October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We carved three of the pumpkins from our pumpkin patch last night. The seeds came from a big pumpkin we raised last year. I had bought the plant at our high school FFA plant sale. We are saving some seeds for next year to see what we will get.
We woke up to rain this morning but this afternoon we are getting some "sun breaks" (part of pacific northwest language for partly sunny. Its getting to the time of year when it will be mostly always cloudy!) Hopefully the timing will be good for my two zombies to go trick or treating. I dont think our luck will hold for soccer tomorrow though so out will come the gloves, slickers, foot warmers and the thermos of hot chocolate. The things we do for our kids! (They are worth every bit of it)

October 30, 2008

Kitty Wool Picker Video

Lets see if we can get this video to work! I really need to make a wool cat bed for this cat!

October 29, 2008

Miss Kitty and the wool

I think we will have a nice day here once the early morning fog burns off. Hopefully it will be a good day for working in the yard and getting stuff ready for winter.
Maybe I can work in some fiber prep before soccer practice tonight.
This is a short video of one of our cats. She just really likes wool and is in the middle of a wool sack at every opportunity. If I could just train her on command she could get all of my fleeces picked for me.

October 23, 2008

"Bob" is sold

We sold our son Troy's ram "Bob" last week........... He is related to most of our sheep and hasn't been used that much so he needed to go to a good home where he can improve another breeder's flock. Bob was Troy's favorite ram. We raised him and he was our only fall lamb the year he was born. He was quite spoiled by the boys and became quite the soccer player when he was a lamb playing with the boys booting the ball up and down the pasture. He also loved to go to fairs. He had some Champion Breed and Overall Ram awards to his credit but his favorite part of the fair was the people. He loved to get pets and he would eat almost anything; potato chips, oreos, candy. When he was bored he would brush his teeth on the top of his pen. He is quite a character. He also sired some really nice market lambs and his first fair champion this year. He has a good home, a new family of 4H kids that have a breeding project. I miss him, but I dont miss having him pull the hose out of the water troughs and playing with it or getting chased around the pen when he was in with the ewes!

This is a classic picture of Bob brushing his teeth!

The Lap Robe is Finished!

This is the latest project that I have finished. I have delivered it to our friends who are letting us use their pasture for our ewe lambs. The wool for the robe came from one of the N/C Romney ewes we bought from them last fall. I thought they might want a keepsake from one of their sheep.
I started with 1 1/2 lbs of the washed gray fleece and I kettle dyed it with Wilton royal blue paste dye, dried it on a screen outside in the sun, and then I put it through my little box picker which works super. The color separated some but I thought this just added some character to it. This is a picture of the fleece picked and ready for the carder.

I carded the dyed fleece into batts and spun them into 2 ply worsted weight yarn.
I used the Fern Leaf Lap Robe pattern on Ravelry (this pattern is a free download). The colors turned out heathery with a blue/green base and some dark blue, purple, and pink highlights in some areas. It was heavier than I thought it would be and will be very warm. Sheep fitting stands make great blockers, too!

Now on to the next projects, some socks, slippers, and a sweater by Christmas. So many things, so little time.

October 1, 2008

The Romneys are here!

Sunday we picked up our new Romney ewes; Munchkin, Pancake, Waffle, the Chinese sheep, and one with no name (yet). They are age 2 to 4 and they are all bred to lamb early next year. They are for our youngest son Travis to use for his breeding sheep project in 4H with the side benefit of that I get the fleeces to play with. It will be fun to learn how to fit and show a wool breed and the goal is to have a young flock to show next year. The National Romney Show is going to be at our county fair next summer so that should be great experience for all of us.

We also got to stop at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on the way to pick up the sheep. OFFF is one of my favorite places to go every year. A drop spindle class there is what started my fiber addiction. OFFF is total sensory overload for everything fiber related. I am thinking about getting another wheel and I am leaning toward a Fricke S 160 DT. It spins so easy and is really versatile. Maybe when I win the lottery.............

Have to clean out a horse shelter today with the tractor and turn the manure pile. Hopefully I will get the rest of the tomatoes picked that are ready and check the corn. We are supposed to get a storm starting tomorrow and that will be the end of nice weather for a while.