Friday, 29 April 2011

Lambing and Weaving News

A wee update on lambing so far.....  We have our first black Hebridean lambs now - a set of twins born a couple of weeks ago.  They are doing well and are very black and lively.  The other lambs don't quite know what to make of them.

Daisy's lamb is growing up fast.  She is now out of the nursery field and doing well on the croft.  She's got a beautiful curly crimpy coat and has a very pretty face too.

There are three lambs on the bottle just now - two abandoned (see previous posts) and a third we found whose mother had died and we thought probably wouldn't survive as she was under-nourished and very small.  However, contrary to expectations, she is taking milk from the bottle, putting on weight and getting on well with the other two.  Undoubtedly the good weather is making all the difference.  Yesterday was very foggy and dull, but today the sun is shining again and it's really making the grass grow.  Next Saturday the sheep move from the crofts out to the  summer grazings so anyone who is on the roads on Scalpay in the morning, be aware that hundreds of sheep will be on the move!

Now the loomshed is open for the season we are already seeing lots of visitors.  Next week we welcome two parties from the US guided by the Singing Weaver and her assistant.  It's always a highlight of our year and there was definitely something lacking from last year when they skipped a visit because of the economy etc. 

On the loom just now is a linen which is destined for the production of "The Hobbit".  This is the second cloth we have supplied.  Having nearly run out of this amazing black and white marl linen yarn we have identified a very similar one from our new spinner - Jos Vanneste in Belgium.   The ever-helpful Denis is also sending over some samples of a thicker hairier linen yarn that we are considering incorporating into a new weight of linen cloth.  All exciting stuff.

And to show that even my warping is getting better - here is the beam  with no trailing ends.  Ha, must be getting better with practice!

Looking through my yarn store, I noticed that I had a number of different shades of this fine marl linen - we bought it years ago from our first spinner in Comber, N Ireland - and as the loom is threaded up for a fine yarn (ie three ends to each dent of the reed) we are going to make a series of cloths out of the marl.  Above is the navy/white.  It looks just like denim when woven up and is incredibly smooth and shiny.  We also have a dusty pastel pink, a pastel blue and a beautiful muted light green. 

Other croft news:  the chickens are laying well - we are now getting half a dozen araucana eggs (the green/blue ones) each day and every new hen we hatched last year is in full lay.  The turkey is laying and a friend is using the eggs for baking, and the guinea fowl are laying, but goodness knows where!  The ducks all just seem to be sleeping in the sun and eating.

Tomorrow, if the weather is not raining, I'm going to spend the day outside with a sack picking up the various bits of debris which have collected and are making the place look a bit untidy.  We must be ready for the Singing Weavers!


Anonymous said...

the fleece from the twins looks like it will be beautiful. wonderful to spin.

Anonymous said...

What adorable lambs. When we have lambs in the field in front of our house I can watch them for hours. (It's Limousin calves this year - must admit that they can be quite sweet too with their big eyes and knobbly knees.)

And I am very excited about your Hobbit connection! My husband has a scarf woven in NZ in the same cloth as they used for the elven cloaks in Lord of The Rings. I think the flock/ farm (not sure which) was called Stanborough or something similar. I'll be looking out for your weaving when the film finally comes out!