All the ewes have lambed now. Raina and Tirzah were the last two ewes to lamb.
Mom and I have tried to dye several times in the past without phenomenal success. All we would get was slightly funny colors and coarse fiber. But, because dyeing is really neat, we decided to try again, and this time they came out really nice!
Here is my Angora bunny fiber.And this is the raw fiber of one of the fleeces mom used. Both of the fleeces that she used where blue-faced crosses.This is the very soft combed fiber of each of the fleeces. The one on the right is the same as above and will be periwinkle, the one on the left will be aztec gold.The Angora cooking in periwinkle.Mom’s fleece.Here are both of them finished and dried.And now this is the second batch. Aztec gold.The periwinkle we are planning on blending with some of Jemima’s wool, a black fleece with some graying.Starting in the upper left hand corner and moving clockwise is the aztec gold by itself, the periwinkle by itself, the black mixed with the blue, the black by itself, or the black mixed with the gold. And in the center is the blue and gold mixed together.
I have now, for the first time, clipped my Angora rabbit. Excluding waste, I got 4 oz. worth of fiber. It is so exciting to finally have fiber off of him.
He was very patient with me learning what was the best way to clip him. As you can see it looks pretty choppy so I still have a bit of learning to do, but boy is he glad to have it off!
(photo credits for the second third and fourth picture: Matthew Nowakowski)
Two more of our Shetlands have lambed. The binoculars have been sitting at the window for several days now. Every few hours we look out to see if there are any new lambs. (We’re not at all anxious for more Shetland babies are we?)
Ophelia with her triplets. Well, you can not quite see all three. If you notice the blue on the one lambs leg, that is a splint. While doing chores the other evening we found that one of the ram lamb’s was not walking on one of his legs. When we caught him we discovered that the little guy had somehow broken his leg.
Lambing season is the best time to work with the ewes in getting them to become friendlier. When you grab the lambs the mamas will come up to you and you can work on getting them used to your smell and being handled. Ophelia is one of our best moms.
I would like to take a moment here to explain how Josephina got her name. She was born a triplet on a very cold day. We went out to check the lambs and found her colder and weaker than her brother and sister. We felt if we did not get her warmed up she was not going to make it. So she was brought inside and we cut the sleeve off of a sweater that was destined for Goodwill and put it on her to help her stay warm.Because of the colorfulness of the sweater it made us think of Joseph in Genesis and his coat of many colors, so, all we did was make the name feminine.