September 9, 2014

Time for the old wool quilt

A random brick pattern cut from wool pants and jackets. Tufting in red wool yarn.

Backing is yarn dyed/woven flannel.
September, and the forecast called for snow - it was hard to believe as it was such a sunny, perfect harvest day. I changed the cool cotton sheets of summer for thick cotton flannels and took the thin summer quilt off the bed. The summer quilt is an Irish Chain pattern in crisp white cotton broadcloth with the chains and sashes in navy blue. It has been hand-sewn and quilted, no machine stitching in any of its construction. But thats another story.

 I selected this old wool quilt (shown in above photos) from my linen cupboard of yard sale textile treasures. I can feel the love and necessity sewn into this old beauty. Every piece is cut from woolen suit pants and jackets, long before the days of polyester and nylon blends (perhaps there's some fine woolen skirts also cut apart and sewn into it). The quilt backing is made from flannel (threads dyed and woven, rather than printed flannel most often found now). I did a burn test on the small tufts of filling fiber that has been pulled through the backing during stitching. It is a very thin layer of short-fibered cotton sandwiched between the layers. The quilting of layers is done with bright red wool yarn, hand-sewn in tufted knots (some of the red yarn, not light-fast, has faded over the years). The overall weight of the quilt is substantial and feels like a hug when you burrow down into it.

It did snow! First a mist like rain and the temperature began to drop. When the furnace cut in at 5:30,  I trudged reluctantly outside into slushy snow and half heartedly covered the tomato plants. Obviously too much moisture for frost, but better safe then sorry. I opened gates and sheds for any sheep that might want to be inside, and hurried back to the house and let the border collie into the porch.

After checking the weather forecast, how wonderful it was to crawl back under the old wool quilt!

July 21, 2014

Saskatchewan Sheep Show / Wool Show

See bottom of this post for caption.
Hi Fibre Folks,
If you’re in Saskatchewan this coming weekend, you are invited to The Annual Grasslands Sheep Show and Sale. Wool judging will be on Saturday 12:00. This is a “commercial fleece judging so fleeces have a commercial skirt (unlike artisan skirt commercial skirting means more weight/full intact fleece but cleaned up for judging. Criteria of scoring is based on usability in the commercial market). You will have an opportunity to get more wool, a suitable price and make a contact with a real sheep producer. Note: because the wool show is displayed all day Saturday and Sunday, any fleeces purchased are allowed out of the show/exhibit Sunday afternoon.**

GRASSLANDS Annual SHEEP SHOW & SALE July 25, 26 & 27 3014
Drake, Saskatchewan (sponsored by SK Sheep Development Board and SK Sheep Breeders Assoc.)
July 25 (setup for sheep producers, wool show and trades booths)

Saturday July 26th
8:00-10:00am- Breakfast 10:00-5:00- Concession is open 10:00 am- Trade Show & Breed Display Open 10:00am- Judging: Purebred & Commercial Pens of Sheep, Fleece Judging 12:00Judge for the Wool Show is Val Fiddler of Webb, SK. SSBA Sheep Show Jackpot Ewe lamb show Jackpot Judging – Buy a judging card and match the Judge. For 2014 our market lamb judge will be Randy Smith from Canadian Lamb Producers Cooperative. Whoever wins the jackpot judging will get half the toonie pot plus $200! Thank you Ward Mortenson of Strasburg, SK and Canadian Lamb Producers Cooperative for sponsoring this popular event. Hands on Demonstration of characteristics of a Market Lamb Jackpot Market Lamb Show 2:00pm- Shearwell Farm Management Software demonstration 5:00pm- SSBA Banquet Happy Hour located in the Drake Community Center. Tickets $20.00 in advance or at the door if available.
6:00pm- Supper, followed by the SSBA Fun Auction

Sunday July 27th
8-10:00am- Breakfast 10-5:00am- Concession open 10:00am- Trade show & Breed Display, Wool show open 10:00am ( Fleeces for sale by owners, fleeces may be removed from display in afternoon) - Hands on Demonstration of characteristics of a Market Lamb - for those who missed it Saturday! 1:00pm- Sheep Sale (After Sale- Sheep will be loaded out in permitted area only. All purchases must be paid in full and your release papers granted before animals leave the barn.)

Caption for photo - This is my fleece from "Soliel" purebred BFL at the Olds College Fibre Week Wool Show. Photo was taken by Susie Gourlay. Read her great summary of Fiber Week with lots of photos at her blog and online store Knit Naturals 
Thanks for photo Susie. See you at Grasslands!

July 4, 2014

Red Sky in the Morning...

"Red sky at morning - sailor take warning" (taken around 4:30 a.m. mid-June). This is not taken with a lense filter, just my iPhone. The pink glow lasted almost half hour. Needless to say, we had one wicked thunderstorm, wind and rain later that day!

April 18, 2014

Shearing at Newland Ranch

CBC reporter holds a Black Welsh Mountain lamb as I look on. Photo by Kelly Teichrib

April 10th was a warm, sunny day. Perfect for freshly shorn sheep to begin a new year without their big winter coats. Lorrie Reed and shearing crew arrived around 3pm. They were done in time for a late supper - rack of lamb roast, cold chicken and potato salad.

CBC radio had arranged to meet shearer Lorrie of Elrose, SK. Reporter Eric Anderson was able to coordinate his interview with Lorrie at our shearing. Photos and captions can be found here at cbc.ca/Saskatchewan

All in all it was a busy day full of hard work, fun and lovely wool! Thanks to shearing crew. my daughters and friends for all their help. And a very big thank you to my husband, Farmer Bob who went to great lengths to enable us to "ground feed" the sheep on fresh snow all winter. This has really  helped to assure clean fleeces with little vegetation!