• Sandra

We are heading into our 24th year of lambing on the farm. Most of our ewes are lambing in April, but we have a few ewes that could lamb at any time. It is the perfect time to go through and check on our lambing supplies, and make sure we have what we need on hand.

Our must haves-some items are not needed for every circumstance, but they are included.

Umbilical Spray- We have upgraded from using a teat dipper, to dip the navels and went to a spray several years ago. Quick and not as messy.

Lamb Sling-This is used when the ewe has her lambs on pasture and we want to move the lamb and mother to another location. It cradles the lamb and you can carry the lamb at your side. The ewe will be able to keep track of her lamb and follow along. If there are two, we just carry the other one.

Towels- Towels come in handy when the weather is chilly and we want to help dry the lamb off so it doesn't lose too much body heat.

Nutri-Drench- A liquid supplement that can be used for weak newborns.

Selenium and Vitamin E Gel- A supplement.

Scale-Not necessary, but it is nice to be able to weigh the lambs at birth.

Syringe and Tube- You use this to tube feed a lamb that is weak and has no sucking reflex (which they do not have if they are too cold or weak) You place the tube, down the esophagus of the lamb, the tube is long enough to reach the lambs stomach. You attach the syringe and feed the lamb their mothers colostrum. This is a life saving skill and should be learned if you raise sheep or goats.

Elastrator and bands- These are used to dock lambs tails which is done at about a week old. It is also used to castrate Ram Lambs when they are a little older.

Syringes and Needles- We give a vaccine called CD/T when we dock the lambs tails. We use it to protect against Tetanus.

Nipples- We only need these when we have a bottle lamb and we usually only have one of those if the lamb is rejected by their mother. That doesn't happen too often,(thankfully) but we do, occasionally, have a bummer lamb, so we keep nipples on hand.

Disposable O.B Gloves and Gel- We use these when we have to assist in a birth.

We are all set for lambing 2021!

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  • Sandra

I like to spin wool into yarn, I also like to knit. Most of the time I don't spin with an end project in mind, I spin to spin. This is one time where I was spinning for a specific yarn/project. It didn't go as planned, but I was able to still use the yarn for something else.

This post was written about 4 years ago, I have improved with my spinning and knitting since then. But I learned a lot from this project. I still have the slipper socks, the Tunis wool held up well. They have been machine washed, and on occasion, accidentally thrown into the dryer. They didn't shrink down to kids size, like most wool would have, which is one reason why Tunis is a great option for knit projects.

(older post)

Ply magazine's Spring edition, was all about down wool breeds. We were contacted by them last year, and  was asked if we would be interested in sending them some of our Tunis roving, dyed. I was really excited for the issue to come out, I knew our wool was being used in a sock project. I really have never gotten the hang of spinning with Tunis, I prefer the longwools. The issue came out, and the socks that were made with the wool, were amazing :)  The article about spinning Tunis wool, was very thorough, and helpful.

I started my own project using Tunis wool. I knew that I was probably not going to be able to do a three ply sock weight yarn, but I was hoping for worsted weight. Ha! I ended up with Super Bulky, it is obvious I still have some skills to learn, when it comes to spinning.

I dyed the wool after it was made into yarn, spinning white wool, can be a little boring, but I prefer to dye yarn over roving. I used Cushings, Perfection Dyes-Apricot

Even though it was not the yarn I was hoping for, I decided to find a project, where it could be used. I found a pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn Company, Super Bulky slipper socks.

I have only ever made two pairs of socks, and that was with commercial yarn, and a video tutorial that walked me through step by step of the pattern. I did manage to work my way through this pattern, and ended up with some slipper socks. Yes, there are some mistakes, and they are not quite the same size, but they are super squishy (Tunis yarn characteristic), comfortable and I LOVE the color.

So, even as imperfect as they are, this girl will be wearing them!

It was a fun sheep to socks project, even if they are not the sock project I had planned,  when spinning.

Yarn: Tunis 3-Ply, Super Bulky.

Color: Apricot (Cushings Perfection Dye)

Pattern: Lion Brand Slipper Socks, Knit 

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  • Sandra

Needle Felting is one way to use up that wool stash!

What is Needle Felting?

It is a fiber art that creates felt without the use of water.

Using a barbed needle, wool fibers are tangled together by a continuous jabbing of the needle into the wool fiber.

You just need a few tools to get started:

wool roving/batt

felting needle

foam pad

It is a great project for children, you just have to be careful because those needles are SHARP (ouch).

For a beginner project, you can start out using a cookie cutter for a pattern. When we teach classes, that is typically what we use. (great ornaments)

You can work your way up to sculpting three dimensional projects.

I will be honest, I do not have the flair for making anything but "simple".  I have a friend, on the other hand, who is amazing at it. They raise sheep as well, and when you have sheep, you have wool and this has been a great artistic outlet for her.

This was her second felted wool project, which started out with a simple cookie cutter

She quickly moved onto more complicated projects...

Embellishments, ornaments, and felted figurines are just a few things you can create with needle felting.

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