Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Three teams competed for first prize with a shawl that they created from freshly shorn sheep. Two women were shearing this year. One of them was the Greene County Lamb & Wool Queen, Rachel Finnegan. After the sheep were sheared, the fleeces went to be carded, spun into yarn, and woven into shawls on a prewarped loom.
The shawls were judged by a panel and then auctioned off Saturday afternoon.
The Lamb & Wool Queen wasn't done for the day though ..... she and her escort also judged the vendor booths. There's an award for the best fiber booth and the best non-fiber booth. Rachel & her escort are making their way through the building to check booths and talk with each vendor. Best fiber booth went to Aboundingful Farm and best non-fiber booth went to Wilson Stained & Fused Glass. Here's a shot of one side of the Wild Rose Farm booth and some of our naturally dyed Rambouillet yarn. The gorgeous fleece on the floor was the one that was reserved on shearing day this spring and it was picked up by Misty at the festival. Looking back at the records, this fleece came from the same ewe who had the Reserve Grand Champion Fleece at the Hookstown Fair in 2008.
Next to the Wild Rose Farm booth was Shipyard Point Glassworks. They had a fantastic selection of image art glass buttons, stitch markers, beads, earrings, and glass embellished knitting needles, crochet hooks, needle threaders, and orifice hooks for spinners. I kept going back and looking at all of the buttons ..... I finally settled on the bright yellow button with blue dots and millefiore accent at the bottom middle of the picture. Go ahead & zoom in on it! I couldn't resist & also bought a button and a fun cat's head bead for a knitting friend.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Who says that you can't tell these sheep apart? The lambs in the barn are a little younger than the ones out in the field so they haven't recieved their ear tag yet. We'll process another group of lambs tomorrow and get the lamb tags in their ears. Right ear for ram ram lambs and left ear for ewe lambs.
Well, it started tonight ..... it caught me by surprise in this photo, but
the little mob of lambs in the barn broke into what I refer to as a "LAMPEDE". It starts when one or two lambs spontaneously get a sudden twitch, leap into the air, and take off at a dead run. Of course the other lambs turn and run with the first lamb, creating a mob mentality that sweeps all lambs in it's path into the fray. The mad dash continues in large circles until tired little lambs begin to drop out of the race. They mill around for a while and finally lay down to rest. It's hysterical! They do this out in the fields too. You can actually hear their little hooves pounding ......... it reminds me of the Ben Hur chariot race (if you're old enough to remember that movie).
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
As promised a while ago, here are some of the vendors coming to the 6th Annual Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Festival. The festival will be at the Greene County Fairgrounds on May 16th & 17th. You won't want to miss it!
Columbus Park Fiber & Quilting - wool batts
From Many Threads - hand & machine stitched dolls, animals, quilts, blankets
Aboundingful Farm - roving, yarn, finished products from angora rabbits, mohair, Jacob sheep
Folklore Fibers, Herbs, & Homestead Essentials
The Wool Garden - roving, yarn, shawls, needlefelting, knitting needles
Shipyard Point Glassworks
Royal Meadow Farm - mohair, yarn, kits, jewelry, charms
Boone Hollow Baskets - handmade baskets with oak handles
Tune in again for more vendors!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Some time lapsed today and here's what we have to show for it! Curious about what goes on during lambing season at Wild Rose Farm? Well, today we had 2 sets of twins born between 4 a.m. and noon. The 1st lambs were born overnight in the barn. We had a Rambouillet ewe going into labor on Friday evening. We were having a heavy downpour, so she was brought into the barn. She delivered her twin ram lambs overnight and all was well when we went out in the morning to check on them.
Meanwhile, out in the field with our curious friend #330 above, another ewe was showing signs of being ready to go into labor. Our crossbred ewe #29 can be seen in the middle of the 2nd picture ..... notice how her udder looks very full, her flank is sunken in, and her belly has dropped. This was at 8 a.m. She then proceeded to drift off away from the rest of the flock .... another sign that she was going to lamb soon.
Nothing to do at this point but wait and come back later. Meanwhile, back at the barn, we noticed that those lambs had nursed unevenly on the ewe's udder, so we milked out one side of the udder. We save this colostrum from the ewe and freeze it. It is full of antibodies and can be used to feed a lamb that may be orphaned or whose dam doesn't have enough milk.
Notice how rich the milk is. These containers are perfect to milk into because of their wide mouth and the indentations on the sides so you can keep your grip on them. Let's just say that the ewes don't exactly enjoy the process of being milked since they're not handled on a daily basis like dairy cows!
But that's not all for the morning. On the way back into the house, I stopped to cut back the flowers bolting from the rhubarb plants. Most people have rhubarb to make pies and cobblers, but that's a sideline here at Wild Rose Farm. The stalks are used for pies and jellies, but the leaves are considered to be poisonous. They contain oxalic acid and are used here as a natural dye for our yarn. The link above mentions both uses.
Soak the leaves overnight and boil for about 1 hour to create a dyebath. The yarn comes out as a yellow with green undertones if an alum pre-mordant is used. The leaves soaked all day and they're simmering as we speak. It's a busy time of year with the lambing and the natural dyeing preparations for the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Festival and our annual spring open house. After shredding the leaves (wearing rubber gloves) and covering them with water to soak, we left to run errands and go to the farmers' market.
When we returned just before noon, we immediately went out to the pasture to check on #29. Look what we found .... Two newborn ram lambs that were nicely cleaned off and who had already been nursing. Note how white they are after being born in the dewy clean grass.