Raw and cold - 19 degrees. They are promising a warm-up this weekend to the 40's during the day. It will be nice to have a break from the cold for a few days. Not warm enough though to get too messy, thank goodness!
Fifty-two lambs so far. This little guy slipped through the feeding bunk while The Farmer was feeding hay. It's only a week old but is already interested in discovering what the adults are eating.
We have only one little bottle lamb so far, Number 10 who was born last Friday. Her mother died on Monday. Monday morning, we arrived at the barn to find her out in the field down. We put her in the bucket of the tractor, drove her into the barn and made her a hospital pen. The Farmer thought she might have a second lamb in her that she hadn't delivered. This was a guess, only because ewes who have lambed generally don't "go down" after they have lambed. He did an internal check and couldn't find anything but the smell was awful which is never a good sign. By that afternoon, she had died. He did a post-mortem on her and yes, in fact, there was a second lamb that had become toxic to her. In 30 years of sheep farming, this is the first time this has happened.
Little Number 10 is adapting to the bottle feeding. She will become tame and grow up and graze with the other sheep. Bottle lambs never grow as well as lambs that are fed by their mother's milk. The humans will do the best we can, feeding her several times a day, but mama we will never be.
Like they say about most things, always keep learning. Sheep farming gives us plenty of opportunity for learning, whether we want it or not! In my art and personal projects, I try my hardest to keep my eyes open to new opportunities for learning. It isn't always easy though when you are so busy running around, living your life, keeping up with deadlines. Fitting in a new learning opportunity takes a lot of effort and work on anyone's part. But it is always worth it, once you try. I challenge all of you who have written or commented on my blog (or Susan Anderson's blog last week) that you were afraid of working with color to give Fair Isle knitting a try! Take a class at your local yarn store or have an accomplished knitting friend teach you.
This weekend, in Greenfield, Massachuestts, there is a new business opening called The Downtown Fiberarts Studio. My friend Cheryl Rezendes is taking a giant leap of faith and opening this new business at 278 Main Street (above Bart's Cafe) in this rocky economy. Cheryl is a fiber and collage artist who has exhibited her work for over twenty years. There will be knitting classes taught by Christine Copeland, a sewing drop-in, kids' fiber classes (with a special class for homeschoolers), and all kinds of fiber related adult classes. The Grand Opening is this weekend Friday evening January 15th and all day January 16th. Read all about the classes here on the website. If you are local and looking for something to do and check out, stop on by. I can't wait to see the space because I have heard so much about it.
Here's a brand new lamb in the hands of The Farmer. I have been begging him for a photo of him in his Quarters Cap. He did oblige for this one but I had to be really quick. He stopped moving for approximately 30 seconds. "Too much to do," he said. No time for having a photo taken! Ugggh, men. I told him he wouldn't make a very good model...... I think I will stick with Julia. At least she gets that I need gobs of photos to get a pretty one...... (You can buy the very easy Quarters Cap Pattern over here on my website.)
I love this photo of Eeyore and the older ewes looking in on all the goings on in the barn. Good day everyone!
BOOK PARTY - MAY 5-6
to celebrate the publication of my new book
CRAFTING A PATTERNED HOME.
Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.
This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.
The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.