Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A few ram lambs

Croglin - Stronsay/Cinnerelle. Light moorit, triplet (and has 2 brothers!).  Croglin has a nice rack, but it isn't overpowering.  Proper amount of fleece on the forehead, excellent typey defined head, and a good structure.  His overall appearance harkens to a more ancient specimen, yet he wraps the breed standard up quite well.  He has a silky soft fleece with fine crimp coming in.  I really like his package and will probably incorporate him sometime in the future for many of the characteristics that he possesses, especially since he is a Brandon grandson (a very fine, silky soft black ram).  

Croglin again, profile view.  Notice the excellent dishing

Asiago - C. Pegasus/Velvet.  Another excellent set of horns.  Asiago has a dark kat fleece but with the clear, crisp facial markings so desired.  Silky, soft, fine, dense, and crimpy.  He and Croglin, along with another triplet ram lamb are keeping Dreamie company in the chicken pen.  This is another watch ram for me.  I've got about a half dozen on my list as several of my adult rams will be replaced. 

Mobay - C. Pegasus/Magnolia.  HST black/shaela.  Mobay is coming into his own pretty well.  Very soft and finely crimped.  I'm not much into spots but he defies the norm.  Definitely watching this one.

Stilton - C. Pegasus/Sateen.  This is Sirene's brother.  Elegant ram.  Nice and dark moorit.  

Stilton's fleece

Monterey Jack - Stronsay/S'More Minuet.  Jack is coming in a fawn color and is very fine and soft.  Jack is definitely for sale.  Many of Tori's sheep have really tiny fluke tails and Jack definitely inherited that.  His overall type harkens back to his grandsire, Apache (a best fleece on hoof winner).  

Mahon - Stronsay/Madeline.  Light moorit.  Mahon is very similar to Jack in type, mainly different in color. He may tend to go towards the mioget end of the scale.   

This is just a smattering of the rams, as a few of these I'm considering on bringing to Jefferson.  There are a few more to get pictures of but the raindrops came and chased me inside.

Matooq - Velour/Mirky.  Nice fleece on this ewe lamb.  I've got 5 fawn kat ewe lambs this year and she may be for sale.  This one's grey kat ewe sister is definitely for sale, which is why I'm waffling on her.  She is in the show pen for right now till I pick a few ewes to bring.  

Leyden - Stronsay/Lace.  One of the ewe lambs I wasn't able to get a picture of the other day.  Leyden is a a combination of refinement, yet substance.  I really like how she does it without going over the limit on either bone or body.  Dense, fine, crimpy, soft fleece.  She wraps up a nice package!  Another nice moorit addition to the flock (the reason I used Stronsay on so many ewes was to try and get moorit ewe lambs as I have so few moorit adults).  

Monday, July 29, 2013

"There's no place like home!"

This is my neighbor, Anita.  

Anita has been buying my wool for several years now.  She is a needle felter and her favorite subjects are mainly animals.  It's a good thing as some of the school mascots for this area are tigers, cougars, and eagles! She goes to the weekly Farmer's market on the square as well as craft shows in the area and sells her felted creations.  

In last week's county fair, Anita entered the Santa Claus in the Christmas category and the Wizard of Oz set in the Art category (under other).  Her Santa Claus received a blue ribbon.  The W of O set was up against all of the Art category - the paintings, the sculptures, etc., and there were LOTS of entries.  She received a Reserve Champion!  Some of Under The Son Shetland wool is used in this set.  Way to go Anita!  

As for my entries, I received ribbons on all of them and got Reserve Champion in the Handspun category for my dark brown shawl.  Pictures will come in Sept.  

Some keeper ewe lambs

Sales postings are on the sales pages!  I'm updating over the next few days, so please be patient.  Meanwhile, here are some photos to view.

Some keeper ewe lambs for 2013

Carrowholly - Stronsay/Chenille
This is what you get when you pair two great sheep together.  Holly and her fawn kat sister are just tops!  So silky soft, crimpy, and fine in fleece on a typey, refined, yet strong structure.

Meredith Blue - Stronsay/Mercure.  Meredith is easily the fav.  Scrumptiously soft, very finely crimped, dense, refined yet good sized, typey, and very friendly.  Another great pairing.  

Kashta - Velour/Dakota.  Kashta oozes type and refinement on a good size frame.  Out of a winning sire and a dam that has produced a couple of prepotent sires.  

Sirene - C. Pegasus/Sateen.  Oh. My.  What a ewe lamb!   Elegance was born when she and her brother hit the ground.  It called like her name.  Lambs like these make me smile.  The 'presence' gene magnified.  Oh, yeah.  She's got style, type, and crimp.  Showing shots like these, with a tight fitting, correct, and perfectly shaped fluke tail  on a strong wide rear - with a great fleece going all the way down the leg - tells me all I need to know!  If it looks great back here, than the rest is cake!  And it is!

