Thursday, October 30, 2008

S'more Sparkles - Rich

Sire: UnderTheSon Torvus
Dam: Smore Petal
3/30/08 Grey Yuglet/Flecket Twin Ewe

I love this ewe, what else can I say? You talk about that “just look at me” presence. Sparkles is out of Tori Gygi’s breeding program. Tori is a smart girl with a nice eye for shetlands and Sparkles is a great example of it. Sparkles will have an intermediate fleece that is soft and crimpy. She also has just a beautiful face! She is a good example of what I mean when I say that you can have a nice intermediate fleece with nice crimp and softness.
She’s also a nice cornerstone ewe for us! I have no idea whether I’ll use her or not this fall. She’s like that new car that you never want to take out of the garage unless it’s sunny and off peak traffic. She also has a fabulous conformation. Again, her flaws are so small they’re not worth mentioning. If this ewe ever leaves our farm, it’s because the rest of our ewes are perfect or we’re not breeding shetlands anymore! She’s that nice! Sparkles also has nice UK content. She’s an F2 Orion and F3 Skeld.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Windswept Gold - Rich

Sire: Red Ram Billy Joel
Dam: Windswept Kara Nurice
Twin Mioget Yuglet Socket Ewe
Micron: 27.1 @ 7 months
SD: 9.2 micron
CV: 33.8
We love this little ewe. She shares many of the same traits as Primrose, but adds a nice light mioget color and a longer staple length. I think she’ll be more primitive than intermediate, but her fleece has a really soft feel to it. She was just too nice to pass up. When we come across excellent conformations, markings, and colors, it’s hard to pass up. It’s hard to say at this point whether she’ll have the same level top line that many of our sheep have, but she’s really nice! I doubt we will use her this fall, however. She’s just a beautiful, striking ewe lamb!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Whispering Pines Snapdragon - Rich

Twin Ewe S27368 4/13/08
Sire: Windswept White Pine
Dam: Bluff Country Zabrina
Fawn Katmoget Smirslet Sokket Ewe

This fawn smirslet sokket katmoget ewe lamb is something else! She is out of Bluff Country Zabrina and Windswept White Pine, and somehow, ended up better than both! That’s how I feel right now anyway. Her fleece has nice density, crimp, and handle. It’s one of those fleeces that you just want to put your hands on! This ewe also has an excellent conformation and tail to boot! She’s probably the best all around ewe lamb that we’ve had born on the farm. She’ll have an intermediate fleece as well. You never really know how a lamb will mature, but I like what I see so far. She’s certainly one of our best lambs this year!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How long does it take to make that? - Jen

I get the question all the time, how long does it take to make that? My answer? I have no clue. Depends on how far back you go I guess. How do you express that the point isn't racing to a finish line with a timer? I sort of meander around aimlessly with my fiber hobby. I make decisions as I go along, with no final objective in mind most of the time. Every step of the process (except for shearing) is executed with the sole objective of enjoying what I am doing at the moment. I don't look at the lamb and see a sweater. I enjoy the lamb. I mess around with dyes. I feel like sitting at the wheel and grab some fiber. Once in a while I want to make something and I dig around to see what I have in my stash at any point in the process (wool, roving, yarn) that's closest to the final point.

For example:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whispering Pines Primrose - Rich

Whispering Pines Primrose - S27356
Twin Yuglet Sokket Ewe 4/24/08
Sire: Windswept White Pine
Dam: Sheltering Pines Kiraz

Primrose is a very nice ewe lamb. She has an excellent conformation and yuglet HST markings, and a nice tail. She is a dainty ewe, and I’m not planning on using her this fall. She will have an intermediate fleece, I believe, and it is quite soft to the hand. This lamb also inherited some of the strengths of each parent. She’s also one of our friendlier lambs and gets quite temperamental when she doesn’t receive enough attention. She is impossible to photograph - she is so friendly you practically have to push her away in order to get a picture.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Whispering Pines Morning Glory - Rich

Sire: Sheltering Pines Cihat S17465
Dam: Under the Son Betulina S24627
Single Moorit Gulmoget

No discussion of our nicest lambs can take place without including Morning Glory. She is out of Betulina and Cihat and inherited some of the strengths from each. She is our largest lamb right now, although she wasn’t at birth. She has grown nicely. Although, I don’t make final breeding decisions on our lambs until late October, it’s clear that she will be big enough to breed this year, so we’ll probably use her. We have our strongest ewe roster to date, so there’s no need to breed lambs that have marginal size. We love this lamb!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Whispering Pines Bluebell - Rich

Whispering Pines Bluebell S27359 Single Ewe
Sire: Under The Son Clover
Dam: Under the Son Tiara
This mioget ewe will have an intermediate fleece with a nice handle. I like the intermediate fleeces because they are a little longer than the single coated types and they often have nice crimp as well. I think our flock will be primarily intermediate for the next few years and I think this ewe will be one of the cornerstones. It’s not that we don’t have any single coated sheep in our flock, we do. I just prefer a little longer staple length than many of the single coated sheep provide.

Once I start coming across some nice single coated fleeces on sheep that are structurally sound, I would be interested in that. But I’m not going to give up conformation just so I can have a bunch of single coated fleeces. That doesn’t make any sense to me. The intermediates can be so lovely on the right animal. And they spin up so nicely as well. I won’t dispute that the single coated sheep might be finer on average than the intermediate or primitives, because I really don’t know. I’ve heard that, and I can’t dispute it. I think most people would agree, however, that you can have staple lengths that are too short, and I don’t care for that.

Fantasia, for example, has a nice fine single coated fleece. It’s a beautiful fleece and I want more sheep like that, but it is a touch on the short side. Again, I wouldn’t want all of my ewes to have that style fleece, but it is very nice! I hope to some day find the magical balance between fineness and length. I need to enjoy the journey, however, and I really like this ewe!

I’m also curious if she carries spots. That’ll take some time to find out. Her mother was a krunet, but I have yet to prove that she is truly spotted, because I haven’t bred for that. It doesn’t really matter, because both mother and daughter are outstanding ewes! If I cut our flock back to five or six ewes, they’d probably make the cut (on my scoring system). Again, she is set up extremely well, and I think we can get some gorgeous, improved fleeces out of these ewes with the right ram. It’s fun to experiment with different genetics!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Whispering Pines Lavender - Rich

Whispering Pines Lavender S27357
DOB 4/25/08
Sire: Sheltering Pines Cihat
Dam: Windswept Peony
This little princess is a bit of an enigma. She shares the outstanding conformation of both her mother and father, but has less spotting than either of them. I love her markings, don’t get me wrong, but I was surprised she doesn’t have more white. What she does have was something that I felt we couldn’t do without, a fabulous “look at me” conformation. I will confess, she doesn’t stand out in the pasture. She is blacker than black. She’s a true black, not shetland black! We’ve never had a true black before.
She has very little sun bleaching and she is so black, you can’t even see her eyes much of the time! I truly believe she’ll always throw lambs with more spotting than she has. I’m excited to find out! We’ll have to wait and see what type of fleece she’ll have, but I think it will be an intermediate type with a gentle, wavy crimp. Regardless, she was too nice to let go this year. She brings too much to the table in terms of spots and conformation!