Wisconsin residents add 5 % tax
Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles
Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Unique and beautiful!!
Shetland Pelt for sale $115.00 plus ship/handling fee
Wisconsin residents add 5 % tax
Wisconsin residents add 5 % tax
Dimensions: length (left to right in photo) 29 inches to 33 inches
width (top center of photo to bottom center) 22 inches at widest point
This lovely pelt shows the beginnings of change in Shetland color from a nearly black dark brown to a softer dove gray. Very unique!
If you are interested in purchasing this special and unique pelt from our small family farm, click on our email link on the right side of the blog and send us an email.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Use with any colors you like!
Our Wheely Wooly Farm Headband Pattern is also for sale for $2.95 + 5% sales tax, or it's free with a purchase of a skein of yarn! We also recommend the 'Headband Kit', which includes the trim yarn for the crocheted border and a matching pre-made crocheted flower. (The Headband Kit sells for $3.95 + tx) The pattern does not include instructions for the flower. The kit colors are constantly changing, so email for color availability.
If you'd like to use your own spun yarn, chose either a light worsted or DK (Number 3) to worsted or aran or medium(Number 4) weight yarn. The crocheted border can be made with any fine or fingering (Number 1) weight yarn.
In this photo, I've used Gracelyn's stunning yarn. She was born a moorit, but has faded to this super unique and stunning light gray with a sheen like silk! It's so lovely paired with this Lake Michigan blue color! These two colors together are so pretty in January, when everything is icy and blue skies return!
Sometimes, we have Headband Kits and patterns for sale at the market. Watch for availability! These headbands are popular with all ages and make great gifts for christmas! Once you learn how to make them, you can make a couple in an evening. Everyone loves a handmade gift...especially one that keeps you warm...with style!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Color, comfort, and style all in one!
Headband season is upon us and who can resist these stylish Shetland headbands? The colors pop on gray, dreary days plus they are very comfortable to wear, perfect for shopping, errands, social events, or simply heading to work. The black fiber is all natural color, meaning the black color will never fade, bleed, or wash out so you don't ever have to worry that in washing, the brighter colors will get dingy as synthetic fabrics do. We make these headbands in many colors, with each one being completely handmade. When I say completely, check this out!
Each sheep is lovingly cared for on a small family farm, where the sheep are tended every day. They are never left out overnight, so that our native wildlife can do what they need to do at night and the shepherd can still sleep, dreaming sweet dreams rather than blood curdling dreams. During wicked blizzards with extreme below zero cold or dangerous tornadic storms, the flock is brought in, as these weather conditions simply do not exist in Shetland sheep homelands and we'd rather not put them through that stress. The flock is lambed out each spring, which is natural and healthy behavior for animals, with some ewes getting rest years as needed. Number of lambs is not as important to us as healthy ewes. The flock is sheared by hand each spring, on specially selected days so that each sheep's health is not compromised, but rather benefits from a good spring haircut. Most of the wool is immediately assessed and processed, by hand, immediately after shearing, and is often completely spun up and ready for sale three weeks later, depending on suitable drying times (spring weather is unpredictable that way around here).
On top of all that labor and love, we engage in rotational mob-type grazing here. It's a LOT of work, as we are frequently moving fencing. Mob-type grazing is extremely good for the land AND the sheep. As a result, our pastures have improved, the soil has improved, and we have less parasite worries. The land is treated as though a herd of deer moved through, with cloven hooves aerating the soil, grass loped off (which regenerates it), and natural fertilizers left behind to feed the roots of the plants. It's a perfect system that can go on and on, as long as the shepherdess has the energy in heat, humidity, and mosquitos to rotate the fence! lol It's a labor of love, and very rewarding when the sheep run out the next morning to fresh, new grass. They positively sparkle with happiness! It's moments like that when the shepherdess ends up standing with the sheep, just relishing the simplicity of it and the flock's happiness. I usually get stuck there. :)
Anyway, if you are looking to be warmer this winter with a sense of style, and a desire to make a lifestyle choice and statement that reduces your impact on the very biological world that feeds and sustains us, these headbands are the right choice for you! And they are an awesome deal at just $12. 95 each, plus 5% tax!! Email us for availability (link on the right side of blog). Hurry though, as this price will be going up soon!
Sunday, December 1, 2013
...give the dog a bone...
As the nights get longer, and colder, the shepherdess looks forward to cozy evenings in the warm farmhouse with some good knitting, good hours to spin, or a good book. Perhaps some baking is in store...maybe an apple crisp with ice cream to follow up some scrumptious marinated lamb and home grown baked vegetables with warmed apple sauce. The newspaper came and is waiting to be read...
Waaiiiiitttt aaaaaaa mmmiiinnnuuttteee!
