In a week or two, the barn will be red again. The interior is getting two guest rooms, a studio area and a workshop area for classes. We need it to stop raining!
Lambing and kidding season are almost over. Two sheep left to deliver and they are due any time. Almost all of the animals are out on pasture. If it were nicer outside, I would be sitting around spending all my time watching their antics. Last night I saw a kid buck drinking off a sheep and the ewe did not seem to mind. This kid is definitely confused!
It is supposed to be spring, but you could have fooled us. I have loads of gorgeous winter photos. This was from the last snowstorm that had some accumulation. I am not taking any more till the end of this year!
This was the largest Shetland Merino X born this year. He was less than an hour old in this photo. I had to help her deliver the lamd. his head was huge. I am not going to cross breed any more since a lot of the babies are too large. The fleeces are stupendous and have given me a different type of fiber to play with. I have enough of them now, that I am ending that experiment.
I have been busy spinning all sorts of textured yarns. This is one of my freeform yarns. As I have been spinning, I have been posting them on my etsy shop: http://www.uniquedesignsbykathy.etsy.com. There is a wide assortment of yarns, rovings, some mohair locks and a few finished goods. Most of my patterns may also be found there.
I have lots of shows scheduled. Look for me at one of them.
I am off to Cummington, MA, for their sheep and wool festival. Forecast calls for rain, but I have an indoor booth, so not as worried as I could be, if I were outside. I am going to get to visit with one of my sisters and my brother, so it should be a fun weekend. I spun up a few new freeform yarns and finished a new shawl.
Two Merino lambs were born this morning. Despite the 49 degrees in the barn, they were both chilled. Blow dryer came out, got onsies on them and they are now drinking. In keeping with my weather theme, they are named Cloudy and Showers. Both are black and are really called natural colored sheep. True Merinos are white. When the percentage of Merino is high enough to have the soft crimp of a Merino, we call them Merinos, although technically, they are not.
A moorit ram bred all of the ewes this year, so I expect mostly colored lambs. I am not sure what my white ones will produce.
I will be heading to Ocean City, Maryland, for their fiber fest this weekend. I am focusing on spinning right now and on brighter colors. Spring will arrive eventually!
Stormy and Windy born on January 21, 2014 are both Merino ewes. Keepers for sure. Love the colors. Very placid lambs right now.
The heater in the barn could not keep up. This was the morning after the lambs were born. Lambs were under a heat lamp, and with the onsies on, seemed fine.
No animals are on pasture now. Hay is disappearing from the loft alarmingly fast.
I have been accepted into the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Mark your calendars for the first weekend in May! I will be located in the sheepdog area on the northwest side of the fairgrounds. I am excited! Will keep you posted.
I removed the Merino ram a month ago, since any ewe with him has either gotten pregnant or will not. This moorit ewe, is definitely pregnant and could be carrying twins. My version of a pregnancy test is to catch the ewes while they are eating grain and reaching under them to feel the size of their udders. She has udders beginning, so she is probably a month out.
My test is not very scientific. It is based on my experience raising the sheep for a few years. The larger the udders, the more likely they are to have twins. She has given me twins before and she is moving way too agile to be due soon.
I have two white Merinos ewes that are definitely pregnant and due within the next month. With their heavy fleeces, it is hard to tell how far along they are. One of them is beginning to nest - staying a little away from the rest of the herd and coming for grain as soon as she sees the bucket.
We are now on lamb watch.
Dreary days are sending me to my carder for color. The batts at the left were created this week and I have photographed and posted a few on my etsy: www.uniquedesignsbykathy.etsy.com
The colors are all over the color spectrum, since I am trying to clean up my studio. I always try at the end of the year. Rarely do I succeed!
This is the red batt that is in the middle of the batch above. It weighs 1.8 ounces. Find it in my etsy shop.
This is the last large felted bowl that I have in stock. It is reversible and has a red side. I started selling them as art bowls and now people are looking at them as cat bowls.
I kept a turquoise one for myself and use it as a knitting bowl. Because it is fabric, I can store all of my safety pins and sewing needles on the outside so I can find them.