Saturday, May 28, 2022

Back Breaking Bee Garden Bail Out

Note to self:  Do not let the gardens get so out of control next spring :-o.  This was a ridiculous amount of work to clean up.

Archie slept through the entire bail out.

There's a little color in the B Garden, but not as much as the last couple of years.  I'm sure a big part of that is due to overgrowth of weeds choking out the desirable "weeds".  I'm hoping now that everything has a bit more room, some more flowers will pop back up. 

Thankfully it's now back to being fun to walk through and see who's doing a little shopping :-).


Thursday, May 26, 2022

When Your Crafts Pay Off

It took Tim a couple of weeks to talk me into trying Wordle.  He and his mother are puzzle masters and I know better than to try to play along with them on something like this, especially word games.  When I finally agreed to try one, I did actually get the word (!) and the word was SHAWL!  

I might not have gotten hooked if the word had been anything else, but it piqued my interest so I started playing.  Soon after we all added in WordHurdle, which was just a six letter game to start and now has a six, five and four letter game, morning and evening.

I almost always get the words in six or fewer tries, which I still find amazing and makes me feel a bit smart.  Some players use the same word as their first guess - the most popular is ADEIU apparently - but I like to just pick a random word that fits something that's going on that day.  

Tuesday was Wool House Crafter's Night.  

I have no words for the rest of Tuesday.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Your Laugh For The Day

I'm so glad I asked for favorite stories and/or favorite sheep to go with the yarn box orders.  That has truly been the best.  I've loved finding out who stood out and why.  Some were lambs, some were older sheep, some were rescues, some just brightened a day.

Last night I was reminded of one of the funniest stories to hit the blog.  It, of course, involved Maisie.  Do you remember her pulling Saint Tim's pants down?  I'd forgotten about that!  I'd like to say that's the only time a sheep's pulled someone's pants down around here, but alas... ;-D

That picture of Maisie is one that never fails to make me laugh.  I toyed with using it for her booklet picture, but that picture is best as it is.  If someone "new" saw it they'd think we were laughing at her, without knowing we were laughing with her.

"Whatever.  I'm laughing at you!"

After Early died, a friend left a comment about everyone holding on to all the memories for me.  That means more than you can ever know.  It hit me similarly this morning reading kind notes from friends who have started receiving their yarn. I am so glad there are now actual bits of those good lambs being tucked in safely all over as well.

Thank you so much for not only all the orders, but for sharing your stories and memories and your care.  Even the holding of memories that weren't shared.  Thank you for being part of the stories.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

A Chicken Mystery

I received a comment on the previous post about the chicken picture being a puzzle, so I thought, "Ah, I must have just forgotten to add the The Adventure Chicken label!" and that's why I couldn't find it...and then searched the "puzzle" label and it's not there I searched through my Jigsaw Planet gallery...and it's not. there.

I am completely stumped.

So I made the picture into a puzzle.  


Who knows.  

Enjoy :-).

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Counting Chickens

If I'm knitting, I count my stitches by fives.  5-10-15-20...  For some reason that's a number I can "see" easily as I'm sliding groups of stitches across my needles, five at a time.  I almost always count things by fives.

When I count our chickens each night before I lock the up the coop, I count by threes.  1-2-3...4-5-6...7-8-9...10-11-12.  And interestingly (or probably not, really ;-) if they are still milling around, I count the groups of threes three times, just to be sure.

Last night I had to count to just 11.  We lost Blackie.  I thought she looked a bit off yesterday morning and when she was no better in the afternoon I took her to the vet.  I was thinking she was egg bound, but the xray showed just fluid, no eggs.  Without something obvious to try to fix, we decided not to let her suffer.  

Blackie was our "free" chick when I ordered this group.  I never knew what breed she was, but she was a beautiful shiny green/black hen.  A favorite.  She had three really close calls as a baby and each time everyone was amazed she pulled through.  Apparently chickens only have three lives :-/.

