Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shearing and Sheepies.

Its been a while since I updated the blog with microfarm and sheep stuff, so here goes. We sheared the sheep a while ago, and they're all set for the summer!

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I had a friend/coworker who also "microfarms" come help the first day since I wasn't sure how the ewes would do (since it was their first time being sheared), me being pregnant and all. Grant and Nate sheared the first three, then after we realized that once they were caught and down they were easy, I helped with the last three the next day.

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This is Patty being sheared. Normally, she looks like this (she's the second one back here):

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So wow! The difference in color is amazing. The underside of the fleece is pure gray, the outer, creamy colored and tan. This is not only because of the sun bleaching, but also because the girls still have their baby fleece. Born creamy colored, CVM sheep get darker for the first year of their lives.

So, here's Florence with some of the lambs:

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And here's her fleece when I pulled it out to skirt. Wow. What an amazing color.

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Close-up of the locks from Florence.

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Her fleece was I think, my favorite from this years shearing. I skirted it really well and will send it off to Morro Fleeceworks for processing into pin drafted roving. I'm also going to send Fred and Margie's fluff there, Fred will be blended with some super nice Shetland I have in the stash.

I had been trying to decide if I'd coat my sheep or not. After skirting, I decided to go with the coats. As far as dirt and ick, they were very clean. But, since we live where it snows, we have to feed hay in the winter. And apparently, sheep have this thing. They love to pull hay up on top of each other to eat. I ended up having to skirt the neck and spine wool all out because of hay. So, jackets were ordered!

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I think they're kind of cute. Plus, we're not coating lambs, so we still have some nekkid sheepies out there.

Oh the other fleeces! I sent Patty, Eliza, and Shirley's fleeces to Spinderella's to be turned into lovely roving, and have Big Plans for the alpaca and llama fiber too. When we shear them. Soon. We'd better get on that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Destiny?

So. We got the mail the other week and there was a really nice little card from Dee, Nate's mom's best friend. In the card, she enclosed two pictures. Of Nate.


Age 10, 1987, with goats. In fact, in this one, with a baby goat that looks surprisingly like our first baby goat.

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Hmmm.

And then, with his sister Sarah (Nate's mom corrected me, Sarah not Lisa! Oh, and apparently that was Nate's favorite hat. He liked it so much that he got into a fight with his friend Paul about it when Paul told him it wasn't cool...), and more goats.


Cute! I love it.

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See Nate, you were destined to be a microfarmer!

Or maybe not.

Maybe you were just destined to be with me...

Either way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

10 yrs now with you, many, many more to come. I love you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby Knitting Cuteness.

I love baby knitting. In fact, I don't know why I haven't CO for another baby thingy yet...hmmm.

Here are the latest:

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The Duchess Dress from Louisa Harding's Enchanted Garden book. Knit in the 6-12 month size, with Dream in Color Classy yarn, Ruby River colorway. Love the pattern. LOVE the yarn. Love the finished result.

Knit on sizes 6, 7, and 8 US needles, this little dress took exactly one skein of the Classy. So, given that I had bought two skeins, I looked in the book and found another project to knit with the other.

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This is the little Iced Gem bolero/cardigan from the same book. Also the 6-12 month size, knit with the same yarn and US 7 and 8 needles.

Amazingly, this also took exactly one skein of the Classy. I ended up with about 4 yds total left over from both skeins and both projects after seaming. Awesome.

Back of dress:
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Cardigan detail:

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This week is 34 weeks. Wow. I think I need to really get on working around the house to get ready. Maybe tonight I should start cleaning out the yarn/fiber room. Or the guest room. Hmm. Or pack that all important bag I've been hearing about.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weddings and showers and knitting oh my!

Ah so, this long hiatus from blogging. Well, Spring chores around the microfarm, knitting a wedding shawl for Nate's sister Lisa, taking a trip to Michigan for the wedding and a baby shower, working on the baby preparations (sort of), growing a baby, all so busy.

But. I did finish this shawl. Lisa's wedding shawl. (huh, the pic quality here sucks unless you click on the pictures for some reason, so click for the real pics)



Knit with Misti Alpaca Baby Laceweight yarn, about 2.5 skeins total. Knit with US 5 needles.



Pattern, "The Victoria Shawl" from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby.



I think it turned out lovely. I was happy to give it to Lisa the morning of the wedding.



The wedding was beautiful, all went well and the weather was good, always a risk when planning an outdoor wedding in Michigan!

So, I started this shawl at the beginning of March. I finished grafting the edging together on the descent into Detroit on the plane and blocked it the night before the wedding on the bedroom floor. Nothing like a deadline, eh?

All is well with the microfarm, the babies, my baby (coming soon!), I just haven't had time to blog as much. But, I did finish a bunch of adorable baby knits, and have been showered with lovely baby handknits from friends that I need to share, so I'll be around more now.