Monday, May 27, 2013

So How Are Those Lambies?

The lambs are growing very fast right now, having good pasture and mom and some creep feed when they want it.

The Gang of Six (bottle babies) are really developing their own personalities.  They do all hang together in a little group so when the whole flock goes out to pasture in the morning they usually go with the flow and don't look for me too much.  This morning the youngest one, Flopsy, got sidetracked by something and didn't stick with the other five.  She thought she'd stay with me but when I stepped back into the barn she got positively frantic, poor thing, so I trooped out to the pasture to find the rest of the Gang for her.

The sheep saw me right away and thought I was going to open a gate into a south pasture so they all started to run toward me.

Then they thought I was going to go down the hill and open the east gate into the big, lower pasture.

After a while they gave up wishing for better and went back to grazing their perfectly nice pasture.  It was a beautiful morning and I could have happily stayed out there all day.  It did give me a chance to take some pictures. 

Fortune is the big sister of the group.  She's my C-section baby and doing very well.  She was born March 20, so is the oldest.

But still wants to come to momma whenever she sees me.

She's losing the baby lamb look and changing into a big kid.  She waffles between wanting petting and hugs and loving, and shrugging off attention to go eat or see what the other lambs are doing.

Daisy is the next oldest.  She was the last, smallest triplet from Shasta this year and needed to be in the house for about 2 days to gain some strength.  Mom almost took her back but then decided that the two she had was plenty.  Daisy is Miss Independent.... which is why I have no good picture of her yet.  She is always wandering ahead by herself looking for the best grass.  Here she's between Fortune and Snubby.

Then there are the three sisters - triplets from a mom with one functional teat and a case of mastitis.  Poof - you are bottle lambs.

Nugget, the solid tank who likes to have her chest scratched.

Fawn, with pretty dark ears and a delicate face, who is quiet but very alert to where you are....and if you might call for her to come.

And Snubby, (AKA Snubby-wub or Snubby-luv) who was born with a bit of a squashed face.  It's as though her nose was pressed up against something hard while she was developing, but it's more likely a bit of a genetic goof rather than a mechanical effect.  Her mouth is a little odd, but doesn't seem to impair her ability to eat, thank goodness.

She is the sweetest of the three siblings and loves to be petted and talked to.  Her expression is really quite endearing.  She perpetually looks like she's thinking, "Well, hmph.  I just don't know about that."

And then there's Flopsy, named by That Andy because of her ears.  She is the youngest by a couple of weeks.  Born to an old ewe, she was very weak and in the house for several days before being strong enough to go to the barn. 

She is still a Very Baby Lamb who wants a bottle and her momma and attention. right. now!  She loves to be petted also, and after being Abandoned! this morning she was especially clingy and stuck to my legs like velcro.

Eventually her shattered nerves quieted enough that she could nibble some grass with Snubby.

Eventually the sheep started to work their way back up toward the barn for the mid-morning drink and sit-down.

The lambs stayed grouped together so Flopsy had a definate 'family' to stay with.

I stepped back a bit and off to the side, then back some more and could finally climb over the fence into the next pasture and slink back up to the barn unnoticed.

IF there weren't so much to do I really could have stayed out there in the sun all day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Project 'First'

I've admired for some time the bags and purses that other fiber people have made by knitting something oversized and then deliberately felting it (fulling) to reduce size and increase fabric density.  Like so many other interesting things, I don't actually follow through and do them unless there is an additional reason.

This year our spinning guild held a group challenge called "Bag It!".  Back in November you were to provide 8 ounces of ready-to-spin fiber in a plain brown bag.  The bags were shuffled and handed out to all participants (with the organizers keeping track of whose was whose) who then were to make a bag or vessel by any method they chose and return the item to the original person.  I discovered some lovely Blue Faced Leicester wool dyed in dark shades of blue.  The spinning was quick and fun, but then the yarn sat for some time (*cough*April) until I found a pattern I liked thought I could handle.  (If you don't know of them already, hie thee to Ravelry and join, if only to take advantage of the pattern library.)

The Booga Bag looked pretty easy and I made a few changes  (more rows, more rounds) to make mine a bit bigger than I thought it would be if I strictly followed the pattern.  The pattern calls for you to make I-cord for the handle but making the bag bigger robbed me of sufficient yarn to do that.  Instead I built a small pocket into the inside of the bag and found some nice cording at JoAnn Fabrics to be handles.  And beads - I had to jazz it up with some silver and pearl beads.

I had pictures.  I really did, and it looked great.  Somehow I had a serious brain cramp and erased them to make room for something else. 

The bag was ripped from the recipient's hands collected at the end of the meeting to be included in the guild's display of Bag It items at the September festival. The variety and excellent quality of all the items was amazing and inspiring.  I already put a few more patterns in my Favorites on Ravelry to try some day.   I'll be sure to get a picture of  my bag at the festival and post it here.  I do so few projects - I need to immortalize them in pictures!  Sigh.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Stills - The Letter W

....So this week is a letter challenge and anything that begins with the letter W will suffice. :-)


A small portion of the wool waiting for my attention.
An old worn out disc resting on a new one.  The metal missing from the edge has been ground off  one molecule at a time grating over the rocks in our fields.

Remove every disc and replace with a new one.  The shaft that runs though the centers and holds them in a row had snapped too, precipitating the sudden task.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Stills - White

This week's challenge is the color white.  They are predicting SNOW here tomorrow and tomorrow night which would have been a good challenge capture in a dreadful sort of way.... but since it's not here yet we'll go with


Lamb's Ears (the real kind, not the plant)

I really, really don't want to be editing this tomorrow to add snow......

Monday, May 6, 2013

At Last

Spring has been a long time coming this year.  There were no teasing warm days in March or April.  We just hung on to winter and temps that couldn't crack 40 for weeks.  Things finally changed last week and we've had full sun and temps in the 70 range.  That brought on the pasture enough that we could start introducing the flock to green grass again after seven months of being on dry hay.

This is the small pasture directly adjacent to the barn yard we call the Baby Pasture.  It will only last a few days even though we only allow them a limited grazing period to help them acclimate to fresh forage.  Sheep have no self control and would eat themselves sick on this lovely stuff.

Of course the lambs have never been beyond the fence and everything gets thoroughly investigated.  Apparently, bare dirt is the best. stuff. ever.

The ewes don't waste any time or energy - they just graze as fast as they can (although they do run to another spot if they think someone has something better than they do.)

This is a dreadful picture of him, but this little guy has very cool moorit and white markings and is going to live in KY at Equinox Farm when he's weaned along with a companion or two.
But these lambies have a few more weeks with mom before that happens.

I'm sure the time will flash past like lightning.