Octavia Coopworth, bred to a jacob ram, has produced a set of lovely black twins with white blazing, typical of lambs crossbred with jacobs. Jacob white is dominant over most all standardized white breeds. In a very few cases, most notably dorsets, they will produce a spotted lamb, marked like a jacob but shaped like a dorset. More than you wanted to know? Anyway, Hansel and Gretel are healthy, delightful lambs, 8 lb. each at birth. They are now almost two days old, and up and playing regularly, very inquisitive, with lovely fleeces. I can’t wait to see how the fleece develops. They were in with Unzicker Ike, whom I call Isaiah, Ike being a nickname and I don’t do nicknames (except for Hansel and Gretel, apparently!). He has an extraordinary fleece, one I kept myself after shearing this year.
And speaking of shearing, there was a big article with many photos in the Sunday Valley News about my shearing and my friend, Lise’s, shearing. There are photos available for viewing on the Valley News Website, webextras, photos, upper valley spinners…is the thread to follow, if you want to see some great photos. I especially like the one of Gwen shearing Jebediah, a huge ram with very long horns.
They were only a few hours old here.
No other lambs since then.
I’ve been busily knitting while sitting around home mostly during lambing season. When I was at SPA (Spinning and knitting People of America?), an event sponsored by the North East Something, NEETA, I think is the acronym, in Freeport, Maine, in February, I bought two lots of roving: six 4 ounce bags of blue and green and yellow dyed roving from Maine Island Sheep, a flock kept off the coast of Maine, and 7 four ounce skeins of romney and blue faced leicester in shades of blue and green (must be my blue/green period!) from Spunky Eclectic. I have spun all the Maine Island fleece, and plied it with natural white finn/friesian/dorset/godknowswhat milk sheep fleece from David Major’s Vermont Shepherd Cheese flock. I’ve finished one sweater and started another, since I have enough,having stretched it with the white, to make two sweaters. I think I’ll decide which I like best,and sell the other. Here’s a photo of the first one:
I’ve just begun the second one; have about six inches of the yoke done. It is a simple top down sweater, but with a collar I learned from Beth Brown-Reinsel at a workshop last year at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, which is much nicer than the traditional collar, stretches better for easy on/off, and looks better. Again, more than you want to know?
Yesterday, at spinning, I saw the shawl Ann had finished with her newly spun, newly died milk sheep fleece. It is gorgeous, going from purple to blue to red to orange and back to purple…all on a single strand with a new process she has devised for dyeing. She is amazingly brilliant and talented! It almost wants to make me want to dye…if only I weren’t so lazy!
Snow expected tomorrow night into Friday: 12 inches up north, only 4-6, depending on who you listen to, around here. I though March was supposed to go out like a lamb? Hah!