Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lambing 2017

Lamb Selfie


We had a few holdouts this year which extended our lambing season but I think we are finally done.





We did have a lot of singles this year when compared to years past but they were healthy which is the most important thing.
.



Lambing was pretty uneventful, but we did have a preemie this year with a first time mom. So tiny, and had to be tube fed for several days. I didn't know if he would make it, but by day 4 he was up and nursing on his own. He is still smaller than everyone else but he is doing great.




Now we get to just sit back and watch the pasture lamb antics!


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Simple Homestead Hop #104 and GIVEAWAY



This week we are celebrating the Simple Homestead blog hop's second anniversary! As some of you may remember, we began as the Homemaker Hop, then two years ago we morphed into the Simple Homestead blog hop. In honor of this celebration, we are thrilled to be co-hosting a giveaway this week along with Michelle of SoulyRested.com. Today’s blog hop happens to be extra SWEET because we’re giving away not only a jar of all-natural maple sugar, fresh from a small New England farm (courtesy of Michelle at SoulyRested.com), but also an amazing, beautiful, $39.95-value book to help you in your own sugar making efforts: The Sugarmaker’s Companion by Michael Farrell (courtesy of Chelsea Green Publishers). For mouth-watering ideas of ways you’ll be dying to use maple sugar, as well as her Top Ten Reasons that maple sugar is the best sweetener you could ever use, Michelle has put together info, lists, recipes, and more on her post this week, over on SoulyRested.com. To read Michelle’s review of The Sugarmaker's Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees along with her 5 top reasons you might want to make sure you have your own copy of this fabulous book, head over here. But whatever you do, make sure you enter in the box below for your own chance to win this SWEET giveaway!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Border Leicester Wool Project; Slippers for Him




After making my slipper socks, I had some Tunis wool yarn left over, and I made a pair of slippers (for me) using some buttons I had purchased a while back.





After making those, I decided to make a pair of slippers, for my better half. Finding a pattern for "masculine" slippers was a little more challenging. After searching on Ravelry, I found one that I thought he would like.

After finding a pattern, I had to go through my stash and see if I could find some yarn that would work. . He likes  "natural colored yarn", so I collected up what I had spun over the last year.  I didn't have enough of one color to do the slippers, so I chose three different yarns. They were all Border Leicester wool yarn, just different shades.





I checked the yarn using my WPI tool,(handy tool to have ) to give me an idea if the yarn was the right weight. It varied a little, but fell within the "worsted" weight category.

I chose the heavier, darker colored yarn for the sole of the slipper, the softer, lighter colored wool for the slipper body, and the third yarn for the ribbed cuff.

This pattern was more difficult than the simple slipper I had did for myself, As I was knitting the first one, I couldn't quite tell how it was going to come together, but it did! It is knit in one piece and seamed together. I know some dislike having to sew the seams, but I don't mind.  I was disappointed when I had him try it on, and the ribbed cuff was too tight! I tried to take it out, so I could fix it, and ended up with a mess, so slipper one was scrapped :(
I searched online for a stretchier bind off, I found one at, Very Pink Knits, it worked great, the next slipper fit just fine.






I am the foot model, they are a little too big, but they fit him just fine :) 




They are super comfy and he loves them! He is what I call "knit worthy"-he appreciates everything I knit for him.


Pattern: Better Dorm Boots for Men

Bind Off Tutorial-Very Pink Knits 

Yarn: Worsted Weight Border Leicester Yarn, Natural Colored.

Looking for the next project....

Any suggestions?





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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Simple Homestead Bog Hop #103



Welcome to the Hop!


Looking forward to your Homeschooling, Homesteading, and Homemaking Blog Post.




 Co-hosts




Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead - Facebook - Pinterest - Instagram Tracy at Our Simple Homestead - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest Nancy at On the Homefront - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest Dash at Bloom Where You're Planted - Facebook - Instagram Delci at Heritage Homestead - Facebook - Google+ - Pinterest - YouTube;Sandra at Clearwater Farm - 
Facebook - Pinterest - Instagram


Most Visited Post from last weeks hop...

Frugal Homemaking Lessons
Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth



Congratulations!

 If you were featured be sure to pick up your, " Simple Homestead” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. If you were featured, grab a button to display proudly on your blog.


Oak Hill Homestead


The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules: 
  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted    









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Friday, May 5, 2017

Pasture Happenings-NAPS



Our lambs are a rowdy bunch this year but they do enjoy...





...naps








...and soaking up the sunshine.




No Worries!


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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Simple Homestead Blog Hop #102



Welcome to the Hop!


Looking forward to your Homeschooling, Homesteading, and Homemaking Blog Post.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sheep to Slipper Socks, Tunis Wool Project



I like to spin wool into yarn, I also like to knit. On occasion the two come together and I knit what I spin.

Ply magazine's Spring edition, was all about down wool breeds. We were contacted by them last year, and asked if we would be interested in sending them some of our Tunis roving, dyed. I was really excited for the issue to come out, I knew our wool was being used in a sock project. I really have never gotten the hang of spinning with Tunis, I prefer the longwools. The issue came out, and the socks that were made with the wool, were amazing :)  The article about spinning Tunis wool, was very thorough, and helpful.



I started my own project using Tunis wool. I knew that I was probably not going to be able to do a three ply sock weight yarn, but I was hoping for worsted weight. Ha! I ended up with Super Bulky, it is obvious I still have some skills to learn, when it comes to spinning.

