Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas.......

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the farm,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Great Pyrenees.
The stockings they knit were hung on the gates with great care,
In hopes that Sheep Nicholas soon would be there;
The sheep were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of fruit loops danced in their heads,
And Jim in his jammies, and I in mine too,
Had just settled in for a good night’s sleep-
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the barn I flew like a flash,
Tore open the doors, and turned on the lights.
The moon on the rest of our snow now turned mud,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a minature sleigh, and eight spitty llamas,
With a fluffy little driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Sheep Nick.
More rapid than eagles his llamas they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now! Dalai, now! Max, now! Chaquita, and Doneghy,
On! Obama, on! Radar, on! VanGogh and Sinbad;
"To the top of the gates! to the top of the barns!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
So up to the barn-top the llamas they flew,
With the sleigh full of fruit loops - and Sheep Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the hay chute Sheep Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dressed all in wool, from his head to his hoof,
And his wool was all tarnished with ashes and soot;
(he should wear a coat like the rest of our sheep!)
A bundle of fruit loops was flung on his back,
And he looked like a sheep shearer just opening his pack:
His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were fuzzy, his nose oh so cute;
His sweet little mouth was drawn up in a smile,
And the beard of his chin was as white as a lambie,
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of fruit loops:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old sheep,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, outside he did go.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his llamas gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of an alpaca:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
(PS- no more sheep jumpin’ on the BED!)

Merry Christmas from Jim, Sandy and the sheep

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another sheepy jingle!

And it goes a little something like this!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the barn and farm
Glistening ice again
With Fruity Loops and silver fences a-glow!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Grain in every stocking
But the prettiest site you'll see 
Is the woolies that will be
At your own front door!

Leg warmers and cute little boots 
Are the hope of Ruby & clan
Sheep that don't talk but will go for a walk 
Is the hope of Dalai Llama
And San & Jim can hardly wait
For calm to reign again!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
There's a tree in the big sheep barn
One in the yard as well
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind
Boxes of Fruit Loops on every bough!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Soon the bed-lamb will start
And thing that makes sheep sing
Is the joy you all bring
For the whole year round!

(they worked really hard at this song! bwaaahahahahaha!) 
I love my sheep!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Silver Sheep, Silver Sheep....

The sheep have written a little holiday jingle for you- and it goes a little something like this: 
Silver sheep, silver sheep
It's Christmas time on the fa-arm. 
Ring-a-ling, hear them cheer,
Soon it will be Christmas Day. 

Sheepie barns, busy paddocks
Dressed in fruit loopy style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas.

Llamas laughing, storms a passing
Meeting sheep after sheep,
Soon it will be Christmas Day!

(Fleece Navidad everyone! Stay tuned for another sheepie jingle tomorrow!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My best friends Mary & Joseph....

Every holiday seems to find my friends Mary, Joseph & me traveling to bring home a needy critter. Last year it involved horses the day after Thanksgiving. This year we welcome to the family Jasper, Lola and their baby Christmas Jingles- Jingles for short. 
Jasper (brown/white) and Lola (white). Jingles baby is hiding behind Lola before the ride home to Mary & Joseph's farm.
Lola (and Jasper) need a haircut....
Smile for the camera Jasper! (this was taken at Mary & Joseph's)
Lola.... (at Mary & Joseph's)

And last but not least, Christmas Jingles, a sweet baby holiday present...

This little llama family traveled a long, weary road to get to Mary & Joseph. Now they are all safe, warm and will be adored for the rest of their little lives by my best friends.  

Thank you both for taking them in and loving a few more llamas in need. And for letting me help you bring them home.... 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joy to the Wooled!

Yesterday I looked outside to see our little Trillium sheep hopping around like a sheep with something caught around her back legs? I about had a heart attack- Trillium was born with 3 legs- and a very short fourth leg that is not useable. Sent the hubby out (in his nice clothes from work) and grabbed a pair of scissors before I raced out there.

Turned out there was no problem with her legs, she was just having fun! I have seen her play, but not jumping up in the air and doing burn outs! She was quite acrobatic for a three legged sheep!

THEN Trillium decided her best friend Molly (our other 3.5 legged sheep girl) needed to get moving and join the fun. Molly was not happy about it but she did do a couple laps of the paddock just to get make Trillium happy.