What's wrong with this picture? LOL! As Swifty sails through the house, bounds over the sofa as if it's a track hurdle, dashes after the cat then runs away as the cat gleefully chases him, the poor dreamy shepherdess is thinking this is not quite what she had in mind! Claws dig into the carpet, rugs go flying, shoes disappear. Splashes of water appear in streaks across the floor, trip hazards appear unexpectedly out of no where, and the cat chow magically disappears. Next thing I know, I'm a dog bed.
Good thing shepherdesses have boxes of things for emergencies! For the sheep, there are bottles of goo, orange powder, long straws, cans with blue spray and all sorts of other interesting things. For the sheep dog, there isn't much. The balls have all rolled away, the frisbees have all been lost, and the squeaky toys have been...well...misplaced. And unfortunately, the sticks have to stay outside. All that's left is something that lights up the shepherdess's eyes as though she's seen a $100. bill...a bone! There's a BONE in here! Thank goodness for the bone!
But there's bad news...there's only ONE bone in there!
Can dogs believe in Santa Clause? Can shepherdesses?
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Don't stuff yourselves!
We've been putting out this beloved shot of Wooly Bear now for many years. He surely loves his autumn pumpkin treats! His horns are MUCH longer now, and are beginning to curl around a second time, giving his age away. We LOVE this ram, and will keep him as long as he lives. He continues to get ewes in the fall, and as usual, we can't wait to see what he gives us next year! When paired with different ewes, he gives us rich, amazing fleece colors that please spinners and knitters alike. He's a very docile fellow and an easy keeper and we are so happy to have him!
....the latest knitting work...
During the holiday weekend, if I get any moments to knit, I'll be finishing this second mitten. The yarn is actually a giant, bulky singles yarn spun by a youth, but it's remarkably even in gauge in all but a few places. Different colors of roving were added to the yarn as the spinner worked along, giving the yarn an unpredictable and fun color, to which I'm adding softer grays in spots by picking up new yarn. The first mitten is done already, thumb and all. Here, I'm about to start the left hand thumb increases, at which time, I'll pick up the pretty mango yarn again. The two mittens in the pair will not be alike, yet they will be the same yarns. For a kid on a farm...FUN! :)
Hope you all have a super nice Thanksgiving everyone, and safe travels to your destinations! And we'll put the word out right away, as soon as we know, if we'll be at market! We had to slow things down in Oct. and Nov. due to circumstances in the family, but we'll be back to market now as soon as there is space available. Happy Feasting!
Monday, November 25, 2013
To a place with spooky fish...
...scuba divers overhead...
...fun ferry rides full of oxygen and fresh air...
...and great beaches for walks with the dogs...
So where'd we go? Seattle! What a gorgeous city! We had a great time and were busy putting on miles every single day. I loved the ferries, as I grew up on the water. I loved the beaches, a rock hound's paradise! I loved the fragrant air, and the cool but mild cedar-scented air. Thanks to our family for being such great hosts and spending the whole week with us, showing us all around! It was a great trip!
And now, we are back to the chilly midwest, freezing and dreading those nasty frozen water buckets again! Saturday night, we were just a few ticks above zero. Yuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness for WOOL! lol I'm wearing my Mona hat, Maewyn's mittens, Redwood's scarf, my new lavendar Romney socks, and my down coat. It's the only way to survive out there!
Friday, November 22, 2013
So where'd we go? To a place that has THE coolest legbands for poultry I've ever seen! lol
Ok...we cracked up at this one!
Some of you readers might recognize this rooster...or perhaps might have even been the one to create the best leg bands I've ever seen. Where is this? Oh, I can't reveal it that fast! For those of you who do not know this fellow, he's a giant rooster that stands nearly five feet tall. This picture was taken exactly one week ago today and the flowers there were still gloriously blooming! I felt a strong need to breathe in all the fresh oxygen we felt in this place. Very refreshing. Very unforgettable.
So yes, we've missed a few markets. We've had some circumstances in our family that kept us from the market earlier in the season, then this trip right on the tail end of those circumstances. There was sadness, and the fun of flying away all rolled up into a tight few weeks of time. We hope to be back at the market soon, and if so, we'll post if we can.
In the meantime, things have quieted down here. The breeding groups are apart and the rams settled back down. No one has splintered any wood for awhile now. Our grazing is completely done and snow is on the ground today. A little freezing would be a good thing now, as the mud would dessicate and turn hard, rather than the continous mud we've had after heavy rains. Thus the peaceful time begins, as we wait for lambing to begin after the new year.
Speaking of holidays, can you believe Thanksgiving is so close? I can't! Got your turkey? Ready to thaw it? Know where your decorations are? Oh boy! Time sure is flying! I better spin awhile and think about all the things I need to do....