2014 Updates

Pattern update, due to the high volume of traffic from FB, Pintrest and Primitive Forums.I NO longer offer my patterns for free to everyone. To receive my patterns FREE you NOW have to be a follower of White Sheep Farm, or you can find my Google + page, White Sheep Farm and follow me there. Please DO NOT confuse this with following by e mail. Thanks!


Lambing ... Still ...

Good morning,
Lambing is still going on at the farm, just wanted to show you a few more photos ... This first photo is of the weather I woke up to this morning. A snow storm! and 34 degrees!
This is Gretchen and her lamb Israel a beautiful name picked by Myra for a beautiful tiny Shetland ewe lamb.
 Israel has the most amazing color combo. (she is spoken for already)
A flock butt shot!

 These lambs are pretty had to catch standing still.
 A few more ...
 Here is a photo of my two bottle babies, I had three but the ram lamb died Sunday morning. He just turned so fast ... there was really nothing I could do. These girls are Iris and Irene.
 These two cuties are Becky's twin girls ... a theme this year ... is girls, girls, and more girls!
And I finished my Lace Caplet I modified the pattern quit a bit. I basically kept the pattern repeat but added rows and finished the neck. It was just to plain. 
Matches perfect and will make this sleeveless dress wearable in the cool of spring.
 Lace pattern ... and crochet shell around the neck
Still have a few more sheep to lamb out, should be done by next week. And then shearing day, in May. But between now and then it is suppose to get cold again. Thanks for stopping by the farm.

Lambing Season 2014 has Begun ...

Good morning,
As you can see by the photos lambing season has started here at the farm. I came home Friday from work to find find Connie one of my Cheviot's cleaning the last little lamb. She had 3 ewe lambs. All doing very well. Unfortunately, she has rejected the littlest one.
 This one here is very bold, and not afraid of anything ... How cute is that face?
 On Saturday, I noticed that Echo was hanging around the barn, A few hours later she had 2 lambs 1 ewe 1 ram ... I feel very lucky that my girls know to use the barn for lambing, I have only penned them one time and they hated every minute of it ...
 Both of these will be keepers ... this is my ninth lambing season ... so I am up to the letter "I" so meet Iggy (ram) and Izzy (ewe) ... Hubby named them!
So, if you have any great I names, I would love to hear them ...
Yesterday, I was keeping a watch over Evie, when I noticed Cody in the barn, I saw she was digging her hole/nest when I went to go get a bucket from the other barn, I came back to a lamb that did not survive. So I was reminded of the words of Job ... "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away"
 I decided to put the rejected lamb with Cody, as I have done in years past, and it works well. I stayed around to assist in another 2 ewe lambs born to Cody.
A few of the girls enjoying the small pastures lush green grass ...
So far lambing is going very well, And I hope that it continues, with the exception of a few rams( much needed) ... Seems to be a ewe lamb year.
Have a great week, more lamb photos to come, as soon as the lambs come. Thanks for stopping by the farm.


The Winter that Just won't End ...

Good morning,
As you can see by this photo, winter is still going strong.
This was taken early this morning when I went to feed the sheep. No lambs yet ...
 Kind of makes me sad to see this in March ...
 I finished my shawl, made with recycled Merino wool yarn and dyed with food coloring ...
More dyed yarn with food coloring ...
 And another dyed with food coloring ...
Have a great week, hope you have spring where you are ...thanks for stopping by the farm.


A Few Finishes and Before and After ...

Good morning,
I wanted to write a quick post about a few finishes this week. I'm not very good about showing the finished item ... so here we go.
This is the shawl I crocheted out of the Red Heart Waterlily yarn. Colors are pretty, but I will have to tell you a story later about the Red Heart customer service or lack there of.
And I finished the caplet I was knitting ... to bad it won't fit ...
But, it will fir my friend's daughter Graycie ... I added the flower just for her. Hope she will like it.
And this is a before of my living room chairs ...
Very nice chairs made by Englander, but had a dated color to them
Before ...
 After ...
what do you think?
It's ladybug season here ... anyone who lives in remotely warm weather knows what I am taking about ... Have a warm spring week, and thanks for stopping by the farm.



Dying and Knitting Wool on The Cheap ...

