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wpe5E.jpg (4970 bytes) Fibre Works Farm: June Step By Step Journal

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Alpacas    Buhunds    Fibre Works Gallery    Shetlands

Limerick Link

June has been crazy busy: fencing, barn building and coping with the garden, fibre and animal chores.   We had delays due to rain but now have the cement poured for the barn.  The rest of the building should go ahead much faster, even if it rains some more.  The Web Site is taking less time now, which is great as the computer is not my favorite tool when the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming and the lambs are racing.  Still, if you find any glitches or have problems with any part of the Web Site, please let me know so I can try to put it right.  This month's limerick features the Web Site Designer who got me started, Shannon Ford.   We have taken dog obedience classes together in the past (she breeds Wire Haired Pointing Griffons).  Shannon is very enthusiastic, has a great artistic eye and is really fun to work with.

Fibre Works Alpacas: The 1999 shearing was later than usual but as our June weather has been cool, none of the animals seemed to suffer from having kept their winter coats a little longer. The fibre seems cleaner this year but that might just be my wishful thinking.  We are still skirting and sorting fibre, a love it/hate it type of job.  It is wonderful to go over each fleece and note the fibre characteristics but it is heartbreaking to skirt out the gorgeous fibre that is too contaminated to use.  It is also a dusty, dirty process.   Besides our own fibre, we skirt and sort fibre for other producers who want to pool fibre for processing purposes.  We will send pooled runs of alpaca fibre to Custom Woolen Mills in Carstairs, Alberta, Spinning Wheel Fibre Works on Thetis Island in BC and Gulf Islands Spinning Mill on Salt Spring Island, BC.  Custom Woolen Mills does beautiful, evenly spun medium weight woolen style yarns.  The other two mills specialize in semi worsted, finer weight yarns. Learning about Alpaca colour inheritance is my latest project and makes great bedside reading (more soporific than counting sheep!).  The knowledge gained in studying the Shetland colour inheritance hierarchy has come in handy for this project.   Visit the Limerick Link for May to Primolana if you are interested in sheep colour inheritance.  The work on incorporating the Canadian Camelid Fibre Co-op is almost done.   The Co-op Steering Committee hopes to launch a general membership drive later this summer.

Fibre Works Shetlands: Watching the lambs has to be one of the most satisfying and addicting pastimes on the farm.   Right now we are watching fleece colour closely.  The two black ewe lambs are from a black x moorit pairing and so should stay black (the moorit is bottom recessive).  Our two black ram lambs are out of a grey x grey cross and so could go grey at any time.  These lambs could stay black as the parents are heterozygous greys.  We are also watching horn development  but it is too soon to be sure about how that will go.  We had a flock check day in the middle of June to feel fleece types, check weights and colours and do a random sample of healthy lamb temperatures.  Lamb temperatures tended to be between .5 and 1 degree higher than the ewe temperatures.  Some of the ewes are showing the 'rise' caused by the separation of their old and new fleeces.  We may shear these girls a second time to clean up the new fleece for next year.

Fibre, Yarn and the Fibre Works GalleryWe managed to get all of the colours for the Colour Chart filled in and to finalize the roving and yarn inventory in June.  This information is now available at the Gallery.  We are still working to get the Kits entered onto the Nic Knacks and Paddywacks page.  These should be available soon, so if you are interested check back in a week or so.  We started an exciting new project with Norma Westcott (West Cottage Weavery).  She is weaving a Ruana (Cloak) in fluffy black alpaca and smooth,  white reeled silk using a shadow weave.  It promises to be an exceptional piece with contrast in colour, lustre and texture.  We will have pictures up as soon as possible.

Bergen Norwegian Buhunds: Tjalfi and Treva have almost finished shedding their soft fluffy inner coats.  This is the first time we have seen Treva as a juvenile without all of her phenomenal winter coat.  Now, at 11 months, we can confirm that she is a very pretty Buhund, nicely balanced with good proportions, an excellent match for Tjalfi's great athletic conformation.  At a recent Norsk Kennel Club show (Kristiansand 8. - 9. 5 '99, 1608 dogs) Norwegian Buhunds were Best in Group 5 (Skadsemgaadren's Mika Kefas) and Best Veteran (Int N S  Uch Snorre), We are happy to say that both these bloodlines are represented in our pedigrees.

Farm Stuff: Everything in the orchard was later getting started this year.  Even so, the grapes got hit with a late frost that set them back a great deal.  That same frost may have affected the apple trees and plums that were in bloom at the time.  We will have to wait to see if anything sets fruit.  We just finished building and staining a small (20' x 10') stock shed with a wooden floor.  We have had reports of cougar sightings and raids on stock in our area.  With the floor in the shed it should now be big cat proof in case we need to stash some animals in a safe place in a hurry.  With luck, the new barn will also be finished soon, giving us more livestock protection options.  With coyotes, we try to train them not to come up into the small stock pastures.  Even so, all the new fencing we are putting around the perimeter of the small stock pastures will be heavy duty wire lawn fence (2" x 4" mesh) with some buried wire to prevent digging.


Limerick Link for June:

Shannon's a whiz on the Net
Building Web Sites you never forget.
Her Griffons don't complain,
They know their domain
Stays top of the list, you can bet.

Shannon Ford



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Linda Wendelboe
Fibre Works Farm,
Box 43, Site 2, RR#2

Sundre, Alberta,  Canada  T0M 1X0

Telephone   403-638-3912
FAX     403-638-8052
E-MAIL     info@fibreworksfarm.com

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Send mail to webmaster@fibreworksfarm.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1999 Fibre Works Farm
Last modified: December 21, 2001

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