Monday, 29 November 2010

Christmas Shopping Evening

We are once again having our Christmas Shopping Evening in Orford on Thursday, 9th December 4pm - 9pm in Barts Hall, Broad Street, Orford IP12 2NQ.

I will be there with lovely cozy warm winter knits as well as wool and felted jewellery, along with many other crafts including jewellery, beautiful cushions and lavender bags, cards & wrapping, prints and scrummy Christmas fayre.

We will be serving refreshments, so why not come and spend an hour doing some last minute Christmas shopping and share a mince pie with us?

Hope to see you there!

T x

View our poster here

Monday, 22 November 2010

Great day yesterday!

Well, we had a great time at St Peter's Street Fair in Ipswich yesterday. It didn't rain and wasn't that cold, and Jess and her team at I make fun stuff did a fantastic job setting everything up - the whole day ran without a hitch - well that we could tell anyway!

We received lots of very happy visitors to our stall and so many nice comments about our wool and things - thank you so much for everyone who came to see us and if you missed us you can find us at Orford Country Market every Saturday now until Christmas between 9.30 and 12.30!

Thanks also to Debby my newly found Ravelry friend from Ipswich for coming again to say hello! Also a big thank you to Ali my friend for all her help and for fluttering her eyelashes and securing another table!!

Don't forget also that we are having our Christmas Shopping evening again in Orford Bart's Hall on Thursday 9th December between 4pm and 8pm - look out for the posters!

All for now but will leave you with some pics of the stall on Sunday and will update again soon - I promise ...........

T x

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Where has the last month gone?

I can't believe it has been a whole month since I last did my blog - where has that time gone to? If that happens again we will be in December with Christmas just around the corner! Help!!

Anyway back to business. We spent last weekend at Sutton Hoo taking part in their Christmas Shopping Weekend which was fab. The weather on Sunday admittedly wasn't great but we had loads of visitors and I had such nice comments about my woolly things - aren't people lovely?

Feast your eyes

We have also been dying like mad to keep up with knitting yarns as everyone is thinking about those special Christmas treats - and for wrapping up warm in these cold frosty nights. Really pleased with the results of the wool - what do you think?

Have taken some of our lovely wool over to Nic at Halfpenny Home - my favourite haberdashery shop in the whole world! Do catch up with her blog at

Well must get cracking now as getting ready for the 'I make fun stuff' fair at St Peter's Street, Ipswich on Sunday - check out their site at or here are the details of the fair

Hope you can catch up with us there! If you can't make it we will be back to normal from now until Christmas as Orford Country Market Saturdays 9.30 - 12.30 in the Town Hall

Love for now
T x

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Old Friends!

We have had a very exciting weekend - we took at trip to Norfolk to deliver 4 lovely ewe lambs to some old friends there - Kirsten & Richard and one of their lovely daughters Bryony - and we brought home with us the 4 ewes that I sold to them as lambs last year! Kirsten doesn't want to have a ram of her own for many reasons so we agreed that when the time came, her girls could come back to me to go to my ram, hence the reason for the trip.

I have a lovely new ram this year called Millhouse Maltster who came from another friend Sue Holdich at Stowmarket - he is a huge boy but very sweet and calm and the girls seem to really like him - very important!

So we trundled back with the trailer and let the girls straight out into the field. They trotted off the trailer and went straight over to my girls to check out the competition - had a bit of a rub and then decided that all seemed to be well - and got on with eating!

I am so pleased to see them again - they look fantastic and are quite clearly very well looked after and totally adjusted to people just like mine! The friendliest seems to be Elisha who always comes to the fence to say hello, with her sister Erin not far behind.

They will be with me for a few weeks, then alas back to the Barrs and their beautiful grassy paddock overlooking Happisburgh Lighthouse!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Funday Dyeing & Other Exciting News

We made it back from Melton Mowbray in one piece. Slightly bizarre weekend as very fortunately we sold both Matty and Joe the rams before we went on the Friday, to a couple of friends from Northampton so it is good to know where they are going to and who with. They are still with us until next weekend and then they should be off to their new homes with their new girls to make friends with!

Well, I thought it was time that I got down to some serious dyeing so having bought a sample kit from Wingham Woolworks of Landscape dyes, I decided to give them a go and was REALLY pleased with the results!

