Busy, Babies, and a New Project

My wet felting Saturday became a nuno felting Saturday. I made the shawl on the left while teaching the class and, since I was already set up, felted the navy one. The wind started to kick up while I was laying out the second one, so I had to keep wetting it down. I have decided to clean off the back porch and felt there when I am on my own. It is a little more protected.

My trip to Del Mar last weekend included the purchase of three animals to round out my herd. The Merino ram on the left has an issue with his front legs, so I needed a replacement. I will keep him for his fleece and as a companion to the new one on the right. The Mendenhall Ranch has the finest fleeces that I have ever seen.

The moorit in the foreground is another Merino. She is already friendly and roams with Mounds and the other Merinos. The white one in the background is the baby ewe born in February. The Merinos are always right at the feed wagon, when I bring it in. They are so hungry that they let me pet them and part their fleeces.

I also bought a red buck. He placed third, while mine placed first, but I need new blood and he is large enough that the older does are not going to fight him off. He is 6 months old and already as big as my yearling bucks. He is not enjoying our heat.

I noticed yesterday that this ewe (277) had udders, so I was not entirely surprised to find an ewe lamb in the barn this morning. Her mom is a first timer and won't stand still, so we put her in a pen and I fed the baby, so she won't dehydrate. Since we now have electricity in the barns, I also moved a fan in. I plan to supplement and bottle feed, if necessary. The baby has really pretty colors. Her mom was impregnated by the white Shetland/Border Leicester cross. Her fleece will be a mix of fibers. Looking at her, I can tell that she has sections of very fine and then coarser areas. She has the more primitive Shetland characteristics. (Note added on June 28, 2011 - She is not going to make it. Oxygen deprived at birth? She has not opened her eyes, so something is definitely wrong.)

Mounds is my only Rambouillet now. I was afraid that she had not gotten pregnant, but I have noticed udders developing over the past week. Since she was bred to the crooked knee Merino, I am very curious to see her lamb. I am assuming just one, since she is not huge this year. The Rambouillet that I bred her to last year was big and gave her a normal sized baby and a 16 pounder that did not survive. Merinos are a lot smaller, so I expect her to deliver without going into Ketosis this year.

This is one of my huge batts. I started with the reds and yellows and moved to the blues and greens. I am spinning it right now since it is mostly kid mohair and will post photos of the yarn once spun.

I have been asked repeatedly for the pattern to the black shawl that I knitted in crazy/abstract lace. I am using some commercial mohair blended with man made fibers - polyester and acrylic. The yarn is a lovely color, but not as soft as true mohair. Commericial carders and spinners cannot handle true kid mohair, so they have to blend it to make it strong enough to hold together.

I am using Knit Visualizer to chart the pattern. It is very random, but left brain knitters have told me that they want a pattern to follow. Personally I would go crazy. I have to sit at the computer to enter the stitches in as I go. Bet the person following the chart won't be able to duplicate it! I am bound to have a few typos in there somewhere.