Thursday, January 14, 2010

Learning Opportunities

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!


Sara said...

Great photos! I've bottle fed several lambs. It is a rocky start for them. Good luck to your friend! Wish I was local, but Ohio is too far for that drive.

Michele in Maine said...

Thank you for my daily baby lamb fix! Nice hat, too!

marit said...

Loosing an ewe is never fun... We had that toxic thing happening a couple of times- one lamb dies early and the other gets out as normal.
Love the photo of Eyeore and the sheep!

Also,I think the Farmer is a pretty good model!


Fifty-two lambs!!! WOW!!!! :) Thank you :)

Jennifer and Steve said...

I love all your sheep photos. Thanks for sharing what happens at your farm. :) I just ordered your new book (from you) and am very excited to get it in the mail!

melissaknits said...

I am hoping to get to the new fiber arts studio tomorrow evening. What a wonderful concept!

I also am hoping to get a FENCE come spring so we can add lamb to the menu.

Jan Morrison said...

Very satisfying post - the whole thing, poor dying sheep mama, feisty lambs, reluctant man (looking gooooood!) in the hat, lovely lovely donkey.
Thanks. jan

inadvertent farmer said...

First time visiting, which is funny because my craft today was little sheep. You have a lovely blog...can't wait to go peek around! Have fun bottle feeding...Kim

mascanlon said...

So my skills are limited to knitting...just purls even. But I am going to keep plugging away, I love those hats!

Shell ~ said...

hi Kristin,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Good Morning.
~ loVe the farm photos. The sheep have such personalities.
~ Julia wearing that lovely hat is terrific color inspiration in the white of winter ~
>>>I have a book question for you, which I hope you will answer in a post,.... perhaps ?
I plan to buy your COLOR book soon as I can :) Since I like to fully support artists I will order it directly from you so that I can also have it personalized.
So, my question is this > > >
> HOW is it that a book just coming out can already be sold in certain catalogs or online for such a lesser price ? My dollarz are slim, but I would still rather purchase from you.
Can you explain how that happens in the publishing world ?
It hardly seems fair to the artist/author/illustrator/writers of such beautiful books.
Thanks for explaining.
~ best, COLORFUL day to you ~
Shell ~

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Let's try this again. My spelling error didn't "sound good" when posted! :)

My comment was: OK, am I the only one who thinks that The Farmer looks pret-ty darn handsome in that photo, all tough looking, holding that little lamb, with a hand knit hat pulled over his head? That is a magazine cover shot, for sure! Tell him I'm hanging him up in my studio to make my husband jealous!

I am really enjoying "watching" the lambing again this year. Thanks for the peek inside your life!