Sunday, November 7, 2010


I am just so excited and proud that I have to tell everyone the news:

My very good friends Al and Cate entered 2 fleeces from their shetland sheep in the

ROYAL WINTER AGRICULTURAL FAIR in Toronto, Ontario recently (this is one of the biggest Agricultural Fairs in Canada).

Earendal Kinwulf (Out of Kalwa Taure Esme - and Cherrington Merlin) - took 3rd place in the
Natural coloured wool class. Kinwulf is a 3 year old wether (shown below).

And -
Cherrington Sarah (Molly) shown below - a 9 year old ewe that I sold to Cate a few years ago - took 5th place! She's 9 years old!!! Wow - a 9 year old ewe against yearlings!

1st, 2nd and 4th places went to yearling icelandics. There were dozens of fleeces entered in this class - and so this is a wonderful accomplishment for shetlands.

You can read more about this in Cates post at: Earendel Farm

Of course - In my Humble Opinion - this reinforces a lot of what we've been working on for the last several years. I will take a moment to tell you a bit about: "The Cherrington Project".

The Cherrington Project - An Overview:

About 16 years ago - I set out in search of some little sheep to cut the grass in my large 2 acre back yard. In Harrowsmith Magazine - I came across an article on Shetland Sheep and the Dailley Farm - Oh boy - little sheep! And so I set out to find the little Shetlands (the Dailley farm is about a 2 hour drive from my farm).

I was introduced to a lady "Dale" - who owned the farm with the prefix "Cherrington" - and I purchased 3 sheep - 2 ewes and a ram.

I knew very little about sheep - but I was excited to get these great little sheep.

Fast forward about 5 years. Dale has sold her farm - and has decided to disperse her flock - which has grown to about 30 sheep.

Knowing that I will offer them a good home - she gifts me with about 15 lovely "Cherrington"
Shetlands - with the promise that I will love and cherish them - and always give them a good home.

Around this time - I am starting to learn about fleeces, spinning and genetics.

For those of you who don't know about the Cherrington Shetlands.

All of the Cherrington Shetlands and the Skerryvore Shetlands are directly bred back to the original sheep brought in by Colonel Dailley. Dale and Chickie (the owner of Skerreyvore Shetlands) selectively picked sheep to breed for the softness and handle of the fleeces - both of them were spinners.

Back to the Future.

About 5 years ago - Cate and I met and became friends, and she started to raise shetlands as well - in Particular she wanted to work at preserving those lovely Cherrington Shetlands.

Together - we have been working very hard to maintain the remainder of the Cherrington Flock. Many of the Cherringtons that I have - are now residing at Cates farm - and together - we have been very selective in the breeding of our sheep - for a single coated - fine, even crimp.
Most of our sheep are directly bred out of the original Cherrington flock with very little outside genetics. We maintained 3 lovely Cherrington Rams - Cherrington Charles (who died about 5 years ago) - Cherrington Merlin - a lovely ram who passed away last year, and we still have Cherrington Harry - who is now 10, and arthritis is starting to take over - so this past year, Cate and I purchased a lovely white ram from Carole Precious (Dailley Pachino)- with a stunning fleece - and wonderful conformation and horns to help carry on the genetics.

We are still working on selective breeding of the remaining Cherrington ewes - and offspring.
We selectively breed only 2 - 3 ewes every year - and scrutinize the fleeces - not only by us - but by a group of several spinners. Sorry folks - we haven't microned the sheep yet - but that is coming. So - that's kind of the story about what we're doing and how we're doing it. We're trying to maintain this lovely little island sheep and their beautiful fleeces.
Cate and Al are very proud to have done so well at the Royal - and I'm so proud of them as well.

We think this is wonderful for our little breed of sheep. Sorry that I have rambled on on so long, but wow - I don't get to crow very often.

Just a little addendum to the above:
Cate tells me that the Sheep to Shawl Judge purchased the 3rd place fleece during the fleece auction.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Physio Therapy

As some of you may know - I have a serious shoulder injury, which has been getting progressively worse this last couple of years.

The pain has been so bad - that I have been forced to give up some of my favourite activities - like playing the violin, various sports, and it has seriously hampered me being able to look after my flock. Thus - I have had to reduce my flock so that I can reduce my work load. This has been very distressing to say the least.

However - there is hope on the horizon.

Earlier this spring, my physician suggested a different form of excercise to help strengthen my shoulder and try to put me back in shape.


My wonderful husband - ever supportive of all my endeavors, has embraced this sport with me:

And so:

Recently - we travelled to see my daughter in Gagetown New Brunswick (a two day drive):

We of course wasted no time in renting kayaks and heading out onto the
St John River for a day cruise. We spent 5 hours out on the water - and I took some absolutely
beautiful pictures.

