A much-needed knitted item is finally off the needles.  I have been spinning some of our beautiful dark brown roving recently.  It’s making lovely and very lustrous yarn.  I had a 99 yard skein that I decided would make nice fingerless mitts for chore time.  I began them on Sunday and finished them this afternoon.  They are not beautiful, but I think they will be warm and functional.  We have had a few cold mornings so far and I have managed without gloves, but I think those days are numbered!

Bean’s fingerless mitts

A Memorable anniversary

Setting up for the artifical insemination

So we lucked out in this hurricane.  I know that there are quite a few people in Maine without power, but we can’t complain too badly, compared to what is going on in the mid-Atlantic.  I did hear from my older son in northern NJ and he is safe, but did comment that it’s like a war zone.  I can believe it.  Very sad.

We got to celebrate our 31st anniversary in the pouring rain while trying to get our goats set up for their artificial insemination appointment.  Of course today had to be the day!  We do not have a barn, and our greenhouses are not in the greatest shape.  Our hay greenhouse, not being accessed by animals as well as being pointed in a better direction than the others, is the best of all four.  So we set up there and when Whit the vet arrived he told us that that would work.  As John and I were needed to hold the goats on both sides, I only got two photos, while we were setting up.  Ah well, it’s always an interesting experience and I was able to follow the whole process a little more closely this year.  We had semen straws leftover from last year, kept at the vet’s place in his nitrogen tank.

SnowPea waits for her turn

Let’s hope that some of these breedings take hold.  When the vet’s helper did an examination of the semen it appears as though the straw we used on SnowPea was not quite as good as the straws we used on the other two girls.  So we will keep good thoughts for the breeding.  It’s always an adventure!

And breeding is in full swing

Cole has marked Etti already!

Yesterday afternoon our friends Jim and Pam from Hatchtown Farm brought over a ram for us to lease for the breeding season.  Cole is an exceptionally beautiful black ram, silver, grey and black.  He has the appropriately wrinkly, blown nose that tells us he already has some good rammie experience!  And it’s also that time of year.  (A ram’s nose gets swollen and wrinkly as breeding season arrives.  It must make them more able to note the hormone levels in the ewes).

Cole and Fern

When they backed the trailer in, Cole was glued to the opening in the back door, probably already noting the female presence nearby.  It took the three of us to get the marking harness in place while he pulled and struggled to get closer to the girls.   Trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, we let him loose in the pen with the 4 ewes and Jingle the donkey.  No doubt about it, Etti is definitely his new love!  She has the blue crayon markings to show for it, but we knew right away that they were the couple of the day.  He couldn’t take his eyes off her, and they spent the whole afternoon side by side.

Cole checks out Esther

We have gotten our breeding started a little later than usual, so I hope that the girls are not cycling too far apart.  Don’t want to have lambs spread out too much in the spring!

Hurricane prep and breeding begins again!

Truck almost unloaded

Yesterday we were busy.  Not just another Saturday, but a really crazy day.  We went to get some hay and came home.  Thank goodness our son came over and helped unload it, as it is Canadian compressed and the bales weigh about 65 lbs, at least.  I was also shifting a lot of equipment in readiness for the storm, and then it was time for our

Shearing Nutkin

shearer Emily to shear a few lambs and a ewe to prepare for a trip to the butcher.  After that it was time to pen the 4 ewes who are going to be bred, and get the sheep coats on them.

Coated and ready for action!

I was ready to do some worming, but all the girls seem to be in very good condition with pink mucous membranes, so we coated them and called it good!  Hopefully they are ready for the ram.  Arriving today!


Embrace the hat

Morning chores have become hat weather at last!  I am not too upset by that, I have been looking forward to the frosty mornings.  Even when it’s getting into the 50s and lower 60s during the day, at 5:15 AM it’s definitely chilly.  The longjohns have made their appearance (but the old, holey ones, not the newer, thick and heavy ones!), and in the last two mornings, so has the hat.

Hats and I do not have a great history.  When my hair was long they had to be extra large to fit all of my hair under, and I have never thought that any hats looked great on me, anyway.  But doing chores without one is not a possibility, so I have embraced the knitted cap!  I got a passably nice one at Mexicali Blues a number of years ago and I have abused that one to the extreme.  Last winter a friend of ours, Chris, surprised me with a handknit birthday cap!  It’s wonderful, I love it, and it fits much better than the other one.  (Alpine Topper from Halcyon Yarn).

Our grandson’s stuffed lamb agreed to pose for the photo, and the hat always seems to have hay permanently attached:

The stuffed lambie wanted more exposure than just his feet!

Surprise birthday hat 🙂