Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Blossom and Bud

'feral' cherry
one of the last daffodils of the season
part of our home orchard
pieris in flower and new growth
this tree is always a highlight of the season

Eek, another week has zoomed by! Until today, it has been rather uneventful except for a miserable bout of vertigo(?) that kept me in bed and unproductive from nausea most of Sunday, and threatened again on Monday. That made me leery of trying to shear anyone because of all the movement that shearing on my short stand requires. So I've spent more time researching options (equipment vs. professionals) for next year than shearing this year's fleeces since my last post; c'est la vie.

Of course I've been keeping my eye on Boop and Broadway, above. Sure glad that I didn't separate my breeding groups any earlier as they were obviously bred in the very last days of 'togetherness.' This fall I plan to wait until mid-November to put my breeding group(s) together so that next spring I can go to our church's women's retreat; I'm tired of missing out and my ewes don't reliably cycle in October anyway. Bridget mystifies me. Even though she is clearly not pregnant, she has been acting late term – slow to leave the fold in the morning, the last one into the fold in the evening, and often staying off to herself in the pasture. This morning Boop was acting suspicious, and Bridget was staying close. My ewes often ask to go back into the fold by themselves when they are nearing delivery and Boop did that this morning; it was tricky letting her through the gate and not Bridget, who then proceeded to call for her.

Boop's coat was on the loose side after shearing, so it needed to come off. I gave her some time to settle, and then managed to catch her without much drama (she is my wildest sheep) and remove it. Then I left her to it for awhile, checking in discreetly from the upper window to keep disturbance to a minimum.

Oops; she spotted me!
When I saw a water bag, I settled in to wait and occasionally watch. In between peeks, this happened!

It didn't take long to see that another lamb was presenting, but Boop was too busy reacting to the first strange new creature lamb to  settle down and push. Eventually, I decided to intervene, finding only one front leg and a nose. I felt around for the other front leg, then managed to ease #2 out using just the one leg. Lamb #1 took advantage of Boop's interest in #2 to get its first meal:

So you might be thinking I buried the lead, but after checking for plumbing I named these two . . . Blossom and Bud. 😊

Both are strong and vigorous and have nursed multiple times. I divided the barn stall with the chain-link panels Rick refurbished for me, and moved Boop and her lambs in next to Blaise and Bitsy. Blossom (lamb #1, a ewe) looks black with HST spotting (HST stands for white on Head, Socks, and Tail), but will turn gray. Bud (lamb #2, a ram) is black with the gulmoget pattern. Because Sanson, their sire is a gray (Ag) gulmoget, all his lambs will be either gray or gulmoget.


Today I finished the second rug on the black warp. The first one will be short (I ran out of the darker pink); this one will make up for it by being extra-long. I did identify a couple threading errors which I'll fix before using the remainder as a dummy warp. My next warp will be a variegated cotton thread with a natural wool weft; I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out.
Rug #2 above the beam; reverse side of rug #1 winding on below
Rug #2 finished
My crafting room has gotten more cluttered because I'm putted bagged fleeces there as I shear them, but I am still focused on my One Big Thing of 2024. What I've already accomplished has made room for my drum carder; I'm much more likely to use it if it is easily accessible (it's currently closeted in a storage space off the crafting room). I have assorted old fleeces, mine and others, that I can then prep and spin, and already have spaces where I can crank out the yarn with my Louet or miniSpinner. Decluttering by tossing is much faster, but decluttering by utilizing is so much more satisfying!

That's it until the last lamb(s) drops at . . .


Leigh said...

"Decluttering by tossing is much faster, but decluttering by utilizing is so much more satisfying." I love that! And so true. Actually, there's nothing worse than tossing impulsively, only to have to buy it again!

Such sweet sheep photos. I'm glad lambing is going well!

Your rug is really attractive. Your selvedges are fantastic! It's neat seeing how you are exploring new patterns.

I love weaving with variegated warps. Always fascinating.

Michelle said...

Leigh, thanks so much for wading through such a long post and then leaving such an affirming comment!

A :-) said...

Oh YAY!!! More babies!! I'm so happy that they have arrived healthy and looking to be strong. Yay again!! Loving the rug - again, you clearly have a natural talent for weaving. I love it when a new fiber art arrives in one's path and it becomes a passion. And yes, your selvedges are exceptional :-)

Fat Dormouse said...

Sweet Spring lambs! A lovely rug / blanket...Do you sell them?

I'm sorry I haven't commented in so long.

Michelle said...

A, Boop hasn't settled in completely with being a mom, but her lambs seem to be doing well in spite of her nervousness and mixed signals. Thanks so much for the rug compliments; I really am enjoying weaving!

Alison, I haven't sold any rugs yet, but am thinking of displaying them for sale at our church's holiday art/craft sale next fall. On the other hand, I like them so much that I wouldn't mind keeping all but my first one!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Nice Blossom(s) and Bud :-D

Michelle said...

Thanks, Sara. 😊

Jeanne said...

That was quite the birthing! I'm happy that you were able to be there to help the second babe into the world. They are both as cute as can be!