I used a kit called 'Destinations' which gave me 6 colours - only got round to doing 3 though - surprising how long it all takes! I used Waratah, Barossa and Broome (Waratah above). I dyed wool skeins as well as some rovings and locks and I have to say they look fab! I even did a bit of experimenting with shading which for a first attempt was ok. In fact I have already sold the two Barossa shaded skeins!

They were good to use and surprisingly easy. I set up my pans on my camping stoves outside under my covered area at the back door and away I went - better outside and then I don't get accused of dyeing the worktop in the utility room and steaming up the kitchen! Just need to find time now to finish off the other three colours!

The other very exciting news I have is that I have sold some of my very special wool to a new young design company in London called The North Circular! They specialise in using British Wool from British Breeds - very refreshing in this day and age of cheap knits from Tescos!

Do check out their website and look out for them during London Fashion Week - you never know some of the garments may be made with wool from my Wensleys!!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

I'm Back!

Well, first blog for a while as I am just catching up after a busy time on the farm and in the workshop.

The guys and girls have settled down well in their new home in Germany. They have mountains of grass so will get big and fat in no time at all!

Silvio says "They have an enormous appetite and eat nearly the hole day with only small brakes for ruminating!" That is what Wensleydales do really well - EAT!

We have a busy weekend ahead. My friend Ali and I are off to Melton Mowbray Traditional Breeds Sale on Saturday - early start I am afraid - we have to be there by 9.00am so we need to leave home at an ungodly hour of 5.00am so that means up at 4.00am! The goats won't know what has hit them on Saturday morning with breakfast and milking at 4.30am! Yawn - feeling tired just thinking about it.

I am taking a black ram and a black ram lamb to sell and Ali is taking her show ram Joe - let's hope they find a nice new home. Her is a picture of Matty the ram - he looks a bit different now though without his coat.

Here is the link to the catalogue if you are interested!

Wish me luck!
T x

Friday, 6 August 2010

Second blog of the day!

I couldn't contain myself any longer - I was going to call this blog 'They have arrived (2)' but that doesn't express how excited I am about the arrival of my new dyed wool! Feast your eyes on this yarn lovers ...............

Don't you want to just eat it!

Alas, there won't be any at the Orford Country Market on Saturday but it will be making a guest appearance very soon! Start saving your pennies now! T x

They have arrived!

The lambs have arrived at their new home in a small village called Raddingsdorf which is near Lubeck in Germany. Silvio has sent me some photos - they all look so relaxed and at home!

They have loads of lovely grass - lamb heaven!

I am so excited to have been part of establishing the first Black Wensleydale flock in Germany! We have a long wait now for their lambs but see them here first ..............

Well back to the more mundane aspects of sheep keeping now. We have fly treatment to do this weekend if it stops raining - not complaining as we have grass now at least - and then girls and boys together again - and there we re-start the cycle!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

As I wave goodbye to my Germany lambs ........

I have had a stressful couple of days trying to get to grips with the export papers required in order to send my black lambs to Germany. You would not believe the process - which at times I nearly gave up on. But I persevered through scrapie tests and brucellosis tests and the mountains of forms and vet inspections required, but finally yesterday morning I waved them goodbye as they were loaded onto the trailer for their onward journey to Germany, via the Dover - Dunkerque ferry. The man who has bought them says that they will be the first black Wensleydales in Germany so I am really thrilled that we are not only spreading the word, but that I have provided the foundation flock for this lovely man Silvio.

They arrived safely at the home of the transporter in Holland last night and have left there today, Tuesday, for their new home .............. am eagerly awaiting to here that they have arrived!

The other exciting news is that yesterday I picked up a new white ram and a black ram lamb for new breeding stock this year. The white ram has come from good fleece producing stock so am hoping for even more fleece improvement for this year - watch this space! Will try and post a picture soon.

Now, back to the fleece sorting .................. x

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Fantastic Haberdashery and Gorgeous Dyed Yarns!

(Some of my wool at Halfpenny Home)

Well I have had a great week exploring new avenues for anything woolly - in fact anything vaguely crafty actually!

With things being flat out at the ranch currently, I have been investigating the possibility of getting some wool dyed off farm, as there are just not enough hours in the day here. Well, I have found a lovely lady Debbie who has done a trial run for me and I think you will agree the colours are just gorgeous ........