This one is a particular favourite -
(click to see larger), as we are heading up the
river and under the Fredricton Bridge.
That's my husband (Kevin) and my Daughter
Brittany up ahead in their kayaks - I stayed behind in my kayak to get the shots.

We had a great time - and more on that vacation in another post.

We try to get out at least once a week - and for
a minimum of a 2 hour paddle - but prefer a 4 - 5 hour paddle. Surprising - when you are out there - you lose complete track of time.

Last week - we managed to get out twice - which was a real treat.

So - on Wednesday night - we loaded up the car
with the kayaks and all the gear.
Yes - I get lots of funny looks:
(The kayaks are actually Longer than the car).

And after work on Thursday - we headed straight
out to The Pinery - which is a local
Provincial Park about an hour from here.

Here's a picture I took as we were heading up the
main channel. This channel was dug out in the 1800's to help drain the local farmland - it is about 100 ft wide - and 10 km long (6 miles).
It's not very deep - probably only about 8 feet.
This was a very relaxing paddle - we probably did about 4 kilometers in each direction - or a total of 5 miles. For part of it we were paddling into a decent headwind - so on the way back - we were able to relax a bit and drift.
This is a great way to relax after a hard day at work.

And - lucky us -on Saturday - we
were headed down to Leamington - which is on the north shore of Lake Erie (near Windsor, Ontario) - so - we left the kayaks on
top and after completing
our business at the kayak store - we headed
off to Point Pelee - which is the southern - most
mainland point in Canada.

We decided that we would keep to the marshes because the lake was quite choppy.
There are several small lakes - and trails throughout the marshes that you can canoe or kayak in - and so off we went. In the middle of one of the lakes there was this HUGE - probably about 2 acres in size patch of water lillies.
Here is a picture of Kevin as he eases his kayak in close to the water lillies. Look at the size of the lily pads - they were about 2 feet in diameter - and the flowers were about 8 - 10 inces across - many of them on stocks that stuck 3 feet above the water.

We played on the marshes for about 3 hours in the 95 degree weather before packing up and heading home.

So far we've discovered that we LOVE kayaking (yes - those are our kayaks in the last 2 pictures). We have taken the plunge and gone out and purchased a couple of sea kayaks - and all the gear - expensive - but worth it.

And is it helping my shoulder you ask? Yes - the short answer is yes. It's been great therapy.
I'm hoping that this will strengthen the muscles - and help out with all the pain.
So far - no complaints from me. Besides that - it's great excercise, and quality time spent with
my husband and children. I highly recommend it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Arrivals

While I'm waiting for this sweltering heat to subside, so I can go out to work in my studio.
(by the way - it reached 36 degrees celcius here today - something like 96 degrees farenheit).

We have a few new additions to the farm roster.

On June 22nd (as I was walking out the door to attend a dinner meeting) - I notice Blizzard, my absolute most favourite sheep in the whole wide world - laying under the willow tree by the

That could only mean one thing.
So - I dashed back in the house and changed - and ran out to help her (it was 87 degrees farenheit out).

After about half an hour of standing up, laying down, pushing, standing up again, coming over and putting her head in my lap then going and laying back down - I decided I would chance going to the meeting. Blizzard has always been very good at delivering on her own.

So - off I went and got changed and washed up, and off to the meeting.
Of course - I left instructions with my son and husband - and every 15 minutes, I got an update call.

At 8 pm - just as I was getting ready to present my report - I got the call that her water broke.
Sorry guys - gotta dash.

Blizzard was bred to Dailley Pachino - a
beautiful white ram that I co-own with my very
good friends Cate and Al at Earendal Farm.

Here are her two white ewe lambs about
15 minutes after they were born.
Aren't lambs amazing - just born - up on those wobbly legs looking for food.

Of course - in my opinion - they are absolutely
stunning (but I'm very biased).


Here are Kalwa Taure Princess, and Kalwa
Taure Duchess today - less than 2 weeks later.

Don't you just love white lambs - they are the cutest.

Also - not to be forgotten - and along our
royalty lines (it's an inside joke)....

Before I hurt my neck and shoulder so badly last month (which is now causing me to greatly reduce my flock).........

As part of our flock improvement program - we brought this little lovely in from Carole Precious:

Dailley Tiara
A lovely yearling ewe from the Chassagne Farm
(I think that's the name of Carole's new farm).

Again - with the help of my wonderful friends
Cate and Al - as I had to be out of town at a meeting (again).
They went over to see Carole, and picked out
Tiara for me. Her fleece is like butter - and oh so
Tiara spent a couple of weeks in quarantine at
Cates farm before coming to our farm for a couple of more weeks of quarantine - poor girl.
But, she is now in with the main flock and seems to be doing quite well. She's fattened up a bit, and, although still a bit skittish, she knows her name, and is coming over for treats.

