Friday, December 31, 2010

Scarf

This scarf was a Christmas gift that my son wanted to give to a girl - friend.
Of course he asked me two weeks before Christmas if I could make it.
I finished it Christmas Eve.
50 /50 blend of Black Shetland Wool & Grey Alpaca Fiber

Fingerless Gloves / Mitts Pattern

Size US 5 Straight Needles
2 ply yarn

Cast on 36 stitches (leaving about a 10 inch tail for whip stitching)
Place a marker on right side.  (right side will be the knit side)

Knit 2, Purl 2 for 18 rows to make ribbing.(or desired length)

Begin to knit across on right side
Purl on wrong side.

Repeat this for 28 rows or desired length of fingers (count stitches on right side)


I did not find the need to increase (for finger spread)  using this pattern.

Bind off on the purl row to make a nice flat end.

Whip stitch the edges together leaving a space for your thumbs.

Good Luck!

Fingerless Gloves / Mitts

Happy New Year to everyone!
The last few months have been very busy, I wanted to share with you what I have been working on.
......fingerless gloves or mitts, you might call them.
I am a member of  "The Algonquin Spinning and Weaving Guild" located in Carrollton, Ohio.  Through the Guild we participate in area events / festivals, one of those being "Yankee Peddler Festival" located in Canal Fulton, Ohio in September.  We demo various crafts from spinning to weaving and hand work, crochet, knitting, beading, tatting, just about anything you can think of, all while dressed in time-period clothing and using time period tools.  The time period we demo is 1776 - 1825

While working a weekend at the festival this fall I had finished a scarf the first day and wanted something quick to work on during the second day.  I came up with a pattern to make fingerless mitts on straight needles, since working in the "time period" I need to use wooden needles and I didn't have double pointed needles, only straight needles.

I originally made these using a 3ply yarn, which made the mitts kind of chunky, but I was working with size 10 needles.
I have refined the pattern and will share with all of you!
I have been making these like crazy, I've sold eleven pairs of them this fall and they are quick to make.

Above mitts are a 50/50 blend of Grey Shetland Wool and Grey Alpaca Fiber
Shown with my hand in them, just so you can get the idea.


Another pair to show.  I think these are pretty neat and functional, they don't take alot of yarn and you can make them pretty quick.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It is girl time now......

After getting all the girls back in one group they had to reaquaint themselves with some pushing and shoving  and head butting.  This will make feeding them much easier too.  We had four breeding groups so four water buckets, four feed troughs and four hay feeders.

A little grain always brings everybody together:)

Shields for two of the boys

I knew that when I put these guys back together that I would be trying a shield on the grey horned ram, Rambo.   After putting them all together, it worked so well on him that the moorit ram, Clyde had to have one too.  Cause he was getting pretty cocky with Rambo.  The light grey scurred / polled ram
is Mercury, he is a sweety.  The personality difference is amazing between him and the horned guys.  Their must be  a connection between horns vs. no horns and temperment.


As you can see they look pretty silly, but it works great.  I took a couple of my husbands old hats that he didn't wear anymore and cut them to wrap around the horns.  I duct taped the entire hat to make them more durable.  Then I also duct taped them around the horns.  They can see downward and to the sides.  When they did try to ram each other they look very clumsy, either missing each other completely or just side swiping each other.
As you can see I needed to try something to calm them a little from beating on my gates.  This poor gate has barely survived.  I have the panel portion tied with twine all the way around to the frame of the gate, they've bent the frame and broke the welds on the wire panel, separating it.  I am literally put together with twine.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

....slow computer:(

I am unable to load pictures at this time, due to my computer.  Apparently I've used up my bandwith usage for the month.  When this happens they intentionally slow your computer down.  Which makes it impossible to load pics. and even get connected during the day.
so bummer for me :(   I will keep trying to get some pics. on here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Breeding Groups

We have set up four breeding groups this year.  This is our Moorit ram, Clyde S31453
We have paired him up with Sparkle (moorit), an English Leister and Constance (mioget).
I'm happy with his horns, they are wide and clearing his head.  He has a really good temperment too.



Mercury W00735 on the left, is owned by Dave Lewis of Wee Middlebranch Farm.  We are sharing our rams with both of our flocks.  This works out well as Dave is lamb sitting my little girls for the next 35 days at his place, while I have all the adults over to my place to visit with the rams.
Mercury is polled, he has scurs, next is Autum (moorit) then Cosmos (blk & wht) and Fiona (light moorit).  Two other girls were not being photogenic this afternoon, Claire (grey) & Lialac (grey/white).


My computer is not cooperating to load the rest of my pics.  I will need to try tomorrow.




Saturday, October 30, 2010

Catching up....

