Posts tagged wool

Homespun: A Treasure Rediscovered

 

In the Winter 2017 Spin Off, I found an article called “Homespun Heritage”. The article highlighted the 1975 documentary film “Homespun” by Sharon and Tom Hudgins; they  filmed local folks from the southern Appalachian Mountains shearing sheep, washing, carding spinning, dyeing and weaving wool. Now, thanks to the  National Archives , the film is available via YouTube.  Take a look!

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Our First Shearing Day!

We were very nervous about our first shearing day. Thankfully, everything went well.  Kristen Rosser did a great job! And a special thank you to Mother Nature who gave us a chilly day rather than a wet, snowy day as first predicted.

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Sheep Musings

Since the arrival of our Shetlands and Soays, we have been busy getting everyone settled in,  learning about sheep care, waging a battle with an unwanted visitor, Mr. Vole and generally enjoying our sheep frolicking in pasture. Our first learning experience was deworming our sheep.  Of course, we were confident that we could accomplish this by gathering the sheep in one area with a bucket of grain.  After all, grain is a powerful motivator. We shook the bucket of grain and the sheep just looked at us. I am sure they new something was up because we kept them in the paddock. Next we tried to round them up by using a shepherd’s crook. This didn’t work either.  It looked like Ringling Bros. Circus and if you listened closely, you could hear the music. Our next attempt was to create a “funnel” with wire panels and gather everyone in the paddock.  That resulted in the sheep pushing the metal panels and both of us on our buts.  Finally, we made the “funnel” with wire panels and maneuvered the sheep into the barn and locked the door. Success!  The drenching part was no problem. The trick was to get the sheep in the barn.  Thankfully, our results are negative and we are good for another three to four months before we have to test again.  This method is preferred to regularly deworming your sheep.  The sheep can build up a resistance to the medicine, so we are following our vets recommendation.  In the meantime, we are monitoring the sheep for any signs of illness.

Our next adventure is trying to outwit Mr. Vole. He was trying to burrow under the barn in several places so we have placed cement all around the perimeter of the barn.  There is a bed of stone underneath but the cement is working. We make daily patrols to make sure he hasn’t burrowed anywhere else. This is one part of farm living I would like to avoid but I realize it is going to happen when you have livestock around.

The best part of our adventure so far is bringing the sheep in at night knowing they are happy and well.  Winnie (Shetland) does a great job bringing the sheep home as we walk to the barn each evening. And little Nettle (Shetland lamb) just makes you laugh; she loves to run and pronk and tries to chew on everything from shirt tales to the fence.  Nettle is Winnie’s lamb and she is really a mini Winnie.  The Soays are shy but they let us know when we are too slow opening the gate to pasture or feeding them some grain/beet pulp in the evening.  Sam (Soay) loves to stomp his feet and so does Olympic (tan Soay). The other day Sam was pronking in pasture; he was literally going sideways. The Soays are very expressive and each day we gain more trust and confidence with them.

Recently, someone asked me if I had any regrets and I said absolutely not. It is the best decision I/we ever made!

 

Sheep in Action

Sheep in Action

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Sheep Profiles: Abner

Lil Abner

Lil Abner (six months)

It’s hard to believe …..our Lil Abner is all grown up now.  He’s not Lil anymore.

Abner

Abner (5 years)

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Shearing Day @ Feederbrook Farm

Yesterday, we visited Feederbrook Farm for Shearing Day.  Below is a before and after photo of Abner.  Thanks to Emily Chamelin for doing a great job!

 

 

Shearing Day

Shearing Day

 

 

 

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Olympic Wool

Thanks to Sheepy Hollow Farm  for sharing this inspiring story about Stonehege Fiber Mill:

Made in Michigan: Yarn for Olympic Sweaters

Go Team USA!

 

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Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival: 40th Anniversary

If you get a chance, check out the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival   Saturday, May 4th – Sunday, May 5th at the Howard County Fairgrounds. Join in the celebration and congratulate the festival on its 40th Anniversary!

 

Sheep,  Sheep, Hooray!
Congratulations  to Ewe!

 

 

 

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