to celebrate the publication of my new book


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.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Yearlings are Lambing

At this time of year, most of our adult ewes have already had their lambs. Although it is rather anti-climatic here on the blog, the barn is busier than ever. The older lambs are eating more hay although they are still nursing from their mamas. The Farmer has set up a "creep" which is basically an enclosed area of the barn with a metal gate with closely set bars. The lambs can sneak through but the openings are not large enough for the adults to get in. Inside the creep, there are buckets set up with protein enriched grain. The lambs eat this and it helps them grow. They all love to hang out inside the creep together. I always think that they look like a bunch of teenagers hanging out smoking cigarettes. It's a funny thought but I just can't help it. Once the pastures kick in (which is hopefully only about six weeks away), there will be no more grain for the sheep and lambs.

The barn is extra busy now because some of last year's ewe lambs are beginning ot have babies. This creates all kinds of extra work because they are first time mothers. Just like with people, some sheep have the "mothering gene" and some don't. The barn is full of nursery pens and we're dealing with holding uninterested mothers still while one of us attaches the lamb to the teat and gets it to suck. It reminds me of being in the NICU at NEMC with Julia and the breast feeding specialists who came in to help Julia learn to breast feed. We were a horrible failure - I never got any breast milk (too much stress, I suppose) and Julia thought a bottle with easy flowing milk was much easier. I doubt the sheep who never have any milk angst over the situation as much as I did. They must have my mom's attitude. Live and let live. I can still remember my mother saying to me as I was pumping away with that strange looking breast pump my sister gave me. She looked at me and said "Kristin, I never breast fed you and you turned out alright." That's all it took for me to stop trying and concentrate on Julia's real problems. The next time those breast feeding specialists came in the NICU, I told them to leave me alone. The formula would be fine. Thank you Mom. You are the BEST!

Who knew raising sheep would bring so many parallels to child-rearing. Here's one of my favorite black Border Leicester cross black ewes from last year and her new little girl. This yealing luckily is doing a great job with her baby and the lamb is thriving! What a brightie.

Happy weekend everyone and I hope to see some of you at RJ Julia tonight. I'm bringing some door prizes!

Have you seen this? It's a trend - knitting sweaters for animals but this time it is poultry.


Kate said...

Are you brining any of your postcards tonight? A friend and I are coming to RJ Julia's. It will be my first real outing since knee surgery 9except the fun trips to physical therapy!).

mitchowl said...

"I always think that they look like a bunch of teenagers hanging out smoking cigarettes."

Ha ha that's hilarious!

lisa said...

I love reading your blog. And guess what, I'm a NICU nurse at Tufts (formerly NEMC) as well as one of those "breastfeeding specialists"! Glad to see Julia is doing so well. Funny that I never made the connection :)

I really enjoy raeding about the sheep and farm. And I love that you had the cutest models for some of your newest creations!

Amy S. said...

Those chicken sweaters are too funny! As for your wonderful ones--any chance you would also sell the two outtakes you showed us below? They are absolutely hilarious. I think the one with the crowd of white lambs, just one in pink, would make a great greeting card--maybe even with some kind of punchline about not running with the herd. . . .

Deborah said...

I'm thinking that little black lamb would look lovely in a sweater!

Bev said...

love the little black lamb - the black ones are my favorite (which those who know me would say "no surprise" hehe)

thanks for the laugh about the teenagers in the barn

and the link to the chicken vests -- who knew one could just keep playing dolls by raising livestock -- wonderful!

Jessica said...

lol....i had a similar breast feeding issue with my daughter. my mom told me the same thing and we both happily used formula and bottle! Today she's a beautiful 2 year old!!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed meeting you at RJ Julia's, your work; knitting, needlework and phontography, is beautiful. You have inspired me to experiment more with color, plant a field of sunflowers and maybe even attempt Steeking!!!:)

happyathome said...

OMGoodness, I wish I knew you were at RJ Julia's Friday night, would have been there since I live only about 20 minutes from there!!!!! Great blog, we have a few things in common....knitting and border collies. Would love to have the sheep and chickens but cannot seem to convince my husband to make the move.