Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Funny Lambing Story

***Whoops!  Glenda is actually Glinda!  Thanks for the correction, Glenda :-D***

Lambing stories are usually sweet.  Or crazy.  Or heroic.  On rare occasions, heartbreaking.  I can't really think of a funny one...until a couple days ago.  

I help out at two nearby farms each spring, The Training Center and Final Frontier Farm.  TTC lambs primarily in March and FFF starts lambing April 1, so I get to spend at least two solid months playing shepherd almost to my heart's content.  Luckily I have my own sheep to take care of or they'd all be saying "When is she ever going to leave?"  

Several sheep in our flock have come from each of those farms.  Ewen McTeagle, B. Willard, Maisie from TTC and Keebler, Lila, Blossom, Liddy, Andy, Levi, Bullwinkle from FFF.  Both flocks feel like just an extension of our farm and I've cared for some of those sheep for years now so I was thrown the other morning when, after receiving my day notes, the shepherdess from TTC said, "Oh, and Glenda lambed this morning!"
I don't know a Glinda...

"Glinda!  The Good Witch!"
"The Maisie lookalike!"

It is uncanny, isn't it?!?

I about fell over laughing.  Poor Maisie.  Yes, there is a sheep over there that, with her pink nose and fuzzy forehead, could very well be related to Maisie.  Her primary claim though is she somehow missed getting her tail done as a baby, so while pregnant, she looked very much like a certain short, fat, long tailed sheep we all know and love. 

The similarities end there.  Glinda is a good witch who would never think to run over and punch you in the kneecaps or bite you while you try to trim her feet and there is no fear that she'll be teaching that cute youngun anything other than how to be a good citizen and productive member of the flock.

And, speaking of similarities...that cute black lamb has an Uncle Willard!  Her mother is one of Willard's cousins.  The first clue should have been that distinctive Border Leicester nose.  The second clue...straight from an earlier blog! picked Shelley (drop me an email with your mailing address :-) as the winner and Willard picked LannieK as a second winner, as the only person who guessed him correctly, and now all the Lamb Camp calendars are gone :-).  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Meanwhile, Back At Christmas Lamb Camp

This was supposed to be a quick, drive-by post to share a picture of my favorite lamb from Christmas Lamb Camp and it turned into Quite A Mystery!

Is he not just as striking as he could be!  He's just now starting to get a little sun bleaching on his forehead, but his body is still coal black.  He's so black compared to all the other "black" lambs that he's very easy to spot anywhere in the field. 

And his wool is crazy!  It's probably 3" long, compared to the other lambs that are more "normal" at about 1".  And it's mostly just sticking straight out, not curly, like a plushy stuffed animal.  I just love him and can hardly wait for his first shearing.  

When I decided to post him this morning I wanted to link back to one of his baby posts.  And I couldn't find any.  What?!?  My favorite lamb from day one and I didn't post any pictures of him?!? Heck, I couldn't even FIND any pictures of him in any folders!

Well, I did find this one.  That's him in the background.  I know it's him because he was eye catching even as a tiny baby.  Quite a looker.  That's definitely him.  And his sister and his mom...I was pretty darn sure.

Okay, here's a clue.  He has a tiny white tip to his tail.  Back through the files I go.

I can find a lamb with a matching tail, but that lamb has white on his head.  A small spot on the forehead and more carrying over the top.  So, that's not him.  There is no white on his head anywhere, right?  But it sure looks like him in this picture...

I then called the voice of reason, the "grandmother of these lambs" ;-).  

"Have you ever had a white spot disappear?"  

"No, I've seen a few hairs hairs fade out or blend in, but..."  

"I just can't believe I never took any pictures of that lamb."  

"Well, do you have any pictures where you can see an ear tag?"

Ah, great idea!  That I'd have never come up with on my own.  Sigh...  Click to biggify that last picture and then biggify the first picture.  The numbers don't lie.  003 is him!  

And now my five minute post has turned into an hour post and I'm going to pull a Maisie..."Why do these things always happen to me?!?"  ;-)  

Monday, March 27, 2017

Almost As Cute As Teefers

Is that not the cutest mouth you've ever seen?!?

