Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taking one for the team......

Hello all! As most of you already know, we sheared our sheep on Sunday-a big 97 of them! LONG day but happy sheep, happy people with fleeces to share!
Every shearing someone takes one for the team. One year Ross got clocked by Bram (Shetland)-a surprise shot to the chin. ANother year, a good friend helping us got it from Riley (Merino/Shetland x) trying to avoid his vaccination after shearing-- by going airborn to jump over the top of her- eek! First instinct is to try and catch them, and she almost did-but over she went.... LAST year, Foster (the wild Merino x) tried to avoid being shagged into the barn for his turn-by attempting to get past David the Wonder Shearer? Foster was shocked when David stood in there, took him on the fly, turning him around and sending him into the barn before Foster even knew he had changed his sheep mind! tee hee! (although, NEVER wish a sheep to run down your favorite shearer- could be a disaster in so many ways!).
SO, this year it was apparently my turn to take one for the team? I think there may be a conspiracy a foot too? Vaughan the Shetland (pictured) had already been sheared but decided to double back, heading pell mell for David & the next sheep- shearing already in progress, with a very expensive shearing set up I might add. Vaughan dodged Jim, gathered speed and came at me like a linebacker trying out for the football team- and yours truly was the tackle dummy. Guess what? I did not move! :0) That sheep would have impressed any coach- hurling at me with his last ditch attempt to avoid me and down we went. HOWEVER, I did CATCH that stinker mid air-right around the tummy, and Vaughan is NOT a lap sheep by any stretch of the imagination!
Part of the story here is that every sheep knows that in this type of situation, I am the 'push over' that will step out of the way if they charge me. Specially if they want to evade Ross and/or Jim. Head Mom's way, she will move!
Not so fast sheepie! And har dee har har on Vaughan.... we had a good laugh that was for sure--but I think Jim might want to really watch out next year? Must be his turn for taking it for the team.... hope not but will be interesting never the less!
Our update will get back on schedule on Monday, April 6 so please excuse our need for 'recovery' around here-also all the extra work to keep our naked sheep warm-it is nasty out, not so bad temp wise, but windy, rainy and just raw- isn't it spring? ha
We have plenty of wool to go around, you can check out the previous post for info- and there is only a 1 pound minimum on unwashed fleeces-and I am starting the fleece sorting tomorrow. Look forward to hearing from you - toodles!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fleece reservations!

The title 'fleece reservations' make me giggle- kind of sounds like you are planning a sheepy vacation- hee hee! We are shearing sheep on Sunday March 29 and are ready to take reservations for your favorite fleeces. If you are not sure of the sheep we have available, just take a trip through our meet the sheep pages to see pictures & read their stories. Here's the sheep's general fleece info:
Fleeces are set aside first email, first served. We will answer all emails and let you know where you are on the list for that sheep, or that the fleece is yours....
I am the only 'fiber diva' here so it will take me some time to get the fleeces sorted out- and that could be weeks so please know it will not be an immediate purchase!
I never sell an entire fleece (oink snort) so half is usually the 'norm' here. AND, I will only sell the best part of the fleeces, no stinker fleeces leave here - sheepy's number one rule-thus the need for time to sort sort sort.
Prices will range from $8 to $15 per pound, depending on the sheep type and how clean they decided to keep their wool.
I am happy to wash fleeces, so when you email, please indicate washed/unwashed. Also, if you only want a certain amount (say a pound) please indicate that also, then I can reserve remaining fleece for the next person on that sheep's list.
I will email you when I get the fleece sorted and ready to head out- if things change for you in the mean time, it is never a problem. Just let me know and I can always offer the wool to the next person- the sheep know all about life changes--specially in the current world. :0)
If you have any questions, please be sure to email- we look forward to sharing the sheep with you all!! Happy weekend, keep your fingers crossed for little or (drum roll) NO SNOW tomorrow! The sheep do NOT like to be locked in the barn for long--they tend to plan rebellions!--and somehow manage to carry them out-eek! More soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tennis anyone?

