August 19, 2022

From the Pastures: Special time of year

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We have sure been busy with a lot of projects around the farm. The hay cutting went well with 11 big square bales in the barn. With the rain we have had in the last couple weeks, I am hopeful to get another good cutting. The second-cutting bales will be for sale.

All our lambs are growing well. Trying to take some good photos, but just as I get ready, they move away. Many of this year’s Shetland lambs are for sale — if they would just stand still, so I can get a decent picture. My goal is to downsize some, especially with rams.

Started washing the Shetland fleeces sheared this year. The fiber is really soft and seems less hay is in the fleece this year. It is always hard to keep the hay out of the wool. The sheep have not had coats on for a few years. I was able to make some roving from a gray fleece. The gray color was very even and appealing. A couple customers, who do hand spinning, were excited about this fiber.

Last month, I mentioned that I had some Scottish Blackface wool ready to dye. I did a lot of dying with this wool using several colors. The colors included purple, yellow, lilac, red, turquoise green and sky blue. Using different combinations of these colors together made very interesting wool batts. It is always fun to play around with different color combinations. The batts can be used for several projects from needle felting to spinning.

This past month, I have also had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my grandchildren. This is always a special time.

Many county fairs are approaching fast, and some have already been held. Fair time is my favorite time of the year. I am still like a little kid at the fair and really enjoy all the animal displays. Oh, yeah, and of course the fair food. Have a great and safe month.

Jane Zeien

Jane Zeien

Belvidere, Ill.