Even cuter with that dribble of milk :-D.

These have all been lambs from The Training Center.  

Speaking of lambs from yesterday's post, here's another clue on the gray ewe.  While she has been the subject of much consternation on her farm, she'd related to a sheep of Impeccable Character over here.

*      *      *      *      *

Leave a guess here in the comments and I'll draw for a 2017 Lamb Camp calendar winner on Wednesday. There are only two more Lamb Camp calendars left if anyone would like one.  Plenty of farm calendars, both Betsy and Comby.  $6 each plus shipping!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekend Lamb Camp

Some awfully cute lambies right now. Well, any lambies are cute all the time ;-).

Guess who this momma is related to!  Hint - he lives on our farm ;-).

We haven't had a good puzzle in awhile.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Thousand Words

The forecast of rain for the upcoming few days prompted me to grab the camera for some Lamb Camp pictures while the sun was still shining yesterday afternoon. As I walked up the hill I saw a group of lambs take off chasing a couple of the peacocks. This kerfuffle would have been funnier in video, but I grabbed what I could. The ewe at the end was an extra gift :-D.

Love the look on the big lamb's face!

And the little lamb, too.

"Whoa!  Did you see that?!?"

"Yeah, that was crazy!"

And here comes mom.  Or at least one of the neighborhood moms.  Uh oh.

"Sorry, Mr. Peacock.  I'll take care of this from here."

"Alright you kids.  Don't make me have to use this!"

You'll probably have to biggify to see the stick she carried up in her mouth.  Isn't that a riot? Another one of those good mommas at The Training Center, Cynthiana, Kentucky

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesdays Are For Knitting?

I spent some time off and on today working on putting together a Yarn Along post.  I wound yarn into balls for my next project, took some pictures, tried to figure out what I wanted to post, took some more pictures...and now that I'm sitting down, at the last minute of course, to put a post together I find that there is no more Yarn Along :-(.

I completely understand.  Blogging is a lot of work.  Families are a lot of work.  I can't imagine trying to do both.  Well, I sort of can imagine.  There are times when it might be almost a week before I can get a new post put up.  Having to do one on a schedule...well, we know where that would end up - at the last minute of course...if at all.

I am going to try to keep on a Wednesday "accountability" schedule.  Remember a couple months ago when I mentioned "Make Yarn, Use Yarn"?  I think that will be the theme.  Keep after me!

One last shawl picture.  I took it off the blocking boards, worrying that it would all spring back to jumble...and it, of course, did not and I love it even more than I did before.  Actually, there may be more pictures at some point.  I have an idea for a fun "photo shoot" with Liddy.

And moving on to my next project.  This yarn doesn't really look familiar, but it is.  It's the Renny yarn.  I've worked a little on this off and on for about a month or so.  Renny and I needed to do something to get our groove back.  

We made a few color changes and I took pictures all along the way and maybe I'll pull them out and share at some point.  I've also switched patterns to something I think will fit the yarn (and me) better. I'll talk more about that later as well.  Always learning! 

And if you've made it this far and are thinking "yeesh, I wish she'd stop talking about knitting and yarn and just post some more lamb pictures!"  Here you go :-). 

A Liddy story and more Lamb Camp tomorrow!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Finish

I made it in to "Nome" about 40 minutes before the Red Lantern. Saturday was an epic knitting day and I'm glad everything worked out so that it could be an epic knitting day. I just knew the sheep shearer was going to call and say he was on his way...

I guess technically it's not really, really finished until the ends are woven in, but I purposely didn't weave my ends in.  Take a look at the really, really wavy patterning and the wonky ends.  If that didn't block out nicely.....well, I was prepared to frog the whole thing and make something else. I'd been psyching myself up (or maybe out) the entire race.

By the time I got into the Wool House and folded it up, I was sort of willing to accept the wavy patterning.  Even not flat, it's still pretty.

The two ends though?  Ugh.  That just won't do and I couldn't imagine...and if it wouldn't...I was already trying to think up a different way to re-work the ends.  

Block on with confidence.  It's wool.  Give it a chance.  Yeesh, lady!  And into the washing machine it went.  

