Thursday, May 16, 2019

Baaxter's Stripe

Found it!

I've been skirting fleeces, getting ready for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival this weekend.  I've tried to post some pictures on Instagram/Facebook as I've gone along and almost forgot to look for Baby B's stripe this afternoon. 

You can't see it on the top side of his fleece, but if you turn it over to the cut side, there it is :-D.  I don't think it will significantly show when whoever buys his fleece spins it, but I think it's kind of fun to know that it was actually there, just like the picture from the other day.

(screen shot from Instagram)

I'm bringing several pretty fleeces from Tring Farm and sixteen fleeces from our farm.  Most of the fleeces are in good order, but a few have a bit more VM in them than I'd like this year.  It was a super wet muddy year and we had to feed a lot of hay...  They are marked accordingly.

There will be plenty of pretty roving and the usual Punkin's Patch "swag" and unless we don't think we can safely manage them in the hot weather, three special sheep coming.  You'll probably never guess who!*  And of course 20, and he's bringing a friend as well!

Once again the festival coincides with the Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trial, just down the hill from the festival (with free shuttles all day :-) and that's always a good time.  The dog trial is going on every day.  The fiber festival is Saturday and Sunday.

Come out and do some site seeing and shopping :-D

*Don't get too excited.  It's not Maisie ;-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fast Food

This nest is on the corner of the Wool House and was actually built last year and remodeled for this year.  Look at all the wool and yarn :-).  

I'm not sure how momma birds do it.  All those open mouths.  I guess they are able to somehow keep track of who's been fed each trip.  It looks like she might have fed half of the worm to one baby and the other half to another.  I didn't notice that until I looked at the pictures.

In and back out in a flash!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Meanwhile, Back In Nome...

If I tried to write up everything that happened during this year's Iknitarod it would probably read more like Homer's Odyssey...with some lots of "grown up words".  Most of it was documented on my Instagram/Facebook feed and sadly not here (where I really want it).  If you weren't following along, here is a Reader's Digest version.

I cast on during the Iditarod's Ceremonial Start.  I hit the patterning section...and the stitches per inch gauge went haywire. I'd swatched the stockinette section, but not the patterning, which was a "rookie mistake" a non-rookie.  Turns out it wouldn't have helped.  Things got That Crazy.

I knit and reknit the top 20 rows two or three times, changing try to "get gauge" and finally gave up and went up a pattern size and then "knit on with confidence".  I got to the body and about four inches in started knitting tighter and tighter and kept knitting on "with confidence" and around 11 inches in decided it was terrible (which I knew at, say, six inches) and ripped the whole body back to the starburst.

The second reknit of the body ended up getting looser as I went on (slow learner), so much so that the bottom flared out.  But that wasn't the only issue.  The sleeves were huge as well.  I should have stayed with the original pattern size I'd swatched for...and done a better job knitting.  The sweater was wearable, but as I said on my IG post, that was not the W I was looking for.  I frogged the entire thing.

Since I was ripping back to the start, I decided to try to do the entire top in Mrs. Pepperpot's white.  I'd had quite a bit of white left over and it measured out to the same amount of all the grays I'd used, plus I was going down a pattern size, so I should have been golden.  I knit the entire top...well, most of it.  I got to two rows left...and was out of white.  

Mathematically that should not have happened.  So why did it?  I'd knit a smaller pattern size, with the same needle as before...and slopped it out.  Gauge and tension matter.  This is not breaking news.  And even if it was, I should have already learned that lesson...the hard way...TWICE.  I ripped it all back out again.  

By now I was just knitting on with [persistence]...and much more care/attention.  I'd had questions about how the yarn was holding up (a good question for sure!) and I am happy to report that Muffin and Mrs. Pepperpot, (oh, those good longwool crosses :-) held up bravely.  

Pip hung in there until the very end as well and I think really enjoyed the whole event.  Stella of course approved all the rips back to "do it right" even though several other neighbors were starting to have thoughts of calling in the white coats.  In the end, Saint Tim said it best, "Well worth the effort."

All in all it was a fun trip.  The sweater is lovely and I finished this project a much better and more careful knitter. I'm sad I didn't get it finished in time for a winter picture, but the weather yesterday was definitely cold enough for a wool photo shoot and honestly, Mother's Day was the perfect day to celebrate this mother-daughter sweater.

Friday, May 10, 2019


...there's obviously a shortage of grass in this field.  Boys...

There is obviously plenty of grass here.  So much so that I have spent much of this week sitting on a tractor or mower, trying to get back on top of it.  I am So Excited by the thought of another inch or two of rain forecast for this weekend :-o.  The obvious answer is I need more sheep, right?  Right.

I have no idea why Daniel and Baaxter are trying to eat the same piece of grass, but I love the dark gray stripe down Baaxter's back. I haven't skirted his fleece yet to see if the stripe shows through. To be honest I haven't skirted any fleeces yet...and the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival is NEXT WEEKEND.

So guess what I'll be doing this weekend ;-).

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Who Knows...

I'm not sure what Maisie did today, but I saw three separate sheep punch her this evening while I was sitting in Easy Breezy.  My first thought was that it was my fault because I'd called to her and she was encroaching on someone's "spot" at the back of the stall, but she got punched at the back, middle and front of the outer knows...

At least she's got Hank ;-).

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Morning Staff Meeting

It rained out the overdue spring barn cleaning last weekend.  We are cleaning in the rain this weekend :-/.  The neighbor has loaned us a big four wheel drive tractor..which just pulled in.  I have a million things to share...after we get through a couple of big jobs today.

