Friday, May 29, 2015

Poor Miss Dots...

Miss Dots apparently tried to make friends with a porcupine sometime today.  It appears the porcupine was not as friendly as she would have liked.

It took me about 20 minutes of wrestling with her to pull them out with my fingers.  I'm thinking it was likely this was a juvenile porcupine.  The quills were all short, about an inch and a half to two inches long.  Only a few were difficult to pull out.  A couple were near her eye, but I didn't see any eye issues.  I'll watch for swelling over the next couple of days in case of infection.

Thank goodness I've watched shearers sit sheep on their butts; that was the only way for me to control her enough to get all of the quills out.  Thank goodness as well that she is a small sheep!  (She's a Shetland, and just a yearling.)  I don't know how I would have handled a very big sheep!  This is certainly something that has never happened in the over-20 years that we've lived here!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New goodies & hand-piecing

Just got a lovely package in the mail from WildHare on Etsy.  I saw a beautiful rainbow roving on someone's Facebook post (in a spinning group) and asked where she got it.  Wild Hare told me they had two different rainbow rovings, so I got both.

The top roving is in the colorway "Boing", and the bottom one is called "Grateful Dyed."  Both are beautiful!  The fiber is Falkland wool top.  The Boing colorway is slightly more... tropical, I would say; the Grateful Dyed is stronger colors.  Both are gorgeous.  I'm planning to spin thin (what else?) and possibly ply with some silk thread.

I've been working on an old hand-piecing project that is actually fairly close to done (at least the blocks are).  This is from the Hand-Piecing Quilt Along on the blog "Why Not Sew?"  I am currently working on block #10, a log cabin.  I have done two of each block all along.

I still have four blocks left to go after this, two each of numbers 11 & 12.

Then there will be sashings, and setting up which blocks go where, and assembling rows and the top. It has taken me probably several years to get to this point.  I'm in no rush.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

More re-arranging on the farm

This weekend we said goodbye to our buck, Leo.  Our girls are obviously pregnant, and I came across another baby buck I just had to have.

Leo (dark brown) with the girls (and the sheep).  Snowball is the white one, Dory is the lighter brown one in the lower right.

Here you can see his lovely frosted ears and the white splash on his side.  He was shedding, and will end up a darker brown than in this picture.

This was his dad, The Beau Acres Luke.  LOVE the spots!  He had the frosted ears, too.  Gorgeous boy, I'm hoping we get some very pretty babies, even though Leo didn't end up with all the spots like his dad.

And this is the baby who will be joining us.  SO pretty!  This picture does not do him justice!  He is cream colored, with a white splash and white socks, and smudge-colored spots.   He can come home as soon as we have other babies to keep him company.  

He may be home quite soon!  Snowball will be kidding any day now.   She is very bagged up now, and her backbone just above her tail is very prominent - the ligaments on the sides are receding.  Dory has started bagging up, but her udder doesn't look nearly as full.  Still, they can fool you.  Looking forward to babies, even though the bottle feeding and milking chores will add to already-busy days.  Those are the chores I look forward to!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Back to four

After starting with four bunnies, going down to two, and then adding the little chestnut agouti (Fester) last week, we are now back up to four.  This week I met up with someone in Exeter who was selling some French/English angora crosses (the same cross I already have, at least in Gus, who was bred by Acker's Acres Angoras in Maine).  She had several black bucks still available from January and February litters.  I picked out this one because he was quieter and less upset by his car ride.  His name is now Simon.

There are other changes on the horizon as well.  We've already added new chicks.  We're planning to sell our buck, Leo, and get a new baby boy for this winter's breeding.  And we're waiting for the arrival of this year's babies from our two does!  That will also mean the return of my milking schedule and goat milk supply.  I love our goats!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

NH Sheep & Wool!

I just got home from my second visit to the NH Sheep & Wool Festival.  I look forward to this every year!  It's usually on Mother's Day weekend, which makes my attendance a lovely Mother's Day gift. I went yesterday (Saturday) by myself (well, I had the grandson with me) and spent about 5 hours.  I went back today with my husband and daughter (and grandson), and we spent about 2 hours.

I didn't get a lot on Saturday, partly because I planned on returning Sunday, partly because I had a limited budget and wanted to make sure my money was wisely spent.  On Saturday I picked up this Jacob fleece from Cindy at Ewe & I Farm:

I also picked up this rainbow roving from Mad Color Fiber Arts.  She had posted on Facebook only a day or two before the festival that she was dyeing up some rainbow rovings for the Sheep & Wool, and I had specifically planned to look for this.  I am delighted with the colors in this roving!  This is the superwash Targhee roving.

This was my final purchase.  This is a baby French Angora bunny - a buck (boy).  His color is chestnut agouti.  All of my current bunnies are fawn (tan) and I wanted something different!  I wasn't sold on getting a new bunny when I went to the festival; I saw several booths with bunnies, but most of them were priced out of my budget.  This one suited both budget and color!  I'm going to call him Fester.

I went back Sunday with just a couple of things in mind.  I bought my daughter a crochet book; that's not pictured here.  My first purchase, not long after entering the gates, was a t-shirt.  This was in a box of shirts from (supposedly) the 2014 festival (and as such was marked down significantly) but it doesn't have a date on it.  I believe the picture is one of Gene Matras' exceptional artworks.  

This is ten ounces of black Suri alpaca, from Skyeview Alpacas.  It has a lovely long staple length, and gorgeous shiny black color. 

I also picked up this Pygora, from Work In Progress Farm.  It's a small raw fleece, 2nd clip, and is only 3/4 lb (12 oz) but was only $6!  It's a bit chaffy, but for $6 I don't mind doing a little more picking!

After that I stopped by a booth I had watched yesterday; they had a small used Baynes spinning wheel for only $200, but it was gone today.  I stopped by The Elegant Ewe to say hi to Marci & Hal, and picked up the crochet book that my daughter chose.  My last stop was Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm, where I got this kit for a Peeking Beads scarf.  This one is done with this handpainted "blank", and purplish kind of beads.  There were other colorways, but purples are generally my go-to.

There were plenty of other interesting things I could have purchased.  I left a pale gray Shetland fleece that I really liked, and a huge dark gray Corriedale fleece.  I really do have far too much fleece still to spin (most of it already washed).  The most interesting attraction, however, was this lady spinning on a spinner made from an upright exercise bike.  She said her husband is a (retired) engineer, and built it for her.  I think he did a wonderful job!  I think I'd like mine made from a recumbent bike, though.

There were also a few things, Saturday and Sunday, that didn't last long enough for a photograph, especially the apple crisp we got on Sunday!  Yum!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Getting closer!

It's almost time for NH Sheep & Wool Festival!  I love the Sheep & Wool Festival!  It's this weekend.  I had wanted to go to MD Sheep & Wool (and pick up a new Hansen Mini-Spinner while I was there) but that didn't work out.  NH S&W is so much closer, anyway! ;-)

In anticipation, I've been working away at the plum colored angora-blend roving.  I finished the second two-ounce bump; one more to go!

In other exciting news, my lilacs are beginning to bloom!  No actual flowers yet, but lots of buds!  

The baby chicks now look like big chicks, just a wee bit smaller, and are in the coop with the big chickens.  The weather has gotten quite warm, quite quickly, so I've also finished shearing my angora bunnies.  I feel like I need to spin faster...