Baabaara's Handspun
Photos and triplet update

It made it up to about 12 degrees here today.  Right now it is 7degrees Fahrenheit and dropping with wind chill that makes it (-)2.2. The lambs and their mothers are in a corral with 3 sides....and plenty of dry hay for bedding and warmth.  There is a heat lamp over Easter and her triplets as the littlest ones have minimal body fat to keep them warm and grow.  I am supplementing Ernestina's 2 lambs and will do so for Easter's as long as needed. 
Keeping corral water thawed, (2 buckets as Easter gets her own right now), lamb and ewe supplements fed, hay to everyone (my animals are divided into 3 areas now that I have lambs and I think it is too cold for them to stay in the pasture), and house warm with the fire going.......Oh, and some lovely fiber to spin and a rug that I am taking off the loom.....I am staying busy and will sleep well tonight.  Old fashioned Beef Stew in the crock-pot that smells delicious!  Oh, here are the photos.

Easter and her triplets

Ram lamb of EasterxHopps.  Brown, not black


Today was a very cold one in my area, Easter had her beautiful brown triplet babies!  I was scheduled to volunteer at our local free clinic, so "dove in" per my mentor's suggestion and found three lambs.  Drying them off as soon as they were pulled was essential as temps were around 10 degrees without factoring in the wind chill.  Making sure they each had 2 mouth-fulls of colostrum and that all seemed to be mothering up well, I left them with my helpful son to keep an eye on them.  With temps so cold, trying to keep water to all my animals is a challenge.  By the time I had taken care of that after clinic, it was too dark to take photos.  I plan to take photos tomorrow, hopefully before the snow comes too deep.  Easter is an experienced and wonderful mother.  I pray this weather is not too much for her and her lovely lambs. 

Middle of the night lambing

Early Tuesday morning I was wakened 0130 by my son, Aaron...."Mom, The black on is having babies".  Out to the barn and there was my black ewe, Ernestina, one lamb just out and in the straw.  Face cleaned off and yes, there was another in that one out and beautiful white lambs!  A ram and a ewe.  Fast forward to yesterday (about 36 hours later) and the lambs are looking "hunch-y" and kinda listless.  A little warmed  colostrum I saved from Sweet Pea, and a little lamb mild replacer.....and they are much more energetic and not shivering and "hunched up" as they are up.  Ernestina does not seem to have tons of milk.  similar thing happened last year.  I will continue to monitor.  Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the 2 latest lambs and a couple of the older 3 lambs out on pasture. 

Ernestinas twins

lambs get morning greetings from alpacas

Great Day

Woke early early this morning rehashing events of yesterday.  Out to check the ewes, no one was doing anything new, Sweet Pea and her lamb are doing well.  Still have two ewes to lamb soon, and one dragging on in February.  SO glad to see Sweet Pea doing well, and her lamb....... is just too darn cute.  Working on a name.....
Prepped to go to Columbia Custom Carding of Deer Island, OR with my friend who, bless her heart, drove.  (I had trouble staying awake at times) What a great time, and got my beautiful fiber to bring home in addition.  I will post photos of the fiber under products.  Pin-drafted roving....Bernardo alpaca and Sophie Romney blend.  I am looking forward to spinning some of it tomorrow evening at Butterfly Yarns if I can make it there....

For Farmers Only

Today I had another lesson in being a shepherdess....This one was a hard one as i lost a lamb. Out to check my ewes about 0630 and the one (Sweet Pea, my registered Romeldale), that had been hanging off to herself on and off yesterday, had a "waterbag" showing.  I came inside, referred to my book on raising sheep, and moved her into a lambing jug and allowed her more time.  On a different level I was stressing as I had been assigned to help out at church this morning and could not plan to leave the ewe.  I had no indication there was a problem with this ewe, but knew church could find someone to cover for me.  it was now 0730. Sweet Pea had finally laid down and was actively pushing.  I reached the entrance, found legs and a nose and assisted minimally to help the lamb out.  I did reach in and felt a couple more feet.  Thinking there was no problem, I left her to work things out on her own after taking a couple pics of the lamb.  My mentor texted me and told me that since I knew there was another lamb in there I should pull it out......and that is where I had trouble.  I could not feel a nose or head to go with the legs and thought the lamb was backward.  Continuing to feel around I found a head..... and still could not figure out how it was attached.  Long story short, I tried to pull and it would not come.  Head was there but twisted around.  My neighbor came to my call (0830) and helped me get the lamb out.  He was a large (13.5 lb) ram lamb that was beautiful......but quite dead. 
Thankfully, ewe roused, and she and the ewe lamb are both doing well.
Sweet Pea and Little Bit