Good morning,
Today I thought I would do a little bit different post. I know I have several people who follow my blog that knit or crochet. And I have had more than a few emails over the years, saying they wish they could afford to work with wool.
Well, before I started growing my own wool, I would buy it as well. But quite a few years ago, over 6 years now, I found this site on Etsy that sold "upcycled yarn" today 6 + years later it is a pretty big business. You can find it in terms such as "upcycled" "recycled" "reclaimed" and so on.
First off, if you know me or have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I am big into recycling. To me recycling is the cheapest way to "Go Green". And anyone can do it.
And yes, I spin my own wool, and yes I can spin anything from Dk weight on up, but sometimes I don't want to sit and spin for hours, to do a project and then have to dye the yarn. And sometimes I want to have yarn that is so soft that it suits the project I am going to be knitting.
With most all my winter knitting done, I will be moving on to lighter spring/summer projects.
You may have read that I will be starting a shawl. And the shawl that I want to do is called "Summer Flies". If you click on the word Summer Flies it will take you to a photo of it. And at some point I will get to that as soon as I sit long enough to spin what is in my head for that pattern.
Anyway, I knew I wanted to make a spring shawl, one that could be just thrown over a sleeveless summer dress to make it wearable in the early spring. I wanted something that was soft and spring like, and again not wanting to sit at the wheel spinning away for hours. Not that I would not love to do that, it is just this time of year spinning is more of a luxury. With yard clean up, lambs coming and garden work, there is just not enough time. So I went to my wool storage and looked to see what I had. I remembered buying some reclaimed yarn a few years back, I just had to locate it.
Well, I found it, and boy is the color ever ugly. But that can be remedied ... 
400 yards of ugly gray white yarn.
 Soft Merino ...
When I dye I will not use a chemical based dye. That is why I use natural plants, flowers, berries, bark or nuts. If none are handy I will use the "greener shades" dye. Call me lazy, because I did not want to dig my "greener shades" out.
I knew what color I wanted so this would be easy. A few weeks ago I did a tutorial using food coloring. Well, I dug them back out, why not, it's a dye. Yep, get your food coloring out.
You will need
food coloring
1 tablespoon per 2 cups of water is enough ...
 soak your yarn in warm water ,,,
 I use this old pan, I like it because it deep enough, and long enough ... heat your water to low roll boil, like a simmer. Add your vinegar.
Now add your food coloring. I wanted yellow for a spring/summer shawl. I added 25 drops of gel to a spoon and mixed in hot water ... I added 15 and then 10 drops. I am using a gel food coloring so if you are using the liquid, you may want to experiment or test how many drops will give you the color you want.
 Here is what I started with after 25 drops of yellow gel.
 Take your presoaked yarn and place into the simmering dye water. I wanted a graduated yarn, Meaning a light, medium and dark shade of yellow. So to do that I first placed all of the yarn into the dye. I let it sit for about 2 minutes then I pulled about 1/3 of it out.
Leaving the rest in the dye pot, then I took out another 1/3 of yarn.
 I then left the remaining yarn in the pot until the dye had exhausted itself and the water was just about clear. That means that all the dye is now in the yarn.
Remove from dye bath and place in a bowl of warm water and rise any dye that may come out. You can see mine is clear, all dye is in the fiber, where it should be.
Here some of it is  drying next to the wood stove ... can you see the color variations?
 And Done!
And this is what it looks like being crochet into a shawl.
 Can't wait to wear it this spring!
So the next time you want to make something with nice wool, but think you can't afford it, go green and buy recycled yarn and dye it the color you want. Have a great week And  thanks for stopping by the farm.


It's Not Over, Till it's Over ...

Good morning,
As the post title says, it's not over til it's over! But, oh how I wish it were!
Sunday night into this morning, we had a layer of about 3 inches of ice. As you can see on the limbs.
Frozen ...
Gold mops all icy ...
Frozen view of the pasture from the living room ...
And when I went to go feed the sheep ... it had been snowing for a few hours ... So when you walked on it, you could hear the ice cracking under your feet. Huge snowflakes, they look like feathers falling!
Wishing for spring ...
This is what I am reading ... just in case I get the chance to garden this year ... not looking to good right now tho ...
Knitting my hand spun yarn into another mini cabled scarf ... If I knit faster I can wear it today ... it is about 19 degrees ... I have done several of these scarfs already. But I really like how they look in the fat thin spun yarn ... adds a lot of texture and interest to it.
And I am about half way finished with this caplet ... it will go perfect with my cable scarf I knit a few month back ... Next project will be a summer shawl ... If summer ever gets here that is.
Close up, it is a pretty teal color.
Not much to do here, knit and read, and of course dream of warmer weather and sunshine. And keep my fingers crossed that the lambs hold off until the end of March. Hope you are warm where you are.
Thanks for stopping by the farm.