Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baa Baa spotted sheep have you any wool?

C and I finally got to visit some Jacob sheep in person.

I found a listing for raw Jacob wool on craigslist in a nearby county, and started a conversation with a very nice and friendly lady, Meg, who invited C and me to come visit her farm. What I thought would be maybe an hour talking about sheep ended up being about 5 hours of wooly fun, and spending time with some wonderful people.

Mapquest sucks.
shadowbrook farms,2009

I plugged what part of the address I had into mapquest. I wasn’t even sure which town I was going to because it wasn’t showing up on the map, and I also had a gps. The gps got us lost getting out of our own town and mapquest had us going to a different place than what the gps was saying we should arrive at. This is detrimental to someone who gets lost in parking lots.

Meg had asked me to call her about 20 minutes away from her place so she coule tell me how to get to the farm. To make a long story shortish, I had no cell phone that day, so I figured I’d just find a pay phone once we got out there. When I lived out in the boonies (millennia ago), every corner store and gas station had a pay phone. Now no one has them.

I followed whereever the gps told me to go. It had me pulling into a driveway with the wrong number, but once I asked the people who lived there where I should be I finally found Meg and her troupe.

alpaca,shadowbrook farms,2009

When we got there Meg and co-llama farmer Connie, were working with this little guy. He needed his fighting teeth cut and nails trimmed. He did not want to co-operate so I offered to help. I still have bruises. Those guys are STRONG.

llama,alpaca,Jacob sheep,Navajo sheep,shadowbrook farms,2009

Everywhere we went there were more animals. Meg was very modest about it all but by the end of the day we had to have seen over 100 llama, alpaca, sheep, and one little goat.

Roo,llama,alpaca,shadowbrook farms,2009

This is C and Roo. I had no idea that llama were so cuddly and would follow you around everywhere.

Kissy loves to give kisses

In the beginning of this video, Connie had called a whole bunch of mamas and their babies over from the pasture and as one huge mass they came running, then she called Kissy over to say hi.
Mamas and babies come when called at Shadowbrook Farms

Cara and Kissy at Shadowbrook Farms

shadowbrook farms,2009,kissy

As long as we were in this field, Kissy would not leave us alone.

Throughout the day we visited Megs’ two farms and stopped into another one where one of her male llamas, who was on loan, was mating with another farmers female.

Everywhere we went on her farms there were more animals around the corner.

shadowbrook farms,2009,llama,alpaca,Gunner

That’s Gunner on the right, the middle black one has a sinus problem which gives him the cutest snuffling sound when he sniffs you, and the tall one on the left looks like a giraffe with all his spots. I should have written their names down because now I can’t remember them all.

shadowbrook farms,2009

There were ducks

llama,alpaca,shadowbrook farms,2009
And more llama. This one is Robbie.

Two Jacob rams and a black Navajo ram
And more sheep. That’s two Jacob rams, and one Navajo ram. The big Jacob was a bad boy and tore up Meg’s barn, so he doesn’t get to be put back in with the ewes for a while.

llama,shadowbrook farms,fiber,alpaca,2009
And more llamas and alpacas everywhere. This is Rhythm (black) and I think the brown one is Rock.

In between farms we ate lunch at a little diner that had the best greasy spoon food I’ve had in a long time, and Meg introduced us to her friend Ginger. Ginger is a spinner and was kind enough to give C, Connie, and me a free lesson. She showed me what I’ve been doing wrong and how to correct it, and gave C some inspiration to start too. Ginger was in the middle of a very busy day but she was willing to take time out to help us. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of Ginger, but it would be hard to forget those smiling eyes of hers.

All in all we both had a wonderful day and we got to meet two terrific ladies who obviously love their animals.
shadowbrook farms,2009

raw Jacob wool,fiber,wool,spinning,felting,shadowbrook farms,2009
We came home with 9 pounds of Jacob fleece to wash/comb/card and spin. I’ve almost got Tracy’s daughter’s fleece washed. The first batch was prewash weight of 4oz, post wash became 2.25oz. That’s a little more loss in the wash than I wanted considering there’s a great deal of VM left to deal with, but I’ve spun a little bit of it up already and I’m very happy with it. We hope to go back in the spring for another visit and wool spending spree.

Link to Meg’s farm – Shadowbrook Farms

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