Friday, March 30, 2012


Who needs April showers?

Oh, SO soggy! I called my neighbor this morning, because he keeps a daily journal (has for years) documenting weather and other things, and he said we'd gotten 1.26" of rain in the last 23 hours, with wind gusts up to 71 mph on Wednesday night and up to 63 mph yesterday morning. That's "heavy" weather for the Willamette Valley! We're still on track for the wettest March ever, which means exceeding a 1957 record of 7.52".

So other than slopping down to the barn and back twice a day for chores, I'm mostly focused on indoor pursuits. Homeschooling, of course (no, we don't really observe Spring Break, and our co-op's spring term started this week), violin practice (after months of prompting by his teacher, we finally invested in an instrument upgrade for Brian, and the house has been full of voluntary music this week!), etc.

When I have free moments, I spindle.
Still working on the Romney, but I also spun up the leftover blue/green from Textiles class and whipped up a couple of potholders as gifts for class helpers. Here they are, one fulled and one waiting to be fulled:

That's it for today from . . .

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Something for everyone

Sheep and spinning, food and flowers, served with a sprinkling of silliness and liquid sunshine. Everything but horses, but I have another blog for that subject. :-)

Browning and his hay hat.

Jenkins Aegean in Holly with burgundy Romney leftover from my Textiles class. Switched tools when I switched colors purely for aesthetics’ sake!

Laura stopped by for a short visit yesterday, and we made flan for lunch. Yum!

First decent photo I've gotten of a daffodil this year!

Oops, I just realized this post is missing LAMBS. How could I? What is WRONG with me?!? So I give you two little cuties:
No, they are not mine, but were sired by Boulderneigh Blackberry. Look at all that flashy chrome!!! Their mama is black with a barely visible blaze; Blackberry was born with a good-sized krunet that faded. Guess if I really wanted spots, I should have kept him! (Too late now; he was wethered for being too hard on the furniture.) That's him below in the background.
The sheep in front of him is little Birdie, Bart's twin out of Annabelle last year. What an irresistable face!

Bronwen moved with Birdie and Blackberry last year, and is now expecting her second lamb(s) (daughter Bonny is still here):
I don't know if Bronwen recognized me, but she was as friendly as could be when I visited them at their new home week before last. It's always reassuring to see sheep you have raised loved and well cared for in someone else's flock.

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harvesting by hand

Today was the day I was determined to roo Blake. As easy as it was to pull off his mid-side sample for micron testing, I was surprised by how much work it was to harvest his fleece. I learned quickly to pull on small sections, and not too close to the skin - his new growth is surprisingly long already!

Interesting how he is chocolate brown at the withers under that oatmeal-colored fleece.

My rooed - not to be confused with rude - ram, who certainly thought I was being rude when I rooed him! He made it clear that having his fleece pulled was NOT comfortable, but he did appreciate the rub-down I gave him at the end, wagging his tail in appreciation. I like this boy. I like this boy a lot.

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, March 23, 2012

On the fourth day of Spri - ing...

...the weather gave to us

thick fog, then some sun; glorious!

(Although Bramble still found some snow to eat.)

Apparently, it IS Spring again!


In fiber-related news, I finally finished up my students' weaving projects, except for fulling the top six (the owners of the bottom four want them left as is).

I also finished spinning up the orange Romney locks left over from class. Now to ply them, and start on the burgundy Romney. With the Textiles 101 stuff about done, maybe I'll have time to knit again!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On the third day of Spri - ing...

...the weather took from me

half of a favorite tree. :-(

That's right, this morning we awoke to even more snow, and while not a huge amount, there was enough enough weight (plus buds to hold it) to do some damage. I had an appointment this morning that would have been difficult to reschedule, so I said some fervent prayers and crept down the hill in my front-wheel drive car (no studs or chains). Hey, I've lived in the Midwest; I can handle it!
It's the other people that worry me. Now the snow is mostly melted, and starting tomorrow we are supposed to be back to normal temperatures for this time of year - upper 50s. It's been awhile since we've experienced "normal"!

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On the second day of Spri - ing...

...the weather gave to me

a decorative coat of snow on the trees!

And on the bird netting over the strawberries,

And on the spring flowers, poor things. :-/

Dazed and confused by the weather at . . .

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fleece samples

Fleece samples are not yet in the mail to Texas A&M, but I did manage to snap photos of all ten to show you. There isn't a single one I wouldn't be delighted to keep and spin myself, but it is equally satisfying to sell them to others to enjoy. All have been coated except Bart. Below each photo is the call name of the sheep hot-linked to its NASSA pedigree, and the fleece's availability. (All photos will biggify if you click on them.)

Annabelle; sold.

Bart (wether - twin sister's pedigree linked); sold.

Blake; sold.

Bonny; sold.

Bramble; sold.

Browning (wether - twin sister's pedigree linked); available.

Bunker, sold.

Cadbury; sold.

Marta; sold.

Sarai; sold.

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pooped but pleased

I managed to snip fleece samples and get hooves trimmed on all ten adult sheep today, all by myself, thankyouverymuch. Of course, my right arm is practically useless now that my tennis elbow is all flared up, but at least those jobs are done.

I'm really pleased with how all the fleeces look! Tomorrow I plan to photograph all the samples before mailing them off to be micron tested at Texas A&M. Shearing is two weeks from tomorrow, but Blake is ready to roo now - I pulled his sample from midside! His fleece is reserved by the person who bought his hoggett fleece, so I need to make sure she doesn't mind having it rooed instead of sheared, although I can't imagine why she would. No blunt cut ends, no second cuts, perfectly skirted - what's not to like?

Blake's roo-ability, on top of his soft, crimpy fleece, smooth-polled noggin, and mellow personality pretty much cement his place in my flock for now. Which means this fellow
needs to find a new home before fall, even though his fleece is even more impressive than Blake's. That's Whistlestop Bunker, proven by son Bing to be Awt/Aa. Let me know if you're interested!

Even though the day began with some snow flurries, it ended up being mostly sunny and beautiful. I'll leave you with some shots of lambs enjoying the sunshine.

One last thing. The box you can check to have follow-up comments emailed to you seems to have disappeared from almost all the blogs I follow. I really miss reading follow-up comments, and going back to repeatedly check all the blogs I comment on is just not possible. So I did some research and learned that if comments are "embedded," the box for follow-up comments should show up again. I changed my comment setting; me know if you can subscribe now!

If you want to do this in your own blog, it's in:
Settings -> Posts and comments -> Comment location

There, you can choose between: "Embedded", "Full Page", "Popup window" and "Hide".

Only the Embedded option allows readers to subscribe to the comments. I would love to be able to subscribe on your blog.

That's it for now from . . .