Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to one and all!!

May 2011 be more prayerful, healthy, prosperous, happy and family oriented for all of us!

Ewe & I Farm thanks everyone for a wonderful 2010! Thank you to all of our customers for allowing us to pay for our animals feeds and needs from your purchases. Another year we are still healthily in business and enjoying farm life with each other and our animals. (o; TTFN.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Newport Holiday Farmer's Market

I will be here Sunday with my knit goods, yarn and fresh eggs from our chickens!!

Sorry I've not been here. Busy knitting a customer's sweater, and trying to get the new computer up and running. I still haven't downloaded the pictures from the camera...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

I am thankful for all that we went through this year and what we will go through the rest of the year. This has been a growing year for us- vegetables, replacement lambs, lots of wool & wool products, and chickens. We have also had loss on the farm, but unfortunately that is part of life. Jerry's shearing business continues to grow and we thank all of his customers for their continued support of him!!

 The turkey is cooking, the bread machine is going, the pies are waiting their turn in the oven, and the veggies will go on when Valery & Paul arrive. I am very thankful that they are coming as well! 4 hours is quite a ways away, but not like Guam. I am thankful for my sister and her husband spending their furlough her with us from Guam, and that they are able to spend their Thanksgiving in Arizona with 2 of their daughters. They will be back in time for the youngest daughter's birthday. They are only 'home' every 3 years, and this is the most we've seen of them in the last 10-12 years and I am very thankful for that!

I hope this finds you surrounded by those you love, whether 2 legged or 4, and that you are having a good day/week/year. TTFN!

Friday, November 05, 2010

The chickens are here!

Recycled wood.
 This is all so new to me! I have never had chickens before, but have always wanted some. Now, we have 14 hens and a rooster. Jerry didn't want them near the house and told me to clean out the garage overhang. So, I did. Judy and Jean allowed me to recycle some doors, wood, and a nesting box. As well as their feeders and waterers.
During construction.
I needed to rehome some heat ducts (a house worth) to the 2nd floor of the barn, a van full of 'trash' to the dump, and the Gravely attachments all to 2 pallets, as well as other 'stuff'. Now we have a large chicken coop, and Jerry's tractor can go under the overhang to stay out of the weather. Now, I need to do the same to the garage. It is FULL of wool from our customers. I am sorting by color to go into blankets, and breed to sell or have processed into yarn, roving or felt pads.
PT 4x4s form the foundation. Psycho comes to watch.
 (I wish I could put these pictures in order, but Blogger is giving me a hard time about it. Sorry. But most of it is self explanatory.)
Cleaning out 10 years worth of 'stuff'



10 years worth of stuff.


Ewww! Found a dead woodchuck under all of the wool!



Grapes are yummy!
  Free ranging for the first time since we brought them home Tuesday night.
Isn't he gorgeous?

Can you see me?
 


 Inside the new chicken coop. The only thing not recycled was the chicken wire and the 2x4 studs.
The back plywood came from the original barn. The floor boards were left over from building the house and barn. The window was a free cycled sliding glass door. We took off the handle and lock and put it on its side. The rooster spends a lot of time there. The door, nesting box and feeders came from Judy & Jean. The trash cans for grain had come from another farm with sheep. The saw horses are left over from building the house. They are not good for anything heavy anymore, so the chickens get them for roosting. The roost posts are trees from behind the garage that Jerry cut down and screwed to the saw horses.
So far, the only expense is food, chicken wire/hardware cloth and 2x4s. I can live with that!

Romneys-One of our sheep

The thing I liked the most about our Romneys is the different colors that we have here on the farm. They are usually easy lambers and good mothers, but occasionally there is that one...

My favorite sheep here though is my Romney ram on my Dorset ewes. 9 times out of 10 we get a fine crimpy fleece (Dorset) with the length (Romney) that is highly desired by my husband & myself as hand spinners, and many of our customers. (You know who you are and I thank you!!) That 10th sheep still looks Romneyish.

This year we are trying Cornelius (our Horned Dorset ram) on 2 Romney ewes to find out if it is just the combo or if it makes a difference in the way that we have been doing it. We will know in the spring, after the lambs are born.

We like the other Romney crosses that we have on the farm. The other favorite is the Border Leicester/Romney cross.  We get the Border Leicester crimp and length and the Romney colors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romney_(sheep)
http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/romney/
http://americanromney.org/
http://www.romneysheepuk.com/
http://www.ehow.com/about_6318590_romney-sheep.html

Sometimes I dislike the human race!!

Why do we as humans act like the animals and think only of ourselves??? I just got off the phone with Zeilinger Wool Company. I called to pay for the shipping of my newly processed roving. At the end of our conversation, she let me know that someone with sticky fingers stole the cash that I paid to have this processed. That was almost $290!!! Why do people do that!? I realize that in this economy everyone is hurting and that Zeilingers is a big company, but they still have to pay all of their help, the electric and maintenance on all of their equipment. That may seem like a drop in the bucket to them, but at the same time they are a 'Mom & Pop' operation and that money missing does affect them! If you read this and are the thief, please return the money to them anonymously. Just drop it in the mail to Zeilinger Wool Company, 1130 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734.  I told her that if I had the cash that I would pay what was stolen, but I simply don't!! We here are a very small farm, trying to keep our business up and running ourselves.

