Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Full Steam Ahead!

Well I have been really busy since I last blogged - we have been full steam ahead here!

First of all a quick update on all matters sheepy - rams are again with their ladies and they certainly seem to be smiling a lot!  We are later tupping this year because of the worry of Schmallenberg virus - those in the know recommend that we put our rams in later to avoid the peak midge time as the ewes are especially susceptible in the early stages of their pregnancy.  It may mean therefore that our lambs will be smaller come showing time but I would rather the lambs arrived safely!  So lambing this year will be March rather than our usual end January.....

My 2 young Golden Guernsey girls are also in with my new billy Velvety Brown - much to their disgust! However I think things are a-happening! Watch this space .....

I have also taken on the role of Membership and Registration Secretary for the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepbreeders' Association.  Am really excited to take on this new role and look forward to making a real contribution to the future of one of the oldest sheep societies.  Seem to have my work cut out though!

Finally an update on my work with Emily-Rose Debenham.  We have chosen our colours ......

Emily-Rose has produced some samples which I have to say are just gorgeous!  Lovely cosy chunky handknits for those long winter walks .....

All that is left now is to produce some patterns, dye enough yarn, look at the possibility of producing some knitting kits, take some lovely photos and then get knitting ........ doesn't sound much if you say it quickly!

Watch this space for the photo shoot ......

Friday, 21 September 2012

A new adventure ......

I thought I would just share with you the dawning of a new adventure.......

Over the last year I have been supplying a lovely young designer with hand dyed wool for her degree work.  Well she has now graduated from Norwich University College Of The Arts with a 1st class honours classification in Textiles, and has agreed to help me create some designs and garments especially for Gedgrave Wensleydale Wool.  Her name is Emily-Rose Debenham - here is some of her work http://emily-rose-debenham.blogspot.co.uk/

This will be a new journey for us both, as she is currently establishing herself as a freelance designer in Suffolk and I am wanting to take my wool forward - exciting times!

We are concentrating on my lovely handspun chunky yarn, handspun especially for me from my own fleece, by another true artist from the Western Isles, my friend Sheila Roderick - check out her Scalpay Linen blog http://scalpaylinen.blogspot.co.uk/

We have chosen some gorgeous colours Wild Raspberry, Dusk, Azalea and Kingfisher, plus the natural cream and black of course!

The first design is underway - you will be able to purchase the finished garment plus buy it also in kit form for you to knit yourself!  Kits will come complete with needles, yarn and any other accessories required for the finished look.

Watch this space for a sneak preview shortly ..............

T x

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Showing now underway!

I am so sorry that I have been so bad at blogging this year! No excuse really only the usual one - where do the days go to?? Is it me?

Anyway, enough of that! We are freshly home from the Suffolk Show wielding our rosettes and what a great show we had!  I am so proud of my flock!

Bea my beautiful shearling ewe won Champion Wensleydale Ewe and Reserve Champion Wensleydale overall!

Makes all the hard work worthwhile!


I also won 2nd place for both my white Wensleydale ram in the Wensley class and my black Wensleydale ram entered in the Longwool class (we are not allowed to enter a black Wensleydale in the Wensleydale classes - daft isn't it!)

2nd also for the group of three - my white Wensley ram and two white Wensley ewes.  Another 1st for my black ewe lamb and a couple of fifths!  Not bad eh?

Here is the evidence!

I am so grateful for all the support that I get - my boss always comes over to see me before I start to say good luck!

Finally I just had to include this picture of Geraldine my little ewe lamb.  This was snapped by the Heart Radio photographer and put on their facebook site - she had 57 likes!

Off to the Norfolk next - 27th & 28th June!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Lambing now underway ........

Well at least it hasn't been another 6 months since the last blog but admittedly I am getting a bit behind with all this!  Where does the time go to?  My New Year's resolution was that I would try and do my blog more often - well it is early days but haven't really got off to the best start have I?  Still I am persevering!

The weather has now been seasonal at last but can't profess to enjoying it at all! Makes life such hard work when you have to haul water in watering cans to fill drinkers.  The girls are all fine they are all now at home and lambing is underway!

So back in the middle of January we had to undertake essential repairs to the roof of the lambing shed.  This was carried out by our good friend Phil - cold windy day but we were up for it and cracked on - job done!


Then on the third weekend in January all the girls were brought home to their lambing quarters.  It is very easy to have them so close to the house and much better at 3am when you are trying to check whether they have decided to have their babies!

Jacine was the first off with two lovely ram lambs - both absolutely perfect - adored by her of course as only she can! She had twin girls last year so I was fully expected twin boys this time - and I wasn't disappointed!  Sorry about the bad photo but taken at 10pm under a spotlight - not good for photography - will have to update with a better one soon!


Next up was Rosie - who took a week over her due date to think about it - but she will NOT be rushed - but it was worth waiting for! A beautiful black ewe lamb - very cute! Named Rona.

