Showing posts from May, 2011

Dedicated to the Boys

We have four adult rams and a wether now.
Yearling Dorset cross ram Pokey, in the left foreground, and our Shetland Mule wether Socks in the back left, next to Socks is Little Red Oak Ash (2 yr old Shetland), on the right in back is Ward Harwell (2 yr old BFL) and Sommarang Hansel (yearling Shetland) in front of Harwell. Yes Hansel was in the rise at shearing and he needs to be cleaned up.  I've got some ewes to clean up too.

This photo was taken in the morning, just hours before Pokey's near death experience with the loose woven wire fencing that separates the grazing areas. Fortunately I was home when it happened. I glanced out the kitchen window through the leaves to make out some white legs hopping around and thought those dang rams must be fighting again. So I grabbed my glasses and went out on the deck and I could see that it was just Pokey with his head stuck in the fence. So I ran out there and could hear him fighting for breath. When I got closer I saw that this head w…

Latest Birdhouse...

I am excited about the felted birdhouses, I want to decorate them like eggs!  They are the same shape and I just can't resist. The influence of the watercolor workshop got me going on a birchtree birdhouse.  I'd also like to do a birch tree wool painting.

Not sure if I'll let the birds have this one or not.  Here's what they did to the last one I put out.
I put rocks in the bottom (for extra weight and to keep the inhabitants dry) then added loose wool.  These birds obviously didn't want the wool, they preferred sticks.

My neighbor was excited about the bridhouses too. She and I did birdhouses together on Sunday.  She had never felted anything before.  The felting goes fast with the Karakul wool, but the houses get very firm and it's a bit hard on one's hands at the end. She came up with the brilliant idea to use a wooden darning egg to help shape it.  You can see my birchtree birdhouse looking like a vessel on the counter. I love taking photos of people with …

There's a New Ram in Town, Felted Birdhouse, and Felted Fleece

Deadlines -- I hate them, but I need them so badly! 
Tomorrow is the first day of the watercolor workshop I've been planning for three years. And I find myself with plants dug up from the neighbors' perennial flower bed, chicks hatching in the incubator, a new ram and a bunch of hungry ewes and lambs but a dead battery for the electric fencing.
Ah yes, spring has finally sprung!

So what did I do?  Felted a birdhouse out of Finn and Karakul wool....

And felted another lamb fleece....
This photo shows both of the felted fleeces I've done so far.  The beautiful solid grey color of Heddy's lamb fleece will never happen again (she's Ag) so this is a great way to keep it forever.  And Ginger's sunbleached tips add interest to her dark moorit fleece.
And I finally got to visit Sabrina up in Puposky, MN!  She's really off the beaten path.  What a wonderful bit of paradise she and Clancy have!  I'm so glad Shachah was able to find a home with them.

Updated the Sale Page

I've updated the sales page to include photos of the sheep we have for sale. So far it's rams and one ewe, but there will be more to add as time goes by.  I can't keep them all!

I've also added felting sheets to my fiber offerings.  The felting sheets make laying out fiber for felting go so much faster. They are made of Bluefaced Leicester and tencel or a Bluefaced Leicester/Shetland cross.  Very easy to felt and dye.

We're pretty much sold out of washable sheepskins, looks like I'll just have to make more of those felted fleece "sheepskins". :-)

Also, be sure and check out the KCAA blog about the upcoming watercolor workshop with Jeanne Carbonetti. I started working on it three years ago. I'm so excited that it's finally happening!

A Felted Fleece

I finally got a chance to try felting a raw fleece last week. It's the perfect way to use up those fleeces that are in the rise at shearing and those that are too short for optimum spinning. This is Ginger's lamb fleece. She was coated last winter so her fleece was nice and clean, but she was in the rise at shearing. You can see it on the cut end of the fleece.
I added a layer of dark moorit roving, covered it with netting and wetted it down with hot soapy water.  Then the rolling began!  First by hand and then in the rolling machine.   It was a very dirty job, but the result was well worth it.  My felted fleece is soft and warm, and it smells so good. I love to snuggle up under it!

Last Lamb and Lost Lamb

Wow, so much has happened the past week and I haven't had time to blog about it!

Our lambing season officially ended around midnight on Mother's Day when Ginger delivered this little black gulmoget ewe lamb.
I was falling asleep on the couch and in my pajamas when I remembered I hadn't closed off the ewe's back gate. So I went out with the flashlight to close it and also check on Ginger, our last pregnant ewe.  To be honest, she looked so small Sunday morning before I headed out to Shepherd's Harvest for the day, I was wondering if she was still pregnant. 
Anyway, there she was laying in the lambing corner of the pole barn and I thought I noticed her have a contraction. Nothing was showing and it took quite a while before more contractions came and I knew our last lamb was on its way.  Back into the house to get into my sweats, find the lambing bucket and the camera!
More contractions, no water bag, just some blood.  Oh-oh. I remembered the evening that Ginger was b…

Shepherd's Harvest Festival is this Weekend!

This is a busy week. I'm making last minute preparations for my booth at Shepherd's Harvest this Saturday and Sunday in Lake Elmo, MN.

I've got to finish getting my booth set up ready.  Along with skirting and washing fleeces like crazy, I'm sewing up a back panel for my booth this year.  Last year I was in the middle aisle of Building D on the north end.  I'm in the same building this year and hopefully I'll be in the same spot. I'll hang a River Oaks Studio banner on the back panel, stop by and introduce yourself if you're at the festival. The weather is supposed to warm up by then.

I'll have a few raw fleeces (BFL/Shetland crosses), Bluefaced Leicester yarn, combed top and roving from my registered Shetlands and Bluefaced Leicester sheep, handcrafted soap, sheepskins, felted items, nunofelt scarf kits, sheep and fiber notecards, and a listing of sheep for sale (oh that's so hard!).  Also, a friend from our local art group is moving and has d…