Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seeking Advice on Wool Processing

This weekend is the Great Lakes Fiber Feast down in Wooster, Ohio. Its only 30 minutes south from my house so I am going to venture down to check it out and gather ideas and inspiration for the MANY BAGS OF WOOL I AM COLLECTIING!!!
I know there will be some wool processors there but since I have never done anything with my wool I was wondering, "What should I have done with my wool?"
For those of you who do process your wool, could you give some advice to a green horn like myself as to what would be the most logical, practical choice to be done with my wool?
I was thinking of roving because I notice when I am reading, many of you do this.
I was also thinking about some batting but I am not sure.
And how much wool might I take to get processed? Like if I do roving?
I would like to take some of the Cotswold, the 2 bags pictured below weighed in just under 12#.
If you are reading and have time to comment, I am so open for some suggestion!!
Long weekend coming up......beautiful weather and I will be planting the garden!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And then came the Black Cotswold Lambs.....sort of

So yesterday, Martha, my Black Cotswold ewe gave birth to a set of twins......
isn't this little ewe too cute?

Martha was not suppose to get bred this year because in the last 2 seasons she has had twins and last year her ewe lamb passed away after only 2 days. It was very heart-breaking and I had a hard time with it. So this year I decided not to breed her and therefore did not put her with TJ, my Black Cotswold ram. GOOD IDEA, RIGHT?

But because I am smart like that, holding a BA & MA degree, obviously NOT in sex in the barn, I somehow overlooked the fact that Jedidiah was in with her and the Shetland girls. TJ was not with her so OBVIOUSLY why would she get bred? So when I realized she was bred, the first word that came to mind was, "DUH".

But they sure are cute! This is the little ram lamb. He is little slower & weaker than his sister(who is doing just fine) so I am nervous about this and hoping for the best. He appears to be nursing okay but I just worry due to loosing the ewe last year.

Both lambs have very strong Cotswold characteristics......long legs, long tail (which will be docked), facial features, and biggify the pic to see that curl in the fleece!!! Definitely Cotswold:)
For being a cross, I think they should be real nice fiber sheep. The ewe lamb will be staying right here with me as I can breed her to TJ in the future:) The little ram will be wethered and be offered as a fiber pet as I already have 3 Black Cotswold wethers. Let me know if you would be interested.

"So, if we both have the same Daddy, why do we look so different?"
The little black gullie girl has been very curious about the new ewe lamb today. Watching them play together was just too funny today.
Lambing is official done as of yesterday.
18 Lambs: 6 ewe lambs & 12 ram lambs
Lots of really good prices coming up on ram lambs & wethers!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Summer Project & Farm Babies

On Sunday I borrowed my brother-in-laws pick-up truck and my Dad and I went to Home Depot to get my "Summer Garden Project".

I am going to enclose my garden area in picket fence. Pictured above is 22- 8 foot section of picket fencing plus 15 posts. I have been wanting to do this for some time now and over the winter I did tutoring after school and made enough money to cover the cost of this project plus a little extra for plants, mulch etc.

This is one view of the garden. This area I rota tilled up so I can put my trellis for the gourds. The raised beds will have the cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes.

This is the backside view of the area. In this area I will have my corn and potatoes, and some more tomato plants, well as of right now that is the plan. I am thinking of doing a cutting garden of flowers in one of the raised beds also. Oh, I do have plans for a bean trellis that I also want to do and I am sure I will think of something else.

Of course, in between all of this I am watching all the lambs playing.....16 lambs total as of today with one more to lamb:) These twin spotted black girls are just beautiful and so playful!!

See this is another reason I need to enclose the garden in picket fencing because I often let the Nigerians out to graze on the grass and they often like to graze on every thing else.....they can strip a vegetable plant down in no time flat.....not that I am talking from experience!!!

Yesterday was very cool and breezy but Eliza's babies found some sun to snuggle up and take a nap. Oh, so many lambs, so many gardening projects!!!
15 days of school left and then summer break starts........