When I was trying to find a good picture of her I was surprised (well, not really :-/) that this favorite picture never made it to the blog back in the summer of 2020.  This was taken when the girls were almost full grown. 


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Reach For The Stars


I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday saying it was "the best one star review ever" and totally missed Archie climbing up the fence!  Auntie Reg always tells us to look up, but sometimes we need to look down, too.

Should make a fun puzzle!  Enjoy :-).

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Keep Those Cards And Letters Coming

I know it would be way more professional to have a website with a "buy it now" button and a way to easily calculate shipping costs and an immediate "thank you for your order" response, but those sites are expensive and fairly time consuming to maintain and just don't feel like the way our small farm operates.

I have LOVED getting your order emails with stories about who your favorite sheep is or which story is your favorite or how long you've been following along.  No one has followed the blog since a specific date.  They've followed "since Maisie was a baby".  Or Biscuit.  Or Baaxter.  Or Early.  Lots of Early love.

I also love that most people are saying they are excited about the yarn, but extra excited about the book of stories.  I'm also a little nervous about that as it's much more a booklet than a book and after spending so many hours trying to put that small collection together I was quite sure I would never attempt anything bigger.  

Now, a week or so away from "sending it to print" and being actually a little proud of what I got back, even though it's small, I think maybe I might try to write an actual book.  The stories are important.  Those animals are important...and not just to me.  When you share a story back, whether it's a story from here or a story from your life, it's a story that means something.  That's important.

I should have made it mandatory that you share your favorite sheep or a story with your order, because that's been the best part of the last couple of days. I think I've responded back to everyone who shared a memory, giving a little extra tidbit in return.  Let's keep that going.

Is you send me a story, I'll send you back one in return.  No purchase necessary.  No time limit.  If you are having a happy or a sad day and would like or need a story, send me an email with a story or at least just tell me who your favorite sheep is that day and I'll send one back.  It's fun :-D.

I'll do my best to answer as quickly as possible.  And, as always, if you ever don't get a response to an email, please check back because I get a stupid amount of 'not fun story' emails and sometimes things get lost.  

So here's an extra story for the Early folks...

I think everyone knows that Short Round is Ellie's mom.  I'm not sure everyone remembers that she was also Early's mom.  Before anyone thinks badly of her for not taking care of Early, that's a whole 'nother story and it was completely NOT her fault.  I'll share that story some other time.  She was a very good mother.

I never really had any real connection with Short Round like I did Cheeto or Krista.  Those two ewes, while being just part of a commercial flock, were friendly old ewes and became part of my family.  Short Round...well, Short Round was just Short Round, but I thought that sweet Early, who didn't get a chance to do much with his life, would have at least wanted to take care of his mom so she came over here to pension out.

Does that wrinkly nose look familiar?  There is no denying who his momma was :-).  So Short Round got on the trailer that day as a "just a sheep" (but they are never just sheep) and walked off the trailer here with Ellie a pet.  I sure didn't expect her to become friendly, but she settled right in and is now one of my favorite sheep.  Maybe Cheeto and Willard helped with that.  

I'm sure Willard taught her to eat banana peels, one of his very favorite treats.  That's what she's hoping I'm bringing her in the first picture.  She also eats baby carrots.  Petunia will eat a few, too, but that's about it for healthy snacks around here.  No one else would dream of eating anything that wasn't bread or crackers or cookies ;-).  

* * * * *

Just as stories should not go without saying, neither should thanks.  I am so incredibly grateful for all the yarn box orders the last two days.  I was so worried about where all my sheep would end up (again not the most professional), but even the emails from people I'd not met before were obviously long time friends.  Thank you!

I have another batch of yarn in the washer right now.   The sun is shining and there's a nice breeze across the porch, so I think it will dry quickly and I can keep packing.  I think there are only 20 or so skeins left after this group :-o.

Monday, May 9, 2022

The Yarn Might Not Be The Best Part

It might be the stories :-).

