September 26, 2021

From the Pastures: The next generation

Hope everyone had a nice Fourth of July. Hard to believe it is July already. If only January would go as fast as June. The rain has been infrequent in northern Illinois. Our pastures could use more moisture. The grasses are not growing very fast. Getting a second cutting is becoming questionable.

Hopefully more rain comes our way and there is enough growth in late August. Luckily the little rain we have had has kept enough growth for the sheep to graze. We are doing better than sheep producers in other parts of the county who have severe drought conditions. Our thoughts are with them.

The kids are working with the lambs going to the fair. The lambs are no longer afraid of the kids and are getting used to their halters. Since my granddaughter is real young, she needs to use a halter. Important goal is for her to have fun and feel confident showing. She will only be showing in the junior show. Hopefully the judge will be encouraging to her and not just judge the sheep on their size. More kids and young people are needed in the sheep industry, thus it is important to be positive and appreciative of their efforts.

My indigo yarn turned out great. The dye bath came together well and had the yellow/green color that is desired. The yarn was an oatmeal colored Shetland that was spun to a two-ply yarn. It took the dye very well. Leaving the yarn in the dye pot for five minutes gave a light blue color when exposed to the oxygen.

I left some in for five minutes and developed a darker color. Then I put the bottom half of the yarn skeins in the dye leaving the top portion completely out of the dye. After five minutes, all of the yarn was placed into the dye for an additional five minutes. The result was a beautiful multicolored yarn with different shades of blue. I noticed the indigo dye did require more rinsing to remove the extra dye. Several people have purchased the yarn and I am excited to see what they make with it. Enjoy the summer.

Jane Zeien

Jane Zeien

Belvidere, Ill.