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wpe5E.jpg (4970 bytes) Fibre Works Farm: February2000 Step By Step Journal

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2000 Journal



Alpacas    Buhunds    Fibre Works Gallery    Shetlands

Limerick Link

February has been quite a mixed bag of farm work; mild spring weather alternating with cold and snow as well as the perennial Teacher's Convention hiccup in the routine of things.  We gave some of our web pages a spring cleaning, updated links and put in a few more pictures here and there.  Looking forward to more daylight and real spring weather continues to gives us a boost.

Fibre Works Alpacas:  the Canadian Camelid Fibre Co-op held its first organizational meetings this month.  Lots more work to be done but a Board of Directors has been elected, various committees have been proposed and progress is being made.  We are all hopeful that we can get underway in time to deal with the members' fibre clip from this year.  The Canadian Llama and Alpaca Association does publish a Clip Care Guide in its annual membership directory.   The Co-op hopes to have its members follow a similar process to do what we can to maximize the value in our clip and reduce handling/grading and sorting costs to members.

Fibre Works Shetlands: shearing was the big ticket item for the sheep this month.  The sheep were also vaccinated, wormed and had toes trimmed in preparation for lambing.  Our first lambs could be coming as early as the end of February  so we went ahead with shearing, even though we got a big dump of snow and cold just before we removed the winter coats from everyone. We did actually put sheep coats on a number of the ewe lambs and older ewes who kept shivering.  Pictures in the Shetland Photo Gallery (and, please, no snickers about our no fuss animal husbandry style!).  We still have more vegetation in our lamb fleeces than we would like.  We tried blowing the Shetlands with our livestock blower, as we do for the alpacas.  Unfortunately, it was not very effective in removing vegetation from the fine wool.  We may shear the longer staple lambs in the fall next year as it is the winter feeding that causes these problems.  We skirted carefully to preserve as much of the fine fleece as possible.  There are a few bits of raw fleece not yet spoken for.  The rest has been sold or sent to the mills (except for one fleece that I want to spin up myself).   We will have a nice variety of Shetland and Shetland/alpaca rovings coming back, so watch for that if you are interested.

Fibre, Yarn and the Fibre Works Gallery: we worked hard skirting and sorting Shetland fleeces, it took several days to get both the fleeces from the Fibre Works flock and the Nier Lakes flock done.  We held back some alpaca fibre from last year so that we could do some blends with the Shetland wool.  We sent these batches of fibre off to mills so hope to have yarns coming back in April or May. We are also doing some of the Shetland up into rovings for handspinning as well as some alpaca/Shetland blends.  We will also have a bit of Shetland/silk blend roving to try too.  We will put things up on the "shelves" of the Gallery once we had the runs back from the mills.  We did get one batch of maroon, three ply yarn back from the Innisfail mill (Exotic Fibres).  It is 100% adult alpaca and has a wonderful hand and beautiful rich colour.  We are really happy with the spinning which is quite even, balanced and consistent.  We also have some of the same style of yarn that is slightly coarser and has some white fibres mixed in.  When we get our Lopi style runs back, we might look at using the mixed colour three ply as a warp for some blankets using the soft spun Lopi style yarn for weft.

Bergen Norwegian Buhunds: Treva is pregnant  and getting big so applications for puppies have gone out to everyone on our waiting list.  Estimated due dates are March 10-12.  Both dogs have had great fun romping through the snow this month.  We have had so little of it up to now that they missed some of their favorite winter trounce and pounce games.  Treva had a touch of morning sickness at about two weeks post breeding but has her appetite back now.   While she still loves to go for a run in the yard or at the farm, she is sleeping a bit more than usual.  We have some new pictures up in the Buhund Photo Gallery. They have arrived! Born March 9, two girls and three boys.  Are we excited!  Puppy pictures coming soon.

Farm Stuff: The electrician  has not made it back to finished the remaining critical bits to get power to the barn and the waterers.  We are still waiting go ahead with the rest of the wiring, plumbing, insulating and wall board.  Due to the timing, not much of that will get done before we will have to turn our attention to lambing, puppies and fencing.  We did discover that some of our corral plans around the barn will not work out.  The big dump of snow in midmonth left quite a build up on the barn and lean-to roofs.  It all slide off one day, making tremendous piles of the stuff right where some major gates were planned. Back to the drawing board!


Limerick Link For February:

Welcome with special good cheer
The first Shetland lamb of the year.
He's a British AI,
A cute little guy.
From the fine flock at Desert Weyr.

Desert Weyr (Oogie McGuire)