Monday, October 26, 2009

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair--A Weekend of Fun!

What a weekend!! SAFF is an event that we so look forward to each year. Located near the Asheville Airport and only 20 minutes from our house makes this event a real treat. We loaded up 16 Shetlands Thursday evening due to rain in the forecast.

Friday was a rainy day. This is the day we like to shop around by looking at all the wonderful fiber related goodies that the vendors bring from all over. Our sheep always ham it up for all the visitors. Faces poked through the pens saying, "Here, pet me!" Friday is also a great day for meeting new people and previous customers of ours. We had a wether and a ram lamb to sell this year. The ram lamb was the most important sale of the weekend. Felix went home to a nice flock of ladies. His shepherdess had another ram from us in the past that she had purchased from someone else. Whisper went to Tennessee with a sweet lady that has purchased Shetlands from us over the past several years.

Saturday was the Junior Sheep Show where both of our girls have aged out. We watched the show and talked to visitors and did some shopping. It was pretty warm in the barn until late in the afternoon when the temperature dropped about 9 degrees in an hour. While I was spinning, Katie was teaching an impromptu class on making hairpin lace scarfs with fancy fibers and wool.

My purchases over the weekend included a sweatshirt that says, "Wool- a renewable resource" with sheep on it, a long sleeve t-shirt with Proverbs 31:13 embroidered on it, 4 oz. of hand painted merino to play with, a shawl pin, a tiny pin for my collar with a black and white sheep and a heart in between them, and a pair of alpaca socks and gloves. Katie also bought me a wonderful print called "Teacher's Pet" by a very talented artist that returned to SAFF for the second year. Guess what the pet is...a sheep, of course!

Sunday morning dawned very cold indeed. The Open Show began at 9 with the ram lamb classes. The Shetland class had only 2 which consisted of James Bond shown below by Katie and Tundra from Sycamore Farms. (At the end of SAFF our two farms planned to switch ram lambs for breeding.) Katie placed first with James. She hated to see him go--gorgeous, soft, long fleece and a wonderful temperament.
He just stood waiting his turn to enter the show ring with no one holding him.
The picture above is the Shetland ewe lamb class. Our farm had five entries- Money Penny, Electra, Solitaire,Vesper, and Camille. There were a total of 10 entries. Vesper was 1st, Camille was 2nd, Electra was 4th with Money Penny and Solitaire 5th and 6th respectively.

Below is Lauren with Amelia in the yearling ewe class. There were 11 entries. We placed 1st with Amelia, 3rd with Lucy, 5th with Clara, and 7th with Jackie. Our judge really liked the brown based sheep today.

The 4th picture is the aged ewe class. We are fortunate that here in the south they recognize this age group in the show ring. We had 3 out of the 5 entries. Shania placed 1st, followed by Annie in 3rd and Sprinkles in 4th place.

The champion Shetland ewe class was made up of our 3 ewes-- 2 belonging to Lauren and one to Katie. Odds were in Lauren's favor but the judge really liked Katie's Shania.

The picture above is Katie in the show ring with Shania for the Supreme Champion Ewe of all breeds which included Border Leicester, Costwold, Romney, Shetland, Fine Wool, Long Wool, and Jacob ewes.

Below you can see who the proud winner of that class was. This was a first ever for Katie and boy, was she thrilled. She works hard with the sheep and loves them very much. This was a nice reward for her hard work.

We also did well in the Shetland fleece class with 1st (Amelia), 2nd (James Bond), 4th (Vesper), and 5th (Camille). In the all breeds pairs class there were 22 entries and our little ewe lamb pair placed 4th. Yes, it was a great weekend.

We came home with 14 sheep including a new ram lamb. We made new contacts, talked sheep and fiber all weekend, spoke with past satisfied customers, and had FUN!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Evening Sun Rays

Winter seems to be getting an early start here in the mountains of western North Carolina. Today was a very blustery 45 degrees. We have had so much rain that the fall colors aren't as bright as usual and the trees are losing their leaves in this cold wind.
I wanted to attempt some fall pictures of the sheep but most were more interested in the hay that was put out for them. Shania is hoping that the shepherd will pull down some privett for her to snack on.

She did get a little bit of a treat! Shania's ram lamb (James Bond- moorit smirslet- caped flecket) is going to be traded next week for another ram lamb that is a black HST (Tundra). Shania and 4 other ewes will be bred to him. We are excited about this match. Two of Shania's daughters will also be put with him--Abigail (moorit-crimpy fleece) and Charlotte (moorit/smirslet-wavy fleece).

Camille is more interested in the hay. She is a "ghost" kat. Her fleece is long and super soft. We will be keeping her. Her mother, Cara, has produced 3 "ghost" kats in 3 breedings. Since we are breeding only 7 this fall, Cara will have a year off.

This coming weekend is SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair)--23rd-25th in Asheville. We have a great sheep show and meet great people and get to be tempted by other fiber! We can't wait!