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.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It's Tradition!

 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

So where DID we go?

To a place with spooky fish...
 ...scuba divers overhead... ferry rides full of oxygen and fresh air...
 ...thunderous waterfalls...
 ...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

Coolest leg bands I've ever seen...

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.... 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

567 m.p.h. Socks

How fast can you knit? I can knit 567 m.p.h.!  Well, not really!  As a shepherdess, I may be able to leave the farm, but I can't leave behind the sheep!  So of course, when packing to fly away, I had to pack some wool.  I decided to take that lovely Romney lavender yarn I bought from Yorkshire Rose Farm so that I could continue making my new socks.
 My 567 m.p.h. lavender socks...still not on the ground!

I decided they would be a great deviation from the sound of massive engines whirling away just outside the 36,000 feet above my comfort zone.  I must confess...I had a wee bit of trouble concentrating!  It didn't take long for me to figure out that even though we were flying at remarkable speed through what remained of the atmosphere, my stitches were not following suit.  In fact, they were draggy....barely making it from one needle to the next.  The stitches were clean and of good gauge however.  Whew.  In two hours time, I think I progressed only three inches.  lol
 When I looked up from my 'fast' socks, this is what I saw.
Those cool screens told us how fast we were going, and what our altitude was.  Gulp.

So where did the shepherdess go?  Here's a hint:
lol...far, far, far away from the great midwest!

My 'fast' socks are finished now, and on my feet tonight.  How nice!  I think it's the first time my toes have been warm in days!  Good thing they are done, as cold air is here and expected to stay.  I wonder if they will make me a 'faster' spinner?...a 567 m.p.h. spinner?  lol  We'll see!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Shepherdess Flies Around

Hello all!  Sorry about the gap in new posts, but we've been very busy, and not around!  We flew off on a fun adventure and have just returned home to happy sheep.  I'll update in a little bit!  We've been thinking of you all and again, sorry for the delay in posts!