Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Early summer projects

Now that the trips are over and the lambs and kids are being picked up for their new homes, the real work begins. The garden needs some serious weeding.
There is a lot of mowing to be done- the pastures, the front and back yard, the orchard, the back of the property and the trail behind the pastures. This is Tom mowing this trail with the sheep who were following behind.
I am trying to organize my fiber studio and reminded my self of three fleeces I kept for myself at shearing and now need to figure out what I am going to do with them. There is Jethro's fleece. He's our California Red wether. I have always sold his fleece so decided to keep it and play with it myself. Here's a photo of a lock.
There's Mutiny's fleece- she's our brown variegated CVM ewe with a really fine crimpy and large fleece. I have always sold her fleeces to so decided to keep it for myself this year. Here's her lock photo.
And there's Barney's lamb fleece- a primitive mioget very soft fleece. He'll never make another lamb fleece so decided to save it. Here's a lock photo.
Then there's all the wool I skirted off the fleeces this year. I need to go through it again and take out the felted and completely unusable wool and have the rest made into comforter batting.
So there's a lot of work to be done, on top of the usual animal chores. There are no lazy days of summer here!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering 2009

I posted iPhone photos during the gathering for the folks that could not attend.  They are at:

Then I took some other photos with Tom's digital camera.  The first set of photos is of the Fiber Arts competition.
This is a felted silk/wool scarf I just love:

This is a felted sheep wreath:
A felted watermelon:
Next are the photos from the Wool Judging.  
This is a Navajo Churro fleece I desperately wanted to buy, but someone else got to it first:
This is a gorgeous fine white fleece with an amazing long staple length:
This is another fine white fleece with an incredible luster to its locks:
This is a knitted sheep bag.  I was wondering if I could knit pencil roving to make a similar bag:
This is a roving and rag bag I would love to be able to make:
This is a river otter we saw outside our hotel room:
These are some of the spinners:
Next are my purchases- embarrassing given the size of my fiber stash already.
This is a dyed mohair and wool yarn skein I could not pass up (50% off!):
This is a dyed silk and wool roving I could not live without:
This is a baby camel and merino wool roving that is SO soft I had to try it out on my wheel:
This is a yak and merino wool roving that is just lovely:
This is a Navajo Churro roving I bought since I could not buy the fleece I wanted above- it's my consolation wool:
This is a red kid mohair fleece that was my consolation fleece purchase since I couldn't buy the fleece I originally wanted above:
This is 1 ounce of buffalo down I bought to try out:
And the grand finale....the red Angora goat kid I have always wanted!
Every year at the BSG I fall in love with a red Angora kid, and my heart is broken because it is always sold first or not for sale.  So this year I finally bought this wonderful red buckling (soon to be a fiber wether).  His given name is Wa-Zoo since he is red and grey and from Pullman.  We are going to call him "Coug".  He was not too happy with the long ride home but seems to be settling in with our Nigora wether Mr. D.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Britain trip 50 animal and fiber related photos

We are back from our epic (to us) journey to the UK.  Here's the many farm animal and fiber related photos we took:

Shaun the sheep stuff in a shop window in York:
Ancient fiber related items including a reproduction Roman loom in York,
Roman whorls and spindles in Inverness,
Roman spinning and weaving tools in Bath,
and a 14th century tapestry in Coventry:
Northern Britain sheep photos:

Llamas in Britain:
Jacob sheep:
Sheep, pig and cows in Scotland:

Shetland animals:

Shetland lace shawl and ponies at crofthouse museum:

More Shetland sheep:

Machinery at Jamieson mill in Sandness, Shetland:

Sorry- more Shetland sheep photos:

Shaun the sheep at Aardman Features:
Jamieson yarn I could not resist buying:
Fair Isle sweater I bought for myself at Spider's Web shop in Lerwick, Shetland Islands:
We will try to get the rest of the photos posted on Kodak Easyshare later today.

So the downside to the epic journey is the toll it took on our animals in our absence.  On top of them missing us and our dog Josie escaping by fence jumping multiple times, we lost one of our bucks.  Mr. Mahogany died of a parasites while we were gone.  The liver copper level is still pending to see if that is the underlying cause since we had just wormed him with adequate does of oral ivermectin just before we left.  We also lost quite a few pheasant chicks to coccidiosis and our steer Leroy went lame with laminitis from the grass.  Here's a photo of our wonderful polled buck who died:

Shaun the Sheep "Off the Baa"

Shaun the Sheep clip "Save the Tree"