Monday, 9 April 2012

Nought to three in two days!

Once upon a time we were enjoying peace and quiet and then within the space of  two days, our life is turned upside down with the arrival of three lambs, none of whom has a mother who wants to care for it.  The photo is fairly representative of what it's like at feeding time.  The weather has been really wet again so we've been bringing them into the house for bottles to save us all getting soaked outside.  Even with Bramble and my other half on duty, it is still pandemonium (or should that be lambdemonium!).

The first lamb's mother had no milk at all and ran away after he was born; the second was a difficult birth to a gimmer who had never had a lamb before so she wasn't interested, and the third was abandoned at birth on the croft and we are not quite sure who her mother is.  Apparently, the record for lambs on the bottle at the same time is five - and we are only half way through lambing......

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Lambs and Linen

Now, here's something you don 't see everyday..... twin lambs, one of which is black and one white.
They are about three days old.  We think the black one may be the son of our deceased black ram whilst the white one has a definite Shetlandy look about him.  On the other hand, Tuppy the Shetland ram does have black genes - although he is white he has had black lambs in the past - so maybe they are both his.  Anyway, they are very cute and seem to be thriving despite the rotten snowy cold weather we had yesterday.
Today is a bit warmer and the sun is out,

In other news, the new curtains for Buth Scalpaigh are now in production......

and are very attractive - well done to the shop interior designers who picked the colours and well done to me for working out the design and making the pattern chain up correctly!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Eeek!  Two posts in two days - must sit down and fan myself with a damp tea towel (linen of course!)
A couple of summers ago I got some gorgeous shetland fleeces to spin in exchange for some Hebridean fleeces- now I have heard from Jean Cairns who runs to say that her website is now up and running and she is open for business.

 The great thing about Jean is that she sources all her fleeces locally from the Wildlife Trust or nature reserves and local smallholders and they are all top quality fibre.  She has the yarn spun by our old friends Natural Fibres Ltd in Launceston, Cornwall and, of course they always do a fabulous job so please take a look at Jean's website and I guarantee that you'll want to start knitting and/or weaving!  She has some beautiful natural shades of 4 ply that would look stunning in fair-isle or intarsia, so this is a good opportunity to support our good old British breeds of sheep.

The photos are all taken from and are Shetland fibre, except for the bottom right which is Suffolk Romney.  It's great to see new folks on the scene doing their bit for wool, so Good Luck Jean!

Talking about yarn production, there has been some good progress on the Uist Woollen Mill Project which has now been granted funding for the Wool Interpretation Centre and the first round of training courses.  There are one or two more hoops to jump through before the complete funding package is done and dusted, but I will blog developments as and when they happen.  It's all really exciting.

This coming week is going to be a busy one - teaching warping to one of our trainees tomorrow, then a lot of cleaning of the shed in preparation of opening up for visitors on the 17th.  And, I have finally got the Buth Scalpaigh warp tied in and started - just need to do a pattern chain.  It is going to be very, very wonderful, even though I say it myself.  Just hope my warping will have been up to the job as it all turned into a bit of a fiasco towards the end - I was turning the little reed behind the heck over after each section to increase the pattern repeat to 48 ends but didn't keep an eagle eye on the section spacing as I was going on.   Time will tell.........