Lambs Grow Up

I caught the ewe lambs yesterday to figure out which were still for sale. I’m planning to keep several this year and it’s always tempting to keep too many. I sold several adults this year and a couple have died so I can keep at least 6 or 8 as replacements.lambs to keep

These lambs are all on my list to keep. There are a few close-ups below.

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Meridian Jennie (bide a wee Buster x Meridian Jane). She won Reserve Champion Ewe at Black Sheep Gathering last month.

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Here is what she looked like in April.

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I just decided yesterday that I’d keep this one. She’s not named yet (Starthist Dragon x Meridian Alice).

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Here is a picture from May. Notice how the wool in front of her horns is shedding out. Adult Jacob sheep are not supposed to have woolly foreheads but the lambs are often born with wool that will shed.

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This is Jasmine (Starthist Dragon x Meridian Jazz).

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The wool on her forehead is also shedding.

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Here is what she looked like in April.

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Take a look at this nice looking ram lamb in late March. Look below to see why I don’t want to make deals for rams at a young age.

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This ram can not be registered.

Other lamb photos are on the website although I haven’t updated the listings this month. There are several ram lambs to remove. Ram lambs. Ewe lambs.

Black Sheep Gathering 2017- #2

I had too many photos for one post (as usual) so here is another of the weekend spent at Black Sheep Gathering. In the last post I mentioned Peyton, the new BFL ram. He just wrote a post on Rusty’s blog that you might want to check out.IMG_0526

In case you wondered what it was like to stay at BSG in a tent…here’s a photo of my camping spot. This wouldn’t have been fun if there was rain, but this time BSG was dry.

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The whole reason for going on a Road Trip with Sheep is to show them (and maybe to sell a few). We showed on Saturday morning. The crew that showed up to help include Deborah and Brenda, Farm Club members, and Doris, who knitted that beautiful shawl in the last post, and Vicki, who has sheep and Border Collies back home. None had shown sheep before so we had a quick sheep showing lesson before the show started and then brought the sheep to the holding pen. There weren’t enough Jacobs this year (one other breeder) and we were showing against some Shetlands in the NCWGA Primitive Breeds Division.

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There were no yearling rams entered so first up was the Ram Lamb class.

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The 4-horn lamb on the left here was awarded Reserve Champion Ram.

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Next was the Yearling Ewe class.

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It was followed by the Ewe Lamb class.

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The judge liked Jennie (front) best.

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The yearling ewe, Vixen (on the left), and Jennie (right) went into the Champion class…

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…and Jennie got Reserve Champion Ewe.

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As I say all the time, I couldn’t do this without the help of my friends…including the people who took photos and sent them to me. Thanks! Everyone had a fun experience and they all went home with blue ribbons.

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I don’t know how many fleeces were entered in the Wool Show but these tables were full and there was a long line of buyers waiting outside.

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I checked back an hour or so later and there weren’t a lot of fleeces left.

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Saturday night there is always a potluck followed by the Spinners Lead competition. You can find handspun items in the most unusual places. (made by Marilyn from CA). It was so unusually hot for Eugene that attendance was lower at both these events. But we found familiar faces.

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Doris and I took the yearling ewes to the Spinners Lead, wearing our shawls. We had both won first place in the classes in the Fiber Arts Show. Mine was in the woven division and Doris’ was in the knitted division where she also was awarded Best Use of Natural Colored Wool.

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Other California friends were there.  Marilyn wore the shawl that she had woven the previous day in the Sheep-to-Shawl contest. Her Hangtown Guild won that competition and she borrowed a sheep to enter this show.

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Beth knit this beautiful shawl and also borrowed a sheep.

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This was Doris’ first time at BSG, first time entering this event, and first finished handspun project!!

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I took Cindy in the show and she wore a scarf woven of the leftovers from the shawl I wore. All the entries in this show are handspun or felted.

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This is the smallest sheep I’ve ever seen at this show and she was quite a crowd pleaser.

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The next day I was sitting in the barn and spinning and glad that I didn’t have to take a sheep into the Black Sheep Cup (Supreme Champion) competition in the heat of the afternoon when I realized “uh oh, I do have to take sheep into the ring for the Young Flock competition”. Thanks to Doug and Karen who quickly helped me get the sheep to their appropriate spot in the ring, although I wasn’t exactly dressed for showing in my tank top, shorts, and Birkenstocks.

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I loaded up and got on the road about 4:30. View heading south.

A Lot of Random Stuff This Week

Can you believe that it is going to be over 100 degrees by the weekend …IMG_0163

…and  just four days ago it was in the 60’s-70’s with a thunderstorms…IMG_0164

…and hail?

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The morning of the storm, when it was bright and sunny out I saw that a big branch of this weeping willow had broken during the night–not storm related. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but where that big space is with sun shining through–that is where the branch was.

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The sheep made quick work of the leaves up to the height they could reach.

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Big event–my husband retired last week. I was worried that he would wear out his end of the couch, but after getting over a bad cold, he’s been outside spending time doing Stuff That Needs Doing.IMG_0191-2

One of those things is cutting tree branches that block the view from the driveway.

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In the sheep world, we’re getting ready to go to Black Sheep Gathering next week, so that means halter breaking lambs. A few Farm Club members have come over to help. That sheep is not hurt or dead. She is just protesting.

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This is a blurry photo of the back of a ram lamb’s head. What it shows is two horns on the right that are growing close together. Ideally Jacob sheep have symmetrical, balanced horns. I’ll wait and see how that 5th horn is going to grow out.

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I put a 40-yard warp on the Schacht loom and cut off 12 baby blankets. There are more to go but I needed to get some of these done. That reminds me I need to contact someone who ordered pink blankets.

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New items in the shop and on the website soon. These just came–Schacht flick carder, tapestry beater, and weaving cards.

I wanted to finish the warp on the AVL. The computer that is attached to it decided to update itself. This is a PC and everything else I do is on a Mac. I don’t remember the PC world at all.

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This message had me really frustrated. I can’t weave on that loom if I can’t get the computer and the loom to talk to each other. With trial and error I finally got it going again, but I have no faith that it will work when I turn it on the next time.

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So I stayed out there at the loom until I finished that warp so that at least I have some time to work with it if there is another problem.

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.)

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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.

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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!