Little BIt
So, my gracious mentor asked me what I learned from this........
*that water bags showing mean get "em out.......
*waiting for nature to take it's course is not the best plan of action when it comes to lambing
*books are not always the best source of information as they cannot answer questions
*call friends and neighbors for assistance earlier rather than later.  Rather owe them a favor than lose a potentially great animal.
Tomorrow I head to "the valley" to pick up my fiber I sent off earlier this month to Columbia Custom Carding.  A dear friend, another fiber nut, will be taking a couple of her fleece over and we will bring mine back.

update on lambs

So,no more lambs yet, but I have some better pictures of the two that are here.  They look so much better when they are dry.  Another high humidity day and grey here in Central Oregon, the lambs are taking advantage of this by staying in their little "mothering" jug with their mother.  All they seem to do is sleep, then get up and nurse, and then go back to sleep.  I rousted the brown one this afternoon just to make sure she really is ok..........and sure enough, she got up, nursed......and then within 5 minutes, was back lying down.  They both are looking good.  I gave shots yesterday, will do tails before I let them out.  Since no other ewes have lambed, there is no rush to get them out and into the main pasture.  I always do tails before I let them out............can't be sure to catch them once they are out!!!  Tried to take pictures of the "ladies in waiting" but as it was dusk, when the pre-flash went off, they tucked their heads down into the hay and I quit trying.  Maybe another time.....or maybe more lambs soon??? 

I am open to suggestions for names...........
drop me a line.


Ahhh!  the lambs are finally starting!  Cissie greeted me this morning with baa-ing, unusual since my 0500 checks are usually met with ewes giving me quiet stares as I shine my flashlight into their corral to see how everyone is doing.  As I went in to see her, she was obviously ready to start, pawing the ground and everyone else was keeping their distance.  I let the other ewes.  By 0730 Cissie had her warm molasses water, the babes had each had a nice suck of colostrum, and I was free to prep and head out to Zumba where I danced like no one was watching!  Grey again this morning, but now....6 hours later, the sun has come out from under the clouds.  Hoarfrost decorates trees, and I am full of energy and excitement.  One set of lambs will keep me positive for awhile and less fretful as I wait for the other ewes to deliver.

Grey weather

Grey weather affects me and my mood.  I didn't know this for many years, and the weather here in Central Oregon is more often sunny than grey and that is a plus for me.  Driving into exercise this a.m. was no problem, foggy.  Just over an hour later the roads were icy and I missed my turn into Redmond Parks and Rec due to ice roads.  Ice rink was the best way to describe the parking lot there. On my way home I had icy streets in Redmond...and then a little dry desert snow as I went past the north end of town....and no ice on the roads as I got to Terrebonne.  I doubt it will reach temps in the 50's as predicted for today.  Working on finishing a rug, washing the beautiful alpaca I am working on, and doing some pricing for my next event in Feb. I have the fireplace toasting along, no lambs yet today.  All my animals think it is cold enough that they need a little extra feed......can you imagine that?

keeping in touch

One of the great things about doing what I do is that I can re-connect with people in a new way.  A former colleague contacted me with some alpaca from her animal she would like turned into yarn.  I get the joy of doing that!  We visited and looked at the fleeces.  I will be starting on this beautiful silver grey with black tips and am looking forward to the process.  Check out this color!!!!

