The Colors of Winter

And sometimes the warmest colors have no substance at all

Winter colors are mostly gray and brown. Sometimes the prettiest winter colors are no color at all.

Sometimes brown is the brightest color around

Sometimes it’s all about the sparkle

My favorite winter colors are black and white!
Front to back ..
Springrock Starlit, Gleann Ull Lyla, Patchwork Future

And sometimes brown is just cold, stinky mud!

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Snow Day!

Yes, it snows in the south! Sometimes a lot. We only got around 5″ this time, but that was plenty for me. 

It was pretty for awhile.

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But also pretty cold. Even the sky looked cold.

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It was nice to warm up by my kitchen wood heater. The main wood heater is downstairs. It heats the whole house, but sometimes a little extra fire is nice.

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The sheep mostly spent the day in the barn. No pictures of sheep today. They were looking a bit bedraggled.  The sheep water is gravity fed from the creek(easy to do on the side of a mountain) and runs freely. They still like to eat snow, though.
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Oscar was on duty in the snow watching his girls. He’s not a house dog!

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I was running low on the pine that I like to use to get my kitchen heater going. Now I have lots of pine! A little less fence line, but lots of pine.
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I’m ready for spring!P1070323

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Bits and Pieces

After spinning for 32 years, I've accumulated a rather large assortment of bits and pieces of handspun yarn. Some was destined for projects that never got started. Some was leftover. Some was experimental. Some was spun just for relaxation. I was running out of places to stash my stash!
I wanted a new rug for the kitchen, but none of the bits were heavy enough for a rug. 
AHH . light bulb moment.... I decided to chain ply all the bits together, two or three different yarns at a time - giving me a six or nine ply yarn. 
My Ashford Country Spinner II was up for the job
I grabbed yarn randomly and got some jumbled colors and a mix of mostly wool with silk, alpaca, mohair, and probably something else. Some of this yarn was spun over twenty years ago.
Each skein went into a dye pot. I wanted to keep some variance and shading in the yarn, but tie the colors together a bit. Some of the skeins bled in the dye pot making the finished colors even more random. I brought the dye water to a boil to partially felt the yarns.
I ended up with about four pounds of heavy rug weft. 
Next my sixty plus years vertical Dryad loom took over. I must have been in a hurry to get started because for the first time ever (and I've been weaving for thirty years), I warped the loom and didn't go over the back (or in this case, top) beam. Haste makes waste as my Grandmother always said.
Finally warped and on the way to a new kitchen rug.
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Huron – the ewe side

Any one that knows me knows that I place a huge (really huge) emphasis on my ewe flock. I want to see good ewe horns in the background of all my rams as well as good mothering skills and hardiness..

Huron’s dam
Patchwork Isobelle
did not disappoint

Patchwork Marabelle
was a dainty primitive ewe with a very gentle personality. She passed on her silky fleece to her lambs.

Patchwork Martha (front) and Craft’s Ruby’s Belle (back)
RubyBelle was born in 1995 and arrived in Georgia from Iowa that fall with a group of seven ewes purchased from Craft’s at Blufton by Patrice Young at Small Meadows. Patrice was kind enough to offer me one of the ewes. It was truly was love at first sight when I saw RubyBelle.
Patchwork Martha, her 2001 lamb by Yakob-Tson Zeppo was a great producer – lambs and fleece. I still have some roving from Martha that I’m hoarding.

Patchwork Poplar
I sold Poplar as a lamb and purchased her back two years later. She had never been shorn or handled and was carrying an almost 12″ very matted fleece. And she was wild!!

Hillside Holly
Holly was one of the few two horned ewes I’ve ever purchased, but who could resist! She had lovely wide spread horns, a gorgeous fleece, and the loudest voice on any Jacob I’ve ever had.

Patchwork Sasha
Sasha was a very old style Jacob with a strong independent personality. Easy enough to handle, but happy to be left alone.

Patchwork Viva
Viva really set the bar here for ewe horns. Perfect flat profile and wideswept laterals.

Palmetto Acres Lucinda
I sold her parents and purchased her back as a lamb. She was another one that had never been handled and was wild. Of course, she wasn’t willing to go into the barn to be caught, so the seller’s track star son just ran after her and caught her.

Sweetgrass Ainslie
Ainslie had that signature Sweetgrass fleece! She was larger than most of my ewes.

Bullthistle Dancer
linebred PMA Bagel. A ewe I regret selling.

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Huron – rams part 2

I left out a few of the rams in Huron’s background that spent time at Patchwork

Kreutzer Farms Abe
Abe was a shared ram with Perfect Spot. He was our first Kreutzer Farms ram – a handsome lilac boy. He added much to southeast genetics via his son Perfect Spot Jasper. His grandson, Patchwork Abraham went to Kenleigh Acres in Oregon and shows up in pedigrees all across the country. Abe’s breeding career was cut short during the severe drought of 2007 when I picked up a couple of bales of contaminated hay from a feed store. I lost two good rams and will never again buy trucked in hay from who knows where.
Chicory Lane Chancellor
Another shared ram with Perfect Spot, this boy was sired by Culloden Isaiah on a Painted Rock ewe and bred by Katrina Lefever. The Culloden flock was a closed flock that never registered. The original stock was all Fieldwood. Sadly no breeding records were kept. Chancellor went on to a breeder in Tennessee where he was still siring lambs at age ten. The breeder never registered. The circle of lost records.
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Huron..

RavenRidge Huron
has been a flock sire here 2019. He was bred by Barbara Sanders in South Carolina, who purchased her original Jacob Sheep from Patchwork. Every ancestor goes back to those original purchases. It was Barbara’s selection of breeding pairs that produced Huron, but I do love having owned and known so many of his ancestors. Huron is a mild mannered boy with a lovely, silky 26.6 micron lilac fleece

Below are the Patchwork owned rams that helped produce Huron.