The sheep are always good for my soul, but yesterday, seeing all that 'joy to the wooled' happy made it seem like the holidays are indeed here.... I adore my sheep. Even if they do give me a good heart attack once in a while!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The coats are on the coats are on!!!

Sunday we got the last of the sheep all stylin' their new coats! This is Jolly, he was not sure about things at first but now he is pretty proud of his winter look! It was quite a morning with the sheep Sunday, they love to play 'tag' and we get tired faster than they do. Jim and Ross took 'one for the team' too. (they are fine though). Jim was going to catch one of our big Romney sheep and the sheep decided to do the zig and zag. He managed to almost get past Jim, who would not let go so got dragged along a little! Eek! Jim was pretty determined so he ended up hanging on and a coat was added to that silly sheep!
Ross (son) had quite a fancy event- he was working on catching a very small Romney (Violet). She must have caught my 6'4" Ross just right because he went air born and even did a few flips before he hit the ground? Very acrobatic! We all had a good giggle and decided we need video cameras. One to catch us all and a sheep cam- that must have looked pretty funny to them. I think I heard them laughing- stinkers!

This is my Piper sheep- doesn't he have the cutest face ever? He loves me best, always has and loves a good smooch and hug! Mind you the sheep are not agressive in any way. When they play 'tag', they are just determined not to be caught. We only have this issue with our sheep who are not as tame as the rest of them.

This would be one of our Shetland sheep Claire. She and her Shetland buddy Bram would NOT come in even for grain Sunday? Whahaat? We'll be fixing that situation when the hay is brought over tomorrow. The sheep are very single minded when it comes to food. That allows us to lurk and sneak in on them- that will let us get their coats on them- again. I see Spirit managed to ditch his too? Never a dull moment!
Hope your week is going well and thank you for stopping by- be sure to sign up for the new Coats for Sheep newsletter at the top of this page ok?
Chow for now peeps!

Friday, November 04, 2011


Well, the sheep had a fun idea- all in an effort to reduce my shameful stash of handspun yarn.... again. They are really putting their feet down on me..... again. Stinkers! They spent some time in the fiber palace winding up 1 yard mini-skeins of my handspun. I think the skeins are so cute!
We added the skeins as sets on the website- we don't have the link set yet so til we get that done later on today you can find the skeins here:

You will receive the exact skeins pictured in each listing. Each skein includes at least 10 yards (bulkier weights) and up to 20++ yards in others. A fun Crazy Quilt gathering of sampler yarns the sheep think would be great for trim work, felting, doll hair and Hexi Puffs. (yes, they are hooked on Hexi Puffs now!)

Happy weekend everyone, hope you will stop by and say hello- smooches from the fruit loop sheep!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Welcome to the family!

This is another sweet Romney sheep who retired here from our friends the McNair's famous flock! ;0) Her name is Foon and she is related to the other Romneys in our flock. Squeee! She is still a little confused, she lived her whole life with McNairs so being uprooted can be stressful. Her new friends, Curly Sue, Bettis and clan were glad to meet her and welcome her. She has a coat on to keep her wool nice and clean.

This is Foon with her twins last spring- aren't they adorable? McNair's llama keeps a good eye on everyone too- that llama is amazing- she is over 20 years old! We are so happy to have Foon here, she loves a good chat, scratches and of course a little grain for supper. Thank you Ruth for letting Foon retire here- we adore her AND you!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

And then there were coats!

And here is why we are so excited about coats! We started putting the winter coats on the sheep Sunday- we have about 1/3 of them on. Squeeee! This is a picture of Amelia's Cotswold curls before we put her coat on. Ooh la la right? The sheep's fleeces will be awesomely clean when we shear in April- thank you all again. We will be sending pictures to each of the sheeps' sponsors in the next few weeks so you can see how 'your sheep' is doing. They are so stylin'!

This is Miss Amelia- sporting her new coat, toes trimmed and a haircut around her pretty eyes. We'll be watching the sheeps' coats through the winter to be sure they are not too tight, some may need a bigger size as the wool grows.

Amidst all the fashion extravaganza, the sheep managed to post an update to the website too! These are beautiful locks available, and there are many other dyed locks, roving and fleeces to browse!

