Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool

After the wettest March on record, I am happy to see April arrive. Even if it is being blown in by 23 mph winds and snow flurries........ And the coming of spring brings the coming of lambs, one of my favorite times of year.
I am logging lots of barn time, getting in shape with my :
Farmgirl Fitness Program.
Pitchfork Pilates, as I fill the feed bunks with hay and clean up the spent straw, hay and ......other materials. Yes, Materials Management is my main title during lambing time, making compost and mulch from the barn clean ups.
Lamb Dodging, good for balance and quick response training as little pinball lambs dance and skitter across the barn floor as I attempt to work.
Wheelbarrow Marathon, as you can imagine- a large component of Materials Management. Too bad I can't train the sheep to use the compost pile like a cat does it's littler box.
Water Aerobics or Bucket Lift and Tote, as you can also imagine....
Mud Skating- all this rain in the paddocks makes for some lively footwork.

At this time almost half of the sheep have lambed, and the majority have twins. I can hardly wait for the weather to become mild and I can turn the ewes and lambs onto new grass pastures to eat and play the days away.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

2011 lambing

Day old purebred Bluefaced Leicester lambs.
Lambing is starting slowly this year, only 6 ewes have lambed in seven days. I keep checking the heavies (a term for those at full term pregnancy) and keep feeling relief and concern at the same time. I love babies. Almost all babies, but especially those born in my barn. Aniticipation and excitement builds in me as lambing time approaches, then once started, I really want it over with all the ewes happily nursing their healthy lambs. And that's the way it usually goes. A time of quiet vigilance on my part, ready to help with any potential problem, relying on the wisdom of nature in spring rebirth.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shearing Days

my corner office

bags and bags of beautiful fiber

I have been shearing my flock the past three and a half days, and am proud of my girls!
It takes me at least an hour a sheep to shear, trim feet, recoat the ewe with a protective cover, skirt and label each fleece. I wish I could keep each one to spin for myself.......... but am considering having a sale day here on the farm in early May after the lambs are born. Contact me if you want an invite!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Madder and Marigold

A black and white kid mohair fleece blended on the carder, a bouncy white (with some black fibers) Border Leicster cross fleece, bombyx and tussah silk are mordanted with alum then dyed with marigolds and madder. I added some iron to the madder for part of the mohair and silk, the color went from dark rust to maroon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Marigold and Indigo

COLOR! Using alum mordant, natural inidgo and marigolds from my garden I've got the blues...and greens and yellows and golds. Wool, mohair and silk have found the way into my dye pots and I love the results..... Using a Louett motorized carder, I blended some of the wool, mohair and silk into batts which I then spun into a sportweight 2 ply yarn. Thoughts of gloves and socks are entertaining as I work in the 95 degree heat........... Visit the Milk House Fiber Studio (at the Dahmen Barn, Uniontown, WA) if you would like to purchase some dyed fiber for your own creations.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Milk House Fiber Studio

At long last, we have opened Milk House Fiber Studio at The Dahmen Artisan Barn in Uniontown, Washington. The Artisan Barn is a funky (in a good way) old beautiful barn donated for use as artist studios. You can read the whole story at
My friend, Judy Lalonde and I transformed the old milk house into a working studio. We spent over 70 hours remodeling, and with the help of other barn volunteers opened our studio in early May.
We offer locally grown fiber from our own farms. Judy's alpacas are offering up their roving, fleece and yarn in amazing natural colors, along with her fine finished knitted goods and knitting patterns by local knitters. I offer washed fleece, roving, handspun and mill spun yarns from my spinner's flock of sheep, along with Earthues Natural Dye extracts.
We are ready to receive visitors on Friday and Saturday when we are there working.