Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Shearing Day

The big event in my sheepkeeping/spinning year must be shearing. After using the services of local chaps - some better than others I might add - I found the perfect chap for the job about three years ago via the jolly old internet! Finding the right shearer was quite difficult. Most shearers are doing commercial flocks of sheep where the fleece needs to be taken off the sheep quickly and is more or less chucked to one side and almost treated like waste. When you have chosen your sheep for their fleece you would like the shearer to take some care when removing said fleece from your animal - no second cuts please! It's quite annoying to see someone slicing through the beautiful fleece and seeing it chopped up before your very eyes. However Philip isn't like that. He comes from a family of handspinners so he knows what spinners want and he also doesn't mind how small the flock numbers are - another problem when dealing with commercial shearers. The next problem is of course the wonderful British weather. Last years shearing was cancelled a couple of times due to snow and rain and I was keeping my fingers crossed that this year would be o.k. I kept the sheep in their field shelter all morning so they were nice and dry when Philip arrived as handling a wet fleece is no fun and the fleece need to be dry for storage until they can be washed.

Nibbles having a haircut.

                                                           And now it's Huberts turn.

 Of course the weather has now turned nasty with lashing rain from the cold north-west with the threat of snow on high ground. What lovely May weather again!

The proposed trip to see the lambs was canceled as a result of the weather. I'm hoping to go next week but Lucy sent some photos taken on the last warm sunny day we had.

Monday, 6 May 2013

May Bank Holiday Weekend

What fantastic weather we have had for the last fews days! Suddenly we have had blue skies and warm temperatures, so much so that I even abandoned wearing socks yesterday! Being a Bank Holiday, we went on a family outing to a local village show that we haven't been to before. This was held in the lovely village of Dilwyn only a few miles from home. It wasn't a large event but it had plenty to keep us entertained for a few hours.

It had the usual selection of food stalls, a craft marque where I bought a lovely needlefelted picture of some sheep, classic cars, vintage tractors and ponies etc. Hopefully next year we will be taking some of our classic cars along too.

By the dog show area I got chatting to a nice lady about her dog which turned out to be a puppy of a breed I hadn't come across before. Basset Fauvre de Bretagne or Fawn Dog of Brittany. He was a super chap and very friendly with the lovely name of Woody. Here he is.

And here is his chum whose name I can't remember, but he is a Standard Wirehaired Dachshund. Another beautiful dog and much bigger than the Dachshunds you normally see out and about.
I have also managed this weekend to begin washing fleeces and get them dry outside in the sunshine. I will do a post on this later this week. I'm afraid the weather looks like rain for tomorrow which is a shame as I'm visiting the lambs and hoped to have nice weather for it. Ah well, I knew it wouldn't last! I'll finish this post with a shot of the flowering currant and forsythia bushes in my garden. They are full of flowers and the bumble bees are enjoying them. Hope your Bank Holiday was a good one too!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

May Day already!

I can't quite get my head round the fact that it's the 1st of May already! We still have daffodils in flower and there are hardly any leaves on the trees. The ash tree is always the last to come out in leaf usually late in May, goodness only knows when it will this year. However the wild primroses flowering under the hedge in the back field look wonderful and I wonder if the wet summer we had last year helped in anyway.

In answer to the comments about scarves, yes I did take along some of the ones I had woven but they were only as samples to show what the yarn looked like after weaving up. But we could have sold some on the day if we had wanted to. We are hoping to do things for sale later on this year as we think we may have an Etsy store and/or do a craft show or two in the future. Weaving is mainly a winter hobby for me as I have a large garden to keep on top of, and summer is also a time of washing fleeces, dyeing and, weather permitting, spinning out in the garden.

My scarves are the 2 gold ones and the ecru one on the end plus the dark green tea towel 3rd from the left. The rest are all done by Helen. Should anyone be interested in scarves for Christmas let me know what you want and I will see what I can do.
I have had more photos sent from Lucy at Patchwork sheep and they all seem to be doing really well and growing fast. I'm hoping to get the chance to visit them next week and spend some time getting them used to me. I hope the weather will continue to stay fine so I can sit in the field with them and take photos. In the meantime here are some that Lucy took.
Waffles twin sister Truffle

You haven't been introduced to Waffle, Truffle and Teddy yet! This is what happens when you are at a loose end and look on websites again! These are my latest lamb purchases which I bought a couple of weeks ago. Who could resist! These were born to sheep that Lucy had rescued from someone she had sold their mothers to sometime ago. They all have the same mystery father - he is either a Texel or a Grey-faced Dartmoor the previous owner was uncertain about that. I think they will be lovely additions to the group and their fleeces should be interesting too. How many sheep can you fit in a transit van? Hope everyone has a lovely sunny May day where ever you are.