Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome Home, Boys!

*Finally*, the fences are done. We brought home our two alpaca dudes, Monk & Teeger, a couple weeks ago. They have settled in well and were joined by our two rams, Adonis & Bacchus. The goat boys will be coming soon to fill up the back pasture. What a wonderful assortment of fiber guys! The photos are of our back yard with Monk, and the goaties with their Mommy, who has raised them with such love & care. We can hardly wait to get our two of them home, too.

Last month we put 2 1/2 of our ewes together with Adonis & Bacchus so we are hoping for some lovely little lambs in January/February. . . that is, unless Helena already had a little bun in the oven. . . which would mean October/November. I say 2 1/2 ewes because although we put Pebbles in with Adonis (“Don”), she didn’t seem to be his type. . . or maybe she hadn’t quite weaned her ewe lamb from last year & just wasn’t cycling yet. But then you never know. I think it’s safe to say that we could be having two to six lambs. CVM/Romeldales often twin, but since Anemarie & Helena are newbies at this, it’s more likely they’ll have singles. I can hardly wait to see what we get. . . hopefully not all rams.

Here is a photo of Athena, the most vocal of our sheep. I think I caught her smiling.

We’re heading to OFFF (Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival) soon so I’ll try to report from there. Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Late summer 2008

Here it is, September 2nd already, and I’m not sure exactly where the summer went. Here are a few glimpses, though.

The Oregon shawl won first prize - Best of Knitting - at the Lynden Fair. I am so pleased. It was a huge project - about 2400 yards of yarn - so I’m happy just to have it done. Winning first place was the icing on the cake.

At the fair, I participated in the Wool Show, a collaborative effort put on by the Whatcom Weavers Guild and Spindrifters, part of Northwest Regional Spinners’ Association http://www.nwrsa.org Here is one of my Spindrifter friends, demonstrating spinning on her wheel.

I finished another knitting project. Awhile back I started spinning (Turkish drop spindle) yarn for a vest. I knitted mitered squares using the handspum plus Lamb’s Pride in deep purple for contrast. I’m very happy to have this one done, too, especially in time for the fall ahead. It was great to learn this technique, which I am happy to report, does not require that it be knitted on square needles. Double decreases every other row form the points, turning straight rows of knitting into right angles.

The sheep are doing great. All ten of them. We’re hoping for some lambies in January/February, so have put the ram boys with three of our girls. Of our two rams, Don, (Adonis, the white dude) is more aggressive. If you read the last entry, he spent a good deal of time chasing Pebbles around the field, which caused a lot of panting but no nookie, at least that we saw. Let’s just say that Pebs has been around the block a few times, and her response to Don’s overtures was more eye-rolling than anything else. Don finally gave up on Pebs & started sniffing through to the girls in the next stall. As of now, he’s knocked down the dividers between the stalls *twice* & gone over/through the electric fence three times. Maybe that’s why they call them “rams”. So he’s going to the vet on Friday to have a couple of things removed. We’re not going to deal with that any more. Don is lucky he has scrumptious fiber - Doug has often said that this problem could easily be cured with a little garlic & rosemary. Don did have some “quality time” with Helena, so we’ll see if we get a little vanilla/chocolate swirl type lambie in the winter. Hopefully a ewe.

We *really* wanted to have Anemarie bred by Bacchus. We love Bachus’s color & markings, and hope that together they’ll make another one that looks just like them. Bacchus has been a slow starter, though, and for awhile I thought I might need to bring out some Barry White CD’s, champagne & candles, but I think he’s got things figured out now. I just hope Don didn’t get to her first, during one of his five incursions into their space. I guess we’ll find out in February!