Some of Dianne's beautiful flockToday has been so nice... I was glad to have the excuse to drive to the other end of the county to my friend Dianne's beautiful farm in Nonesuch (yep, that's the real name of the town) to drop off our breeding ewe, Shelby, for ..... breeding. I also took a favorite alpaca, CC, to join her nice herd of alpaca fiber boys. Over many years, Dianne and I have done a lot of buying, selling and trading with each other (of alpacas, llamas, sheep, and fiber not to mention recipes, websites, etc.) and she has taught me so much- I think of her like a big sister.
Dianne and our two new young ewes
She came away today with one new alpaca and we now have two new ewes, with which I'm really pleased. Dianne and I have both gotten interested in Wensleydale sheep, and she located a beautiful ram (she calls him "Mister") to lease and I wanted to double up on his genetics.
I'm very pleased with these two new sheep, which have exactly the type of fleece that I like and will be further enhanced with breeding to Mister. Here's the fleece on the white one (she's 1/2 Blue-faced Leicester, 1/4 Cotswold, and 1/4 Wensleydale). Dianne has been breeding sheep for a very long time, and she selects for hardiness, temperament, and good maternal traits as well as the types of spinning fleeces that she likes, paying no heed to trends or show styles.
This past year I have enjoyed using Wensleydale and other lustrous, long-staped fibers in my felting. Here are a few items for which I've used this type of fleece... I'm looking forward to having more of our own to work with!
When I got back home the dogs were itching to get out into the woods, and I was glad to oblige them. We went for a long hike, the sun consistently buoying my spirits after the past dreary, shortening days. (And the dogs, they're ALWAYS happy!)
And when we were done, I even took a few minutes to rest in the hammock, soaking up some of autumn's last rays.