The Fleece o Jaanet
Jaanet being sheared in 2018
Jaanet’s fleece handspun into 1178 yards of 2-ply light worsted yarn
The Nature Conservancy is hosting a program called Shave ’em to Save ’em. Fiber producers like us who raise heritage breed sheep are selling to fiber artists who spin, knit or weave with a variety of breeds on the Conservation Priority List.
From their website:
“How does it work?
- Fiber Artists buy wool from rare breed Fiber Providers and get a “stamp” in their “passport.”
- They earn items for completing projects.
- They share pictures of their projects on Facebook and Ravelry.
- The more breeds they use, the more “stamps” they collect, the more items they earn, the more wool the providers sell.”
For the record, we raise Gulf Coast Native Sheep, not Romeldale, so don’t go gettin’ confused on me, okay?
If you’d like to get involved as a fiber artist or as a fiber producer, the time is now!
Time for Radish Sandwiches
Okay okay. The garden is almost all in. Raised beds should, hopefully, be easier to maintain than the 1/4 acre that’s fallow right now. I’ll be using that as a Second Tier compost location. Between the chicken coops, raking out the sheep shelters, and the suint bath runoff, we should beef that soil up pretty well. Throw a cover crop out there, something like buckwheat, and till it under and we’ll be good for fall.
Today, Teaben’s fleece came out of the suint bath and Sammy’s went in. Took a lot of water to rinse him out. Boy oh boy what a grubby little feller he was. This time I gave him a soapy rinse and a vinegar rinse too. Teaben’s dryin’ on the back deck as I write.
Dan’s comin down the hill to bushhog a patch of our front yard. Our tractor needs a solenoid, and til then, we are living with giant weeds. Dog fennel from last year looks like we have a yard of reeds. I’m just getting ol’ and tarrd, I guess. Used to think nothing of digging out a field. Now, For Get It, as Curly Lumpkin would say.
And, that is all. I love you in the morning!
3 Skeins o Jaanet
Ten skeins o’ Jaanet warshed and set. One to go. My abilities to take closeups are limited. Lookit:
Verreh bad Closeup of Jaanet
On the other hand, pulled a ram fleece out of the suint bath, popped Teaben’s 2018 fleece into the suint bath. Found Jaanet’s 2017 fleece, and decided to hand warsh rather than FSM it. So warshed about 4 oz of Jaanet 2017. Pretty stuff, I’ll tell ya.
Tonight, after finishing the last skein of Jaanet 2018, I’ll be carding Mia 2015. She’s a very white, soft sheepess. I wish she still lived here. Her fleece was cleaned in the FSM, so it’s quite lanoliny, which is lurvley, but by the time I’m done spinning will need a hot water warsh.
Anyway, that is Sun Day here at the farmette in NoFla.
See ya later, bye! *wave wave*
Six Feet of Mia
After a weeklong soak in the FSM tub, pulled Mia’s fleece out and gave it a good rinse. This is what we have. Lanolin filled much less barnyardy yearling fleece. Today is a lovely day in the 60s, like me, after 2 frosty cold last days of winter here in NoFla. So nice to have a fleece to work on. With the sun today, Mia just might dry.
Closeup of this Little Girl Fleece
Now, don’t panic. This is still not “scoured.” I like spinning in the grease if I’m not blending. It’s really a lot easier on the hands. When this is finally spun and washed it will be much “whiter.”
Any hoo. This is the project of the week. There is still another fleece left in the FSM tub. He’s a dirty old man, so I’m leavin’ him to soak another few days. Not sure who’s goin’ in next. One of the biggies, I think.
Jaanet is just about all spun. Another night, maybe. Then her skeins will be washed and ready to knit. WHOO HOOO!
Rams in upper pasture
Okay okay. It’s March. Today is mild but raw. Tomorrow night we’re into the 30s again. This after a couple weeks of 80 degree weather! We’ve had a couple days of rain, and the grass is growing again, so the boys are having a nice feast. Good on ’em.
Ewes in lower pasture
The ladies and lambs are in the lower pasture. Not as much grass, but more blackberry canes and access to shelter. Oak trees galore. And Mayhaws. And sandy stuff and bahia, not rye.
Oak leaves under my feet in the house pasture. HA.
Alright, I know these pictures suckalot, but that’s because I have Miss Emm with me and the sheep go further and further away from my lens, except for baby Rooney who thinks Miss Emm is very cool, much to his maa’s dismay. Such is life. I’ll get better pics tomorrow. See ya later, bye! Wave wave!
Ewes and lambs
Miss Emm not sitting still
Course, the sheep wanted their picture taken, but they were too far away for my crummy zoom so they’re all fuzzy, soft focus need an imagination to see them as sheeps. And here’s Emm, loving to be out with us, taking a walk, sitting on command, smiling into my face, and as soon as the camera clicked, she was up and on her way. Hence she beat the shutter. Every time.
Went down to investigate?
He did not beat the shutter. Looks like he went down to investigate. Into the roots. Holy Hootis. Reminds me of a crime story in Ben Lomond ca 1980.
Dill, Eva Purple Ball, Genovese Basil, Rosa Bianca Eggplant Seedlings
Okay okay, the time has come, my Curly Lumpkin said, to think of many things. And the main thing is food for the Spring. So, we’re sprouting seeds and getting the starts into flats of potting soil. So far, so good. Boo hiss on the indigo and old roselle I’m trying. Likewise to the Yellow-eye Pea Beans. Waaaaah. They’re not havin’ it. But those who are havin’ it, are HAVIN’ it and I’m delighted. This is a garden of “what we have.” Biggest investment to be TIME. I have TIME. Time is my friend. My enemy. But it’s what I have as far as resources go.
Roselle, Sweet Potato Slips, Mint
This is the roselle that started. Not a lot, but guess what. That will become a wall and give us tea for a year, not to mention stir fry greens! The Sweets? We shall see. And yes, I splurged on a mint. The sheep ate my ancient sprawling mint. Who could blame them. I keep waiting for a new shoot. Nada. Bit the bullet. Bought a spearmint plant. How can you live a life of pleasure without a mint plant?