Monday 30 June 2014

TOY Show

I have just realised it has been some time since my last blog so I thought I had better have a catch up despite there being not much in the way of photos - the camera is out of batteries and so the photos are phone ones.  We have just about finished shearing for the year - two more booked in ones and then that is that!  We meet some very nice people when we are shearing and it is good to see so many people really enjoying their alpacas and keen to find out more about them.  Yesterday we had a day out at the Transport of Yesteryear Show in Weymouth.  This is a really poor photo  but shows what Trouble did all day - sat and made friends!

We have been going there for several years now and it is always a really good day out.  This year we had our best ever knitting sale day and what was so nice was people coming over who had bought things in previous years and adding items to their alpaca collection.  I met a lovely family here on holiday from Holland - good to think a scarf and hat will be being worn over there!  The young lady suggested I do snoods so that will be my next project, after I have finished  a very complicated vintage lace christening shawl.  Last night I could not sleep because I knew the row I was doing was wrong but couldn't work out why.  In the end I had to get up and go through it again - by 3.30am I had resolved the problem - the pattern had a misprint and a Knit 1 needed to be turned into a Knit 4!  I am quite proud of myself for sorting that one out.

Big day for some of the lambs on Wednesday as the first six are going to be weaned to go to their, very nice, new home.  One of them will not be Stumpy's baby - he is a big, fat soft lad who likes his comfort and has taken to lying on a mat in the shade!

Sunday 22 June 2014

Still smiling . . .

Lovely day out shearing in  Pembrokeshire yesterday - good little alpacas, lovely lunch, glorious scenery and great company - what more could you want?  Well a few photos of the estuary, some animals or glorious scenery might be nice but I forgot I had a camera on my phone until we were coming back over the bridge.
And, despite Carl having spent the entire day with me, he was still smiling (or is that a grimace?)!
Carl is in Devon shearing today and I have been sorting fleece - again.  I have two lots ready to be spun, one lot ready for stuffing a Chesterfied and one lot ready for a special commission for two  baby christening shawls.  Now I am in the middle of a big batch to go for throws on behalf of a client then  I can get on with sorting the rest of our fleeces - seems a bit never ending at the moment and this is not the weather to be doing it in!

Thursday 19 June 2014

Lost legs

I fear I have a touch of sunstroke following a morning of fleece sorting in the blazing sun.  I have a most unprofessional set up this year due to having lost the legs of the shearing table; I have to balance the top on the trailer which is at the wrong height and in  direct sunlight - it was no fun at all!
And if you are wondering why I am letting the white anywhere near the black, I am going for a grey mix again as I am  out of grey and it is a good selling colour.
We have spent the time since the last blog dashing around shearing things but we are now nearly there.  Two longer distance ones at the weekend  - trips to Wales and Devon - and then three to fit in next week which will just leave one booked for July.  Most of the sheep still to do but all our alpacas are now done after a last effort last night.   I only get to go on the Wales trip as I am officially on baby watch now and both Flem and The Slink are looking possibilities.  Carolyn, the one at the back having a toilet moment, is also pregnant and she needs to come home as soon as possible as she is still on the hill.  Another job to fit in!
The garden is all looking a bit wilted - except for the various squashes which are enormous and spreading everywhere.  You should see the size of my marrows!

Friday 13 June 2014

Rolling on a wet mat

It is hot, very hot and I have been in the bushes with my Blackberry working out how to take pictures and then get them from the phone to the computer.  Not a good photo but at least I have managed it.

Yet again I  have been cleaning the shearing mat and it is a job which begins to lose it's appeal - I always end up slipping and looking like I am the loser in a wet tea shirt competition!  It's done, it is hanging on the gate to dry, a few shearings to try and fit in, some already booked in ones and then  we are there!  Oh, but then there are the sheep!

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Bodily meltdown

It is that time of year when I start to worry I am looking old and bedraggled (if I worried about it more often I might actually get to do something about it properly!).  So, I have been to the dentist (filling needed and I am eating too much fruit and succumbing to acid erosion), been to the optician (sun damage and then I heard them mentioning cataracts as they were putting it in the computer so I have had my sunglasses on constantly regardless of weather), hairdresser (no, a fringe will not suit me but I can have a sort of wispy bit), beautician (suspicion that I have a wonky eyebrow).  . . and my purchase of yet another pair of very cheap trousers in the Factory Shop was not a success.

However, the alpacas and the sheep do not care what I look like or which way my body is heading (I don't think Carl is that fussed either!).  More shearing in Devon tomorrow for Carl and Sam and ours get put back another day as I have already cleaned the shearing mat once today and I do not want to be doing it again!  Wonky and Tyke are still sticking close together following their shearing experience.
Carl's swallows in his shed are doing well.  I was worried they might be frightened off by the odd bit of welding, the air compressor, grinding and whatever else he gets up to but they seem to take it all in their stride.  Sometimes they sit on the light and just watch him.

And I now have two sweet peas in the poly tunnel!

Saturday 7 June 2014

Sheep shearing - a gentle start!

Husbandry visit this morning so we pottered off down the motorway, stopping for chips and a sausage bap on the way back.  Then I spent hours on the house phone trying to sort out my new mobile - still not sorted.  When Sam and Kristy came back I went up the field with them to make a start on the sheep - Kristy did the shearing with the rest of us watching which can't have been  pleasant for her!  All set up -

First fleece off -

Came home to cook tea and went to pick some carrots from the polytunnel (very pleased with them) and then took them with me to check the alpacas - Zara and Sapphire rushed over and ate all the leafy bits, they approve!

Tomorrow it is off to Essex to shear 3 sheep and a few alpacas - early start for them and I am home alone

Friday 6 June 2014

Waiting and watching starts again

Glorious weather here but it looks like we are in for a bit of a storm soon - the barometer is dropping and the wind is picking up.  We had a rained off shearing day on Wednesday but did manage to go and help with another shearing in the evening - expert shearing, managing to do blacks in a barn in the evening, not easy!  We are always looking to learn and improve our own shearing so Carl has been muttering away ever since and fiddling with his shearing equipment.  We did a few more of ours last night and what I expected has turned out to very likely be correct - I feel I may definitely have a couple of pregnant ones!  We did a mating back in July last year but then, with moving coming up and various other time issues we did no more, no spit offs - just decided on a year off.  I am not so sure it will be a year off!

Tuesday 3 June 2014

A bit of a stroke

Just managed to sneak in a bit of shearing when Carl got back from the day job.  Only a few babies to do but it was good to get it done.  Rain has been threatening all day but so far it has been dry. 
Everyone was very glad to escape after shearing - I think some thought they were in for shearing again!  Or it may have been that they were escaping from me as I love stroking their necks when they are sheared!
We have been kept out of mischief by the Bath and West Show, shearing and delivering three little one's on Sunday.  I have now got to get some lambs sorted out for a new home - they are lucky and are going as pets - and prepare to say goodbye to Dobby and Cadders who also have a new home.  That is going to be an end of an era sort of goodbye as they were my first ever alpacas and the two who feature on our banner and at the top of the blog.  Someone wants them and it will be an excellent home where they will get lots of attention and care - so . . . They are not going for a couple of weeks so I have time to get used to the idea!