It has been awhile since my last post.  The festivals are over for now,  we had great weather for each one this year and of course I wish I had taken my camera to get some photos......I will try next year.
Today has been a busy one as we have set up breeding groups.  We have sixteen ewes paired up between four rams.  I will try and get some pics. tomorrow to post.

It has also been a time to stock up....on hay in the barn and prepare for winter.  I can feel it in the air. 
WINTER, not really ready for this yet.:(
Time change coming soon, that is a real bummer.  Leave in the morning, when it is dark and not long after you get home in the late afternoon it is dark.

  

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lambs are 13 weeks old

This is about the only way I could get them all together.......FOOD!
It has been so dry out that the pastures have not been growing and they have eaten all the grass that was there.  Recently we mowed hay, I went out with the pick up truck and brought in two loads before it was baled.  Everyone just loves it!
This picture is of most of the boys, except notice "claire's little girl", who we have named Bonnie,
when she was born I was hoping that she would change color and you will notice that she is.
Bonnie is the one between the two Moorit (brown) lambs.  Her fleece was black when she was born and she looks to be gray underneath.
In the background is one of my new lambs, she is also considered gray, but she is very light.


Yarn

I've just finished spinning this gorgeous yarn. I bought some beautiful gray alpaca fiber and blended half of  it with some light gray shetland wool and the other half with black shetland wool.
So really I ended up with a two tone gray.
I ended up with 416 yards of dark gray yarn and 400 yards of light gray yarn. 
I am thinking of making a shawl, I haven't decided yet if I want to knit or crochet it.
decisions, decisions......

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's always something......

I've got a couple of new pictures I wanted to share this evening, but my computer is not cooperating with me.  I have satellite service and a storm is rolling in. 
Not good for making a connection to get the pictures loaded, but we do need rain, everything is drying up. 
Will try again tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

too busy.....

It has been so busy these last few weeks, between getting the new sheep, the new pup, making hay, moving hay, mowing the yard, graduation parties, the heat, the rain.  You name it, we've got it going on.  I have finally posted some pictures, still need to get more. 
Next week I have a surveyor coming to locate the property pins so we can expand our pasture to the property line.

Mioget ewe

This is another angle of one of my new ewes.  The weather has been so hot they don't want to leave the trees.

Mioget ewe and lamb

This pic. shows one of the ewes that I am really excited to have.  She is a lovely mioget and her lamb is just as gorgeous.  I believe she is katmoget, with that beautiful mioget color also.

Cooling off in the Trees

OK....I know, it is difficult to see them.  But it has been so hot out that they spend their days in the trees where it is much cooler.
There are two sheep in this photo a ewe on the left and her lamb behind the greenery on the right.

New girls!

This have some of the new girls, it has been difficult to get pictures right now.
The one in the front is one my husband picked cause she is just so friendly and so sweet.
There are four behind her, two ewes with their ewe lambs, all gray in color.  Can't wait to see those fleeces grow out.  I won't feel so bad about dyeing these fleeces, I just hate to dye the natural colored ones.  The browns, darker grays and black.

into everything...

We put a round bale in with the sheep, since it didn't wrap correctly.
They are enjoying it quite nicely.  The little guys like to jump up on it.....as long as they don't jump from it, over the fence....all is good.

Claire's little girl is changing color...

Meet Bonnie, this is Claire's little girl.  I was hoping when I seen in her earlier pictures some white in her ears that she might change color and she is.
She is going to be gray, right now she is darker gray in her shoulder and neck area and lightens up toward her middle and rump area. 
She is gorgeous!
Can't wait to get my hands in her fleece next year when we shear.
We chose the names of gansters for the three we are keeping in our flock, two ewes and one ram lamb.  Cause the are also ways into something, so this is Bonnie.  The ram is Clyde and the other little ewe is Blanche.

Meet "RED"

This is our new buddy, Red.  We went and picked him up Saturday, June 12th.  I am truely amazed at how well he listens.  His previous owner Cathy Stein from Blue Rock, Ohio did a wonderful job with him and all his litter mates. 
Red is an English Shepherd.  This breed was known originally as the "farm dog" or "farm collie", way back when there were many farms around and most had a dog, this was the type of dog that they had. 
To help with everyday jobs on the farm.  My plan for Red is to help me with the sheep, herding them.
So far he is interested in the sheep and just figuring things out.  He does get to stay in the house with us, as I think this will make him a better dog and listen better also.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Herding Dog

I have been researching some of the herding breeds of dogs for some time.  I want a dog that will help me with the sheep, yet be our buddy.  I don't want an intense dog that wants to go all the time.
I am going to look at an English Shepherd this weekend.  I think this might be what I am looking for...

New Shetlands.....