Mother's Day ended up being very busy, but in a good way.  The spring barn clean out, originally planned for Friday/Saturday, was rained out.  We were afraid the ground would still be too wet Sunday, but it dried up enough and Tim was able to knock it out.  Well, you don't just knock it out.  Cleaning the barn is an all day job.  I can't think of a better Mother's Day gift :-).

By late afternoon I was finally able to gather everything and set up a photo shoot under one of the redbud trees by the Wool House.  I mixed and matched and rearranged and fought the too bright light and then Betsy's head popped up in a perfect photobomb.  I love that she is in the picture.

Do you remember her babysitting the bottle lambs?  She loved to sleep in the crate with the lambs, especially if there was a heat lamp involved.  Curling up with a warm lamb was a close second.  I'm not sure Maisie ever took a nap without Betsy.

I don't think Betsy knows her lambs are in this yarn blend, but it's sweet to think that she does and wanted to be part of the pictures.  To make it even better, I told a little story about Betsy and her lambs in the booklet.  Do you remember which lamb ruined it for her?

The bright sun did work out in my favor to help show off the little stitch markers -  sky blue, grass green, tree green, dandelion yellow and redbud pink.  These are my favorite type of stitch markers for knitting.  I haven't learned how to make crochet markers yet, but I enjoyed learning a little about beads and wire and I doubt this is the end of it :-).

The stitch markers are hanging around their necks like a sheep bell and can be easily removed to use or can just stay part of the decoration.  Do you remember which lamb wore the first bell and why?

The yarn wrapped ornaments are for the small gift boxes and the unwrapped ornaments are for the yarn kits.  There will also be a little bit of Blossom roving tucked in the yarn kits so you can wrap your own with any leftover yarn.  It's not a surprise why I picked Blossom to help with them and that is part of her story in the booklet.

This shady tree is actually the redbud tree most loved by lambs...and cats and dogs and chickens and lamb moms.  Remember Early sleeping next to the yard sheep?  He knew they were real sheep, too, and you still can't tell us any different.  

So...that's Early and Abby on the bag logo, yarn tags and leather tag.  They are an important part of our story here and I didn't want them to be left out just because they couldn't contribute any wool.  I loved sitting out under this tree with them tucked against my legs.  Using them in the logo helps a little.

The drawstring bags are a handy 10"x12" size, just perfect for a skein or two of yarn or a small project. The booklet tucks nicely in there as well.  

The booklet was a true labor of love.  I thought it would be easy to write up some stories, describe each sheep's wool, find some good pictures and send it off to the printer.  Phew!  The stories weren't too hard other than trying to pick out what stories I wanted to tell.  I could probably write whole chapters on each sheep...and maybe I will someday.

The problem was the pictures.  Those early lambs lived here long before I had a decent camera or even any real practice at taking pictures.  I love the pictures I have, but they do not compare to the pictures of the more recent lambs.  I wanted Punkin to look as good as Biscuit.  

I played around with several styles and finally settled on a sort of pen and ink/wood block sort of look.  I used the original photographs to make sketches and then a fun iPad app to turn them into black and white line drawings and then fine tuned them with another drawing app.  I enjoyed learning how to do this and it was fun to spend a little extra time with each lamb.

The booklet not only has pictures and stories about the lambs, but also a bit about their breed(s) and fleece.  There's also a little story about how the yarn came about and how I became thecrazysheeplady.  Karen Battersby designed a beautiful lamb sweater using the yarn and the pattern for that is included as well.  Even if you don't have a baby lamb to dress, it could easily be adapted for a small dog or agreeable cat :-).

About the yarn.  Each skein is 250 yards of worsted weight yarn and weighs around 4.4 ounces.  I find it knits comfortably to the gauge of around five stitches per inch and is a very nice versatile yarn with good Punkin's Patch character.  It's soft and cuddly, but hard working enough to do most any job.  

