Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Handwoven Cotton Towels

Below is a picture of one of four towels I wove for my aunt. I used 8/2 unmercerized cotton for both the warp and the weft. The pattern is Linen Weave.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lambs Really Do Bounce

No pictures, but the lamb is one week old today. While the grown-ups munched their hay, the lamb bounced to the gate and then back to her mother. Then back to the gate to sniff noses with Logan, who wagged his tail at the exchange. Then back to the flock again she went. The young have such incredible joy in everything they do.

Monday, April 4, 2016

An Unexpected Lamb

Last week I had to go out of town for a couple days because of a family crisis. When I asked a friend to feed my sheep while I was away, I told her no one was due to lamb. Oops, my mistake. She called me the second day to say I might want to come back a bit early because a lamb was born that morning.

It was dark when I got home, so checking on mother and baby was a bit challenging. This was the ewe's first lambing, and she was pretty skittish of me, but I finally caught her. I wrestled her to the ground and checked that she had milk flowing from both teats. I hadn't sheared the udder area yet, and there was a lot of wool to confuse the lamb while she looked for a meal.

Balancing a flashlight on one thigh, I held the unhappy ewe down with my forearm and swept wool aside with that hand to expose a teat. With my other hand, I grabbed the wriggling baby and guided her to nurse. She had clearly eaten earlier, but I didn't know how often she had succeeded in finding milk.  Afterwards, I bottle fed the lamb milk replacer to ensure she had enough food.

The next morning, when it was light enough to see what I was doing, I caught the ewe again and sheared the udder area to give the baby a clear path to the milk. I bottle fed the lamb again to supplement her feed. I put mother and baby in the lambing pen to encourage bonding and kept them in there until the next day. It allowed me to give the ewe extra feed away from the other sheep, as well. Being overly cautious, I went ahead and gave the lamb milk replacer again.

I think I may have overdone it with the bottle feeding, though. Now, in addition to nursing, the lamb runs to me every time I go out to feed the sheep, wanting her bottle!

I can hardly walk without tripping over her.

After I fed the sheep this morning, I turned around and saw Logan, my dog, had somehow got in with sheep. The lamb approached him, and he backed away. She came closer, and he trotted off. I was surprised, relieved, and amused. He wouldn't hurt her on purpose, but he is much bigger than she is, so I was glad he didn't want to play.

I went back into the sheep area to get Logan. He didn't want to leave and kept walking away from me. I followed the dog, and the lamb followed me, practically stepping on my heels, wanting more milk replacer. It was all pretty darn cute. I finally caught Logan and managed to get him out the gate while keeping the lamb inside. Sometimes the simple task of feeding the sheep can be a lot more exciting than expected!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Springtime Baby Wrap

I wove the baby wrap in an 8-harness plaited twill pattern. I used 8/2 unmercerized cotton for both the warp and weft. The warp yarns are misty lilac and peacock blue. The weft yarn is variegated and includes rosebud, dusty lavender, storm blue, mineral green, and water lily.

It's approx. 160" (4.4 yd; 4.06 m) by 24.5" (62.23 cm), somewhere between a size 4 and size 5.

The wider peacock blue stripe wasn't part of my original design, but I ran out of lilac and improvised!