MJ Adventure Team Goes to MD – Day 3 – MDSW

Saturday was the first day of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. This was the reason for our trip to Maryland. We spent Thursday evening with our Ravelry / Spinzilla / Tour de Fleece friend, Adrienne, and Friday exploring Harpers Ferry. But we were all excited about the Main Event. Adrienne had given us tips for our first MDSW–bring chairs, bring food, bring toilet paper, where to park, and, most importantly, join her and the TPCMDSWAT (Timonium Presbyterian Church Maryland Sheep and Wool Adventure Team) for a tailgate breakfast. DSC_0221

Adrienne’s trunk was open and there was a big pot of steel-cut oats as well as fruit, yogurt, maple syrup, and more. We chatted with new friends.

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Adrienne and Dona strategized.

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The line stretched far from the gate and the cars kept coming. The skies were threatening and it was cold and windy.

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But fiber enthusiasts are usually a happy crowd. There was no pushing and shoving, just a lot of anticipation.

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The gates opened.

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First vendor. I saw someone buy this hat from Centari Wool.

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I wasn’t ready to shop. In fact I didn’t really plan to shop because what could I buy when I have a fiber shop already? (I found some stuff…that’s for later.)

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Fist stop was the Fiber Arts show where Kathleen and I (and Alison from afar) had entered items featuring Meridian Jacobs’ wool. Kathleen won 5th and I won 4th in a crowded blanket class. Kathleen’s blanket is all handspun and dyed Romney yarn. Mine used Timm Ranch wool warp and Jacob weft.

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My woven handspun (Marilyn and Raquel) scarf.

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My comercial yarn Cormo scarf.

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My sheep pillow entered in “Handweaving-other”. I didn’t get a photo of Kathleen’s fabulous 3rd place handspun Jacob (Cassandra and Mae) sweater (“knitted with handspun, dyed”) but you can see a glimpse of it in this photo and you will see it in a later post when she was wearing it.

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Alison took first in the “knitted with natural colored handspun garment” category with this wonderful vest using 4-ply Jacob (Summer).

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I took photos of some of the winners and meant to come back for more. I got so distracted by all the other things going on that I didn’t make it back to the building.DSC_0230

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I moved on to the sheep barns to check in with Royal Unzicker, a Pennsylvania Jacob breeder who has asked me if I’d help show that afternoon.

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Royal’s yearling rams.

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Roy Deppa’s yearling ram.

After I spent some time catching up with Royal, whom I see occasionally at the annual JSBA meetings) I went out to see more of the show. That will be another post…or two…or three.

Farm Shots

Most of these photos were taken with my phone during chore time in the last couple of days.

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My chicks have outgrown their dog crate and needed to get out in the chicken house. I checked on them the first night and found them roosting on top of the crate. (This photo was taken by the light of my headlamp.)

Rain gauge

We woke up Friday to another inch and  a half of rain (with another 3/4″ the next day).

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This one was taken after feeding the bottle babies.

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This morning I noticed the wild eyebrow of one of them.

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Speaking of bottle babies…this one followed me right through the 3-strand electric fence…

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…while I was setting up fences so that I could move the ewes.

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Seen in the pasture.

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Also in the pasture.

Jade

We have had several field trips during the last couple of weeks. This was a group of home-schoolers. Can you tell that there is a sheep in there? Jade loves to be petted. What an amazing sheep.

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And how about this amazing sheep? I think Mary is going to take her home.

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Tonight a friend took this photo while I was feeding these two.

 

Meet the Sheep

Meet the Sheep is our annual spring open house event. That was last weekend. Rusty already shared his story but here is mine.

I rely heavily on Farm Club to make this event a success.

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First was getting pet-able sheep into pens. This is Jazz who is a big pet and has twins, one of whom I’m going to keep and is now named Jasmine.

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Amy, Mary, and Sumi ready for visitors.

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We had vendors. Colleen, with Fiber Confections.

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I offered space to Farm Club members this year. Gynna brought knit caps and other goods. Here is her website.

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Brenda has sheep-shaped soap and other items. Here is her Etsy store.

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Jackie with Sheep to Shop brought a new item–plant boxes made of felt!

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This is another felted piece using Jacob wool.

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Carol of 2NFrom  brought hats and these fabulous new pouches. After Farm Club members saw this there were only two of the sheep pouches left.

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Many visitors come just to look at sheep. But there are other things happening as well.

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Rigid heddle demo by Lisa.

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Blending Board demo by Roy (of Clemes & Clemes who makes the blending boards as well as carders, etc)

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Great Wheel demo by Deborah. By the way, this Great Wheel lives at my house and I have no room for it. It is for sale but I don’t have it listed on the website yet. Contact me if you’re interested.

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Laura demonstrated inkle weaving.

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Alison sketched sheep off and on — in between spinning — and left her finished product with me at the end of the day.

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Julie is the person who many people look forward to seeing year after year. She brought her dyeing demonstration, but also…

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…bunnies. Oh boy, were those bunnies a hit!

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Julie also brought a couple of Karakul lambs and an Angora kid. They all had plenty of attention.

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I can’t believe I got through the day with hardly any sheep photos (although I did spend most of the time in the shop and when I got out I tried to get photos of all the other things going on). That’s Jade who is our best pet sheep ever.

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And this is my bottle baby who found a new mom to take him home.

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This is most of the Farm Club crew who made this possible. Thanks, everyone!

Shearing Day Revisited

Shearing Day here was way back in early February. I wrote a post about shearing the rams, but never got to the rest of it.

As I went through my photos I realized that a lot of them are of people, not sheep. But that is what makes Shearing Day here so fun–my fabulous Farm Club. The Fiber members chose their fleeces this day, but other members were here too. Everyone has a job and it makes the day go so smoothly.

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The star of the show is our shearer, John.

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John’s shearing shoes.

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Stephany and Gynna…

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…and Brenda were sheep wranglers, never letting John run out of sheep.

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Deborah and Lorrian  pushed sheep to the shearing pen.

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Kathleen weighed fleeces.

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Amy worked the gate in where the sheep left after being shorn.

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Mike swept.

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…I could just lounge.

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Here is Hallie after shearing…

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…and this is the beautiful result.

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Trista: “Does this shearing job make my head look big?”

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Speaking of heads several of us wore our Baa-ble hats.

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Some people left before we took these last photos, but there was still quite a crew for this photo.

 

 

More Lambs

I took these photos before it started raining again.

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A cute blue-eyed lilac lamb. This is on the “keep” list.  Meridian Catalyst x Shadow Mountain Shelby.

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Meridian Hot Lips with triplets also sired by Catalyst.

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Meridian Sophia with BFL-x triplets.

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Meridian Sonata with triplets sired by bide a wee Buster.

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Ears and her crossbred lambs.

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Meridian Estelle also with crossbred lambs.

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Meridian Ruth. Lambs sired by Catalyst.

And while we’re at it let’s throw in another springtime photo.

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The wisteria has started to bloom.

 

Lambing is Over

That was a quick lambing season. Quick, but intense. I’ll figure out the stats later, but for now there are pictures of lambs.

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This is the last lamb, born last night. Bide a wee Buster x Bide a wee Trista.

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These photos are from a couple of days ago before yesterday’s rain. The ewes were excited to get to fresh pasture.

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This is a lamb that got lost in the tall grass and was calling for MOM!

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I’m trying again for a great jumping lamb photo.

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But the combination of the enough light, the right focal length, and fast enough shutter speed make that tough.

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Some of these photos look OK here, but they aren’t sharp enough for a large screen.

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I’m going to keep trying.

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One of the latest lambs.