No really, Tennis Border Collie style! Noodle is almost 3 now and is deaf, and still very much a puppy. It takes them a little longer to settle down and 'grow up' - although I really think they never do that! Busy busy busy. Libby has reached the settle down phase-inside, not outside though- always something to do!
This is what Noodle ended up like after her game of stair tennis. She loves tennis balls and had three in her realm yesterday (not sure where she stashes her toys but she always knows). She spent the better part of an hour (while I spun yarn and enjoyed the show) lining the TB's up on the stairway, poking them through. They would bounce of course off the end tables, rocker and THEN she managed to catch it before it hit the floor? Her other new game is to whip the TB's off the stairs onto the wall at the bottom, resulting in her own game of catch. Amazing and scary how smart she is.

Things got too quiet (never a good sign here) so went looking for her and there she was, sacked out in the recliner.... Never a dull moment- but wouldn't it be fun to be so content in your own little upside down world? Even her lip was too tired to stay where it belonged! ha! Adore my Noodle dog! (aren't I easily entertained?) Chow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sheep on the lam! (sorry!) ;0)

This is a picture of our Great Pyrenees Bobbi (her brother Andrew's hiney too). This is the culprit of the start of my day- which went as follows:
Here is ANOTHER funny you will wish you had seen. I set the alarm for 730 this morning and was up with out the alarm. In the bathroom getting dressed and heard the sheep having fits outside. No dogs barking- not good. Got out the door in time to see 40 of my sheep hinders heading up the big hill we live at the bottom of, and some in the hayfield, some kept right on going. Ross got a rude wake up to be sure- and I went running out, in my jammies (good thing flannel!) and my barn jacket, and slip on mule tennies (worst part). It is a good thing my neighbors driving by are happy to see a good ruckus, they did not hit any of them with the cars. Phew. AND it must have been a film moment too- my sheep are 'trained' to love me- well, food. I went out with the first container I came to on my fly out the door- it was a little two quart stainless steel scooper thing that we use to measure out the piglet food. I called 'sheep sheep' held that little thing up in the air and made a dash for their pasture (where I found a gate knocked over (probably by the great pyrs). I did not make it even close before they were all around me and I could not even walk any further. They followed, make that carried, me into the pasture, every last one of them. THAT is why I don't panic if they can see me--only need a few! tee hee hee! They are SO predictable! Everyone came home, and we fixed the gate while I slipped around in the mud in my tennies and jammies. What a sight huh? Guess ROss better get out there and feed or they are going on the lam (sorry) again with their little hobo sticks/bandanas huh? hahahahahaha! (and a BIG thank you to Bobbi-the happy proud of herself dog who knocked the gate over..... )
Don't forget to visit us for a yarn update (tomorrow) and about HollyEQQ's sale! Toodles!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Check out Florida Holly's sale! Quick!

Hello everyone! Have a late night news flash for you- well, you know, it IS late for this sheepy person anyway! ha! A very good friend of the sheep is having a sale-she has only had one other sale that I remember so be sure to check this out-before all the goodies are gone! HollyEQQ is truly a fiber wizard, spins fabulous yarn and knits fabulous finished items too! Something for EVERYONE! With a sale going on, it is almost a sin to shop tonight- however, get a movin' ! (and don't tell the sheep-they would clean out my bank account! bwaaahahahahaha!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Update-yeeha!

Hi all! Hope you are all enjoying some sunshine today- and could you please have the rain blow past us??? Way too saturated out here in farm land- no place for water to go! We have a great update today, the sheep have been very very busy....
We are planning to keep Corriedale roving (wool from our David the wonder shearer's flock) on the site all the time, it is soft soft, a little bouncy, a little shine, and is a great, easy spin, little to no debris- and dyes up great too! Super soft yarn here you go!
This is Embers Corriedale, dyed David wool....

Cozy Cabin Roving- a blend of our Louis' Rambouillet and a dark brown Merino x fleece we purchased from a neighbor.

