Friday, September 23, 2016

Beautiful Creations

Here are some fo's made from yarn from the farm, made by a true appreciator of Whispering Pines Soft Shetland Wool:

I am just amazed by her skill and creativity.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Barn Hat Pattern

Was asked on numerous occasions for my barn hat pattern that I make with my homespun, so here it is:

Size 4 circular needle, mine is 16" from one tip to the other.  Cast on 90.
K1P1 for 5 inches if you want a brim, 2.5 inches if you want a skull cap.  I usually use two needles held together for the casting on so that the edge isn't really tight to the head.
Then place marker and switch to stockinette stitch for 4 inches.  Then begin the decreases, *Knit 3 knit 2   together* repeat between ** to end of row. Then knit 2 rows in stockinette.  Then *knit 2 knit 2 together* repeat between ** to end of row.  Then knit 2 more rows in stockinette.  At this point you may want to switch to double pointed needles size 4 still.  Then *knit 1 knit 2 together* repeat between ** to end of row, knit 2 rows stockinette.  Then knit 2 together all the way around, pick up the stitches with a sewing needle, draw it tight and knot it off.
I don't write patterns, so if I used the wrong symbols or something, I apologize.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fingerlakes Fiber Festival 2016

Great weekend at Fingerlakes Fiber Festival.  Weather held out for us, forecast for Sunday was thunderstorms all day, but we lucked out. 

I packed up the van on Friday and made the 90 minute drive to the fairgrounds to set up and enter our fleeces in the Fleece Show and Sale.

Here is the booth all ready to go:

Great to see my fiber friends and make a few new ones.  I always enjoy introducing people to our soft, bouncy Shetland wool.  One of my spinning/knitting customers brought in this lovely shawl she made from Frangelico, a fawn kat ewe:

So pretty and wonderfully crafted.

I'll be at WNY Fiberfest next Saturday if the weather is fine, its outdoors at Emery Park, really nice venue.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WSWF Fleece Competition

Very proud to have been awarded ribbons for our fleeces under judge Letty Klein.  I didn't get to see the judging as I was busy in the vendor stall, but Rich was there and was really happy with her response to our hard work to achieve fleeces with character (her words).  Would love to hear from anyone who took one of our fleeces home, I hope you like them!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Sales List

The following sheep will be offered for sale this year. We will email a pdf to any interested parties. It also pays to ask about sheep that you may be interested in, but aren't listed here. Some of those won't be for sale, but there isn't much difference in quality between those on the list and those that are. I can be persuaded sometimes.

What I will say is that these sales sheep will rank highly against any that you will find elsewhere, and in most cases, there are no meaningful flaws with them, but we have enough of their genetics to fulfill our long term goals. We are not in a position to keep everything that we like, or we likely wouldn't even have a sales list. All of these sheep have been in our breeding program, and still would be if that was an option.

It's important to me that new buyers do so knowing these are sheep that I would buy myself. More importantly, they are better than any we have ever purchased, and are the result of a long process of breeding to our goals. Our goal has been (and continues to be) breeding Shetlands that are equivalent to the best flocks in the UK. I think that is a worthy goal and one that we are excited to help new shepherds with. I only wish we could've started out with sheep of this quality. We made so many mistakes early on and feel fortunate to have learned and somehow made it to this point in our breeding program.

ADULT EWES (One year or older)

Whispering Pines Catherine

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Sheltering Pines Constantinople
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 23.6/SD: 4.5/CV:19.2/CEM: 8.2/SF: 22.6
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

This ewe has everything I am looking for in our breeding program except extreme fineness. Her genetic potential is huge in terms of what she can bring to a fine fleece breeding program! Exceptional bloodline! Arguably, the best conformation of all the yearlings!

Whispering Pines Charlotte

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Vittoria
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 22.9/SD: 4.3/CV:19.0/CEM: 7.7/SF: 21.9
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium
Another outstanding yearling ewe!