Working the fleece

Glorious weather, possible to start skirting the fleece I got last week.  Now I am just waiting for the lambs to start coming.  The ewes are patient, why can't I be the same?  Have photos to share............

cissie's lavendar fleece

Waiting for lambs

Shearing is complete.  I now have 11 splendid new fleece in my "raw fleece" storage area and am so very pleased with the wool my animals produced this year!  One of the benefits of shearing just before lambing is that I have my shearer's input on who is bred and who is not.  It looks like I have 5 bred ewes this year!  My oldest ewe, Hornee` (rhymes with play), is still overweight and did not breed again.  She is one of my original ewes, the matriarch of my moorit (brown) line, and continues to produce nice fleece so she stays.  I don't want to have to make a decision on where she would go other than here.  Night checks started last night, and my son (who stays up late) is going to help with the ~0200 check.  Since I get up early, I will do the 0600 one before heading out to exercise.  That's it for now, weaving away today between checks on my ewes. 

FINALLY!!! and shearing day!

Oh my goodness, apologies a thousand fold for lack of presence here.  Personal/family crisis and obligations have kept me away for the first 6 months or so since my last post in Nov. 2012.............and then, I could not get onto the blog to post.  OK, I am back.
What has been going on fiber-wise for me this past year????
I have been playing with new aspects of dying, using marigolds,  different mushrooms, lichens, and (again) more koolaid. Decreasing the number of venues I work overall while trying to use the energy I have to vend at profitable and educational events. Lambing was earlier in 2013 with lambs in mid Feb to early March.  Oregon State Fair was a blast again, seeing J. who has blessed my booth with her energy and presence these past 3 years I have been there.  I worked the entire 2 weeks of fair this year, doubling my time there and realize I need assistance to do that many days in a row.  Sent wool to Creekside Fiber Mill (local fiber processor here in OR) and had them (gulp) spin some of my wool into fingering weight yarn for me. First time I have ever had someone else spin for me.  I play with dyeing the yarn, and hope it will be a hit with my customers. Rugs have been keeping me busy, private orders, & playing with whatever Pendleton sends me. 
looking forward to 2014.........bred even earlier this year, lambs due mid-Jan. to late Feb. Kept 2 ram lambs as their lovely moorit color and bloodlines just have to try to remain in the pool.  They go on fb's "sheep for sale" soon.  I just sent off fleece to Columbia Custom Carding (a new fiber processor in OR).  They will do their magic and make me roving from wool and alpaca I have here.  I will have some new Baabaara's Farm blends! 11 sheep in my pasture at present, and 5 alpacas.  It is still cold here, so shearing only the sheep to get a good look who is pregnant and who is (probably) not.  I love shearing day, makes me feel so very very wealthy in fresh new lovely smelling fleece.  I hope to have some prize-worthy fleece to enter at the local county fair again this year! 
Enough for now...thanks for hanging in with me.  stay warm and enjoy life....and play with some fiber, it is healthy!

Rugs and explorations

Another beautiful sunny day in Central Oregon. I just am finishing up another new rug, have it all done but the final knotting.  This one is blacks to greys, winter whites and burgundies.  I love it when I try a new color from Pendleton, always wonder what it will weave up like and what variations on a theme I can to do capture the interest of both myself as I weave and the person with whom the rug will make its home.  Time flies when I am weaving, laying down the pattern is like a new exploration.  Today I will finish off the final knotting and get some twist set into some yarn I want to finish for a friend in California.  Colder weather and potential snow is coming.  I am ready for markets, visiting with old friends and meeting some new! 
Spinning and weaving in Central Oregon,

Prepared for the Holidays (Holidaze?)

Halloween has come and gone, November is here and it is a very busy time for local artists and craftspeople!  I have officially entered the holiday market season with my first Christmas market just 2 days ago.  Please visit my calendar and see where you can stop by and say hello! 
I just pulled my second batch of mushroom dyed yarn out of the vat this afternoon.  i am sadly disappointed in the color I got.  OK, it is color, but light beige/tan.  I am considering trying to fit a dye class being offered at Eugene Textile Center this month, but I know I would really be pushing it with all the markets I have scheduled.  I have much to learn about dyeing with mushrooms to achieve deep colors.  I know it can be done.
I guess I am spoiled with the natural colored animals I raise.  Natural colored wools in greys to blacks, golden browns, chocolate browns, 5 different colors of alpaca, I know white is a natural color, but so many others raise them, I raise the "other" ones! 
gotta run....... Redmond Twisted Stitchers this evening, and more yarn to spin, rugs to weave!!!
spinning and weaving in Central Oregon.