Patchwork Hektor
was RavenRidge’s first Jacob ram purchased in 2014. He was Huron’s great grandsire
Unzicker Abbott
was my third Unzicker ram. He is well represented in our flock. He returned to PA after serving as a Patchwork flock sire for three years.
Southwind Sasquatch
Sasquatch came to us from Laura Burnside in New York. He had a sad ending when I sold him to a nearby “breeding home” for a hefty price and later found that he had been purchased for a ritual sacrifice. The money didn’t make up for the loss of his lines.
Small Meadows Groucho
was my second Jacob ram and my first Jacob ram with a background. He was Craft’s on both sides from sheep that Patrice Young had brought from Iowa. His dam was one of the most elegant ewes I’ve ever seen. Groucho was named for his cute little mustache. He lived up to his name by being the meanest most destructive ram I’ve ever owned. There is often some sadness when sending a sheep to the butcher. There was only relief with this one. Happily, his personality hasn’t persisted in his descendants.
Kreutzer Farms Boyd
I loved this boy from the first time I saw his lamb photos. He was a joint purchase with Perfect Spot. He did well at Patchwork and Perfect Spot and later moved on to serve as flock sire at Avillion and Wiggle Hill.
Kenleigh’s Casanova.
I had this boy on hold before he was born. When Shannon Phifer bought his sire, I picked three ewes that I wanted a ram from. The first two had ewes. Shannon named the third ewe’s (Azera) lambs before they were born in the hopes it would work. It did! And Casanova made the trip from Oregon to Georgia, stopping to sire a few lambs for Royal Unzicker in PA on the way. Casanova is still going strong as flock sire for Dragonwool in Augusta, GA
Unzicker Jedd.
The bloodlines on this guy really caught my eye. I often buy rams sight unseen. Because both Royal Unzicker and I were attending Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival when Jedd was a lamb, I had the chance to see him and change my mind. I didn’t change my mind. Jedd was a well traveled ram. He moved from Pennsylvania to Georgia, back to Unzicker in Pennsylvania, with a stop at Perfect Spot in North Carolina, on to Kreutzer Farms in Nebraska, and then to Mud Ranch in California. Jedd sired 44 registered lambs.
Yakob-Tson Zeppo.
Patrice Young and I made a trip in 2000 to visit Edd Bissell. Patrice was looking for ewes, but I had to have this boy!
Patchwork Morgan
Morgan was pretty lightly used, but did well.
Patchwork Waukesha
Waukesha went to South Carolina as a lamb. I purchased his daughter, Palmetto Acres Lucinda, as a lamb the next year. The sheep hadn’t ever been handled. Lucinda was WILD! But she soon learned to enjoy coming for treats.
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It’s been awhile

Much has happened since last I posted including lots of lambs, new sheep, fiber projects, and life happenings

2021 brought some lovely lambs. Patchwork Jovie is a favorite

Meridian Gold Rush arrived here in October from Robin Lynde’s Meridian Farm in California. We can’t wait to see his 2022 lambs!

I seldom make anything for myself, but I had some anxious waiting time and needed some busy work – and I was cold! So a new vest for me from handspun Jacob from the flock is in the works.

And a feather – just because it’s a pretty feather.

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A Wander

In these stressful times, a wander through the woods restores me.  There is no rush, nowhere to go, and no pressing chores. Time to stop and smell the roses (okay, no roses, but same idea).

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And my “delicate flower”, Elsa.

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What’s in a name..

It often works out that we breed in groups, with one group due a few weeks before the next group.  In some ways, this works well. But it sure can make a small flock lambing season seem to go on forever.

Ethel was the first for round two with a bouncing baby boy, by Dresden. Winston (I was watching Call the Midwife and there was a reference to Winston Churchhill’s funeral)

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Darby followed a few days later with the first Painted Rock Wizard lamb, a four horned ewe lamb named  Monroe.  You’ll catch the reference if you’ve ever seen “that dress”!

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Jubilee delivered twins as a first time mother. No problem for her! She loves her lambs. A lilac ewe and ram by Huron. Both four horned.
Moppet – because, well she’s a moppet – a small endearingly sweet child.

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Jubal – because that’s his grandsire’s name and I like the name. It’s from from one of my favorite books.

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Following a few hours after Jubilee, Paloma popped out (literally – these 4 horned boys were in a hurry!) lilac twins by Dresden.  Paloma left Patchwork as a lamb to live with Laura Burnside.  Laura was kind enough to let Paloma come back from Cooperstown, NY last summer.  Welcome to:

Townes and Cooper

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Jazz, another of my prized Badger daughters, lambed a few days later with twins by Huron.

Coltrane – four horned black ram – because he’s a son of Jazz

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and Weasel – originally a tribute to her granddam, Badger, but she’s managed to earn the name by weaseling out of the lambing jug on a regular basis.

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AnnieRose is one of my favorite ewes. She’s beautiful and sweet. She loves attention and scratches and she loves her new daughter, Juno – named after a rose.

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Almost there.

 

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The Sounds of Spring

The sounds of spring.. bird song and the patter of little lambie feet!

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Canoe Lake Jewel was the second to lamb on March 15 with a ram/ewe set of twins by RavenRidge Huron.

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Patchwork Lisha was next on 3/17 with twin ewes by Huron

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A two week break before the next round brings more lambs. Stay tuned!

The crocus pop up so fast you can almost hear them!

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Posted in Household Stuff, Jacob Sheep | 3 Comments