I dyed the wool after it was made into yarn, spinning white wool, can be a little boring, but I prefer to dye yarn over roving. I used Cushings, Perfection Dyes-Apricot





Even though it was not the yarn I was hoping for, I decided to find a project, where it could be used. I found a pattern using a search on Ravelry,  one from Lion Brand Yarn Company, Super Bulky slipper socks.


I have only ever made two pairs of socks, and that was with commercial yarn, and a video tutorial that walked me through step by step of the pattern. I did manage to work my way through this pattern, and ended up with some slipper socks. Yes, there are some mistakes, and they are not quite the same size, but they are super squishy(Tunis yarn characteristic)  and comfortable and I LOVE the color.
So, even as imperfect as they are, this girl will be wearing them!



It was a fun sheep to socks project, even if they are not the socks I was intending when I started spinning.


Yarn: Tunis 3-Ply, Super Bulky.
Color: Apricot (Cushings Perfection Dye)
Pattern: Lion Brand Slipper Socks, Knit 



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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Simple Homestead Blog Hop #101



Welcome to the Hop!


Looking forward to your Homeschooling, Homesteading, and Homemaking Blog Post.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Knit in April-Shawl




This is a knitting project started in March, but with shearing and lambing season, it took two months to complete.

I have wanted to knit a shawl for quite some time, I found an easy pattern that would work with a worsted weight yarn, a yarn that I got on sale at JoAnn Fabric.

I am happy with the results! Now that I have made one, I would like to try another one using some handspun yarn.

Pattern: Very Simple Garter Stitch Shawl (free pattern on Ravelry)

Yarn:Deborah Norville Collection by Premier Yarns, Toasted Marshmallow







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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Simple Homestead Hop #100






Welcome to our 100th  hop!

We are inviting everyone to share their Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling post, and we would love to get over 100 post this week : )

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Simple Homestead Hop #99






It been a busy week, we have been working in the mill and taking care of new lambs.

I hope you are enjoying Spring, would love to hear what you are up to so please share with us your homemaking, homesteading, and homeschooling post. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lambs are Taking Over the Pastures




It has been a busy couple of weeks.
 We are about halfway through our lambing season.



More lambs than we have had in a long while...it has kept us busy!




They are a lively bunch and make
the pastures a fun place to hang out!




New lambs every day...makes life crazy at times, but they make it worthwhile with their cuteness :)


*photos by Delaney


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Simple Homestead Hop #98



Welcome to the hop!

We have been busy with lambing season. 
The mill is also up and running after a winter break, working through our 2017 fleeces.

 Co-hosts





Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead - Facebook - Pinterest - Instagram Tracy at Our Simple Homestead - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest Nancy at On the Homefront - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest Dash at Bloom Where You're Planted - Facebook - Instagram Delci at Heritage Homestead - Facebook - Google+ - Pinterest - YouTube;Sandra at Clearwater Farm - 
Facebook - Pinterest - Instagram

Most Visited Post from last weeks hop...
The Most Zero Waste Woman in the World 
Little Urban Greenie

Congratulations!

 If you were featured be sure to pick up your, " Simple Homestead” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. If you were featured, grab a button to display proudly on your blog.


Oak Hill Homestead


The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules: 
  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted                                               


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Our Simple Homestead #96





Welcome to the hop!


It has been busy this week on the farm, a few days after shearing day, we had our first lambs.

What has you busy this Spring?

 


 Co-hosts





Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead - Facebook - Pinterest - Instagram Tracy at Our Simple Homestead - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest Nancy at On the Homefront - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest Dash at Bloom Where You're Planted - Facebook - Instagram Delci at Heritage Homestead - Facebook - Google+ - Pinterest - YouTube;Sandra at Clearwater Farm - 
Facebook - Pinterest - Instagram

Most Visited Post from last weeks hop...

10 Money Saving Plans That Will Actually Fill Your Empty Savings Account
Medium Sized Family 



Congratulations!

 If you were featured be sure to pick up your, " Simple Homestead” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. If you were featured, grab a button to display proudly on your blog.


Oak Hill Homestead


The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules: 
  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted                                               





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Monday, March 27, 2017

Shearing Day 2017

Waiting in line for her turn to get her yearly hair wool cut.


After rescheduling twice due to rain, we finally were able to get the sheep sheared. 

I was a little apprehensive this year about shearing since the sheep shearer we have used for many years, decided to "retire".  Our shearer this year was a local Amish man, who raises sheep as well. I am happy to say, that he did a great job.

We spend the previous day getting ready. Setting up gates, chutes, and gathering supplies. After many years of doing this, we have a pretty good system worked out. 

We split the sheep up into two groups, last years lambs were first to get sheared. 




The aged ewes were next, they have been through this before and behave pretty well. While they are waiting in line, we give them dewormer, and check their hooves.
 The hooves get trimmed if needed. 












Next-shearing

Tunis Ewe being sheared 


Tunis Fleece



 After the sheep are sheared, the fleece gets put on skirting table.



Border Leicester Fleece





Skirted fleece gets put in bag and labeled with breed and the sheep's ear tag number.





 Waste wool gets taken over to the woods and dumped out.







When the sheep are sheared, we get a better idea of what kind of body condition they are in. The wool hides a lot! Some of the sheep were not in the condition we like to see them in, so we are adding more grain to their daily diet.
We also could see which ewes were developing udders, getting ready to lamb. Two big reasons we like to shear before lambing.


44 fleeces bagged and tagged, that should keep me busy for a while! 




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