Monday, February 25, 2019

Knitting Circle Fiber Arts Show

Thanks to the organizers of the Knitting Circle Fiber Arts Show - had a wonderful day despite the crazy weather.  Enjoyed catching up with everyone and meeting new people.  I took the day off from work today so I will be unpacking the van and organizing my stuff - sheer bliss!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Breeding Groups - Rush

For our third of three breeding groups for 2019 lambing season we used OK Acres Rush - a black based spotted polled ram with a really great, soft and crimpy fleece.  Pretty much the full package for what we need.

Nice to have such a great ram to get an infusion of fresh genetics into the flock. 

The group - less one girl I can't remember who it was that was camera shy

OK Acres Rush

The ewes we bred to Rush starting top right:

Blue Sapphire
Mrs Patmore
Mrs Hughes (in the center)

Expect lambing to start mid April, very excited for lambing season!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Breeding Groups - Peter

We used a ram lamb for this breeding group, Whispering Pines Peter out of OK Acres Sarin and Whispering Pines Mr Darcy.  Solid black and just a terrific standout ram.  Hoping to get a good posse of black based ewes from this group, fingers crossed!  Ewes we put with Peter are all Whispering Pines ewes -> English Garden, Edith and Pearl.

Peter as a lamb in lower left with Sarin, English Garden, the group, Edith and Pearl.

To follow is one of my favorite videos of Sarin being a "Stroppy Mare" - v. unhappy with how close I was getting to her baby, now known as Peter after Peter Sagal - the 2018 lamb naming convention being NPR correspondents/celebrities.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Breeding Groups - Jon Snow

Long overdue post about our plans for lambing season 2019!  This year our focus is working more black based ewes into the flock.  Reason:  I never have any grey or black wool products left in my inventory as we get closer to shearing day.  Knitters and spinners seem to have a strong preference for the black/grey colors.  I'm not sure if its a trend or what, but we are responding to that demand by the breeding groups we assembled this year.

Start off with Jon Snow's group.  Jon is a grey katmoget, he has very nice staple length and of course extremely soft crimpy wool.

We rooed his lamb fleece last year and I spun it into lovely yarn.  Here are the photos from that process:

Jon is on the right, this was the day we rooed him, you can see the neck wool is shedding a little. 
Tormund is standing next to him, Eddard is lower right corner.

Another shot just before, you can see the wool dripping off his neck. 
This was early march last year.  Oberyn is on the left, enjoying a nice dinner for two...
This is a photo of the rooing process midstream. 
Would like some appreciation for how tricky it was to take this photo with my greasy wool hands.

Here he is fully rooed. 
Left the britch wool as it was still attached pretty well, the shearer took care of that portion later on in April.

Roo'd fleece before washing

His rooed fleece on the carding table.

Locks ready to spin

Singles being plyed

the lovely yarn from our Jon Snow

The hoof print he left on my face after he swiped me with his foot during the rooing process.

He has already begun to shed around the neck, I am so tempted to go out and roo him a little, but two things are preventing me from doing that - its too cold and he needs his wool to stay warm.  Also, once he is rooed he will become a punching bag in the ram pen because by changing his appearance the boys think its a new ram, it upsets the hierarchy and the stupid fighting begins.  There was a bit of a scuffle last year when we reintroduced him to the pen after rooing, but he was in a pen with ram lambs, so they didn't do too much damage to each other.  Now that he is in with the big boys its a different story.

Anywasy, back to breeding groups.  Here is the list of ewes we put with our Jon Snow starting with the pretty white ewe in the upper left corner and then going clockwise:

Elara - White solid
Yara - Fawn Katmoget
Treviso - Fawn Katmoget
Sarin - Black Solid
Sienna - Fawn Katmoget

Jon Snow is in the bottom left of the collage - so handsome!

Here he is with his little harem.  Those plastic calf huts make perfectly cozy shelters for a small cluster of sheep for the few weeks they need to be separated from the main flock.