the trees in the woods and hope for a breeze. Can't say I blame them - the a/c is having a hard time keeping the house cool,too. Have been spinning some of Wen's ( Lt. Acres Ceridwen ) fleece I had processed at Ohio Valley Natural Fibers - it's like trying to spin a cloud. I plan to make either a sweater or shawl out of the yarn from her fleece. It's a black wool with some lighter areas ( at least on her - not sure if she's a shala or just getting light from age but the light color starts at her butt and goes forward. Will have to take a picture to the AGM next month and let Stephen look at it. ) making it almost a very dark grey with black overtones and is very soft. But can only spin early in the morning or late at night ( after 10 pm ) because the house is cool at those times otherwise, it's too hot to even think about having anything to do with wool. The weather on one of the tv channels is calling for temps in the upper 80's by Friday with some rain - hopefully it will get here ( nothing like hoping for a cool wave of the 80's, namely after it's been in the 90's for almost a week ). I may start a rain dance with the dogs and sheep to see if we can't get someting started.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

This is my blog about things that are going on on the farm, what the sheep are doing, and what I'm doing with their wool - spinning it into yarn and what I'm knitting with it. There may be some ramblings from time to time but I will try to keep it to a minimum.
I have been raising Shetland sheep for the last 5 years and have 12 Shetlands, 2 border Leicesters and 1 Perendale that I have sheared every spring , around lambing time, and , after having it processed at a fiber mill, spin it into beautiful soft wool yarn and knit it into sweaters, shawls, mittens, afghans, coats, and whatever someone may want to wear. Most people who say they are allergic to wool have been able to wear my Shetland wool items because it doesn't cause them to itch.
Don't forget to drop by frequently to see what might be going on with the Shetlands.