They also added new handspun yarn- designed specially by them. This is Crazy Quilt Pearls- 2 ply bulky, thick and thin with hand strung vintage beads. The beads reminded the sheep of fresh water pearls. (they are plastic). Hope you will have a chance to visit the site, we will be sending the sheeps' new newsletter out this week too- lots of coat news and smooches from the sheep too!

Chow for now peeps!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Sheep Parade!

And a Sandy complex!

Sometimes the sheep want me to read them a good detective story. And of course that involves a big bowl of Fruit Loops and a sleeping bag to sit on. And by that I mean THEY sit on the sleeping bag, me- on the ground. It is so cute because they just keep leaning on me and scooching me over. They tell me they remember having soft blankets when they were bottle lambs in the house. All makes sense! 

  Every day we have a sheep parade- several times a day. I LOVE a sheep parade! They follow each other single file to the big pasture. This is a bunch of sheep who think it is time, even though we have not visited yet? You go first, no YOU go first!

Oh for goatie's sake! Simon says- let's get a move on before she shuts the big gate!

And the sheep parade moves out- and very few stops to visit on the way? There in lies the Sandy complex! They sure are paranoid don't you think? Or is it me? They must know Fall is here. They will want to savor the green grass before it is gone.

Although, maybe they also know it is time to wear their winter coats???? Could be- we are going to be putting their coats on next weekend. Hmmmm, wonder who told on me? ;0)

MAYBE they just think I need a good long walk- I think I will go take them up on their 'offer'......

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oh my! Will the sheep fire me?!

Dalai Llama might apparently! Uh oh! Better stock up on Fruit Loops rigth? ;0)

Been a wild summer here as usual. Working on getting hay situated for winter and getting projects done before winter. The sheep are enjoying pasture life and awaiting their turns to style it up in their new winter coats. We will probably be putting the coats on the sheep sometime in the next month- you can sign up for the special (free) newsletter on the left side of this blog to keep track of their activities til shearing time. Whaahat? Can it BE time for Sandyrella Princess of Farm Drama to start fussing about shearing??? In March? Oh let's hope not! ha!

We've added lots of new fiber and yarn to the website, and there is always more to follow. The sheep have been working hard to do weekly updates. Even if they don't feel like they have 'enough done' for a giant one! Go sheep!

Hoping you are all staying safe and sending good thoughts for better weather and no fires for everyone. Thinking of you and wishing better days for you too.....

Smooches from the sheep!

Monday, August 08, 2011

What a difference a day makes!

Last night I was happy, overwhelmed, weepy and humbled- all at the same time. Yesterday our goal was met to provide a coat for each of  our sheep this winter- thank you all for sponsoring coats and sheep! Thank you does not seem like enough to say, we truly appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you so so much....

When I told the sheep, they immediately started up the Fruit Loop Margaritas and donned their party hats. This is Keebler, leader of most parties, sporting his cool top hat- doesn't he look cute? I thought we had enough party hats to go around, but I saw a few sheep (and llamas) with lampshades too. Hmmmmm. 
Keebler was a stylin' last night!
 It must have been a grand old party last night, since THIS is what I found this morning- a Keebler that not only looked very hung over, but he refused to give up his hat. I think he wanted a lamp shade too- and a nice soft place to sleep? Oh Keebs.

Still stylin', but hiding out...

Wow! I should have partied outside too right? I also found a few empty cases of Fruit Loops? What a mess they have to clean up.... 

So, again, thank you all, the sheep are so lucky to have you all for friends to help watch over them and care for them. A special thanks to Brittany and Carrie for coming up with this idea, then setting the sheep's FUNdraiser up.

The sheep will be sporting their coats as soon as we have to start feeding hay. We will be sending and sharing LOTS of pictures- then sharing lots and lots of beautiful, clean fleece in the Spring! I really can't say enough how much all of you peeps mean to us- the sheep send you many many (sloppy fruit loop margarita) kisses and hugs.

What a difference a day makes........

Sandy & Jim Ryan

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When Sheep Make Executive Decisions.....

it is a good thing for all of you! ;0)

The sheep got together and decided we needed to adjust our prices to address the weather related issues we are having on the farm. We have not had rain for weeks and our pastures/hayfields are literally toast! In light of that, the sheep are having a 'rain dance' price reduction on all fiber and yarn (does not include unwashed wool).

