Archive for October 8th, 2011

Making Progress ‘Round Here

October 8, 2011

I (finally) sheared the last ewe! This is great cause for celebration. Now I just have to shear the ram and their fun can begin. I am way behind schedule this year, but hopefully it will all end well. Unlike last year.

Today’s candidate was Amber. Again, not one of my favorites (why did I leave those 2 til last?). Amber is very stubborn, like Marge, and one of the most demanding sheep I have. If I am visible, she is demanding food. Doesn’t matter if I fed 5 minutes ago. She is sure that I must have more of the good stuff to hand out.

Amber before:

and after:

This is why I put up with Amber’s attitude and mouthiness. This was her fleece at the shoulder. She is covered in spots. Some dark brown, some almost lilac. And all that pretty fine crimp. Yummy!

A bear to shear, cuz it’s so thick, and she has fleece down all 4 legs. Very little belly wool. We started out with her standing, but she kept bashing her head into the barn wall, so I laid her down. Most of my sheep have at least one sweet spot where they enjoy being scritched, even the nutso Midge (I’ll tell her story next time). Amber does not want to be touched anywhere. Even laying down she fussed and fumed. I got most of the side done, then let her stand up again and we re-negotiated. She agreed to stand mostly still, and I agreed not to freezer-train sell her. I know how to flip and shear a sheep, but the back never thinks that’s a good idea. It’s easier on both of us if I do it with the sheep standing, or, if they won’t behave I lay them down on their side and lay a leg across their neck. They usually fall asleep when I do that.

I’ve had a pretty productive week, at least by current standards. I used to be able to shear 3 or 4 sheep in a day without thinking about it. Now one a day or every few days is what happens. This week I got the last 2 ewes shorn, got 9 2-ounce batts carded (love my Patrick Green!), went up on the roof and cleaned the wood stove chimney (not my favorite chore, since I’m afraid of heights) and caulked parts of the roof (we’ll see how well when it really rains ). Tomorrow morning (back willing) I will go to spinning, and if it holds up I may shear Inesh (the ram). Or I’ll do him on Sunday.

I am also making progress on the wedding shawl (no pics, since it doesn’t look like much right now). I’m up to 126 rows out of 210. Right now the rows are 562 stitches each, so they take up to 30 minutes each. Slow and steady here. I’m paying more attention right now, since I found a dropped stitch a couple of rows back. I was able to fix it without ripping back, which was kind of interesting since it involved a 3 into 1 decrease. But it all worked out in the end. No life lines here!