Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
...I spun a little or a lot every day the riders rode. And most days, I watched the "other" spinning - bicycles, lots of bicycles. It was an exciting Tour with many sprint finished, lead changes, accidents (boo!), and wacko fans lining the roads.
I started spinning batts from a class I took this spring, and FINISHED them all! Those are the colored skeins in the photo.
Then the next week, I started spinning my "peloton" yarn - Shetland! The white on the bobbin is fine top from Shetland sheep living in the Shetland isles via Jamieson and Smith. My other Shetland spinning isn't shown - it's bulky yarn from one of our first Shetlands - Electra. I'm making a lap blanket with two of her fleeces.
My stretch (difficult climb days) spinning was on the spindle shown above - a cashmere and silk blend. I only got a few yards spun. It's quite fine and I had a lot of "help" from the cats and dogs. They wanted to help spin that spindle - hah!
This was my favorite image from the awards ceremony - the three winners with raised, clasped hands, jubilant in their victory, and I'm sure more than a little glad the Tour was over for another year.
Monday, July 04, 2011
...and this one with the baby broccoli, Brussels sprouts and leek hairs newly planted?
...and so do the Brussels sprouts. They've grown so tall, that they fall over and I've added stakes and big rocks to prop them up! Tiny Brussels sprouts are starting to form - promises, promises!
More promises - the tomatoes are doing better than expected. They have lots of blossoms, and even...
Saturday, July 02, 2011
This is my chosen fiber for the 2011 Le Tour de Fleece. The idea of Le Tour is to to spin every day that the Tour de France cyclists compete, plus including challenging oneself, doing something difficult during the most difficult day of the Tour de France... you get the idea.
And just so the sheep don't feel left out... This is my favorite Gotland ewe: Gem.
Gem is 75% Gotland and 25% Finn. She has lovely, lustrous, dark grey curls, and classic Northern Shorttail conformation, plus is friendly and easy to handle. Lovely ewe!
More Le Tour and Lamb updates to come!
Friday, June 24, 2011
This is their third excursion from pasture to pen. (Pen to pasture doesn't go quite as smoothly - yet.) There is grain in the pen and the ewes know it! The lambs just (mostly) follow their moms. At the end, I have to wait for Chamois and her triplets, then scoop one laggard through the gate into the pen.
These are most of the Gotland ewes and their lambs. Several are for sale. :-)
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
This group is being kept separate from the rest of the flock so the ewes can get extra nutrition. They're feeding many mouths! I like the lambs in general. They have nice bodies, long loins, tall legs. Several have the tight pincurl fleeces that I like, usually seen on the whites, also on some of the greys this year.
These photos were taken on the lambs first trip out to the "yard" pasture. I like having the sheep close to the house where I can just glance out the window and see them.
I stole Michelle's idea of leading the ewes out to the pasture and letting the lambs follow.
Fortunately, the trip back was like going "home" and the lambs followed very nicely... following their moms who were following me with the grain bucket. You gotta love the pig-sheep.
87.5% ewe lamb - one of Jewel's twins.
Today - I led the ewes out to the pasture with a bucket of grain. About half of the lambs followed the first time. We made the trip past the gate a couple of times and got everyone except Chamois' triplets. Putting her on a halter and leading just her to the gate got the trio moving. The second time around was much easier!
Not shown - this time - Jewel and her other daughter, Bits and her white triplets, Bunny and her grey triplets.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Dave got the tiller going, and the rain held off long enough to get the garden area tilled! The back left corner is where the Sheepie Hilton compost pile was. I shoveled about half of it over the garden after the first tilling, then the rest stayed put... mostly. Sheep compost is wonderful! I plan to put the tomatoes in that location.
This is an expansion of our last garden - in 2009 during one of the best growing seasons that I can remember. This garden is maybe twice as large. The portion behind and to the left of the shed is new, as is most of the back towards the stump.
So, first I laid out the garden using Territorial Seed Company's new Garden Planner. What a great tool! I moved plants around and around until I liked the layout.
I started with the potatoes. The "potato towers" have intrigued me since I saw one at the Island County Fair two years ago. Potatoes take so much garden space when grown traditionally. The towers let the potatoes grow up, and produce more potatoes in the vertical space. There are many versions on the web, and I designed my own (of course!).
We had taken this field fence wire down several years ago, and I was about ready to take it to the dump. It had been grown into the grass and took some doing to get it loose.
I chose to make my towers about 3 feet in diameter, so that's just over 6 feet of length. The bolt cutters made quick work of cutting the wire lengths. Then, I wanted the towers to be low enough that I could reach the bottom, but high enough to grow lots of potatoes!
Bending the tops down, doubling the wire at the top, then rolling it into a cylinder, securing with the cut wire ends... voila - made a potato tower. Actually, the length of fence was enough to make 6 towers.
Above is the wire doubled and ready to roll. Below are 4 of the towers sitting in their planned location (yellow squares at the left of the plan above).
The box at the left, full of
So, below are four of the potatoes placed at the bottom of their tower, ready to be covered with dirt. I got three varieties this year, Satin (a yellow midseason), Carmine (a red midseason), and Burbank Russet (the most popular potato in the US, late season). This one is Satin.
PS. The sky was getting dark and threatening as I was finishing. The last photo was taken with a flash! As I was going back into the house, the rain started... again. It's still raining... hard.