The idea of feeding hay so early in the year is not fun- but since we have almost met our FUNdraising goal for sheep coats, we should be able to get them all coated up before they have to have hay. Thank you everyone for your sponsorship of the sheep- you are awesome!

Hope you will stop on by and have a browse- if you are looking for yarn (we are re-vamping the yarn pages and links are not officially hooked up yet), just scroll down to the site map, you will see the links there. The yarn will be listed by weight i.e. Aran, Bulky, etc...

Hope you are all happily fibering away, and as always, thank you for supporting the sheep- they send you many many fruit loop-ie smooches!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Winding my weekend......into one skein of thought

 Most of you probably know I snuck out to the Midwest Folk and Fiber fest in IL two weekends ago? I had to reflect on that weekend, it was so packed with fun! Fun people, fiber and classes! Where should I start??

I got to spend the weekend with my good friend Ellen- at her Palace Ellen on the lake! It is such a cozy, quiet cottage- I hope to spend some time there with her again very soon- thank you Ellen for putting up with me!

I took 3 classes, 2 with the famous Jacey Boggs! She and I go way back and it was wonderful to meet her in person! She is a wonderful person and great teacher. I learned to corespin, work with beehives AND did NOT learn to spin boucle. Grrr. No fault of Jacey's, just cannot GET it. Need to practice practice and practice some more- right Jacey?

Be sure to check Jacey out- she has a new book coming out this fall along with a new handspinning video. You can find her at . She also offers weekend classes all over the USA and the world. If she comes to your area sign on up- you will love her!

I also got to meet friends that the sheep have known for sometime, again, great to see all of you in person! Hugs all around!

I also met Conni Togel of - I swear she is painting my own sheep and the things they think up. Conni used to have a flock of sheep and had to re-home them. Now they inspire her paintings. Just too cool!

The last class Ellen, Diane and I took was Stefania Isaacson's spinning for socks class. It was awesome and so is she! I have to practice and get the blends right- but am on my way. You can find her at !

I learned a lot there, and as you know I can go on and on. (but I will try not to!). Diane taught me to use a support spindle, and made me one to take home. She also suggested I use my wallpaper brush as a burnishing brush for my batts/carder. That is the best tip I have ever had for my carder! Now I am able to card up 10 ounce + batts- even including alpaca! My carder is so great, but it had a bad habit of spitting alpaca all over the room. Not good, but we have that all fixed!

Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday- and thank you again to all the people who made my sneak away weekend so special...

Later today the sheep are going to update the website- hope to see you there!

We are over halfway to coating our entire flock! You guys are awesome! If you'd like more info about our Coats for Sheep FUNdraiser, please have a visit:

Smooches from the sheep!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm spinnin' from a cloud.....

just a spinnin' from a cloud, what a glorious feeling.... (well, you get the rest!) Have YOU ever spun yarn or felted from a cloud of silky shiny wool? The sheep highly recommend it! ;0)

Sophie washed her beuatiful chocolate/silver Rambouillet fleece, then I ran it through the carder- ta-da- Clouds!

We also send fiber off to to be carded into clouds. This our Romney clan wool, blended with alpaca and llama fiber. They use a de-hairing machine (one step short of carding into roving) so almost all of the guard hair is removed.  Soft and easy to spin, felt or?

Clouds pictured above can dye up like this- again, the sheep picked a sultry colorway- must be the cloudy gloomy days we are having here?

This is one of my single ply Crazy Quilt yarn, hand spun from our Crazy Quilt picked fiber. It includes the Leicester Longwool and Sophie fiber, blended with lots and lots of bling and add-ins.

Two ply yarn spun from Sara's Leicester Longwool sheep....

A glorious silky cloud of a fleece- from my friend Sara's Leicester Longwool sheep! I handspun this fiber into 2 ply yarn that is pictured further down the page...