I soak large items in the washing machine with moderately warm/hot water and a little Mrs. Meyer's laundry soap.  I then carefully spin it out, just like washing fleeces, pull it out, refill washer with plain water, resoak and spin, pull out, refill with warm water and a little Mrs. Meyer's fabric softener (My name is thecrazysheeplady and I have an addiction to MM lavender ;-), soak for a couple minutes and spin.

At this point I had to locate my blocking pins.  That I hadn't used since...when?  When was the last time I actually finished a project?  Oh yeah, the Baaxter blanket from last Iknitarod.  Yeesh... Finally found them in the office (?) and moved on to blocking.

Would it block out to my satisfaction?

Yeah, I guess I'll be weaving those ends in ;-).  Whew!!!  

Team Shot

And that wonky end?  I have no idea how it blocked out straight, but it did.  And easily.  I'm surprised I have any friends left after so much whining about it :-o.

The reason I was going to be so willing to rip it all out and make something else was the yarn.  I love this yarn.  I love how it looks, feels, knits, shows patterning.  It may be my favorite yarn I've ever spun and knit with, all because of a little hint of Cotswold blended in.  

There wasn't anything wrong with the straight Liddy yarn, but for this particular project, I needed to think outside the box.  Or at least outside my head.  It's important to put all the pieces to the puzzle together correctly.  Knowing how different fibers work, how they might work together, is all part of the fun.

I tried to pick some pictures that look how the yarn feels.  Can you see that little hint of fuzziness (technically called halo)?  Can you see a tiny hint of shine (technically called luster)?  I will do this blend again.

In fact, I think I'm going to try a little of Bullwinkle and Levi this spring.  Putting dark gray and white together might be too weird...but it might be pretty...  Heads up - don't answer your phone if you see it's me calling ;-D.

I love how this picture looks so much like drifting snow.  Or an icy river.  This project, Stories from Snoqualmie Valley, was the perfect Iknitarod challenge.  While I'd liked to have had more time to watch the race in real time or chat with the Ravelry group, I liked the "checkpoints", the "landscape" ,the section of endless "miles of snow".  It felt like I was right there.

I'd also planned to tell some stories of my own.  Or Liddy's, I should say.  Even Buddy has some stories.  That he's happy to YELL ALL THE TIME ;-D.  Are you tired of hearing about all this or would you like to read a couple stories?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Meanwhile, Back At Lamb Camp...

After two nights in the teens, brutal cold wind and a little snow, the sun came out yesterday warming everyone back up...until today.  If you aren't enjoying this lovely rain and sleet, here is a picture to warm you back up.  Sit down at the bottom of the hill, lean back and enjoy the rays and good company :-).

We are in the final hours of the Iknitarod.  I'm not finished, but I'm not giving up.  Mushing on!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yarn Along - Iknitarod Trail Magic

Even though the top Iditarod finishers have made it to Nome, there are still plenty of teams out on the trail and until that last musher finishes and they extinguish the Red Lantern, the Iknitarod mushes on!

And even though the forecast at the beginning of the race showed no hope for snow here this year, once again I was gifted with a tiny bit.  Just enough for a few pictures...before my fingers froze off. More snow and 30 degrees would have been more fun than a dusting at 16, but I'll take any snow at any temperature...if I have to.

In case you saw the Instagram picture from last night and were excited to see me finally off the "river" and into the "interior", don't be too disappointed (or surprised) to find that I've gone back to that checkpoint, swapped out for different runners (needles ;-) and have started over.  Sigh...

The section in the back was the original.  The swatch in the front is one needle size larger.  I decided the larger needle (looser) was better, so took out all the work from last night.  It took most of the morning to make decisions and get restarted and then the afternoon got crazy and I've not knit a stitch since.  I'm headed out to do evening chores and hoping to hit it hard tonight.  

My knitting mascots have been a lot of fun this year :-).

Mushing on and trying to think positive!

Just realized this was Wednesday aka Yarn Along day.  Hope it doesn't mess anything up that I changed the title...

Joining in with Ginny...  Oh, I wasn't able to read or even listen to anything while I knit the cable and lace, but now that I'm on to the plain middle I can listen to podcasts...  My favorite right now is the Iditapod :-).


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