And a brand NEW offering- a variety of our sheep's samplers! Different colors but the wool in the mix is just that- a sampler from a lot of our sheep. It will be an adventure in fiber that includes all very clean (little to NO debris) soft fiber from our Merino, Merino crosses, Romney, Cotswold, Lincoln cross, Romney cross, Rambouillet sheep and mucho mucho more! The sheep had fun putting this group of fiber together- a little of this, a little of that and you can try lots of different wool- all in a surprise gathering!
We will be updating the site again tomorrow with new handspun yarn so be sure to stop back in! Been working on updating the entire site so have some new ideas in mind too- giddyup!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back to 'work'! yey!

Ok, life has been a bit 'upside down' thanks to a nasty flu bug, but Moose is NOT upside down in the traditional sense of the word! This is what my office shadow has been doing while I sat in the recliner being mad that I could not get out of it! He has his very own cushy bed in his 'man cave' under an old sewing cabinet (minus the machine) that holds my two cockatiels-my office entertainment! (Moose does not appreciate intrusions to his cave so don't reach in-not even ME! Turkey. Moose is always in his bed or under my feet/desk when I am here spinning-but what a silly guy! The angle of this picture DOES describe my life the past week! Silly old dog!
I DID finally have the energy to pick up my knitting needles the past few recliner days to finish up hats that will be heading for a soldier unit in Iraq. A friend of the Homestead put out a message that the unit had suffered some losses right in a row and needed some cheer me ups from home-they requested hats for living quarter use-thus the red. NOT for wearing outside! Most are my handspun and the red is purchased wool yarn. (CAN you believe I had to BUY yarn? Was afraid my red dye jobs would get wet and turn them all into red heads permanently!) I did not know before this project why the soldiers can only wear wool over there-feel sort of dopey but never thought about fibers being able to burn on someone. Eek and yikes. I am so grateful for all they are doing there, and wish they were not making such huge sacrifices, being away from home, family and the risks they face daily. We have not forgotten them and wish them all safe home--SOON.

And THIS is what happens when the mill gets ahead of me. Don't know whether to hide from it (this is only half the 40 pounds of roving/clouds from Argyle, couldn't fit it all in a picture...) or jump in! Holy mackerel Bat Man!

Been dyeing wool right along with Jim & Ross' help- they carried the dyepots to the studio-can't wait to get a stove down there and get the dyes and such OUT of the kitchen! Next on the studio want list...
SO, update most likely tomorrow, have LOTS of pictures to take and some new fiber almost dry too--the sheep want it ALL 'out there' so must listen to them I think- they have had a few days off, and they are sassy now. They see the barely green starts of grass in the big pasture, and they want out! Not time yet though, need almost knee high grass first- the sheep are going to make me crazy til then. Shearing about the 1st (aren't WE April fools? ha!) so we are sort of scrambling (as usual) to get the barn and sheep ready for when David the wonder shearer comes to visit. Keep an eye out, things are moving full speed ahead into spring! Promise! Cheerio!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hiding out....

Hello again everyone, yes, we are still here, just moving slow and hiding out a bit (as you can see Sprinkles the lamb used to love that!). He has of course outgrown his 'sheepishness' and love of Jim's barn jacket.... wah! Thank you all for your sweet messages about Kelly too. Your words mean the world to me-can't even properly express how much you mean to me either.... thank you.
We have the WORST ever flu bug here and I am just journeying to the computer with enough energy to catch up email a few at a time. What a disaster but guess better now than in a few weeks at shearing time right?
SO, anyone that I promised boxes heading out today, they will be moving your way tomorrow, Wednesday at the VERY latest--and we are sorry for the delay--also appreciate your patience.
We have managed to avoid the 'bugs' all winter-but winter is apparently not done with us--bwaaahahahahaha! SO, update by Wednesday with lots of fun fiber, have fiber/roving coming back from the mill with my son later today too. Can't wait to see what is in the box-will be a big cheer me up too. I also have some pictures to share of some great projects in the works with friend fiber. I took my frustration out on fabric and silk shirts/scarves for a while this weekend so I am ready to go with new yarns-keep your fingers crossed for me ok? Pretty darn sad when you can't even sit up to spin yarn..... gaaaaaahhhhh! Let us know what is up with you ok? The turkey sheep say days off, skippity do dah day!
PS- thank you to Sayra for helping me with our blog--again!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A sad day.....

