Fiber, Fabric, Fashion
...and everything in between.
Home Again for the Holidays
Very grateful to have arrived home safely after having a great week sharing the love of sewing in North and South Carolina. My heartfelt thanks to the great staff and customers at Viking Sew ‘n’ Quilt in Greenville, SC; Heirlooms and Comforts in Central, SC and House of Fabrics in Asheville, NC. You showed me truly warm Southern hospitality. Every group of sewing enthusiasts I have the privilege to meet reinforces the fact that these are some of the loveliest people you’ll ever know. I love to witness the community of sewing that exists around the country and the profound positive impact it has on people’s lives. Keep sewing, everyone!
Sewing: The neverending challenge
This past week I’ve been really challenged by a commissioned garment. The patternmaking was relatively straightforward but the whole thing is thread embellished - in bias plaid, no less! I’ll be posting a photo once it has “gone public”. Although my brain hurts, I am glad that I never run out of challenging things to create. Maybe that’s why I tend to goof up on simple things more. I’m so used to having to concentrate hard on what I’m sewing…take away the challenge and I lose interest and don’t pay sufficient attention. At least that’s the excuse I’m going to use today!
I think that’s why my hyperactive brain likes sewing so much. Studies have shown that it uses more areas of your brain than nearly any other sort of “creative” activity. When I start a project…I think about color, texture, textile performance characteristics (drape, recovery, ease, breathability, care requirements, tensile strength, opacity, thermal comfort, etc.), degree of wearing ease needed, special construction options (because I rarely construct it like the pattern instructions specify), fitting challenges…the list goes on and on. And that’s before I even get around to the nitty gritty of cutting it out to match patterns, naps, grainlines…and the mechanical act of actually sewing it together in a competent manner. No wonder my poor brain is racked on a regular basis. But it sure beats boredom.
Thread Cult Silk Podcast
Love Silk? I had a super fun conversation about silk with the amazing Christine Cyr Clisset of Thread Cult (of Daughter FISH sewing blog fame) earlier this year. You can listen in via her website (or better yet, subscribe to the awesome Thread Cult podcast!): http://daughterfish.com/?p=4379 And yes, it’s true - I did have to reschedule our first conversation because I was on midwife duty for one of our sheep. Silk….Wool…Fashion Sewing…Sheep….welcome to my world!
Our lamb crop has not increased yet (still two ewes to go) but our babies are growing up before our eyes.
The big news is that our tiny preemie Daphne is nursing on her own!
She has come a very, very long way from barely being able to stand on her own and nurse from a bottle. Now that she is understanding where her food is really coming from we are staying away more so that she bonds better with her real mommy. She still baas and comes running when she sees me.
My nickname for Daphne is “Fuzzbutt”. I love my little Fuzzbutt and she likes to be snuggled. Who couldn’t love that?!? She is just such a tiny little thing and loves to follow me around the pen.
Kate loves to get in the pen with the babies. Look how big half-sister Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) is compared to Daphne! Lizzie is only 2 days older than Daphne. Lizzie is very vigorous for her age and thinks she is very grown up already.
Of course all of the lambs (there are 10 so far) are growing fast. It’s been very hot this week so they spend a lot of time napping. Sometimes they are mostly in a big pile and other times they are spread out with their siblings.
The lambs are also practicing to be big sheep already. Here is firstborn Natalie pretending to eat hay with momma Nell. Nell’s girls are just enormous!
…and now it’s time for us to go out and feed little Lizzie her bedtime meal (mommy Jacklyn is still only somewhat cooperative). Have a great weekend!
Yes, indeed - the lambs are here. I apologize for the “radio silence” but it has been an extremely busy time - a lot of work and constant care right now. I have been perpetually covered in every possible sheep bodily fluid (and not so fluid) off and on - we are doing huge amounts of laundry these days. It’s such a glamorous life we lead!
But…here are some of the photos you’ve been waiting for!
First, there was Nell - our Wensleydale ewe. We were really worried about Nell as she is an older ewe and very over-conditioned (sheep talk for fat). She had a bout of pregnancy toxemia at one point and we weren’t sure if her babies were going to make it. But here they are as newborns - Nicole (in multi) and Natalie (in red) - two huge, healthy baby girls.
Kate, our young livestock guardian dog, was totally fascinated by the babies. Here she is getting some nose time with Natalie.
Next, Tara, our youngest Corriedale ewe, had her twins. She is a first-time mommy and was very nervous. But she is a good Mom and Leia and Luke are doing very well as you can see.
Next, our Romney ewe Jocie, another first time mommy, had her two boys. Joe and Jake are adorable little boys - as you can see they are very black! I was relieved to see some colored lambs at last. I was beginning to worry that all we would have was white lambs. The polled Rambouillet ram was white…mommies are colored.
Then, in the last few days we had a major lamb explosion! First there was Jacklyn, one of the Romney first-timers. I had checked during the night like usual but when I went out at 4am, I heard crying! I found baby Lizzie trapped in a corner of the corral, still wet, dirty and crying at the top of her lungs. I found Jacklyn elsewhere but she was scared and didn’t want anything to do with Lizzie. Thankfully Lizzie is an only child and is a very, very, determined little girl! We work with Jacklyln to feed Lizzie and Lizzie may yet convince her mommy to adopt her again. Every day is a bit more improvement. Meanwhile, she thinks Scott is her daddy and follows him around.
Then, the next day Eiryn, the other Corriedale mommy, delivered her first set of twins. As you can see they are particularly cute - their big white patches on their heads are almost like little Mohawks! Eiryn is a very good mommy and her twins are already huge. Penelope is shown above with her Mom and below is Pete.
Then yesterday morning our tiny Daphne was born. Her mom, Delilah, is another first-time Romney mommy (the last of the first time mothers, thank Goodness!). Delilah had some complications so she delivered Daphne early. She was barely alive - I had to swing her around to get her airway clear and get her breathing again. She would barely swallow. But 24 hours later she is getting stronger all the time and now can even stagger around a little bit on her own. She still is not quite strong enough to nurse (and her mommy isn’t feeling completely well yet) so she is getting bottle fed around the clock. So now she thinks I am her mommy and while I was kneeling down milking her real Mom she crawled onto the backs of my legs and went to sleep.
Two more ewes to go…both have had lambs before so we are hoping for an easier time with them. Scott and I are very tired but glad that so far everyone has survived and is growing. Hoping for the best!