Thursday, May 13, 2010

By Light Of Day

So I headed to bed last night dog tired and frustrated...and wishing I were the captain of a river ferry, not trying to get ready for the first big sheep and fiber festival in Kentucky.

I'd worked all day trying to update our farm brochure and I just couldn't get a design that looked right. ALL DAY. Probably NINE HOURS total. Yeesh. Fortunately several of those hours were spent at Ohio Valley Natural Fibers, multi-tasking. They kindly ran a few fleeces for me while I waited so we'd have a good selection this weekend.

This brings me to my second grrrrr. I'd gone to the trouble of cutting the sunbleached tips off half of Boudreaux's black fleece. The other half I left as-is so I could see if it was worth the time to trim each lock. A LOT OF TIME.

We don't coat our sheep, so I spend a fair amount of time nitpicking small bits of VM (vegetable matter) out of each washed fleece before they are processed. Somehow, out of 36 fleeces, I missed Boudreaux's. As I watched it come off the machine - with bits of hay and straw marring it's black perfection - I felt sick. I didn't even open the bags when I got home.

I went to bed. Dreaming of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn't ever feel like talking loud...

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
This morning the curiosity got to me. I love wool after all and am drawn to it like, well, Tom and Huck to the river. As Saint Tim always tells me "90% of the things you worry about (I'm a good worrier) happen 10% of the time." He was right. It really doesn't look so bad.



Black Boudreaux and cinnamon oatmeal Petunia.



Beanie Baby's core roving - dark gray inside, white wrapped around the outside.



Keebler's dad, Henry (Wensleydale/Cotswold cross). Very soft, beautiful pewter gray. He may be moving over here, but that's another story for another day.



And I liked packing up these colorful spindles.

Okay, everything seems a bit brighter.

18 comments:

Michelle said...

I'm glad Boudreaux's fleece turned out better than dreaded. But do tell us what you think of the difference between trimmed and untrimmed! And have a WONDERFUL festival -- sell OUT!

Christine said...

I love your spindles!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Thanks!

They are different, but both are good. The almost black is, well, almost black and the not almost black is a dark coffee color. No difference in "feel".

amyfibre said...

Oooh! I'm itching to get my fingers into that yummy fiber. Hope you don't sell it all before I get there Sunday. BTW -- depending on the fleece and processing, so much VM just comes out in the spinning.

DayPhoto said...

Thank you for posting. I'm enjoying learning this process of wool from the sheep to washed wool, then processed wool.

Thank you, Sara.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Gayle said...

I happy things worked out for you. I hope you have a super time at the festival. Looking forward to your photos.

Peacecat said...

Have fun, breathe, and sell lots o'wool! St. Tim is right on about the worrying... What a great saying!

sheepsclothing said...

Boudreaux's fleece looks good from here! And I just love Petunia's cinnamon color. Very pretty!
BTW- I've tagged you with a "Life is Good" award- 'cause your blog always brightens my day.

kenleighacres said...

I LOVE St. Tim's saying! Thanks for the motivation to start getting ready for Black Sheep Gathering - still a month away. Have a wonderful time and your fiber looks lovely!

Alice said...

Ooooohh! The wool looks luscious and the drop spindles look good enough to eat! Wishing you sunny skies and smilin' sheep and plenty o' coins to jingle in your pocket!

Vikki and the Kid said...

I miss being in KY (born and raised in Louisville) but not so much the flooding from the last few weeks. Here in CO we're being hit with wind, rain, hail, ice, and snow. Pretty much everything. We have goats, not sheep, but do have an angora rabbit. Beautiful white fiber from her. Enjoying your blog.. Vikki at http://vikkisverandah.blogspot.com

Karen Sue said...

I'd come if I could. Life doesn't lean that way right now, so have a good time for both of us.

Kathy said...

I hope you sell out of everything! And the prepared fleeces look great to me as well. The spindles look like really "nifty" toys for we spinner/weaver folk - I know if I was at the festival you're going to, I'd have one follow me home. ;)
I can hardly wait to hear how it went!
(Do you process your fleeces yourself?)

June said...

The roving looks so beautiful. I know that it has probably sold fast! The spindles are so great, and if I were able to use a spindle now, I'd have to get one, for sure. Looking forward to the details and photos of your Festival!

Leedra said...

I am already back in TN from the festival. Love the 'Rebecca' curls I bought, and can't wait to use it in my needle felting. (Your husband waited on me, you were out and about at that time.)

I couldn't believe when I stepped out of the car this morning and you were right there. I never thought I would actually find you at the festival. So nice to meet you.

Had 2 wonderful classes and hope it was a success for all.

Angela Mobley said...

SO nice to meet you at the festival! I can hardly wait to spin that wonderful fleece...I'm thinking a lacy shawl or sweater.i'd love to come visit your farm sometime...and yes, you could even put me to work!

Shirley said...

Just curious, what do you mean "coat the sheep"?

thecrazysheeplady said...

There are sheep coats, like thin horse blankets, you can put on to keep hay and straw from getting down into the wool and also stop some of the sun bleaching. They are a bit expensive and you have to really watch how tight they are getting and switch to bigger sizes frequently to keep the ends of the fleece from getting too abraded...So, still undecided ;-).

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