Maine Fiber Frolic 2017 Poster
MOFGA Common Ground Fair Poster

Feline Fever

(LtoR) Hermes & Hera

(LtoR) Hermes & Hera

Our friend, Jocelyn, who also happens to be a feline supermom, told us that the shelter is having a 2for sale on kitties. Jim has really been wanting a cat (or 2) but I’ve been resisting because it’s going to mean another thing for me to do…clean the box on a daily basis…at least until the great outdoors becomes the litter box. Well, we went to the shelter fully expecting to bring home a couple of older cats but now we have 2 kittens — Hermes & Hera — and they’re just so cute! They’re making us laugh alot and that’s a very good thing. All of their kitten care, vaccinations and  spay/neutering is part of the adoption package — a pretty good deal.

Hera preparing to eat her brother's ear

Hera preparing to eat her brother's ear

 The dogs are taking this very well considering that it’s been years since they’ve had to share the rug with felines. These kittens were fostered to a family with dogs so they’re not all freaked out by the dogs. We really tried to adopt 2 adults but couldn’t find the right combo that would also work with our dogs.

Pretty Pennsylvania

Wish I could’ve spent more time in PA on this trip. Jim and I lived there 30+ years ago and used to camp & fish near where Erinn & Caroline live. Fond memories. Our son, Josh, kept me company on the drive and we had nice time…lot’s of talking and catching up on what’s happening. We saw some beautiful scenery…so different from coastal Maine. I’d forgotten about mountains and valleys like that! We passed through some communities where haymaking was being done with horses. Very cool! We covered alot of ground in just over 2 days and I could use a day of downtime but we’ve got to get Tatum and Bubba settled into their new digs.  They’ll be spending about a month in quarantine. They won’t be together (no lambs!) but will be able to see each other so they won’t be lonely. We’ll be watching them closely and they’ll get their feet trimmed, checked for parasites, etc. Bubba is badly in need of a shearing so I’ll have to see if Emily can come out.

On the Road

Bubba with his big fleece

Bubba with his big fleece

Erinn W. needs a new ram so I’m heading out to PA. I’m taking her a young ram and will bring back the ram she has now, Bubba. She bought Bubba from us several years ago and he’s grown into quite the studly guy. I’m also going to take out a couple of adult Coopworth ewes to Caroline O. and bring back Tatum whom she bought from us a year ago. For some reason, Tatum didn’t lamb last year. She was bred but something happened. Caroline was in the process of moving and the animals were shifted around a couple of times so maybe that had something to do with it. But who knows! As a result of eating for 3 and actually being only 1,

Pretty Tatum

Pretty Tatum

Tatum is a fattie. So fat, in fact, that its unlikely she would settle this Fall. If that were to happen, she’d likely be headed to the auction. So she’ll come back to Maine and it won’t really matter that she’s fat because we’re not going to breed the sheep anyway. It’s amazing how I can make it sound like this makes all the sense in the world. Truth is that if she’d been here and not lambed, we’d be thinking about retiring her, too. But…Tatum is a good girl with a fantastic fleece so having her on board won’t be a bad thing. She’s older but not ancient and may have lambs again — after we put her on a diet!

Gilda’s Hogget Fleece

Gilda's fleece and the yarn sample I made using the dog comb flicking method. The yarn is spun in the grease but here it's been washed.

Gilda's fleece and the yarn sample I made using the dog comb flicking method. The yarn is spun in the grease but here it's been washed.

I’m spinning Gilda’s hogget fleece now — flicking the raw locks with a dog comb and spinning them randomly. The fleece is multicolored and the resulting yarn is amazing! What a change her fleece has undergone with age. I think this is the most dramatic one we’ve ever had! Gilda had two really lovely natural colored ewe lambs last year and both are still here. Can’t wait to seeing their hogget fleeces on the skirting table this Spring!

And the Winner Is…

 

In the center of the tent, there's an area full of info about the various types of wool & other fiber, too.

In the center of the tent, there's an area full of info about the various types of wool & other fiber, too.

Elaine C’s  be-e-e-utiful Icelandic fleece was Best in Show, 2nd was a striking black Merino owned by Joe M and 3rd was Becky B’s lustrous silver Coopworth. All were hard to resist — yes! even the Coopworth! The show was small so the judge, Bruce Clement from NH, decided to award ribbons across the whole show rather than in particular classes. There were loads of really lovely fleeces for sale though and business was brisk.

There were loads of beautiful fleeces for sale.

There were loads of beautiful fleeces for sale.

This sale has quite a reputation for quality and people from all over come to stock up on fabulous fleeces. The ladies who organize the fleece tent, the Wednesday Spinners, are a dedicated group of fiber artists and they do a fantastic job of putting it all together. This year my big purchase was a pale fawn Huacaya alpaca blanket from Cindy Lavan at Chase Tavern Farm.  I’ve been on the prowl for this color for a couple of years…very similar to our Golden Retriever, Sadie.