We're hoping to not have to sell off the entire flock - but to only reduce it down so that I can manage a bit better once my son leaves for University next year. Until then - these 3 will remain here.

Well - I'm hoping it's cooled a bit out there now - looks like a possible storm moving in.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Haircut Time........Or

How to Get your Sheep to Lose Weight Fast:

From This:

To This:

I sure bet that feels better.

We sheared late this year for various reasons,
and I don't think my sheep really appreciated it.
But I'm not hearing too many complaints right
now - especially since it's been
31 - 32 degrees Celcius (88 - 90 degrees farenheit) this past few days.
At least it's dry right now - so it's not too muggy.

Tomorrow - an introduction to our new babies.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flock Dispersal Sale

Well - after more than 15 years raising shetland sheep - we have decided to sell off the flock.
Our lives are becoming more busy - and we are finding it more difficult to find the time to spend with the livestock.

Kevin and I have decided to sell almost all of the sheep - and chickens and ducks - and we are going
to also look at selling the farm and moving to a smaller property that is more manageable.
We work in a family business - and with both of our children going to be away on the other side of the country within the next year, we just feel that we need to fix our priorities and downsize a little bit.

It also hasn't helped that I have a shoulder/neck injury - and this last several months, I have been suffering terribly with migraines.

This picture is of Windwater Rosie - and two of her 3 lambs from this year.
She is for sale for $250, and each of her lambs is
for sale for $200 - but you can take all 4 for

To see the other sheep I have posted, go to my
sales blog at:

There are only a few listed - but I will post more in the next few days as I get a chance to take pictures.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Almost Forgot

I feel so remiss. I have been so busy lately that I almost forgot to post this.

A while ago - I implored upon a friend of mine to weave me a shawl. Not just any shawl mind you, but a special shawl - special to me.

Nina took the challenge (even though she was moving). I sent her a quantity of rovings - and she went to work - spinning and weaving.

Much sooner than I expected - she called to say that the shawl was done.

Here are the results.

A beautiful shawl - made from the wool of all my

I call it my "baby blanket". I wear it every night when I am watching television. It is so soft and warm - and surprisingly - it isn't scratchy next to the skin.

And the most important part - it has wool from almost all my sheep - past and present in it.
This means a lot to me - and it is so cherished.

I can't remember the weave that she used -
here it is up close.

Unfortunately - I find that the flash kind of washes out the colour.

I am so pleased - and grateful.

Thank you Nina!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spring Lambs

Well - after raising shetland sheep for almost 15 years.

This past week, we had our first set of triplets.

These little darlings were born to Windwater Rosie (mioget, krunet, sokket markings) and were sired by Thistlecroft Thomas (solid white - no markings).

The two little white ones are ewes, and the black one is a ram. Unfortunately, another ewe took the liberty of cleaning up the ram lamb while Rosie was busy with the other two lambs - so she won't accept him. I am supplementing him
twice a day with a bottle - and it seems to be doing the trick. He is smart enough to know to sneak in when the other lambs are feeding - and he is able to get a bit of nourishment.

This by the way was an unplanned breeding. I hadn't planned on breeding any of the ewes last year, but Thomas had other plans. I came home from a meeting late one evening last fall - and found Thomas in with the ewes.

Needless to say - he wasn't finished with just Rosie. Later the same evening last week - this little cutie was born to Kalwa Taure Trinity.

He's a pure white ram lamb. He is a little darling.

Both Trinity and Rosie are excellent mothers.
They are both trusting enough that they will allow you to handle their lambs without freaking out on you - yet protective enough to keep a close eye on them. (Well - except for Rosie rejecting the little guy - but that really wasn't her fault).

So - thankfully - these were the only lambs to come from this pairing. We do have more lambs coming in about 6 weeks from a "Planned" late
breeding to Dailley Pachino, the white ram that Cate DeSantis and I jointly own.

Now - while we're waiting - there's shearing to be done, and deworming, and hoof trimming,
pastures to be fertilized, and stalls to clean.
(sigh) - It never ends.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What a Fabulous Surprise!

I was just floored!

I was at work today - and went to get my mail
at the front office. There was a nice puffy envelope waiting for me - when I opened it -

I found this:

A Beautiful - handspun - hand-dyed and hand knit scarf and hat from my friend Kim.

I had left a message on her blog a while back about a beautiful skein of shetland that she had spun up (her son Jared dyes the rovings - he is a wizard) - "subtly" telling her that it would be a beautiful scarf for my daughter.

Kim - you are a darling! Only problem - now I want one for me!

She also put a bar of handmade soap from
Maggie in the package - and oh - it smells so good.

I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful friend as Kim. By the way - Kim has a fabulous
online fibre shop to feed all of your fibre addictions - check it out at:

Cornerstone Fibres