I try not to write sad things here, because in general, our life is so happy. However, there are difficult decisions we are often forced to make--that never get easier. It is all fun to rescue the animals and successfully help them to be happy & healthy. Even if we have them for a short while, to achieve some comfort, love, warmth and hugs in their lives is very rewarding. The flip side is the heartbreak of letting to let them go when the time comes-as I am sure you each have also experience at some time in your life too. Today we have to let our Kelly sheep go and I am just beyond sad. If this ever gets 'easy' for me, it will be time to step out of rescue, and I don't see that ever happening, so we step forward and try to keep our memories close. Kelly deserves her story told so here goes!
Kelly arrived through a larger rescue in Pittsburgh, PA some years ago, along with 11 other members of her family. They had not been handled much at all before they arrived but they settled in well and are all now happy sheep, most very friendly. Kelly is one that we have no idea how old she is, sometime earlier in her life way long ago, some 'wonderful' person abused her and broke her hip. THEN, they just left her that way and her hip healed very crookedly-there truthfully is not much to do for a broken hip except hope they heal, but there are medicines to help the pain-which she never received. It amazes me that she even remotely trusts us. She likes to eat her corn twice a day from the scoop, but don't toucha the sheep. She has the most beautiful brown, very wise old soul eyes and a soft wrinkly nose--she is a Merino/Icelandic cross sheep, and needless to say, a beautiful fleece every year....

Since Kelly had to stay in a special pasture and barn, and eat special supplements because of her hip, her love in life is to keep our bottle lambs company while they grew up. She has raised many many over the years to be good sheep (while I fight to keep them pets--hee hee). Her love for them, even though not her own, was her gift to each lamb that stayed with her. I would go out to feed her supper, and give lambs bottles, to find her watching 'guard' over her babies, all sleeping in a pile behind her in a corner--I swear they snore--looking at me as if to say, ok, you HAVE to do that so hurry up and get OUT! Kelly always preferred I did not interrupt her babies naps, specially if there were more than two at a time!
Recently we rescued a sad lonely sheep during a larger llama rescue effort with our friend Jen. Bella Mia has some major issues and had joined Kelly in her suite. Those sheep have been SO close it was just a blessing for Kelly to have her as a best friend. They sleep with their heads over each others backs and Bella is very protective of her friend. She even stands up (which is painful for Bella) and stamps her foot to be sure we know not to pester HER Kelly. Bella will be sad today too, but I am hoping that she will take solace in the one bottle lamb that they have been taking care of together--and me. They love Sprinkles so much and I am sure he will miss Kelly too.
SO, I am sorry to start the morning with such a sad story, but if I write it later, tears and grief will be too much. Kelly deserved a better start to her life, we were lucky to have her as long as we did I know, but I always want them here longer-even though I know that is selfish on my part. After today, Kelly will be free to run, free of pain and fear. Something we could not quite accomplish for her here on earth. Sleep well my sweet Kelly girl, until we meet again.....

Monday, March 09, 2009

Update ready & waiting!

Wow, this was a long computer day and not quite done yet! Have the update done and the sheep have already abandoned me-probably for Margaritas--I hear that is the party drink of choice? They never share though believe me!
We have a LOT of new roving on the site, we got fiber back from both Argyle Fiber Mill AND Morro Fleece Works, and we will have more dyed fiber coming out on the next update. Remember, if you are looking for specific fleeces, or colors, happy to get you situated with some gorgeous wool or yarn!!

working for the update-yeh!

Corny huh? Ugh. Working on the update as we speak so be sure to stop back! Will be done around dinner time--maybe sooner--I hope! Keeping the sheep on track these days is a bit difficult-they are convinced there is grass in them thar hills! Not yet though!
If you have any yarn, batts, finished items with our fiber or yarn, please visit the sheep at their new Ravelry group(you will need a password/account though). Thank you again Velvet for heading that up for the sheep. You can go to the sheep's groups and post pictures of your projects in action, finished items, yarn, batts and whatever crosses the field.... Also working on sheep of the week and adding update info there too. New fun so check it out! Update on the website to follow soon--toodles!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Nap time!

