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Archive for February, 2017

It’s about now that smallholders’ thoughts turn to lambing. This is for us, the most amazing, exhausting, frustrating, saddening, exciting and beautiful time of year.

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We weren’t that well prepared last year, and as a result, had many nights of broken sleep, getting up to check on expectant or new mothers and their offspring.

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BUT, I’ve got it sorted now. Do you think this will work? 😀

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bc5What do you mean, “Yeah right?”, Bonnie?

 

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First Time Spinning

We’ve kept sheep on our smallholding for a few years now, and though they’ve helped to keep us well fed, they haven’t yet clothed us. So, we were delighted when my Mum bought us a day’s spinning class for Christmas from Woolshed31.co.uk.

We started out with an introduction to spinning wheels and how they work, then spent a bit of time practicing our footwork…..

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…..before being let loose on some actual fibre. I found this to be confusing, fascinating, hilarious and rewarding in equal measure 🙂

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The Shepherdess did a better job at controlling both her hands and composure, and was soon onto spinning a raw fleece taken from Bonnie, one of our Zwartbles ewes.

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I, on the other hand ended up with something akin to a first attempt at woolly sausage making.

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However, after a little coaching from Anne, I finally got the hang of it, in an over-twisted, wonky and oddly satisfying sort of way 😀

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If you’ve ever struggled with a telephone cable tying itself in knots, try to imagine attempting to un-twist it whilst dancing a jig, rubbing your belly and patting your head simultaneously, and you’ll get the idea.

Oh well, never mind!

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By the end of the session, we had each managed to fill up a bobbin with our own unique take on knitting wool design. As the finished yarn was wound off the bobbin and into balls for us to take home, it became progressively more variable, lumpy and twisted as we went back in time – we had obviously learned something!!

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All in all, this was a great way to spend a day. Our sincere thanks go to Anne at Woolshed31.co.uk, for being such an enthusiastic teacher, and for letting us loose in her studio.

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