As this blend can never be replicated, it's a very limited offering and will only be for sale here on the blog.  Feel free to share this post with your friends, but I'd rather it didn't get posted to the wider public.  There's not much of it and I want to make sure everyone who's been along for the ride, new or old, gets first dibs.

This is my favorite picture from the shoot.  Isn't it a bit funny that Betsy came over here as well?  Maybe she can smell her lambs in there.  

* * * * *

The yarn box includes 1, 2 or 3+ skeins of Lamb Camp bottle lamb yarn, the lamb stories booklet, drawstring bag, plain ornament, spring stitch markers, a leather Lamb Camp tag and a fun surprise gift.  

         One skein $52    Two skeins $77    Three skeins $102 

If you are wanting a sweater quantity of yarn or unwashed yarn for weaving, drop me an email.   

The ornament box includes a Lamb Camp bottle lamb yarn wrapped ornament with the spring stitch markers and leather tag attached, the drawstring bag, lamb stories booklet and the fun surprise gift.


As always, if you are interested in purchasing something from the farm shop, just send me an email and let me know what you'd like.  I'd also love to hear who your favorite lamb is or your favorite lamb story.  Even if you aren't interested in purchasing a Lamb Camp box, I'd love to hear about your favorites :-).

Shipping is always a struggle these days.  If you would like a shipping quote, I am happy to get that for you.

You are also always welcome to come to the farm and visit the sheep and save your shipping costs entirely.  Punkin's Patch won't be setting up at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival later this month, but I'll be around that weekend and we would all love a visit :-).  Please send me an email to let me know you are coming.

We hope you love our yarn :-)

Thecrazysheeplady, Punkin, PPPP, Ewen McTeagle, Keebler, Graham Lamb, Baaxter Black, Lila, Liddy, Blossom, Maisie, Bullwinkle and Biscuit

Friday, May 6, 2022

It's All Been Fun...

...but washing the yarn is the best part :-).

I've spent the last month (or so) working on the new Lamb Camp yarn release.  Remember the bottle lamb fleeces I sent to Stonehedge Fiber Mill?  Here's a video link.  

I've got the yarn "finished" (skeined, washed and ready for tagging).  I wrote a short book telling a little about the yarn and all the sheep who made it.  I also created a picture of each sheep as a lamb to go with each story.  There was a huge learning curve there, but I'm happy with the end results.

At that point I realized that the project was much more than just throwing together a pamphlet with some yarn and more of a celebration of all the sheep and each of their special stories, so I designed a small project bag, some Equinox Farm inspired stitch markers, a project tag and a wooden ornament to all go with it.

Whew!  I've got way more time in this project than I should, but I always end up putting more time into each lamb than I anticipate as well, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.  

The first batch. 

The yarn isn't "finished" until it's washed and dried.  The main reason you need to wash it is to get rid of the spinning oil and any residual dirt, but washing it also wakes up each fiber and allows it to relax back into it's original character.  Some fibers bloom into fuzzy yarns, some get really stretchy, some get puffy, some relax with more drape and flow...  This yarn, being a blend of several types of sheep does a little bit of all of that.

One skein before washing, on the right.  One skein after, on the left.  Isn't that fun?

The yarn is really pretty.  I've made a lamb sweater from it and also a matching short poncho for myself.  The lamb sweater was pretty straightforward, but I have some epic stories about the poncho that need to be shared here so I can add more details than what hit Instagram at the time.  Miss B made a gorgeous sweater from the yarn and I would love to share that as well.  My poor neglected blog.

So, yes, there will be some of this yarn for sale and my plan is to post it on Sunday for Mother's Day, mostly for sentimental reasons.  Of course I don't have any pictures taken and it's crazy/normal springtime on the farm and Frankie and I have our first horse show tomorrow... so it may be the afternoon before I can actually pull that off.  

Wouldn't it be nice if I got all that done and posted a horse show update tomorrow evening like the good old blogging days?  I'm going to try.


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