BUT! To all our wonderful customers out their. THANK YOU!! For all that you do and for continuing to purchase from us and allowing us to keep our farm and keep our animals fed. Thank you again!

Fleeces are being skirted at record speed in the garage and pictures will be coming to the blog. When the roving arrives, some of it will be for sale in the natural color and the rest will be dyed. Stay tuned!

Getting off my soap box...  TTFN

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Snow

I first saw the Juncos on the 13th, we had snow mixed in with heavy rain on the 22nd, and I took these pictures at 8 am on the 25th. So, the Juncos either we early or we had a little snow on the 20th that I missed. Either way, winter is on its way. YEAH! That means I will be working inside on all of the wool that we've acquired and updating all of the blogs. Stayed tuned! TTFN.

 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The year of destash, 10 months later

No sense in waiting until the last minute to update the destash...Click on the title to go to the original post back in January. 

So...this is some of the original post and how far I got.

I resolve to clean out my wool closet by
A) carding all of the fleeces in there That didn't happen, but I did send 13 lambs fleeces and a whole lot of adult fleeces sent to Zeilinger's to be made into roving in the early spring. I sent more fleeces to 3 different mills this fall.
B) selling some of those washed fleeces (or at least parts of them), so watch the fleece pages  Sorry, been busy. Will try to get these posted for the winter.
C) spinning the batts or  I have been spinning some out of the closet. Need to sell more...
D) selling the batts, will also be on the fleece page.  same as b...

I resolve to clean the yarn out of the wool closet by
A) knitting lots of hats and mittens for upcoming festivals and farmer's markets  did this
B) selling stashed yarn, also on the fleece page  sold some
C) weaving up a batch of the chenille, and maybe some wool, on friend Sue's triangle loom.  haven't done this yet. Hoping to teach my sister to weave while she is here from Guam. (maybe)

This has been 10 months of busy, busy, busy. Now that the majority of my shows and all my farmer's markets are over I can be busy here on the farm. And with my sister and her husband here from Guam, I can forget the house and concentrate on the business. Stayed tuned!!!

(My sister and her husband are missionaries with Trans World Radio. Check out their blog! http://ktwrdrm.blogspot.com/     http://ktwrdrm.blogspot.com/2010/07/starting-off-transmitters-arrive-on.html -my brother in law is to the far left. I plan on doing a post on them sometime soon.)

TTFN

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My favorite sheep-Dorsets

The Romneys coming to see what I am doing

The following is possibly a lot more than you want to know about Dorset. But, read on. (o;
LOL. Human, you are funny!

'I am just a contended ewe'

Cornelius, w/2 Romneys and a show Dorset.

Hi there! Do you have something for me to eat?
If you can't tell from our pictures from previous posts, we love our Dorsets!! Both the polled and horned, but we are trying to concentrate on the horned. I absolutely love the easy mothering, the overall gentleness, and the fleeces that we get off our sheep. Personally, I prefer the looks of our production Dorsets that we bought from Fruitcake Farm in Grafton, NH. The show Dorsets are nice, give us good fleece and great lambs when bred to Cornelius, the production Dorset. They are just a lot taller and thinner than the production Dorsets.

I have spun some of our Horned Dorset roving and am pleased with the results. We have some available for sale now, and will have the adult for sale after the first of the year when it comes back from the processor. In the meantime, go to the fleece page and read my experience with this roving. http://eweifarmfleece.blogspot.com/2010/10/horned-dorset-lamb.html
Fleeces and roving will be available on our fleece page soon. The staple length usually runs 2-4 1/2" and has a incredible crimp. (Merino-2 1/2-4", Corriedale-3 1/2-6") On the softness scale, we are just below a Merino and just above a Corriedale. Both of those breeds also have the same length staple. So, if you can spin either of those, you can spin Dorset. The biggest difference you get from a Dorset is the bounce . And they are great in socks as they are long wearing and they do not wet felt/shrink. But, they do needle-felt wonderfully!! 
Taken from-  http://www.etsy.com/listing/30693186/2-oz-pale-yellow-dorset-wool-batts

About this particular fleece:

Dorset is a down breed of wool, and most of the down breeds I find great for needle felting. This wool is springy, usually has a short staple and is medium-fine with a tight crimp. It felts rapidly with needles and creates a fairly soft surface with no halo effect. Dorset is one of my most favorite wools, because it is an excellent fiber for needle felting either as a core fiber or as dyed cover wool.
DraigAthar's Etsy shop-  http://www.etsy.com/shop/DraigAthar

It is nice to hear that others like the Dorset for needlefelting!



Taken from http://www.realitycaninecenter.com/hdsheep.html 

'Horned Dorsets also produce a pure white, lightweight fleece, excellent for hand spinning, with ewes yielding 5 -7 pounds of wool per animal.  Grading quality is 56s/50s: short demi-lustre.'