So that is it so far!  One now overdue - so we wait!

In the meantime the snow has all but gone but here are a few pictures taken on my morning walk about a week ago now.

Stan thought it was the best of fun!

That's all for now - not to self....  must be better at blog! x

Monday, 21 November 2011

Can it REALLY be 6 months ........

....... since I wrote my last blog - where has that time gone to?  Well I can't possibly catch up with all that has happened - I would drive you to distraction - safe to say all is well on the holding and rest assured quiet does not mean inactive!

Our rams have now been with the girls and all being well, all are in lamb - the boys are now taking a well-earned rest - there was a bit of argy-bargying going on this morning but I am sure they will soon settle down - they have a long winter ahead of them now to recuperate - don't look bad though do they? Stanley certainly doesn't think so!

The girls are all sporting coloured bottoms - what is the in colour this year? The orange is rather fetching I think!

My first lambs went off to the abattoir on Friday - poor boys - but I have their skins back and they are now salted down on the garage floor, before being sent off to the lovely Nicki Port at Organic Sheepskins for her to do her stuff - they will come back as beautiful sheepskin rugs which will be on sale at Orford Country Market after Christmas now.  The meat also will be winging its way to friends and family.

I have also sold my unregistered ewe lambs to a lovely lady Rachel in Bressingham where I am sure they will be very happy - she has the most amazing place - trains horses for film sets and other mad activities, so check out her website!

There has been a new addition to the holding - I have inherited 8 guinea fowl! They are funny things and make a terrible noise if they are taken unawares but they seemed to have settled in ok and I am rather enjoying having them I must say!  Can anyone tell the difference between boys and girls?

This blog would not be complete without a mention of Beatrix our little orphan Golden Guernsey who is absolutely amazing - she is the dearest, sweetest thing - but unfortunately thinks she is a human rather than a goat and cannot quite understand why she now has to live outside!  After Saturday she is now sporting her new earrings - not very impressed I have to say but sorry Beatrix - it just has to be!

(Sorry about the picture - she would not stand still!)

Well, that is a quick round up - I am busy making all sorts of woolly items now - I will be at Orford Country Markets as always on Saturday mornings in the run up to Christmas along with a great Craft Fair at Orford Town Hall on Sunday 27th November and Wickham Street Market on Saturday 3rd December, so do try and catch up with me before Christmas!

All for now - will try and do better in future - an early New Year's resolution .............

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

3 cheers for Alicia!
Reserve Wensleydale Champ at Suffolk Show

Well so much has happened since I last blogged - sorry for the delay - not quite sure where all the time has gone!

We are just about to head off to the East of England Show on Thursday - all sheep washed, pampered and ready to go - tent is packed - bet it rains! Last year it was absolutely freezing there so extra blankets this year are definitely on the packing pile - along with fleecy pyjamas!

Since I last blogged we have been to the Suffolk Show where we had a great time and achieved some good results. We had our own Wensleydale class for the first time so the competition was steep. My lambs always seem to do well there and this year was no exception - a second placing for my ram lamb and a brilliant 1st place and Reserve Champion for the ewe lamb - really pleased!

The Wensleydale Ram line up

Jonah my ram lamb

We also entered some black Wensleydales in the Longwool classes and had a 2nd for my ram lamb along with a good third for my lovely shearling ram Lenny.

Davies the Ram Lamb!

Lenny the Shearling Ram

A good time was had by all - let's hope we do as well at Peterborough this weekend.

Work didn't stop there and the Saturday after getting back from the show is our traditional shearing day, so Ben duly turned up at 12 noon and in the heat of the afternoon we whipped off most of those lovely woolly coats to give the girls, and boys, a bit of a blow! Now starts the long job of sorting wool ready for my patient customers and the lovely Sheila for handspinning - exciting times!

Well wish me luck on Saturday and keep your fingers crossed it doesn't rain too hard!

T x

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Show Time!

Well, have been a bit behind on my blogging so thought I ought to do a quick catch up on all things Wensleydale and other.

We have now moved all ewes and lambs to better grazing although we are now desperate for rain - none for 10 weeks except for a token 0.3mm the other night! Have today put out a bale of haylage for rams and older girls to keep them going until the grass decides to show it's face.

We had our first show on Sunday at Ampton Point to Point Course near Bury St Edmunds. A lot of stiff competition but did get a 'highly commended' for Winston my ram - good day though and very hot - none of the promised rain either. We need to start gearing up now for the Suffolk Show at the beginning of June - hope to catch up with you all there.

Here are a couple of pictures from the South Suffolk Show:

Beatrix is doing really well and growing daily - she is quite a character and never stops larking about - totally out of control - but a happy thriving girl!

and finally, just had some great wool back from my friend Sheila who hand spins the most lovely Wensley yarns - just a sneak preview of some hand spun Grey Wensley with recycled sari silk - fantastic!

Bye for now!
T x