I am hoping to have some seasonal colours - starting with these for the autumn and then moving on to some icy blues and greys & greens for the winter - watch this space ....... Do let me know what you think about these though!

So armed with these lovely skeins, I made it my mission this week to get to Halfpenny Home in Needham Market, the fab haberdashery shop run by my new friend and blogger Nic.

Have you ever been into a shop where you shake with the thrill of gorgeous things? I didn't know where to look first - and now I think I missed something I can see in one of my photos! Nic has been a great supporter of my wool and I am very grateful to her for that. She has a real aladdin's cave of everything you could possibly want and runs some great workshops too - you must put her on your ' places I must visit ' list! She sells anything from wool to vintage buttons to fabric to feathers! I bought some lovely buttons, some beautiful cotton yarn and some cape fastenings - not sure what for yet but couldn't resist them!

Feast your eyes!

Nic has a great blog - do check it out at

I'm at the Orford Country Market as usual on Saturday, so why not catch up with me there if you can. T x

Monday, 12 July 2010

Haymaking and Showing

Well, we attended the Tendring Show on Saturday as planned - wow it was hot! The sheep really didn't want to be there - the rams huffed and puffed across the field in the morning, snorting at us and swinging their heads in a bid to be let off the leads. Noah spent most of the day when not in the ring flat out on his side sound asleep - oh to be a sheep.... Anyway the long and short of it was I don't think they all performed at their best but we achieved a 2nd place for Jacine (shearling ewe) - judge said that the top 3 ewes were cracking and it was a very close thing - a 3rd for Noah (shearling ram) - judge said he had a phenomenal top line but preferred the fleece on others - 2 4th places for lambs and a 5th for my aged ewe Mable. Not a bad result - must try harder for next year!

So, now we have finished showing for the year we can get down to some real work! All the show sheep plus a couple of spares, 8 in total, need to be hand sheared, so we set about that task yesterday and completed 2 of the rams between us, which took about 3 1/2 hours per ram! Don't think we will make much money at shearing do you? Still good job done and just before the rain which was much needed - will have to wait for the others to dry out now.

We also managed to get the hay in before the downpour too - whew! Only two thirds cut as the mower hit a concrete block and broke a something or other (not that good at mechanics!) but all that was cut has been turned and baled - fantastic hay and smells of summer breeze! The girls will love it! Got 80 bales into the barn but couldn't face the other 80 - they are still sat on the trailer, under cover, waiting for me to get up the strength to move them - perhaps later this week!

So down to serious work - more wool sorting, honey harvesting and hopefully a bit of felting! Watch this space ...............

Friday, 2 July 2010

Back from the Norfolk Show!

Well, here we are, hot-foot from the Norfolk Show! I don't usually do very well at this show but this year has been my best result there to date. I got a first placing in the Female Wool on Hoof class with my ewe Jacine which I am thrilled with - Ali got first place for her boy Joe in the Male Wool on Hoof - so success all round! I also achieved 3 2nd placings and 3 3rd placings so not a bad result on the whole!

It was a good show but very hot! They had moved the sheep and goats in to the same area on another part of the showground which actually worked very well - lots of sheep there - they were 100 pens oversubscribed this year! Still the weather was better for camping - talk about opposite ends of the temperature scale - and only 10 days apart - that's what we love about British weather - still it would be good to have some rain - no grass now and feeding hay already!

One more show to go now on the 10th July - just a one day one but a great little show all the same - the Tendring Hundred Show near Manningtree - do join us if you get the chance!

Monday, 28 June 2010

I Make Fun Stuff Market and photos ...

We visited the 'I make fun stuff' street market in Ipswich on Sunday - primarily to at last meet my emailing and blogging friend Nic from Halfpenny Home - well it felt like we had known each other for years, and scarily, we loved the same things - all those fab buttons! My word, need to save up for a visit to her shop in Needham Market - think I might need more than an hour as well - and definitely not taking him indoors - why do men just not get it! How can you possibly have ENOUGH buttons or wool!

Anyway she had a great stall - just a fraction (she tells me) of her main shop ( note to self - go soon!)

I have also now had some fun photos from our resident photographer of our time at the East of England Show, so here are a few to wet your appetite!

Off to the Norfolk Show tomorrow so wish me luck! ....................

Friday, 25 June 2010

Bees and More Show News!

