Saturday, June 14, 2014

The New Life of Spring

The long, cold winter is finally over and spring has sprung here in southern Montana! 

The snow in the mountains has been melting, causing our river to rise.

Our fruit trees have bloomed! The winter was hard on many of them, but they all survived.

The peony bushes around our house are blooming.

The lilac bushes have been fragrant.

A robin built her nest on our horse trailer. We enjoyed watching the babies hatch and grow up.

Our ewes and lambs enjoyed the green grass of spring.

Edgar and Jack got to nibble at the grass in our barnyard.

This little guy is growing nicely. In a few months he will be headed off to Wisconsin where he hopes to sire many beautiful lambs. 

Our four calves and their mamas.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. - 2 Cor. 5:17

Spring Calves

Our four spring calves are doing great! 

So far we have three bull calves and one heifer calf.

Bonnie and Russett

The calves have enjoyed the freedom of our pasture. They love to run through the tall grass and take naps together. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2014

Photo Blog from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 
by: Emily

I was privileged to attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this spring with my dear friends, Pat and Lisa. We enjoyed the weekend at the festival ... buying, observing, competing, and learning!

Our little group arrived at the Fairgrounds a day before the festival opened. Our missions was to register fleeces for the competition.

The check-in area was swarming with activity. 

In this photo, Lisa and I are checking our fleeces in. The ladies raved about the fleeces and thought they were beautiful! 

After checking the fleeces in, we spent the rest of the day enjoying the Baltimore, Maryland area.

We arrived back at the fairgrounds early the next morning. The traffic lines were already long and the parking lot was filling fast.

Our first stop was the fleece show. We were excitedly awaiting results from the show and wondered how our fleeces had placed. There were almost 800 fleeces on display!

Faith's fleece finished first in her class - Natural Colored Long-Wool

Gilbert won second place in White Long-Wool.

Daisy's fleece took second in the Romney breed class.

We were thrilled with the results as the competition was strong in the classes we entered!

After the fleece show, we started shopping! There were nearly 1,000 vendors offering their goods to Festival goers.

The colors of yarn were striking and the quality was amazing.

There was a wide variety of fibers and yarns available. From wool to camel, yak, silk, flax,angora, cashmere, and alpaca, you could find almost any type of fiber you desired. 

Beautiful balls of Tussah silk/Merino roving.

Silk and merino wool roving

Raw fiber was prevalent among the vendors. At this booth, alpaca wool was sold in many different natural colors.

As well as yarn, roving, and supplies, finished products were also for sale.

We heard there were around 100,000 people there during the two days of the Festival.

 As times it was difficult to maneuver. 

I enjoyed watching some of the sheep shows in the show barn. Here, Colored Romneys are being shown.

White Romney ewe show

A beautiful pair of Corriedales

The big Corriedale went on to win Supreme Fleece at the Sheep Show.

Cute Romney lambs

There were many different sheep breeds represented at the Festival. The Parade of Breeds held in the show ring was fun to watch.

One of the highlights of the Festival was the Sheep to Shawl Contest. 

There were seven teams competing this year.

Each team was required to shear a sheep, card the wool, spin the yarn, and weave a shawl in 3 hours.

It was exciting to watch the teams work.

This team had a baseball theme to their costume, display, and weaving. 

The winning team of ladies (above) created a beautiful shawl which included whole locks spun and then woven into the shawl.

Lisa, Pat (photographer), and I enjoyed our time at the Festival and are grateful for the opportunity to have gone!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Calf Friends!

Bonnie and Russet 

Foggy's Fleece

Foggy's fleece from this spring has been beautifully carded and prepared for spinning! Thank you, Judy, for sharing this picture of your work.