Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lambs! -- and a Felted Purse!

I'm still crazy busy, but the Shepherd's Harvest booklet is finally at the printer and lambing has started!
You can download the booklet on here --
http://www.shepherdsharvestfestival.org/New_Site/?page_id=559


I only wanted to breed three Shetland ewes, but Hansel had other ideas... So what we have now are the intended pregnancies.  Hattie started it off with a set of twin gulmogets on Sunday night around 10 p.m.  She always seems to lamb at night and outdoors. Last year we lost one of her crossbred twins due to the cold temps and extreme winds on March 13th.  What a change of weather this year!
Who would have ever thought I would be out under a beautiful starry sky, with a warm breeze blowing on my arms (no coat required!) witnessing the birth of lambs in Minnesota in March!  It was so beautiful, there's something very special about being there with your ewes at the birth of their lambs. 

Hattie's ewe lamb, very solid black gulmoget. Very spunky, good size lamb.
Hattie's ram lamb, might be mioget, smooth polled and the best looking fleece of all the lambs so far.

My 4 yr old wether Socks is now in with the ewes (since Hansel went into the freezer in February).  And this was his first time being around lambing ewes.  He's a big Shetland/Bluefaced Leicester cross, in full fleece.  He quietly stood behind my shoulder looking into the calf hut as the newborns were being licked off and finding their legs. It was the first time since Stan's death that I've felt everything was totally right with the world.  What a good feeling!

I went out early the next morning and was surprised to see Heddy come running in the barn with the flock looking for their morning hay accompanied by a set of twins.  What a surprise, Heddy wasn't due until Wednesday.  It's the second time I've missed Heddy's lambing. Darn!  But she did an excellent job with her first set of twins - she's only 2 years old.  Her dark moorit ram lamb (with horn buds) is the first solid colored lamb I've gotten sired by Hansel.  I may need to wether him for a fiber pet, his fleece is SO dark brown. 
Heddy's ram lamb on left and gulmoget ewe lamb on right. She looks like she got her mom's Ag.
Heddy's ram lamb is very dark moorit and the first solid colored lamb we've gotten from Hansel. He has big horn buds.  

I'm pleased with the four lambs so far.  Their ear sets are all very good. Last year I had some airplane ears and longish tails sired by Hansel. River Oaks Camille (Ag grey gulmoget)  is due next week when  I'll be out of state for training for my new job.  My oldest son will be staying here to tend the sheep and chickens and keep poor Ozzie from getting too nervous without me around.

I also had an absolutely wonderful visit with Heather on March 9th.  It was so much fun to be with her visiting the Textile Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and StevenBe's yarn shop! We are both Pisces, her birthday is two days earlier than mine, and both were just last week.  Heather made me the coolest felted bag, I just love it!  All my friends have swooned over it.
Back view, the colors are so rich. The other photos don't show them off as much as this one does.
Front of the purse, closed.
Opened to reveal the button closure and a bright red fish.
fully lined with two pockets and the coolest wooden label.


Check out Heather's blog for the process she used in creating it here: http://woollove-functional-fiberart.blogspot.com/2012/03/marine-life-purse-for-pisces-part-3-of.html

I hope to get Heather to come back to Minnesota again to teach some felting classes. She's a great lady.