Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why This Is The Best Christmas Gift Ever


While mud is ugly to look at and irritating to slip and slide through, this is the real reason we are putting done so much fresh gravel.

There is probably a proper term for this, but I call them mud clods.  The sheep walk through mud, it sticks in between their two "toes", dries into a rock hard and usually sharp clod and then is very painful to walk with.

I picked these from Beanie Baby's hooves last night.

If this happens to the front foot of a friendly sheep who will let me just walk up to them and pick out the clod, it's not a big deal.  If it happens to a sheep who's not willing to be field caught, I have to bring them into a confined area in the barn to catch them.  That's too is not a big deal and I can't stress enough how important it is to have a catch pen area so you aren't having to chase your sheep down to catch them.

Picking clods from front feet is an easy job.  Picking clods from the back feet is a challenge even with a friendly "pet".  Liddy had mud clods in both back feet the other day.  I had to set her down on her fat butt (like for shearing) to reach them and pick them out.  This is has become a daily job lately and I had to catch, set down and pick clods from eight sheep's feet last night.  

Since it doesn't seem like it's ever going to dry out...  Wait, I didn't say that.  I'd always rather deal with mud than a drought :-o.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

And To All A Good Night!

This is the 15th year I've painted an Equinox Farm Christmas card.  We've been caroling and decorating, skating and sledding, sleigh riding, snowman building, snowball fighting, cookie baking, sweater knitting, card sending, eating Christmas dinner and even putting on a live nativity.  

As I was out of winter activity ideas for future cards, I decided 15 would be a good stopping point...and I wanted to do something different.  No light blue sky and bright white snow.  Nothing that couldn't actually be happening...except maybe that snowball fight ;-).

Once I got over feeling self-conscious about my goofy hillbilly voice and started actually enjoying doing live barn tours in the evenings on Instagram over the summer and fall, I knew what my card design for the final year would be.  


Here's where it gets a little crazy crazier.  Remember those adorable stamps with the sheep and horses last year?

Best. Christmas. Stamps. Ever.  

I knew the post office had some left over...I stewed on them all summer...and then bought enough for this year...and next year.  And then when I needed to add a little extra postage to two envelopes and the post office wouldn't sell me individual sheep stamps...and I saw there were only five books left in the drawer...I bought them all.

The moral of this story?  If something happens to me, would someone please remind Saint Tim that there is probably $200 worth of postage tucked away in the office (insert that funny grimace face emoticon from my phone). 

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

You're Going To Have To Work For It

This ought to keep you off the streets and out of trouble ;-).  But if you do feel like hitting the streets and come out to the farm this afternoon, we'll give you a real one!

Not to worry if you aren't a puzzle worker.  I'll do a full reveal on Monday.

Have some fun this weekend!

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Week In Review...Because It's Been A Busy One

Don't get excited.  There wasn't any knitting.  I had great hopes for posting with the monthly Yarn Along on Wednesday and even took some pictures of my current (sadly idle) project.......  Maybe today.

So, let's see...

The 2018 Christmas card is finished and printed.  Not stuffed and mailed, but they are painted, printed and on the dining room table.  Whew!!!  I'll post a puzzle version this weekend for anyone who'd like a sneak peak and I'll also have some at the Wool House tomorrow.  Not for sale (until next year), but if you come out to the farm (open this Saturday from 1:00-4:30), I'll give you one :-).  

If you didn't follow along with the Wovember Instagram photo challenge by daughterofashepherd last month, I encourage you to go check it out. There were so many interesting prompts and excellent posts from all over the world.  What a fun way to really focus on sheep and wool.  One of my posts was selected for the top ten!  :-D

The sold out calendars are back in stock.  Tim brought home some more Lamb Camp calendars last night, so everything still here on hold will ship out today.  Thank you so much for your patience...and all the orders.  Your support, on all levels, really means so much.

There are still three 2018 Equinox Farm fleeces left (Baaxter, Liddy and B. Willard) and several Tring Farm fleeces (lovely Maybelline and a few other white, gray and black), in case anyone is looking for a fun winter project.  Rebecca Boone was so dirty and greasy I offered to wash her fleece before shipping, so that was my fun project for yesterday.  Look at that shine!  Some is from the grease, some just because it's fun, shiny Cotswold.

I divided her into two parts so there'd be plenty of room in the washer to loosen up all the dirt.  Before washing on the left.  Washed on the right.

Washing wool in the winter is like an all day spa treatment.  The room gets warmer and steamier as the day progresses and it smells like heaven, not "smelly animal fur".  If you aren't aware of the Duluth "issue", here is one article that addresses it.  Clara Parkes always says it best.  

All washed and set out to dry.

Isn't she pretty?

So back to the picture of the yarn and project at the top.  That's Rebecca Boone!  I spun that yarn several years ago and had never found the perfect project for it.  Isabell Kraemer's Indigo Frost capelet kept showing up in my favorites and it (finally) dawned on me that the design shape looks just like Rebecca Boone's cool dreadlocks...and if I dyed some of the yarn, I could match her colors in the color patterning.  So I did!  

I overdyed her light gray to get a darker gray like her nose and legs and a reddish/brown to match her sunbleached locks.  I then spun some Woolliam for her white nose.  I wasn't thinking and didn't wash her yarn before I put it in the dye pot and the remaining fabric softener made the dye take up unevenly and I love the effect.  

I'm now ready to start the colorwork section and I can't wait.  Maybe today!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Since None Of Us Has Any Sun...Again...

How about a sweet picture of Biscuit enjoying the fleeting sun from the other day.  He's looking over at all of the rest of his buddies...on the other side of the fence.  Sometimes it's complicated being Biscuit ;-).  

I'd suggest "putting yourself in the photo, sitting in the sun up on the hill", but you'd end up with muddy pants.  Sigh...

Might as well just torture yourself with  a new puzzle!


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