Sophie dyed her fleece a moody, sultry color- the natural chocolate/silver of her fleece will give projects a heathered appearance.... ooh la la!
 All you need to do is decide whether you want to try blending the clouds with other fiber for batts; spin the fiber right out of the bag; felt it or or or ! Just have fun- and remember, if I can do this, ANYone can! Hope you are all enjoying a wonderfully fibery, yarnie weekend! Smooches from the sheep!
(all of the fiber and yarn is available on our website: If you have any questions please email the sheep any time!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

An important note from the Homestead Sheep

It has come to our attention that someone continues to contact our customers, claiming to be my business partner- among other things. This is not the first time we have had to deal with her but the extent of her brazenness has become ridiculous and shameful. I would like to clarify the following:

1)      I do not now, nor have I ever had a business partner (besides my husband and son)
2)      I would NEVER give ANY one your personal information.
3)      I am not divorced.
4)      I am never too busy for my customers- asking her to supply products for you in my place would never, never happen.
5)      We are/were not neighbors.
6)      We do not, never did, never will work together. Period.
7)      We were ‘friends’ many years ago, until the sneaking around behind my back was revealed by our customers, after which I put an end to the ‘friendship’. Over 5 years ago.
8)      Her name is NOT Sandy or Sandy Ryan, but she allows people to think so.

I am sad that this situation continues, but her bitterness is causing the sheep’s customers to wonder what the heck is going on here at our Homestead. If any of you have been or are contacted by her, please let me know asap. I am happy to answer any questions you have about our farm, or claims she is making.

My family and I have spent many years working hard to establish a dependable, honest wool business. Our sheep are our life and they depend on us to only send you gorgeous fiber. Any issues brought to our attention are promptly addressed to avoid misunderstandings or hard feelings about ANY of our products at the Homestead.  

It would be very helpful if you would let us now if this has happened to you in the past or recently- or even after this note! Your information will be kept strictly confidential. If you are comfortable sending us information, please email me at the farm or call me at 608-966-3943.

The sheep and I hope you will continue to be confident in your dealings with the Homestead (and me). We truly appreciate each and every one of you!!

Thank you,
Sandy Ryan and the Homestead Sheep

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!

Are you going to Maryland this weekend??? If so, have a wonderful time! I can't get there but the sheep are- they sent our friend Sara fiber and yarn for her booth. Squeee!
This sweet little Lacey Lambie will show you all the goodies in Sara's booth- Sara raises rare Leicester Long Wool sheep so watch for her fleeces for lots of curls- all you tailspinners!!!

Sara's booth is in Barn 4, Booth 5! Hope you can stop on by!
Have a great weekend everyone and happy shopping! We will be having a ginormous fleece update next week- off to sort more fleeces! Chow for now peeps!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Shepherdess from the black lagoon????

A picture sometimes says it all!
Mud, bleh  Swan (shepherdess dive-clumsy). double bleh.
Need I say more???
Chow for now peeps!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

It's the most wonderful season...... of all!

.... all those sheepies for shearing
We're up and out early
When the shearer does call
It's the hap happiest season of all!

(Bobbi the Great Pyrenees is ready to shear!)

(YOU go first, NO, YOU go first!)
(last year's shearing day baby- Pixel!)
There'll be lunches for hosting
No coats 'cause we're roastin'
And hoping it will not snow
There'll be silly sheep stories
And tales of the glories
Of shearings of long long ago...
It's the hap happiest time of the year!
(Our Hershey the Shetland napping in the sun after his haircut and lunch)
There'll be fleeces for sortin'
And all of us knowing
Our hinders will drag out of here slow
But be of good cheeeer
It's the hap happiest time of the year!

(Bobbi is exhausted-almost done shearing and our Devlyn the Scottish Black Face is trying to get her to let him escape!)

*shearing day blogpost number 2 to follow!*
Happy shearing season everyone- happy karma fleeces to follow too- asap!

smooches from the nekkid sheeps!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fiber update Monday!

Hi everyone! Hope your week is off to a great start! The sheep got busy and their fiber update is ready for browsin'- hope you stop on by! Here is just a little bit of the new fiber they added:

Our Speedy's Lincoln x locks (unwashed)

Cheers! Corriedale wool

Pink Slippers Roving! (rare British Suffolk wool)

Our Greta & Arthur's Shetland wool + Suri Alpaca (roving)

Our sweet Arthur, a gorgeous Shetland sheep!
Smooches from the sheep everyone and have a great week!