Whispering Pines Emma

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Cordovan
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 24.4/SD: 4.5/CV:18.3/CEM: 8.2/SF: 23.3
Color/Pattern: Yuglet Fawn
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium
Great bloodlines here as well. Her grandfather was Khan and her grandmother Siena. Has fantastic potential in a spotted Shetland breeding program (which isn’t something we specialize in). Fantastic density.

Whispering Pines Lydia

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Kahlua
Age: 1
Micron: AFD: 25.0/SD: 4.3/CV:17.3/CEM: 6.7/SF: 23.7
Color/Pattern: Yuglet Sokket Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

Probably one of the best spotted Shetland ewes we have seen. A Striking yearling ewe with excellent genetics. Could be finer compared to other ewes in our flock, but that is all relative. Our bar is set really high in that regard. Her fleece is excellent, however, in all ways. I would really like to know what these spotted Canterbury ewes can produce in a good spotted program, but sadly, it's not going to be here.

Whispering Pines Mustang Sally

Sire/Dam: Winter Sky Khan/Whispering Pines Siena
Age: 2
Micron: AFD: 25/SD: 4.3/CV:17.4/CEM: 7.6/SF: 23.6
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

One of our last two moorit Khan daughters. This one is finer than Caramel Mocha, but both have outstanding fleeces.

Whispering Pines 99

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Egyptian Autumn/Whispering Pines Irish Rose
Age: 2
Micron: AFD: 27/SD: 5.1/CV:18.9/CEM: 9.1/SF: 25.8
Color/Pattern: Smirslet Fawn Sokket Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium
An excellent spotted ewe that goes back to Wintertime Bond. There aren’t many spotted ewes in that bloodline. See our ewe a day posts from the fall for a full description.
Whispering Pines Sarah (AKA, Picasso Face)

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Stonehenge/Whispering Pines Kiyah
Age: 2
Micron: AFD: 23.8/SD: 4.2/CV:17.8/CEM: 7.2/SF: 22.6
Color/Pattern: Smirslet Fawn Sokket Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

This spotted ewe goes back to Bond and Khan both. Both parents were Superfine, which I believe is very important in a fine fleece Shetland breeding program, and certainly something I look for. Rare numbers for a two year old spotted Shetland!

Winter Sky Vogue

Sire/Dam: Winter Sky Tennyson/Winter Sky Foxtrot
Age: 6
Micron: AFD: 27.6/SD: 5/CV:18.2/CEM: 8.7/SF: 26.3
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium


F3 Orion. Nice crimp. Not quite Superfine, but close. One of very few Tennyson daughters. Big time producer of top notch lambs!

Whispering Pines Kahlua

Sire/Dam: Wintertime Grasshopper/Winter Sky Vogue
Age: 4
Micron: AFD: 24.0/SD: 3.9/CV:16.4/CEM: 6.8 /SF: 22.5
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

Probably the nicest handling moorit fleece I have seen and touched. She has always thrown Superfine lambs! Very similar to her mother in overall build and type. Shorter fleece type, which pairs exceptionally well with rams with 3”-5” fleeces. She may be sold, but it pays to ask.

Whispering Pines Florence

Sire/Dam: Sheltering Pines Pompey Magnus/Whispering Pines Blue Sapphire
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 24.8/SD: 4.4/CV:17.8/CEM: 7.7/SF: 23.5
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

Fantastic fawn katmoget with excellent Superfine genetics. Is a top producer of Superfine lambs! I hate to part with ewes that produce rare lambs like she does so consistently. Flo is the one on the left next to her daughter from last year, who has the finest Shetland fleece we've seen. The genetics are there.

Whispering Pines Venice

Sire/Dam: Sheltering Pines Pompey Magnus/Sommarang Isla
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 25.8/SD: 4.5/CV:17.4/CEM: 7.8/SF: 24.4
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium

Her fleece falls just short of the FFSSA Superfine grade, but I have her fleece graded as Superfine in our farm grading system. Her fleece is indistinguishable from the other Superfine fawn katmoget ewes on this list. Another top producer. The friendliest ewe on the list this year. Was a bottle lamb. Another fantastic lamb producer.

