Friday, March 30, 2012

Lamb Bowl

You've been asking for lamb pictures and I've been trying to get them, but honestly these lambs are still in high overdrive mode and most of my photos end up being blurrrrrrrs as they race from place to place.  I just happened to get this shot of one of Carley's boys sleeping soundly in a feed pan.  He did this for several days!  He's just a day or so old here - you can see he still had his tail at that point.

We've got lots of beautiful, wildly colored lambs this year with a good balance of ewes and rams.  Twenty-five on the ground right now, waiting for two more ewes to lamb and then we're done for the season.  I'll surely get some more pictures soon...and try to get more fleeces skirted and ready to ship out, too!

Anyone else have a lambing update?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yes, a hat ;)

Thanks everyone, for the get well wishes!  That cheered me up and I hope I'm on the uphill side of it and will continue to mend.  You guys are the best!

Several of our clever readers correctly guessed that the strange item in my last post was a hat...Very good!!!  Remember back in February I mentioned that I was going to try to knit 12 Hats in 2012?  Well, even though I haven't been good about keeping them posted I have been good about getting them knitted.  Those previous photos were of the inside and outside of my version of the Elizabeth's Cap from the Winter 2011 issue of Spin Off magazine.  (NOTE, all of the links to patterns I'm sharing here are at Ravelry).  I liked the idea of it because you spin some singles yarn of various colors and then carry the singles together to make the cap.  I'm always sampling handfuls of fleece from our sheep, washing and combing it and then spinning it up so this was a perfect project.  I leave the singles right on the bobbin and knit from there, does anyone else do that?  Anyway, here is another picture of the cap:

That's dark grey; medium grey; silver and ivory Corriedale fleece from our flock in the hat.  And guess what?  It actually fits me and it doesn't look to bad!  I would definately recommend this hat, especially to hand spinners.

Another hat I did in February is the East Falls Hat from Knitscene Spring 2012.  I did some "stash-busting" for this one and used millspun alpaca/merino from my friend Maple at North Star Alpacas (the moorit color) along with Corriedale (the ivory color) .  Again, a cute design with a nice fit and interesting construction.  It used a different method of making "jogless stripes" that I quite liked.

A few more artsy shots of the hat ~

In progress

Topside, blocking

I think I've got enough of the yarn left to whip up a pair of matching mittens.  The hat pattern calls for a couple of decorative buttons on the side of the band and I have something in mind if I can find them.  Otherwise I'll leave it as is.

My first hat in March was a pattern I'd planned to make since I saw it in the Interweave Knits Winter 2010 Weekend Special Edition.  It's called the Bryony Cap and it's one of those chunky,  cable-y, fluffy hats that shout warmth and winter!  I also knew I wanted to make it with a wool-angora bunny blend, using - what else? - Serenity Farms Corriedale along with some silvery grey English Angora yarn I'd spun a while ago.  I LOVE this hat!!!  It was a fast knit, its warm and big but not sloppy and if it wasn't for the fact that it has been close to 90 degrees these past few March days, I don't think I would ever take it off! 

This isn't the best picture for showing details.  It actually has a long ribbed brim that you roll up for double thickness over the ears and then nice, big undulating cables.  I can't wait to show it to my friend Renee this weekend (she raises Angora bunnies, so I know she'll appreciate it!)  By the way, the rooster isn't really so tiny - LOL - he's just down below me in the yard quite a ways.

So now you know more than you probably care to about my growing collection of hats and hat patterns.  I have a second hat for March on the needles, called the Shamrock Tam that I started on St. Patricks Day but I'm using navy blue yarn and it doesn't really show up in pictures very well.  I'll share that one when its done.  Then I think I'll do another crochet hat.  My friend Kathy recommended one that looks like fun.

How about you?  Are you knitting in this weird hot weather?

P.S.  A set of triplets born, two boys and a girl, all natural colored.  Five more ewes to go, if I'm counting right.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lambing, Shearing, Skirting, Knitting, Sleeping

Well, friends and readers, where have I been and what have I been doing?  The title of this blog post should give you a clue and the thing I have been doing the most is sleeping.  Sleeping because I've been sick.  Sick for over two weeks now.  The worst of the strep throat is behind me, but it was followed closely by either bronchitis or just a cold that settled in my lungs.  I don't know for sure, but I do know that I couldn't take a deep breath and I swear there was an elephant sitting on my chest ;(  Wasn't I sick at this same time last year?!?  Now I just have no strength and the lingering cough.  Its 75 degrees outside, lambs are popping out left and right (seventeen so far, or is it nineteen?) and I have twenty-some fleeces to skirt and a house that needs some serious catch up cleaning.  And I can't seem to stay alert and awake for more than an hour at a time.


Dear Lord, I'm thankful for an easy lambing seasons - the ewes have all done great.  And most of all I'm thankful for a wonderful daughter and son-in-law because honestly, the sheep might not have gotten cared for and we might not have eaten if Mark and Nakia wouldn't have been there for me like they always are.  Whether it was doctoring sheep, moving hay, bringing food or Mark taking Bill to appointments - they keep us going, bless them!  This truly is why farm families live close together ;)  Thanks, Kids!

I'll try to get some cute lamb pictures over the next few days, but in the meantime I'll leave you with a "what is it" picture ~

Any ideas?  How about from this angle?

LOL, I'll tell you what it is in my next post ;)

You know how when you're sick with a cold, nothing really tastes good?  I did manage to make a wonderful homemade chicken noodle soup during the worst of this that helped nourish us, but I could only do that because the last time we roasted one of our farm raised chickens I roasted two and spent some time picking apart the meat and putting some good portions in the freezer, ready to made into a meal.  Anyway, throughout this all I have been craving my Mom's pickled beets and sweet and sour cabbage.  The store bought won't work because they're to syrupy sweet.   Its one of the first things I'm going to make when I feel up to it.

What's everyone else been doing while I've been missing?

Saturday, March 03, 2012

If You Are A Duck

....then you love the rainy downpours of the past few days and nights.  If you are a duck or if you are a farmer.  Particularly a grass farmer, I think, knowing how vital this late winter/early spring moisture is.  I was getting dressed to go out for chores last night when I saw "Dora", our Indian Runner duck enjoying the puddles in the driveway.  Can you see the raindrops splashing around her?  If you are a duck, or a farmer or a small boy with tall rubber boots, then you love this rain.

If you're a sheep or the thin-skinned, sort of pampered riding horse you don't love the rain quite so much.  We're using a lot of straw in the barn right now ((grin))  This is the kind of weather when you realize that you can no longer ignore the small leak you've had in your chore boots all winter when you come in with soggy wool socks.

Dora does not have any of these concerns.  She's a pretty happy duck!