Mascarpone - Cleggan/Morel.  Cleggan is an F1 Skeld and Morel is an F1 Jings.  This pairing has given me a lovely combination of Island genetics.  Refined, typey, silky soft, crimpy.  My last Cleggan daugther.  

Jindi Brie - Stronsay/Jasmine.  Jasmine is a big ewe, a 100 lber.  Last year I put her straight to Blue, the BFL, for a first time lambing (I don't recommend this, and don't usually do it, but I was pretty sure Jas could handle it).  She had twin crossbreds as a two year old with style - raised big cracking lambs and was in great shape herself.  So, I decided to put her to a pure last fall. Stronsay, of course.  Peeking out behind her here is one of her two fine ewe lambs, Jindi.  Stronsay surprised me in a really big way by throwing spots!  Jindi is going to be big, yet refined, like her momma with an even finer fleece (in moorit!).  

Meira - Stronsay/Madeline.  Meira is standing behind Madeline.  Some of the lambs are just so shy and hate to come out from behind their mother.  Just what I wanted from this pairing.  Refined, typey, fine, crimpy, soft.  Well, maybe a bit more golden like her mother . . .

Galette - Stronsay/Galerina.  Galette is a bit lighter than Meira, but very similar otherwise.  Very silky like her mother (Galerina's CEM is 7.9!).  

Raschera - Stronsay/Ruby.  Ruby was supposed to be bred to the Cheviot, but I'm glad she wasn't.  Stronsay was the back up and he did the job nicely.  Raschera is a miracle anyway because days before Ruby was to lamb, she was found cast.  Unfortunately, Ruby had triplets and lost her last two ewe lambs.  Raschera was the firstborn and was fine.   Rachera is very friendly and always wanting petting, hence this 'coming at me' photo.  Stronsay did it again and gave me a wonderfully crimpy fine moorit ewe.  She is shown here with our new GP, Dotty.  

These are just some of the keepers, not all.  More photos have to be taken of those that are more shy.  A couple of fawn kats, another moorit, another white or two . . . And then the ram lambs.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lambs and a peek at a finished project

Warning - picture heavy.

I dewormed the lambs again on Thursday.  Yeah, all 100 of them . . . by myself.  It's actually not too bad.  At least this time I didn't have to tag them.  But, I separated out the purebred ram lambs and ewe lambs from the adults and the crossbred lambs so that I could get some group shots.  Wonderful conformations and fabulous fleeces on this bunch!!  I'm having a VERY hard time trying to decide who to take to the Wisconsin show in Sept.  And I need to do it quickly!  

I know which ones I'm keeping.  That wasn't a problem.  Not nearly as many in years past.  I will hang on to a few ram lambs because they are so nice.  You can ask about which ones are for sale (but I did list them individually on the last post).  Please give me a holler soon as we'll be shipping those we aren't keeping shortly, regardless of quality!!

I also have 13 crossbred (Cheviot/Shetland) ewe lambs available for commercial stock.  Wow!  Huge girls.  Will be great ewes for a grass-fed market lamb flock.  Also, if you are in need of a crossbred ram or would like to butcher one, I didn't wether the Cheviot/Shetland boys this year.  I'll send them to market soon, so ask if you are interested.

Scene across the pond yesterday morning.  It is good to live in the country.

Ewe Lambs 
(and 3 yearling ewes - 1 moorit and 2 whites)

the moorit in the center is a yearling (FS)

the white ewe in front is a yearling (FS)

Ram Lambs

Fleece shot of Keemun's spotted fawn kat (FS)

Fleece shot of one of the black rams (FS)

Fleece shot of Blue Castello (Stronsay/Jade).  He is turning gloriously blue and is extremely soft and very fine.  This ram lamb I'll use on my modified ewes for a mioget and emsket lamb crop next year. The group will only be about 4 or 5 ewes.  

Another probable keeper ram lamb.  No, he is nowhere near as crimpy as the above rams, but so what?   Crimp is a good indicator of fineness, but not always.  Shetlands are not cookie cutter sheep and this ram is very silky and fine!  That is a trait that I value highly and the fleece style is just a bit different.  Actually, the fleeces of all of the above are not the same on the outside.  Similar, yes, and within the range of the diversity of the breed.  It's when you start losing the crimp structure altogether or don't have any in the first place is where the boundaries of the standard and the breed are compromised.

 A couple of crossbred lambs with their mother.  And these two are about the last born ones!  

And finally, a sneak peak at my just finished handspun lace shawl!  I love it!  Six days to spin (and spun almost twice as much as what I used), and 14 days to knit.  Not bad for me.