Monday, May 28, 2007

Ladies in Waiting

This is one of my favourite pictures.

Although it's not the best picture, because I
appear to have something on the lens of my camera that looks like dirt - I like this picture
because it shows most of my pregnant ewes all in
a circle - big, fat bellies - ready to deliver their lambs.

I took this picture from the loft - and everyone was pigging out on some minerals and kelp
before the evening rest. I'll probably keep them in the barn now for the next few days - only
because the weather is supposed to be very hot.
Being that I work all day - I like to keep the girls in where it's a bit cooler.
Lambs should be arriving in the next few days - it's starting to get very exciting.

Now I'm going to go and try to clean my camera lens.
I will keep you posted as the lambs start to arrive.

More Pink

Well, as a continuance to the kool-aid experiment, here is what we have happening.

After Vivien's fleece dried - this is what we had.
A lovely pink cloud. It's actually very mesmerizing - everyone who sees it, just can't keep their hands out of it. Just the tips stayed pink.

So - I just couldn't resist putting some locks through the drum carder.

This next picture shows the pink batt that came out of
the drum carder.

It's like a big pink fluffy cloud. To the right of the batt you can see a bit of the yarn that I spun from the batt.
Now this batt is laying on top of a batt of ultra white fibre batt (the kind that you buy at the store for stuffing pillows).
So you can see just how much pink there really is.

It's really very delicate and pretty.

In this last picture, you can see the mini skein that I spun up
from a piece of the batt. Again, it's a very delicate pink.
Originally, I was rather disappointed with the kool-aid
experiment, however, after seeing these results, I am
quite happy.
I can't wait to try it again next year - and gee - Vivien is
the most willing little sheep - she just loves the

I'm also thinking I might play with another fleece - do some
kool-aid dying in the grass - then wash it out and see if I can
get the tips to do a different colour. Although I have to say,
the colour that stays the best was the red - which turned

Just think of the possibilities, we could kool-aid dye all of our
fleeces - right on the sheep - save some time after shearing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Update on Kool-Aid Dying Experiment

Well then. I washed a few fleeces today - just to try to get ahead of the game.
I am so tired. We spent the morning preparing lamb pens, then I spent the entire afternoon washing fleeces. First I washed a couple of llama fleeces for a friend down the road. They were, and still are quite a mess - even after 3 washes. We'll have to have a talk.
However, I then washed up a 3 more of my own fleeces. I was going to do a 4th, but time and sunlight were starting to run low - and I have to get some work done tonight.


If you go back to my blog on April 22, you will see that we kool-aid dyed one of my sheep
Vivien is a real pet - and seemed to relish the attention.

At the right is a photo of her fleece laid out in the
driveway before washing. now - the Purple, blue and green are fading. Note --when we dyed her - we did not rinse the kool-aid out - just poured it on and left it. (as an aside - the other sheep thought she was very tasty).

Now at the right, is her fleece laying out to dry after being washed. The green, purple and blue did not stay at all. The red and orange are still there - but only at the tips. It is quite an interesting effect, and could be quite interesting to spin up. I will have to keep you updated on what it looks like.

For now - we will let it dry, then I will try to card a bit and spin it maybe next week.

I still have 26 more fleeces to wash, and I guess I will try to wash 1 fleece per day. However - lambs are due in a few days - and that might go right down the tubes. More later.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What's All This?

Well - that depends on how you look at it. If you're a fibre fanatic - it's a whole lot of fun.
If you're not a fibre fanatic - it's a whole lot of work. In my case, it's a bit of both.

Ok - the answer: it's 28 bags of wool.

In this case - it's 89 pounds of Shetland fleece.
And I spent the entire afternoon, skirting and picking fleeces to get them ready for sale or processing. In the next few weeks, I will wash most of the fleeces. Some I will keep for my own use, some will be sold to other spinners, and the balance will go to be processed into rovings.
I would have taken them out of the bags for the picture. But it was a very windy day here today, and since I didn't want to be in the next town gathering them back up - well, you get the picture.

I also went to my friend Barb's house last night - and we unloaded the kiln.
I am also a potter. I've only been potting for
about 6 years - so I still have lots to learn.
This picture is of some of the pieces I made
in January of this year. I only got around to
glazing them this week because my hands
have been cracking and splitting so badly, I just
don't want to put them into the glazes or clay at
I was quite pleased with the results of these 3 pieces. They are made with a marbled mix of
black and white clays, and then just a clear
glaze on top.
I also made a series of pieces in a cream clay that
has brown flecks all through it. I guess it gives
me a little bit of incentive to get back to the wheel and put out a few more pieces before the
fall sale for our guild comes up.

In the meantime, we continue to work on
getting a studio together, so that I can get all of my fibre and pottery stuff out of the house and
into my own space.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shearing is Done

Well, shearing is done for another year. It's been a couple of very busy weeks here. We sheared everyone on the 9th of May. We have over 100 pounds of luscious freshly shorn fleece, ready to be skirted, washed and picked. CDT shots, deworming and hooves were done on the 13th as well. Next up - lambing should start in a few weeks.
This weekend, our long holiday weekend, we will work on lamb pens. Once that is done, we will have to separate the pregnant ewes from the rest of the flock.

I also got a great little gift for Mothers Day (but it arrived this week).
I got an Ashford drum carder. It arrived a few days ago, but I wasn't able to put it together until last night. I put some dyed shetland locks on and played a bit last night. I think I'm really going to enjoy this.

My plans are to keep 5 or 6 fleeces to play with on the new carder, and the rest will go to the mill and be processed into rovings for sale.

In the meantime, with all the other work on the farm, we are trying to get one of the garages cleaned out and it will be turned into a pottery and fibre studio.

Well - much is happening, so keep posted, hopefully we'll have some great lamb photos to post real soon.