Sunday, April 13, 2008

April Showers bring May flowers

Well, I'm eagerly awaiting the May flowers. It's been a week of showers......hard to tell what to do with the lambs and their Mom's. Some days I guessed right, some days I guessed wrong.

I feed hay and grain in the morning to the sheep in the barn. When they've finished eating they get to go's too nasty.....then they get to stay in....."boring", they say!

If it's raining when they're almost finished and I make the decision to keep them in, I can almost guarantee that it'll stop raining as soon as I get back to the house and will be fairly nice the rest of the day. If I then turn around and go back to turn them guessed'll rain, sleet and maybe even thunder and lightening after I've turned them out and gone back to the house.

So the solution seems to be to make a decision and stick to it. I have to point out that while they're bored in the barn, they are also still eating and drinking. Not good for their girlish figures, the hay bill or the bedding!

This last Saturday was a beautiful warm (upper 70's) SUNNY day. And we left the farm to spend the day and evening on the Seattle side. This trip takes me a tremendous amount of planning to get everything set up, arrange for chores to be done while I'm gone, not to mention the 2 hr. trip to get there by car, ferry and car again to where ever we're going.

The occasion this time was an opportunity to attend a Jane Austen Tea sponsored by the Seattle PBS TV station. I asked my middle daughter Lori to go with me, thinking that while Gary might enjoy himself, Lori would enjoy it much more!

We had a wonderful time! It was very well done, and while they said tea, it was actually a High Tea. There was Jane Austen era music provided by a string quartet and a very talented singer. A fashion show with authentic costumes provided by University of Washington's Costume Department, and many other costumed ladies pouring tea, narrating the fashion show, etc.

It had been such a popular offering that they had expanded the affair to another Tea on Sunday.

It was a beautiful day for a ferry ride, and then exploring Seattle's Capital Hill neighborhood. All in all a very satisfying excursion off the farm!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The rains have returned

Well, it rained today, not all day, and not that heavily. A fine Washington mist. It didn't bother the sheep at all, and the lambs just played and played, but were ready to come in tonight for hay and grain and a chance to snuggle in nice clean straw.

I suppose this is as good as any time to talk about my knitting. After wanting to learn to knit for nearly all my life, and always ending up with the stitches so tight on the needles that I couldn't get the other needle in to knit a stitch, tearing out, starting over....same thing happening again and again....and then just ditching the whole project in disgust.......I have learned to knit! I'm not fast, and I don't get a lot done because I don't have gobs of time to devote to it.....but by golly, I'm knitting!

My first attempts had always been with the cheap, other man made stuff. this time, after raising and spinning Romney wool into yarn for over twenty years, I was determined to knit with my own yarn. At first, I used my mill spun yarn made from our fleeces, but I have branched out now to using some of my handspun yarn. Wool yarn is so forgiving, I'm not having the problems with my stitches being so tight on the needles. Maybe it's a combination of forgiving wool yarn and maybe I've mellowed over the years? And....maybe not.....maybe it's just the wonderful wool yarn.

Anyway, I do my share of frogging, but the other night my DH pointed out to me that an afghan square that I'd nearly finished with looked different, way back aways and it wasn't just one row, it was several rows! He said, "It's probably not that important", and I thought about just ignoring it, because I have to tell you, it has not been my favorite square to knit.

Each square is different, so I learn a different stitch with each stitch, and since it's a learning project, it won't be perfect anyway, but there aren't any errors so far that I've ignored. No, any errors have been done in a complete state of ignorance....and not letting him look at it!

Anyway, after considering for a couple of minutes, I pulled my needles and started frogging......he was horrified! I went back rows and rows until I found the place that was what it was supposed to be and started over again.

I feel better about it, and guess what?'s knitting up much easier this time.

Lambs Wool Pin Cushions For Sale

For Sale: Lambs Wool Pin Cushions. Large Pin Cushion $10.00. Small Pin Cushion $8.00.
Here are a sample of the pin cushions that Valerie Stein made for me using our lambs wool. She had 3 different colors to work with, and the results are rather wonderful!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beautiful sunny April day

Today was such a nice day, with a crisp breeze blowing from the north. The lambs didn't mind at all, they so enjoyed the sunshine......they run in packs.......and just run and run.....we call it Lamb Races.

It occurred to me that you might be interested in how our lambing went this year. We started with 25 bred ewes, the first lambs arrived Feb. 9th. We finished March 21st with a total of 42 lambs. Two sets of triplets, multiple sets of twins and several singles. They were very kind to me, very few late night lambings and very few lambing problems.

No bottle babies this year. I love bottle babies, but it's much more restful if the Mom's can handle everything on their own. And our visitors really love bottle babies!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Frosty Morn

April Fool's Day!

29 degrees F. this morning at 5AM when I got up. How's that for an April Fool's Trick by Mother Nature?

Fortunately, our lambs and their Mom's are snug in the barn, our newly sheared ewes are all well sheltered outside in newly strawed portable shelters. Everyone else is still snug in their well worn woolen outfits. We try to plan our shearing around better weather conditions......but just doesn't work out the way we planned it. But, we always have a way of providing sufficient shelter for them if conditions dictate.