Off to run errands today-eewww--Noodle is one of our two deaf Border Collies, I think she has the right idea--I want a NAP! Not in the cards though to off I go..... wah
PS- Check the sheep out-they have a wonderful Kelly Rand article here about them, too cool and thank you Kelly!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Bumps in the road and spinner's block....

Hope you all have a pretty sunny day to enjoy! The sheep are snoozing in the pastures, up on the hills to catch the sun (which makes it warm for them in this 50 degree weather) AND a nice breeze to cool them off! Oh the life!
We have had a few goofy days around here the past few weeks and I have had a major case of 'spinner's block. Well, got this wonderful surprise fiber hug in the mail last night! Wowser! Gorgeously dyed Teeswater and Wensleydale locks--from my friend Linda in Ohio! Linda has a great shop and you can get there here. She is such a talented fiber wizard AND yarn spinner! Be sure to browse her shop! My next stop after computer time is going to be some Linda Lash yarn! spinner block el gonno! yey and thanks again Linda!
We have some new new fiber to offer on this next update (Sun/Mon) from our neighbor's special flock of sheep! The Callaways are one of the biggest parts of why we survived our basement caving in --they brought tanks of water for the sheep, fed us, she patted my shoulder when I could not stop crying, and the hot showers were the best. We owe them BIG!

ANYhoo, Linda and her kidlets (6 ranging in age from highschool to gradeschool) all got to work, washed the wool and took it to our friends at Argyle Fiber Mill.

When they got the center pull bumps back, they spent some fun time dyeing up some great colors! Their sheep happily scamper about on acres of pasture and are very loved by the Callaways. The sheep are a varied group, Tunis x, Suffolk and even some Icelandic sheep. The bumps are all made up of a combination of their fiber--soft, bouncy and dyed in bumps--a spinning adventure! Be sure to stop in on Sunday or Monday for our new update and catch all the Callaway colors--and the sheep's latest creations! Toodles!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Update and times a changin'!

Hello all! Today's update just wore me out, or should I say over seeing the sheep did? Silly peanuts! Hope you all like the new blog look, a big thank you to a friend (who I can refer you to if you want her name!) for taking on all the hard work--for this non-techno person I happen to be! SO, not a lot of words but lots of pictures:
Above: Claret Suri Alpaca
Above: Spring Princess (Our Mari's Merino x)

(above) Our Culley's Border Leicester lashes

(above) Crazy Hearts Crazy Quilt batts!
Be sure to have a good look around, lots more new on the site to find! We will also be updating agian on Wednesday so keep that in mind-- we have a special fiber offering from our wonderful neighbors and their happy little flock of sheep!! Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sneak a peek!

I know, not a very sneaky peak huh? tee hee! Swore on a sheep's hoof that I would not give too much away for this week's update.... :0) Have you ever over dyed/dyed a naturally colored fleece? Seems like a shame I know but look at the colors that can happen! This is a Suri Alpaca fleece from Jenny's happy flock. It started out life as a light auburn/white pinto fleece. Popped it into the dyepot with black, navy blue and oh, I forget-and wa-la, Raven's Wing Suri. It is shiny, soft and gorgeous and I am really having issues that this is not going into my stash to spin into lash yarn!!
It is coooold here again, the sheep are soaking wet thanks to our rain/ice storm this past week but because of the lanolin in their fleeces, are still nice and warm, dry under all the wool. Phew. I swear I have never seen them with such heavy fleeces and I guess they knew the kind of weather we would be having? Seems they always are a good indication. And oh my, shearing day is set around April 1? EEEEEK. SO, watch for lots of unwashed fiber as I continue parting with more stash wool-wah! Update tomorrow so please stop in again!
Cheerio, and PS- the sheep are on Ravelry--will figure out a button soon!! Show us your yarn and finished objects!!