Enjoy a new puzzle :-).

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Lots O' Lambs

And they are all super always ;-).

Final Frontier Farm, Paris, Kentucky

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Babydoll Lamb Camp

It's been crazy busy around here, but I was so happy to be able to make a trip out to visit Bergamascos' Babydoll Brigade this spring.  There's just about nothing cuter than Babydoll Southdown lambs :-).

And how about a couple fun new puzzles to keep you busy while I play with some more baby lambs :-D.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Peeking In

Several times a day I go peek in on everyone to make sure all is well in the barn.  This is one of my favorite things to do, especially on a sunny, but chilly "winter" day.  As I quietly walked down the barn aisle I noticed Maisie cashed out (one of my most favorite sights) so I quietly walked out, grabbed my camera and snuck back in.

The little darlin'.

Jared, aka Big J, soaking up some sun.

I seldom catch Kaala asleep.  She's always "busy".

Petunia, with Tavia and Clover Belly on the left.


Rebecca Boone, for the first time looking like she might be happy(ish) moved into Easy Breezy.  I've been trying for several days to get her settled in there.  A Cotswold with an opinion... ;-).

Good afternoon!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Wanna Go To Lamb Camp?

Being as this is a Kentucky Fiber Trail sponsored event, I really should title this post something like "Want To Know Where Your Fiber Comes From?", but who would I be kidding...everyone really just wants to come out and snorgle some baby lambs ;-D.

This spring you actually can come out and experience a busy lambing shed and even snorgle a lamb or two if the mommas are agreeable.  The Kentucky Fiber Trail has put together a central Kentucky area tour that includes our farm (no lamb...yet ;-), Final Frontier Farm (lots o' lambs), Last Move Farm B&BfeltLOOM and Rebelle Yarn Store.  

Each stop is jam packed with fun, experiences, insight and education...on where your fiber actually comes from ;-).  

We hope you'll join us!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Daniel And His Bell

Let me tell you a story about Daniel.  Don't worry - it's a sweet story with a happy ending :-).  

Daniel is one of our more complicated sheep.  Not "Maisie complicated", but complicated more like an easy going middle child who doesn't demand special attention...but sure would enjoy a little...if someone would just notice him.

Daniel doesn't follow me around, pushing and shoving for back scratches or treats.  He doesn't climb on me or the gate, not letting me through with the hay.  In fact, Daniel is never underfoot.  Daniel is always well behaved and polite...and overshadowed by his rowdy brothers and sisters.

I am aware of this and mostly make sure I've said hello and rubbed his ears and asked him how his day was, but sometimes life gets extra busy and while I always make sure everyone is well fed and in good order, I may not think to take an extra minute to check in more personally with a sheep like Daniel.

When this happens, inevitably Daniel gets "sick"...which immediately gets my notice.  He looks droopy and sad and Eeyore-ish and I check his eyes, his ears, I rub his neck and shoulders and we have a talk about what might be the matter...and if he thinks he needs to have his temperature taken.  He never does ;-).

I really don't think he's deliberately faking being sick to get my attention.  I think his feelings are truly hurt and he's a tad depressed and therefore actually "sick".  Luckily a little special attention and some extra nose smooches perk him right up.

Petunia had gotten a small nick on her neck during shearing last week.  Over the weekend I noticed that her collar and bell had aggravated the spot and was not letting it heal properly.  I immediately removed the collar and as I was getting ready to set it on the ground so I could get a better look at her neck, I noticed Daniel standing nearby, watching.

"Would you like to wear Petunia's bell for awhile?" I asked. 

I placed the collar around his neck.  He stood still and didn't seem to be at all concerned.  I fastened one side of the buckle and let it hang for a second, ready to remove it if he got upset. Some sheep really don't like the bells.  He moved his head a bit..and the bell tinkled...and Special Daniel stood a little bit taller :-).    

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Lamb Camp Begins

Stella and I got to go snorgle some cute lambies yesterday at Tring Farm :-).  I can't decide which picture I like best and I really need to go get busy, so it's a self serve blog today. You can pick your own favorite!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Another Story

"So what's this sheep's story?" Dr. Bridge asked as she knelt on the ground next to us yesterday morning.  The stories... 

As I sit there with my friends, waiting, I usually tell them stories.  "Remember that time when..."  Sometimes I just sit with them and tell them they were good girls, good boys, good ponies, best dogs ever... Sometimes I just cry and say "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry." 

I was told years ago that life with an animal is lots and lots and lots of good days...and one really bad one.  That's true with the stories as well - lots and lots and lots of good stories...and one last really sad one.  And even though the day is bad and the story is sad, at the end of the day I'm still grateful for the opportunity. 

Lila had some classic stories, especially as a bottle lamb. It's fun to go back into the blog archives and re-read them. She was a character.  She will make you laugh.  And even though she settled a bit into the background as she grew up, she became a part of so many other sheep's stories. 

Lila was one of my girls...that group of sheep as close to daughters as I'll ever have.  I had fun raising her and Grumpy Lila (unless there were cookies involved ;-) could always be counted on in return to raise up any new flock members, young or old. 

Everybody loved Lila.  Probably because she had good stories.  Maybe because she was a good pillow ;-).

Lila Lambie

April 16, 2011 - March 22, 2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019

And Not Just Because There's A Sheep

I always at least glance at the Google Doodle each morning.  Some are of no real interest.  Some have dinosaurs or shooting stars or flowers and bees.  Today's is amazing!

And not just because there is a post it note with a sheep and another with a big star shining on three little stars...out on the Iknitarod Trail ;-).

Go check it out and play some music!


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