Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Project in Progress

This shawl needs a name. Yes, a name. What should it be? "Three years in the making?" "Bottle Baby Trio?" "Special Lambs?" A little history behind this homespun yarn -- four years ago -- the second time Madam Hooch would lamb (should have been the last) --twins- the second one rejected -- that would be my Padgett (the darkest ball of yarn on the right)!! This was our very first time of having a bottle lamb after many years of lambing. We called another shepherd for advice. In the house she came with diapers and a bottle. She even slept in the dog bed and went to school with me. Padgett still isn't like the others!

The next year -- triplets -- last lamb rejected -- Sarah is the new bottle lamb (cream colored yarn in the center). We learned our lesson and in the barn she went in her own little pen. Sarah rewarded us as a winning show sheep that fall.

The next year -- still didn't learn our lesson -- triplets with the help of the vet -- 2nd lamb was dry upon delivery and I knew that would be the one rejected --Hooch tolerated her for a few days and then, "bump" out she goes --that's Almond Joy (wool on the left with the shiny stuff). Joy was more like a sheep than the other two. She was always a little more independent.

We finally got smart -- don't breed Hooch -- but then of course we lost a ewe, and we had Jane Austen -- at least it wasn't rejection.

So, my shawl will be made from lamb's fleeces of our 1st 3 bottle sisters. I'm using some fancy fibers to add some color.

Above is an up close shot of my triangle loom that Rothey made for me several years ago. Starting from the outside it goes: Joy, Sarah, and Padgett.

I have quite a way to go but in time I will have the memories of the little lambs that loved us like no others --Padgett sleeping on one end of the couch and Belle, our dog, on the other, Padgett jumping on the bed with the girls and running through the house, scrapbooks and other papers chewed on, jumping on the back of the couch and then off again, changing diapers, Padgett smelling our breath to see if it was us, following me around the classroom and in the hall, Sarah curled up as a newborn in Rothey's lap while getting a bottle ready, Katie wanting Sarah to be another house baby, Sarah liking her little pen in the barn, maa's of recognition, little lambs running to greet you, Joy who allowed only Lauren to hold her for a while, Joy who still quietly lets you know that she is there to be petted...three sheep that we can't sell...memories made and saved in my shawl.
I'll take name suggestions for the shawl, and then I'll post the finished product along with the faces of my special sheep. Can you help?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Faces of our Friends

There is nothing like the face of a Shetland!! You've got to love them all!! Here are some of our very favorite faces. Just look at those eyes. Eyes for their shepherd, in this case shepherdess!! My daughter, Katie, spent a little time with our flock in both pastures, and this is what she saw.

The two faces above are Jane Austin, our bottle lamb, on the left and Emily Bronte on the right. Both are katmogets. Jane is fawn and Emily is grey.

This is Charlotte Bronte who is Emily's twin. She is a moorit smirslet with a very soft fleece. Who could resist a face like that?

This "smiling" face above is another grey katmoget named Lucille Ball. Her fleece is immense. Just what I like to spin!! All the ewes above are lambs from 2008! We had some real beauties this year!

Above is Gina. We love that sweet face but looks sure can be deceiving!! She won't come anywhere near us, but who can part with those "panda" eyes?

Here is Amelia Earhart. What a munchkin she is!! She loves to jump and hop and kick. She loves to nibble your hair and nose and chin, anything really. She has the most beautiful, soft, darker than fawn fleece that we have ever had.

This is a very special ewe. This is Sarah. She was a bottle lamb 3 years ago. She is shy and likes to come near you from the back. She'll paw and let you know that she's there. The only time you really get to pet her is when she is on a halter. She has a very dense, fine fleece. I love her light brown face and the soft look of her eyes.

Here is the munchkin brother to Amelia. This is Benjamin Franklin, a wether. He has one of the softest fleeces of our flock. He is a spotted fawn katmoget. If his horns hadn't have been small and close he probably would have stayed a ram. Now his fleece is mine and he is safe with the girls.

Here are two of our mature ewes and definitely two of our favorites. Shania Twain on the left is a mioget yuglet/sokket ewe. Her fleece is gorgeous. It is a long straight fleece that does well in the show ring. She is the mother of Emily and Charlotte Bronte. To the right is Cara. She has the most precious personality. She is a very light grey with curls rather than crimp. Cara loves attention and gives us adorable white katmogets.

Last for today but definitely not least is Annie Oakley. She is an aged ewe that still wins in the show ring. She has a very long primitive grey fleece. Annie is my most favorite face out of all our Shetlands. She is one of the dominant ewes in our flock, and she loves us. When she is in labor she likes for us to be near. One year she came over to me between contractions to be scratched and consoled and then would walk away when the pains came. She likes to lamb in the pasture. Annie is a great mother and one of my favorite to spin, fleece that is.
So, here are some of the 31 faces that greet us each evening. I can't wait until new lamb faces join the crowd!!