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, January 29, 2014
How 'bout some color on a cold Jan. day?
Daylilies in our garden
It's very cold here. I believe it's colder here than anywhere else in the nation...perhaps even including Alaska! The weather has been crazy and we are having many nights around twenty degrees below zero or much more. Such cold is not normal around here for so many nights, so we are quite busy keeping up and keeping everyone as comfortable as possible. The animals want to lay down to keep warm, which is good, but you have to stimulate them to get up and run around every little while. Stock tanks have to be watched carefully every few hours because the tank heaters evaporate the water quickly. If the water gets too low, the heaters will burn out. Everyone needs higher fat feed to help maintain their weight and have energy during days of shivering. Shivering is good. Pens have been constricted so that stocking density is tighter. This helps everyone sleep closer together and feed off each other's body heat. Works really well. Then when the sun comes out and the wind dies down, outside they go! Last years ewe lambs get VERY leapy...gleeful to have some fun in the sun. You'd think they would have outgrown lamb races by now, but on a day of release like that, the lambs are off once again. It's so fun to watch! That means, I'm outside for hours and hours in weather like this. TG for WOOL!!!!!
What other problems does the cold create? Doors don't work properly, metal snaps in two like twigs, bedding freezes tight which creates uneven surfaces, latches freeze tight to your mittens the instant you touch them, buckets crack and break just sitting there, mirrors crack in two, and salt for walkways doesn't work.
Fortunately, the sun is shining nearly every day and that has been a very good thing. So despite the cold, the days are a bit of a reprieve. Indoors, it doesn't take much to make the ol' farmhouse feel cozy! All it takes is a little baking, or spinning, or planting of seeds for next summer's flowers and one can fool oneself into thinking winter is far away for just a bit. I finished another pair of wool socks...again a Romney yarn I spun. I spun it in it's natural whitish color, then dyed the yarn afterwards a beautiful bright mango color. Fun on a cold winter day!! With all the snow and ice, color is virtually gone from the natural landscape. How nice it is to put such bright colors on my feet on these cold winter days!
Some other pretty dyed colors on Wheely Wooly Farm yarns...perfect for whitewashed January days!
We surely hope all of you out there are also keeping warm and that your flocks (if you have one) are safe!