Chores and fleecy fun

Esther's fleece drying on the outdoor rack

Another crazy hot and humid week has come and gone.  They are promising us that tomorrow will be cooler and less humid.  The air is already feeling much more comfortable!  I have been catching up on some farm stuff, moving sheep and moving cattle panels and all sorts of things up at the house.  Every time I am down in the field I forget to take my camera, so I can’t show off the happy ewes.  Trying to do too many things at once to catch up from putting too much off during the school year!

In between some of the heavier work I have been washing some fleece that I want to process myself.  I had held back a hoggett fleece from one of my favorite keeper ewes, Esther.  (A hoggett fleece is the first full year fleece from a sheep).  Esther is one of the yearlings that I chose to keep as a replacement ewe this year.  Her mother, Norma, was the first ewe that we bought when we started with sheep.  She has been a consistently great ewe.  She has had twins every year since we first bred her.  Never needed any help with anything, just quietly had her lambs and took care of them well.  We knew that 2010 would be her last lambing and she had two ewe lambs, both silver-saddled and blue.  One was teeny tiny and the other was a giant by comparison.  Esther is the larger of the two and I knew that I would keep her if she grew well.  She is as sweet and mild-mannered as her mama was and she has a fantastic fleece.  Blue-silver, darker grey and brown/black around the edges.  So I am hoping to spin it up and possibly card it with some mohair.  I would love to get enough yarn from it to knit a cardigan for myself, but we will see.  This weekend I am joining some spinner friends for a weekend retreat at Sugarloaf (a ski resort).  I am really looking forward to the time away.  Hoping to totally decompress and regenerate some little grey cells :*)

The Tina II, cleaned and all dressed up for the big weekend

To that end, I also took some time to rejuvenate one of my favorite spinning wheels, my Jensen Tina II.  I didn’t take it totally apart, but enough to clean it with some Murphy’s oil soap and then I tried a new product, WoodBeams wood treatment by the online business Goodies Unlimited.  It has some beeswax and a lot of essential oils in it and I like the finish on the wheel.  I probably should do the treatment again soon, as this wheel was pretty dried out and under-tended for the last 3 years or so.  But she is beautiful again!  And she will accompany me for the weekend away.  I am really looking forward to this trip.  Not just for getting away, but also because I have never been to that area in Maine.  I am not a skier; my husband and I have stayed in the area of Sunday River near Bethel, Maine on the NH border, but we have never been to the Carrabassett Valley.  Yippee!  New sights to see and some wonderful friends to spend some time with.  I hope that I remember to take the camera!


3 thoughts on “Chores and fleecy fun”

  1. Spinning, knitting, eating, talking, laughing – oh, my! What fun we had a Sugarloaf! Thanks for being the best roommate ever, Sweet Nina!

  2. Hi Nina….I saw in the Maine Sunday telegram an adorable photo of Luc Thomas Bellner in a baby woolie from Ruit Farm. I would love to find the pattern for the baby woolie. Can you help me?

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