Weekly Wrap Up

The lineup of lamb cuteness just keeps on coming. We’ve had some challenges with these early babies and some of their mamas but we soldier on to overcome each difficulty. As you can see the rewards are well worth the effort. The barn is overflowing with lamb-love.

And speaking of soldiering on… although it is now the 29th, as in 29-Days, and we are both still on Day 16’s assignment, we are loving every minute we can devote to our secret object. No spoilers, please!

Several new projects in the fiber room – new yarn development and batt planning

To truly wrap things up – here is your moment of zen – compliments of Ivy’s little ewe, Darling.

Weekly Wrap Up

The last week of January…

Big shop update – yarn, raw wool, washed wool, mini batts and more!

Jack and Jill Handspun yarn
Joyce’s beautiful fleece
2-ply fingering farm yarn

We made farm cheese and yogurt this week. We’re going to miss our dairy making chores while the girls are dry.

Our 29 Day projects with The School of Nomad Arts began on Saturday – so much to look forward to.

A little snow this week but not enough to keep the mud at bay. We’re all a little soggy from so much rain.

Highlight of the week – Lambing Season 2020 has begun! Charlotte, of the 2018 border leicester royal triplets, is the first to give birth. Welcome to the farm family beautiful little ewe.

Let’s Sum It Up

Hadassah and her twins

Hadassah’s ram lamb and ewe lamb

Herse and her twin ewes

Maibh’s ram lamb

Matilde and her ewe lamb; Sarah and Sally

Matilde’s ewe lamb

Lambing season has come and gone, so it’s time to take a look at the numbers.  Only two of our girls chose to lamb inside the comfort of the barn, about a quarter of them moseyed down over the hill and had their little ones in the woods, while everyone else decided that the pasture was the best place to be.  Almost all the girls had early morning lambs and somehow, we miraculously got through the whole season without a single all night lambing session!

Our girls, along with new ram, Montague, and third-year ram, Frey, performed admirably.  97% of the ewes exposed to the rams had lambs.  84% of the ewes settled on the first cycle.  There were 20 singles, 15 sets of twins and 1 set of triplets resulting in a 1.47 lambing ratio.  There were 24 ewe lambs and 29 ram lambs.  37 of the lambs are white and 16 are black or silver.

Helen had the smallest lamb – a little black ram weighing 6 lbs 11 ozs.  Althea had the biggest – a big black ram weighing 14 lbs 3 ozs.  The average birth weight was 10 lbs 5 ozs.

And so, our favorite time of year has successfully come to an end… now on to the big job of taking care of everyone through the long, hot summer.

Secret Knitting

Snow has returned, so it seems like the perfect day for the big reveal of the secret knitting.  Beginning with two skeins of our Bertha yarn (that had so many imperfections that they were not salable) here are the perfect lambing accessories.  Our love and admiration of Bertha is knit in to each and every stitch, along with the love and admiration I have for my Sister Shepherdess as I knit a set for her as a surprise gift.

The hand-warmers are the Lambing Mitts from the Tolt Yarn and Wool blog.  The garter band can be worn up to keep our fingers warm during the late night pasture checks, then rolled down when we need to attend to those newborn lambs.  Blue stripes on my sister’s and green stripes on mine so we will be able to sort them out when we lay them down in the barn.

Bertha’s yarn and scraps of our single-flock yarn make these extra special barn-life accessories.

The headband is mash-up of several different patterns knit in a Bertha yarn-dyeing experiment that was inspired by lichen growing on an Adirondack chair.  I think there will be more of this to come after lambing, as both shepherdesses are delighted with the result.  I added a little bit of hand embroidery to match the stripes on our hand-warmers.

An ode to Bertha and a surprise for my Sister Shepherdess – perfect for a snowy, April day.

Winding Down

Lambing is winding down, with Dolly hanging in there and Charity who was marked very late still to go. The pasture is filled with the wonderful sounds of lambs calling and mamas answering.  The grass finally got tall enough last week that we were able to open the bottom of the barn paddock up to the ewes and lambs.  We’re hoping to keep them in this area at least until we can get through the first round of shots.
If you have a craving for more lamb pictures, take a peek over here.


Lambing is moving along at a nice pace.  The barn and pasture are busy and full of new life.  It’s always so interesting to observe the different way each ewe experiences labor and birth. There is Jill who attacks the whole process with much the same energy that she attacks daily life.  She will have given birth within a couple hours of showing any outward signs of labor. Then there is Julie who has a much more zen-like approach to birth, slowly stretching and pushing a little off and on for eight to ten hours.  Every birth different… each new life, a new little personality.
Please check out our Lambs of 2014 album on Flickr for more lamb photos.