Today I have stayed home from my j.o.b. so I can be here when my new shetlands arrive.  I  am trying to grow my flock, but haven't been very successful by only getting one ewe lamb in 2009 & two ewe lambs in 2010.  So I went out and bought three adult ewes and their ewe lambs. 
I'm excited to get them here, I will try and get some pics. today to post.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Great Lakes Fiber Festival

Had a great time today at the GREAT LAKES FIBER FESTIVAL at Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster, Ohio.  Eighty plus vendors and lots to look at and great weather.  You couldn't ask for more.  Going back tomorrow, I have several fleeces I am offering for sale in a friends booth and I've entered a fleece in the fleece competition.
Had a great time today.

Gwendolyn's Fleece

Is that a Blue Ribbon is see in this picture??????
Why yes it is !
I am sooo excited!  This is my first time entering a fleece in a competition and
Gwendolyn's fleece took first place in the Double coated division!

Fleece Competition !

This was a pic of some of the fleeces entered in the fleece competition.
This was my first time entering a fleece.  I entered Gwendolyn's fleece in the
double coated division.  Next year I will surely enter a couple of fleeces.
This was quite a learning experience.  I stayed while the judge, judged the fleeces
and it was interesting to hear her comments of the fleeces and what others did wrong.
You can learn alot by just observing what the judge was looking for several
that were close in the placing came down to who had skirted the fleece better.
You would be surprised the number of people who really didn't take the
time to skirt the fleece very well.

Fiber, Fiber everywhere

This pic is all Alpaca fleeces.  We have an abundance of
Alpacas here in Ohio and lately the owners have been trying 
to move there products.  They had some awesome prices,
I will be looking again tomorrow and will surely buy some.
I love to blend it with the Shetland wool. 

......the other fiber animal....

kinda like ..."the other white meat" saying.
I love my Shetlands and will not stray, but these
little guys produce some lovely fiber that I
like to blend with my Shetland Fleece.

Recruiting New Spinners!

Always excited to see new spinners.
This was one of the free demos during the festival.
Always several great classes to take or participate in
some of the free demos that go on throughout both days.

Gorgeous Day!

It was a gorgeous day for the event.
The outside vendors have another year of good weather, thank goodness.

Great Lakes Fiber Show - TODAY !


Today was the first day of the Great Lakes Fiber Show, it was great !  Some Awesome Vendors !  Lots of good deals, going back tomorrow.  You know.....you have to make one or two trips around to look at everything, then go back and make your picks.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lambs

I will be taking pictures soon of the lambs, my have they grown.  They will all be turning 7 weeks old this week.  It is almost time to wean them. 
Claire's little girl is changing color to!  She looks to be a varigated gray, still too early to tell.
But she is definately changing color.  Will post pics. soon

Gwendolyn's Fleece

Gwendolyn fleece is 2# 10oz.
She always has such a lovely fleece and color,
when spun by the lock this fleece looks fawn in color.
I am entering this one in the fleece competition at
Great Lakes Fiber Show.

sample of lock & 2 ply yarn

Lock of fleece & sample of 2 ply yarn
spun in the grease.
Lovely fleece, spins up solid black.

Lamb fleece

Solid black crimpy fleece, just over 2#
this fleece will also be available at the
Great Lakes Fiber Show at
Wayne Co. Fairgrounds.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

more fleeces.....

I have 3 more lovely black fleeces to show off, I just ran out of daylight this evening.
I will post as soon as I can.  All these fleeces will be available at the GREAT LAKES FIBER SHOW
May 29th & 30 at the Wayne County, Ohio Fairgrounds.

close up of lock from black lamb fleece

I had to take a close up of this fleece
so you could see the fleece crimp.
sooooo nice.

Black Lamb -2ply yarn & lock

Sample of 2ply yarn and lock of fleece.
This yarn was spun in the grease, by the lock and
the sunburnt tips really do not show up in the yarn.
This is a BEAUTIFUL FLEECE.
and spins like a dream.

Black Lamb's Fleece

This is gorgeous black fleece that I am offering for sale
at the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, Ohio
The weight on this fleece is 2#5oz.
You can see the sunburnt tips, yet when I spun it up for my sample
they really didn't show.

Claire - 2ply yarn & lock

Sample of 2ply yarn spun in the grease from Claire's fleece
and a lock.  This fleece is a pleasure to spin.
Even in the grease.

Claire's Fleece

Claire is a varigated grey shetland, I love her fleece.   The weight on this
top is 2#5oz.  I've skirted the neck wool and britch.
I love this fleece because of the varying color, she is more grey in the neck and shoulder area
and lighter through the middle and back.
This fleece is lovely if blended together for one color or carded
by shades leaving you with multiple shades of gray.

Flora - 2ply yarn & lock

I've spun a sample from Flora's fleece.  I just opened the lock
and spun from the lock, in the grease.  As you can see the 2 ply
yarn is dark brown, yet will show the sunburnt tips nicely if
spun from the lock.