Well, we started the week with another swarm of bees in the fruit trees - alas the other one left again - but I was determined to try and keep this one. It was a smaller swarm but precious all the same, so armed with a photographer this time to capture the moment, I set off with my skep to retrieve them - and as I write this they are still with me so we hope for the best!

After a busy start to the beginning of last week, we packed up again and set off for the East of England show, which has been our best show this year for results - not I have to say for weather though! It was absolutely freezing! Despite there being three of us crammed in the tent, we had to wear several layers and my sister Em had to purchase a blanket - all wool of course! Still a good time was had by all and I achieved 4 1st placings, Reserve Male Champion, Female champion and Reserve Longwool Champion. My friend Ali won the Wool on Hoof and Champion Wool on Hoof which was excellent. Photos to follow .......

Having got back last Sunday, this week has also been non-stop with worming, craft fairs and tonight - oh joy - ragwort pulling! What an incredibly interesting life I lead! But someone has to do it! Hope hay making will start next week - we have no grass again so will have to start feeding hay soon if it doesn't rain.

I am at the Country Market in Orford tomorrow morning so do come and see us if you get the chance - there will be the usual goodies on sale and then we start washing ready for the Royal Norfolk Show on Wednesday next week - hope the weather stays like this and then the tent won't seem so bad!

Will post some photos when I have them - wish me luck in the meantime!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

One Down Three to Go!

Well, we now have one show under our belts so life has settled down very slightly. We had a good time at the Suffolk Show and did ok - we had 3 3rd placings, a fourth and a reserve - lambs could have done better but at least we had a placing for every class we entered! All were well behaved but glad to get home I think!

Here is the link for the results!

Off to the East of England show next which is Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th June. Hope the weather improves as we are camping! My friend Ali comes along with her Wensleydales and my sister Emma is coming with us this time as 'catering manager' so all should be well! Watch this space for the pictures of our encampment!

Managed to catch a swarm of bees yesterday for my empty hive so that was good. Should have taken a photo as it was a huge swarm hanging on one of my fruit trees, but don't seem to be totally in blog mode yet as forgot the photo! Hopefully next time ......

We also managed to get sheared at the weekend which was great - I think the sheep are pleased as they must get sooo hot in those coats! They don't half look funny now though!

Lambs are also weaned from their mums so we had a VERY noisey night on Saturday night - poor things! But mums have to be rested now before they start all over again.

On a sadder note - I lost my poor nannie goat Bluebell. She had produced 2 beautiful baby girls in March but unfortunately contracted mastitis which we struggled to clear. She obviously then contracted a further infection of some sort which resulted in her stopping eating completely. She passed away quietly on Friday 28th May........

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Where did the last 2 months go?

Well, I can't believe it is 2 months since I wrote my last blog. I was all full of intentions of at least trying to do an update every week, but here we are 2 months down the road and nothing. Well, you ask, what have you been doing? Good question!

We finally got away on our planned trip to Alaska to see my husband's new grand daughter - what a cutie! Her name is Madeleine Rose and she is a darling! Now a bumper 2 1/2 months old! We had a fantastic time - Alaska is just amazing.

I was busy knitting away before I left home trying to finish a blanket that I was making for Madeleine - 100% Wensleydale of course - I am rather pleased with the results ...........

Whilst there we also visited the only flock of Wensleydales in the country (well, why not!) They have been bred up from other stock and are now about 85% Wensleydale - look pretty good though!

..........Well, we are now back to reality and show time is fast approaching. The girls and boys are being washed and pampered - having their faces rubbed in with baby oil and their little feet trimmed - not sure they are as happy about it as we are - but they are coming together.

The lambs are starting to walk on leads which is hilarious. We either have 'woolly jumpers' or 'sleeping policemen' nothing in between at the moment. Still by next week I am hoping that they will at least walk to the ring if given enough time!

We didn't quite make it to the South Suffolk Show with ours because of our delayed trip to colder climes (wretched ash cloud) but we went along anyway to support our friends and eye up the competition of course!

The bank holiday is now nearly upon us - our shop will be open Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2 - 5 (directions on the website) and I will be at the Orford Country Market as usual on Saturday morning - this week in the church!

Hope you have a good holiday and if you are about next week come and see us at the Suffolk Show - we will be in the MV accredited sheep shed - I think we are in the ring at about 11.00am - so wish me luck!