Monday 27 June 2011

Woolfest 2011 part 2

I got everything packed into the trailer and left for Woolfest at 10.30am on Thursday morning, I got no further than Guisborough when the left indicator on the trailer decided not to work. I checked everything I could, rang Tim, who arrived 1/2 hour later with spare bulbs and screwdriver. The bulb had blown, so once replaced I was on my way. I finally arrived at Cockermouth around 2.30pm and with the help of Mark and Frealyn, put my tent up in record time before it started to rain.
By this time it was 3pm and all the stallholders were allowed into the Auction Mart to start setting up our stalls. Thanks to Tracey and Christine I'd everything set up and displayed in a couple of hours.

These are 2 photos I took of my stall and as you can see, it's pretty well packed out with fibre and this does not include the 4 boxes of fibre I left at home!!!!! I'm getting close to wanting a double stand now, but I'm not sure if the cost would be worth it!
Woolfest as always is a show of 2 halves. Friday is the day the serious spinners/weavers/felters come. They are the ones that go round the stalls with their catalogues marking the ones they want to come back to. This is the day most stallholders say they take the most money. Saturday is the day when the coach parties arrive, with some no more serious fiber people than on the Friday, but it seems they are more lookers than spenders. But I find that my takings for both days are about the same and working out how much fibre I'd sold, it equated to around 38kgs!!!
The journey home was uneventful, despite the heavy rain, it took me just under 3 hours to get home. I decided to leave everything in the trailer and we unpacked everything on Sunday in the very humid heat, including putting up my tent to fully dry it out.
But the tent is now packed away for next year's fibre festivals. I'm hoping to go to both Wonderwool in Wales and Woolfest in 2012.

Sunday 26 June 2011

Woolfest 2011

Just a quick post to say that I'm home safely from Woolfest, spent today unpacking the trailer, getting the tent dry and generally sorting out my stock and getting it packed away.
More about Woolfest tomorrow...

Sunday 19 June 2011

Avoiding the showers

After the rain yesterday, (which according to our rain gauge we had 10mm, which is much needed and fell as a gentle shower, rather than a quick heavy shower which just seems to run straight off the land rather than soaking in). I spent the morning in the veg garden. I have leeks, courgette and squash plants that were in urgent need of planting out.
Digging over the bed where leeks are going, the soil is still very dry and it was hard going. Despite this I managed to get over 100 leek seedlings planted out and watered in as well as the courgette and squash plants.
Came in for lunch with the idea of going back out to rescue my sprout and cabbage plants from the weeds, but it started to rain and it has rained all afternoon. At least my newly planted veggies will be well watered in.

Friday 17 June 2011

R.I.P Greyling

This morning when we went out to do the morning feed, we found that our old cat, Grayling had died during the night. She was very old, we think around 20 years of age. Tim had seen her yesterday afternoon, but she was not around for her tea, which is not unusual, and we normally don't worry, especially if we have seen her at least once during the day. But Grayling was spending more and more time asleep and we did not think she would survive the last 2 winters, but she did.
A very sad day and the end of an era

Sunday 5 June 2011

Sheep Shearing 2011

Today we had all of our sheep sheared and after a few days of fine weather, yesterday a sea fret came in, soaking all the sheep. This morning it was dryer, but the sky did not look promising, so we got all the sheep into the barn before breakfast.

Here is Gus waiting to be sheared

Freyalyn and Mark (complete with Lunil & Bil) came to assist with the shearing this weekend. Mark is learning to shear and so was looking to pick up some pointers from our shearer.

The Ewes and Lambs penned up in the barn, with the Ewes awaiting the shearer.

One of the Teeswater Ewes after her "hair cut"

This is the aftermath of shearing, a full fleece bag and all the daggings. After the winter we've had most of the fleeces were in good condition, a couple of Scottie fleeces were felted and came off as a mat. Interestingly, the older Teeswater's fleeces were still wet this morning, whereas everyone else's fleeces were dry after yesterdays sea fret. These Teeswaters have been shown last year, not by us, and we wonder if the "stain" that is put on the fleeces has some effect on the lanolin of the sheep's fleece as they seemed to have absorbed an aweful lot of water.
I was very restrained over the fleeces, keeping back the Teeswater's, Ariadnne's, Anya's and a couple of the gimmer fleeces for me to use for the rest of the year. Not quite sure what I'm going to do with them, but they were too good to send to the Wool Board.
Just need to get the Alpaca's sheared which should happen sometime in July.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Latest photos of the chicks

The chicks are now 6 weeks old and have been moved into their outside home and run as they are now fully feathered and the barn needs to be cleaned out ready for shearing on Sunday This photo shows the difference already between the male and female hens. The males is the lighter one at the front and the female (pullet) is darker and with a much longer tail
Here are the rest of the Maran chicks, and it clear to see that I've got 3 males and 2 females. The jury is still out on the Sussex X Cream Legbar chick's sex.