Flora's Fleece

Flora is a Dark Moorit Shetland, this is her 3rd clip. 
More white is coming into the fleece, but the spun yarn still holds a nice dark brown color.
I have skirted off the neck wool and the britch,
leaving a nice top of 2#11oz.
This fleece will be for sale at the Great Lakes Fiber Show
in Wooster, Ohio
at Wayne Co. Fairgrounds

Thursday, May 13, 2010

another upside.....

We are going Monday, May 17 to look at more sheep !!  Since we are getting rid of the rams we will be adding more ewes.  A local Shetland Shepherdess needs to reduce her flock size and I am willing to help her.  I will have an update after we go see them.  I want to add some other colors that can be found in the shetland breed.  Shetland Sheep have 11 Main colors and many different patterns.
I hope to add 2 or 3 ewes and some lambs to our flock.

The up side......

These boys gave me some BEAUTIFUL fleeces and I did get some ewes that will carry on the beautiful solid black color.  I will post some pictures soon of the fleeces.  I will also be taking some of these fleeces and offer them for sale at THE GREAT LAKES FIBER SHOW, May 29 & 30th

last pic of yearlings


This is one of the boys that carries the polled gene (that means no horns)
He is a half polled, I kept him hoping his horns would
develop correctly for future use within the flock
But, here again his horns are very close to his eyes and I
don't want to take a chance with potential problems.

another yearling to go...


yes, another one to go......as you can see from this angle
his horns are point to his neck.
These are problems we don't need or want to pass on.
And yes, that is a basketball to his left.  They actually do
push it around and Mortimer will rest his head ontop of it when
he lays down.

Yearlings


This is one that we kept from the 2009 lamb season, in hopes that his horns would be ok.
But as you can see  the horns develped great over the top and around
his ears, but as they came around, they are heading in the direction of his jaw.
So......off to market!

OFF TO MARKET !!


This is a sad day coming soon, when we will be taking yearling rams & our 2 yr. old ram "off to market". 
When we bought Mortimer our primary ram he was approx. 7months old, his horns were not developed enough to know if they were going to be good.  This past year as his horns continued to grow it was obvious that they would eventually cause him problems.  The horns are too close to his cheeks.  This is not the type of horn struction that we want to pass along to future lambs that we raise.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

These are the pictures I was able to get this morning.  I will post more as soon as I can.
If interested, in any of the ram lambs I have please email me and I will respond.
Thanks for looking
Diane

Homemade creep feeder

This is our homemade creep feeder, it has worked out well for our first attempt at making one.
If I were to make another one, I would just make it bigger, more room for the lambs when they are in it
also if the ewes attempt to put their head through, with it larger in diameter they wouldn't be able to reach the feed pan.  The slots in this one are large enough that some of the ewes can get their heads in, but I want the slots big enough to accommodate the lambs as they grow.
Therefore, a completely larger creep feeder would keep the ewe's out completely.
  

Black ram lamb

This is one of the tripletts, he is quite the camera hog
you can see the small white patch on the top of his head in this photo
He is for sale or trade.

Dark Brown Ram Lamb

This is one of Gwen's tripletts
4 weeks old, dark brown and
 horns appear to be shaped
correctly.
This little guy is for sale or trade.

Gwen with 2 of 3.....

Breakfast for two. 
Both of these ram lambs are for sale or trade.
At this time they are 4 weeks old, they both are Dark Brown,
one has a small white spot on top of his head.
I believe that one of these lambs carries the polled gene
as his horn buds have not grown yet compared to the other rams.  

Lacy with sibling

This is Lacy our yearling, the only female we had born here last year.
This year we were a little luckier, we have two ewe lambs.
Lacy is being annoyed by one of her siblings of this years lamb crop.
This little guy is one of Gwens tripletts.
Oh, and was I impressed with Lacy's fleece when she was sheared this year.
Her Dam, Gwen has a lovely light moort double coated fleece, which I need to post pics. of, 
but Lacy had a very long fleece also and oh.....so soft. 

Close up of Flora's twins

The ram lamb is on the right, you can see his horns beginning to grow out.
Dam, Flora is dark Morrit and Sire, Mortimer is solid black
This ram lamb is for sale or trade. 

Flora & twins

This is Flora and her twins, a ram and ewe, both are solid black.  I didn't get out with my camera when she had them 3 weeks ago to get earlier pictures.
This ram lamb will also be for sale or trade.

Claire with twins


Claire with her twins, this year Claire gave us a ewe, which we will keep.  But the ram lamb will be for sale or trade, he also is solid black with a small white spot on the top of his head.


Gwen & tripletts


Gwen, in the back with her triplett rams, all three in a row. Two of them are Dark Brown, one Solid brown the other has a small spot of white on the top of his head.  The other in the front of picture is Black with a small spot of white at the top of his head.  These three ram lambs are for sale or trade.