Whereas our Romneys are also demi lustre but the micron is 30-37  and very soft to handle.

Demi-lustre Wool
Wool that has some luster but not enough to be classed as luster wool. Wool of this type is produced by the Romney and similar breeds. (But, Horned Dorsets are not the same as Romneys. Even though I love our Romneys as well.)

http://mulesheep.net/mulesheep_009.htm  These sheep look a lot like our production sheep

And more things about wool than you may ever want to know. (The above came from this site)
http://www.textilelinks.com/author/rb/blterms.html

Some websites about Dorsets-

http://dorsets.homestead.com/ These sheep look like the show sheep that we bought 2 years ago

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/dorset/

http://www.runningriverranch.com/HornedDorsetSheep.htm These people also have sheep that look like ours, and they (like us) occasionally have stock for sale.

http://www.kbarkfarm.com/ If we do end up moving south, I will definitely be contacting them about adding more polled Dorsets to the farm.
http://www.kbarkfarm.com/production_dorsets.htm Here they tell you the difference between the true production Dorset and the show Dorset.

http://www.assba.com.au/services.php/command/viewservice/serviceserial/8/categoryserial/8 The Australian version of our Horned Dorset.
And England- http://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=94&Itemid=40  I especially agree with this part-'The wool of both the Horn and Poll is of the highest quality, not only is it fine and densely grown but is particularly white which helps it find a ready market in times of plenty.'

Micron Count/Bradford Count-
                                      Micron         Bradford        Fineness
Corriedale                       26-33            58s-50s       Medium
Dorset Horn                    27-32            56s-50s       Medium       (Not that I necessarily agree with this)
Merino                            17-24            70s-60s          Fine   

http://www.internationalfleeces.com/resources/fiber-fineness-info-tables/
http://www.gfwsheep.com/blood.count.html A slightly different look at the counts and what they mean.
http://www.spinderellas.com/counts.html She 'forgot' my Dorsets...
http://woolobsession.com/fiber-information/how-fine-is-your-fiber-bradford-count-vs-micron-count/
http://www.sheepusa.org/?page=site/text&nav_id=3a75b852e8ff50a74b8d6bc78ee27896 Micron 26-32

  USDA Wool Grade 48’s-58’s                A huge spread in grade according to this site.

One of a few groups that we belong to- http://www.sheepusa.org/  This site is FULL of information.


http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/wool.shtml

Down Wools


These are short staple wools; therefore, they are not a good choice for beginning handspinners. The diameter size of down wools ranges from soft to medium. The soft fleeces are used for apparel like socks and fine fabrics. The medium range fleeces are suitable for knitted and woven outerwear, longwearing garments, and blankets.
  (Merino is also short stapled...)


Dorset, Cheviot, Shetland, Suffolk

• Fine to medium texture

• Spiral crimp

• Lofty, spongy, crisp

• 2 - 3 1/2 inches staple length

• Very resilient

• Difficult to spin for beginning handspinners

• Lacks luster, chalky

• Good shape retention

• Not well suited for felting (wet, but great for needlefelting)

• Wear resistant (makes excellent socks!)

• Spin medium-thick yarn  (I tend to spin fine and use ours in shawls & baby wear, as well as socks & sweaters)

• Blends well with long wool fiber, to add resilience 
(Just one person's opinion...not necessarily mine.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Junco

The juncos were 'littering' the ground last night when we went out to feed. Look for snow in one week. It won't necessarily stick/stay...but the Juncos are always here the week before in the fall and then show back up here one week before our last snow. I've always know them as Slate Colored, never dark eyed...

http://library.thinkquest.org/5078/Wildbirds.dir.junco.html

http://www.nenature.com/DarkEyedJunco.htm

Wool Arts Tour pictures to come.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sometimes I hate Blogger!!

I like that Blogger has gone back to allow us to post more than one picture at a time, but I strongly dislike that I can not move my pictures to where I want them to be in the post. Sometimes when uploading you get that one picture that is out of sequence... and you used to be able to just drag it to where it belongs. Not anymore.

So, I apologize for the previous post that things aren't ordered necessarily the way I wanted them to be.

TTFN

VT Sheep & Wool Festival

 WARNING!! Picture heavy post ahead!

We had a beautiful 2 days at the VT Sheep & Wool Festival!! Thank you to all of our customers and to all of our fellow vendors. Below are pictures of those vendors in our general area. And I got to meet 2 women that I had 'met' on the internet, and LOTS of people from Ravelry!  Most of these pictures are our end of the fairgrounds. There were vendors in a number of different buildings that we got to breeze through quickly and were not there long enough to take pictures. So, I apologize to those vendors who I left out!



Kathie & Walter Bryant









Zeilinger Wool Company


Bartlett Yarns








Stitchy women



   
See our tent at the end of the overhang?




Jerry with a customer
 
Ellen Porcari, Kathie Bryant & me
I met these women through Hand
Prepared Fibers @ Yahoo groups

in our tent


 
In Kathie's tent

Stitchy Women


 

 


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