Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shetland Sheep for sale!


Heddy and her horned ram lamb

I've finally got my 2012 sales list posted on the Stock for Sale page -- complete with up-to-date photos!  I spent yesterday taking photos of the sheep, before separating the ewes from the lambs.
Needless to say, last night was a noisy one around here. :-)
Rita and her twin gulmoget crossbred lambs

In order to reduce work and stress levels around here, I've decided that I should just retain a fiber flock in the future. So almost all my Shetlands are listed on the sales page. I'd like to keep Camille and Hattie, but even they could go to the right home.

I plan to keep all four of the Bluefaced Leicesters and the crossbred gulmoget ewe lamb. I'm very tempted to wether all the crossbred ram lambs and keep them for their fabulous fiber. But if someone wants to use them for breeding, I'd hate to eliminate that possibility.

Please check the sales page and feel free to contact me with any questions.
Camille, Godiva and Mia heading out of the barn with Goldie in the back

The nine orphan chicks are down to six, but they are really growing up fast.  The boys are starting to crow already.





In other news, I got three new bobbins specially made for the antique spinning wheel I purchased in early June.  Special thanks to Russ Johnson for getting them done so quickly.  I've been spinning up some yarn and that wheel spins like a dream!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nunofelt Top

I got a chance to make a little nunofelt top the other day.
I want to make a dress, but thought it would be best to start off with something smaller (and sleeveless).  You can see the resist I used behind the top -- and Tippee on the right.
I used 5mm habotai silk and my BFL/tencel batting.  I had my BFL fiber blended with tencel and made into 45" x 72" batts weighing 2 lbs each. I split the layers of batting down until they can be split no farther.  The less wool the silkier the fabric will be. (Next time I'm going to try two layers of silk with the wool sandwiched in between.)
To make this, I took a sleeveless top that fit well.  I folded it in half lengthwise and drew around it in pencil on newsprint. I cut that out and then I used the shrinkage rate of my fiber to enlarge the pattern in all directions on foam underlayment.  The shrinkare rate was 50% in this case, you need to make a sample first because different fibers and fabrics will shrink down differently.

I had planned to dip-dye the top, but now I'm thinking of trying some eco dyeing like Terrie did on her lovely felted purse in this blog post.

I've decided to sell all but two of my Shetlands, so I need to get the lambs wormed and vaccinated, take photos, etc. Not to mention I need to spray the thistles in the pasture, clean out the chicken barn, and as the photo above clearly shows, I need to get that 1980s wallpaper out of my kitchen! The weather is tolerable today, but when you get the felting bug, it's hard to quit thinking about it.

Here is a mystery fleece that I raw felted last week. It's coarse and it is going to be a rug.  It's a beautiful color, I would call it mioget if the sheep was a Shetland. The gal who gave it me thought it was from a Jacob sheep, but I'm wondering if it was an Icelandic.
My youngest son, Matt, did a fabulous job on the Kanabec Art Association's 50th anniversary video.  As part of a grant project, I was privileged to interview 17 members of the association while Matt filmed.  We worked together with editing it all down to a 50 minute video, but Matt did all the technical stuff.  The video was a big hit at the retrospective art show on July 13 & 14.  He's put the finishing touches on it now by adding music supplied by my friend Denise and chapter links, etc.   I'm so proud of him, and glad to see that college tuition was actually a good investment!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Raw Felted Fleeces

River Oaks Mystery's lamb fleece is long and silky and VERY soft.  44" x 40"
The heat wave finally let up and I was able to get outside and do a raw felted fleece last night.  This fleece is from River Oaks Mystery, she's out of River Oaks Camille and Sommarang Hansel. I wasn't sure if she was Ag Gulmoget or not.  I sold her to an old friend last summer with the agreement that I would get her fleece. Well, here it is and she definitely wasn't Ag. I would love to have her back in my flock!

This is River Oaks Mia's lamb fleece felted into a lap blanket. It is very soft and shorter than Mystery's. 38" x 36"
Mia before shearing.  Next year COATS are a must!

My Shetland Mule wether Socks before shearing.
Socks' fleece felted into a couch throw. He's got a lot of fleece, this one measures 60" x 29"
 I know many people make these for use as rugs and they felt them down very hard so only a few locks remain. But I keep mine soft to be used as couch throws/lap blankets. I spend all year drooling over the beautiful fleeces in my flock and this way I can enjoy them in the house too.
I've got three more HUGE Border Leicester/Cormo cross fleeces to make into blankets and one coarser fleece to make into a rug. Now is the time to get them done. They are too messy to do indoors.