Let's get caught up on some of the highlights of the last eight months! First of all, we were blessed with 10 healthy lambs in the spring, each one a different colour or pattern or shade of fleecy loveliness. Our Shetland rainbow is expanding.
|Shirley with her two boys Finlaggan and Fergus behind;|
Kir's lambs Flora and Fletcher in front
|Faroe and Freya|
In early June the flock was sheared. What a beautiful harvest! Yes, some of the old girls have fleeces like steel wool, and a few of the younger ones have a gift for getting all kinds of vegetation stuck in their fleece, and then there is the occasional oddity like Eddy -- his long ringlets are interesting, but certainly don't conform to Shetland breed standard -- but on the whole we are pleased with the way our fleece is developing. We entered fleeces in the wool competition at the All Canada Classic in June and the Manitoba Fibre Festival in October. Thanks to Daisy and Daiquiri for their prize winning fleeces, both of which sold at the wool shows.
|Daisy, freshly shorn|
Once the lambs were all happily cavorting and busily growing, Linda had her second knee replacement surgery in June. She was back on her feet in no time and hard at work fixing fences and building feeders.
Over the last year, Linda's creative energies have been focussed on writing. Finally we all get to share in the world of The Gryphon Saga as the first books in the series are published. They are available in print and as e-books. You can find out more about about this exciting project (and order the books) through the Gryphon Saga website.
|Linda with her books and some dragon friends at ComicCon|
The Manitoba Fibre Festival in early October was a fun event, and it gave us a chance to show off some of our sheep in the Hall of Breeds. We took two 5 month old wethers, Fraser and Fig, who turned out to be wonderful ambassadors for the Shetland breed. They also made an appearance on early morning television to promote the festival. Fraser was already an old hand in front of the camera, as he had a cameo role in an episode of the TV series Sunnyside when he was just a few weeks old. If you catch the show, watch for the scene where apparently a robed figure is ascending to heaven with a lamb in his arms. That's our lambie!
|Fraser (grey katmoget) and Fig (mioget)|
In September, Margaret drove to Fibre Works Farm in Alberta to pick up two new sheep, a black ram lamb and a black gulmoget ewe lamb. We now have the genetic variety to develop our breeding program without having to bring in any new stock for some time. What we don't seem to have locally yet is much of a market for purebred Shetland sheep, so until that develops we are slowing down our production. This year (as long as the fences hold) we are only breeding two ewes. So many wonderful possible pairings, it was really hard to decide on just two!
We do have wool! And we've put a lot of it together into kits for the Painting with Fleece class that Linda will be teaching on January 24. Would you like to try your hand at needlefelting? The information is on the Needlefelting Classes page of the website.