Whispering Pines Turin

Sire/Dam: Sheltering Pines Pompey Magnus/Winter Sky Vogue
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 24.9/SD: 4.9/CV:19.5/CEM: 8.4/SF: 24.0
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmoget
Fleece Grade: Superfine Premium

An excellent Vogue daughter out of Superfine ram Pompey Magnus. Produces exceptional lambs!

Whispering Pines Caramel Mocha

Sire/Dam: Winter Sky Khan/Whispering Pines Genoa
Age: 3
Micron: AFD: 26.8/SD: 5.0/CV:18.8/CEM: 8.1/SF: 25.7
Color/Pattern: Moorit
Fleece Grade: Fine Premium

Excellent moorit ewe and a Khan daughter to boot! In fact, she is one of two that we still have left in our flock. Her fleece is excellent, but not quite Superfine. Nice density and crimp.

EWE LAMBS (born in 2016)

Blue Sapphire’s fawn katmoget lambs

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Rosewood/Whispering Pines Blue Sapphire
Age: Lambs
Micron: NA
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmogets


These two lambs are out of Rosewood and carry wild spotting. I like them as well as most of the lambs from this year, but they don’t satisfy any particular need that we have in terms of color. These are certainly lambs we would’ve kept last year and are only for sale because of the large number of ewe lambs that we had this year. Readers of this blog know that there are two types of sheep that I hate selling: producers and promising lambs. I will offer special pricing if they can go together.

Sherrie’s Ewe Lambs

Sire/Dam: Whispering Pines Canterbury/Whispering Pines Sherrie
Age: Lambs
Micron: NA
Color/Pattern: Fawn Katmogets

Two excellent ewe lambs out of Canterbury. Sherrie’s mother is Blue Sapphire. Excellent genetics here. As always, I will price them better if they go together. That always makes me feel good, and you can't put a price on that.
That is probably it for the ewes. Jen and I are still arguing debating discussing pricing, but that will be finalized this week. As always, the more you buy, the better the deals.

I will do a separate ram post. I have three or four young adults that I will be selling and possibly a lamb or two. All of them would be in the upper 1% of fine fleece Shetland rams you will come across. As I said, back in the day, you would never find rams of this quality, and they are without a doubt the best that we have offered. The bottom line is that we can't use all of them, so I would like to see them put to good use.


Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Lambs - Final Installment

Last Sunday, White Pine Reawick had this really nice grey katmoget ram out of Mr. Darcy. I don’t know that this helps us much, but when things settle down, I’ll take a closer look at the genetics and come to some sort of decision. We obviously were looking for white, but we only have two grey katmoget rams, so we’ll need to think about what this one brings to the table from a genetic standpoint. Reawick’s two year old SF is 23.4 microns, which is quite good. I also like that she is an F3 Jericho.

This is going to be a tough year trying to sort out all of this. We have more top quality sheep than we have space to house them, and the heavy ewe year that we are having is going to force some really hard decisions.

Mustang Sally was the last ewe to lamb this year. She is one of those two year old ewes I keep running on about. I don't have my cheat sheet in front of me, but I believe she is out of Khan and Pearl. These lambs are out of Mr. Darcy.

The moorit is a ewe, and the katmoget is a ram. I like both of them pretty equally, but the ram is in the top three this year in terms of overall quality. He is probably second behind Venice's and very close to Rosanna's. All three are fawn katmoget's though, so we'll have to keep an eye on their development. I said I would not keep anymore fawn kats, but now I am strenuously objecting, so I will have to reconsider. It's funny how quickly you forget how good last year's lamb crop was because it was so yesterday.

Biggify the bottom picture of the ram if you want to see what a Shetland lamb fleece can look like.