Monday, April 27, 2015

Sheep - East Friesian

One of the things I have been doing is writing the newsletter for my spinning guild. One segment I am working on is on sheep breeds I thought I would share what I found out with you. So here goes, I love spinning this fiber by the way.

The wool from these sheep is approximately 35-37 micron with a staple length of about 4.5 to 6.5 inches and their fleece ranges from 8.8–11 pounds. Remembering that lower micron counts are finer and that Merino average a 10 micron this is fairly coarse wool.
These sheep have clean faces, legs, and tails. Often referred to as rat-tails they do not need to be clipped for hygiene and are distinctive of the breed. Friesians are not considered a hardy or adaptable sheep, however they do well cross bred and are often bred to increase milk production of lambing in a sheep bloodline. They do not fare well in hot climates, preferring a heathland type of environment. Originally kept as household milk producers they don’t do well in crowded flocks.
East Friesian are considered to be the heaviest milking breed of sheep in the world. They were developed in the same region as the Holstein, the Friesland area of Germany and Holland. The average milk production of the East Friesian can exceed 1,000 lbs. of milk during a 220 to 240-day lactation.
East Friesians are efficient lamb producers. Mature ewes average more than two lambs per lambing. Commonly bred with Lacunae and Awassi breeds, these sheep came to American in the 1990’s but are now fairly common in Wisconsin. Historically these are a white cream sheep but with cross breeding browns and black are becoming common.

Here is the link to the farm blog for these cute sheep.

hi world it's me Julia

I took a bit of a break from blogging. At least from actually sitting down and writing out a post, I written hundreds in my head. What the quiet has taught me is I take more pictures and had something to look back at a remember exactly what I was thinking at the moment rather than what I think I was feeling from the point of view of where I am at now. So I will be fitting in more time to record my thoughts.

Finally finished the hairpin lace throw I made for my Grandpa from yarn I inherited from my Grandmother's Stash. He loves it and has shown it off to all the ladies at the senior center. They are impressed with me and with my Grandma for teaching me.

I washed a lot of wool.

Did a lot of craft fairs selling my work and my Dad's these are his work - bowls, pens, crochet hooks, wine stoppers... He is amazing.

Canned a bunch of stuff - only balanced like that for the photo, I am not completely crazy - these are tomato sauce and grape jelly.

We bought property to vacation on, Grow with and eventually move too. It is on a river flowage. I love the idea of my kids running all over this land, finding nature's hidden joys and secret places. Just being in the woods, calms and brings out the kid in my husband. It has been worth the budgeting and the frustration of the search just to see the stress and care fall from his shoulders as we explored the woods. Even if I didn't love it in it's own right - which I do - I would love it for that alone.

I took up weaving and gave some of the family handwoven placemats for Christmas. I really enjoy doing this.

I started writing a novel. I hide in a local coffee shop read while I eat their yummy breakfasts and write for a while. I have about 70 pages, hand written, so I have only just begun, but it is a bit like a date with myself as I intended to be in high school.

Lots of baking, brewing - beer, wine, and cider, I tried making sausage and cheese and plan to explore that a bit more. I've also worked more on the garden this year. We'll see, I like gardening but more in the planning and harvesting and processes aspects that in the tending it aspect.