Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Wooly Anniversary and A Holiday Giveaway!

While tossing the last of the windfall apples into the sheep field on Thursday, I had to smile. My ewes now know to line up when I start scouring the ground under the apple trees that are outside their field. They shuffle each other out of the way, grunting and throwing mini sheep-tantrums (they literally jump right up into the air and then STOMP as hard as they can on the ground - all four feet - it's omgSOcute). I can run my eyes across them and gauge their condition (OH they are fat). I can watch the way they interact to know who is the boss today (it changes daily!) and I can spot a runny nose from across the yard.

I have spent the last year learning many things about Icelandic sheep. A lot of these lessons have been hard. I lost poor Ingrid to "grass tetany" or magnesium deficiency in spring. Her darling little lamb, Brighid, bounced back quickly and after a few bottles of warm local goat milk she had decided to wean herself. Brighid grew very close to my other ewe, Gertrude, after her mother's death. 

Unfortunately this fall, after a very long, hot summer, Gertrude succumbed to all sorts of complications of white muscle disease (WMD). She hung on for so long and tried so long and taught me so much in the time that she was ill. I have never had to learn so quickly about animal supplements, shots, treatments... and I've never seen an animal fight so hard to live. She was incredibly inspiring. 

After that, Brighid was introduced to her two new sisters, Blaire and Nance, who were a little rough with her at first but these days Brighid and Blaire are totally inseparable.

Of course, there have been fantastic moments as well. When Gertrude was around, my heart would leap every time she ran up to me for treats. She was a special sheep with a great personality. There was also Brighid's birth, which I actually got to see! Little itty bitty Brighid nose, poking out... aww... I remember running to the house to get Jeremy and by the time I got back to the barn, Brighy was standing and bleating her first little bleats... Of course, I cried a little from relief. :)

So here I am, a year later, with entirely different ewes and all the mileage and lessons of a year tucked neatly, albeit slightly emotionally, behind me. What better way to celebrate? Playing with fiber!

You can find my wet felting tutorial over at Not Dabbling in Normal!

Do you have any awesome fibery ideas? To celebrate, I have 4 ounces of fuzzy warm Icelandic fleece looking for a new home! (Forgive me, this is my first giveaway!) 

One winner will be chosen via random-number-generator on Sunday, December 18th at Midnight and will be posted here the following day. Please make sure you include some method of contact information so I can find you after the drawing!

Entries are open through the weekend. If I get more than 50 entries, I'll add a second winner!

I'll contact the winner(s) after the drawing and you can let me know what color you prefer your fiber to be. This is RAW fleece, which means it's unwashed, but it'll be prime fleece. It'll be individual locks of Icelandic fiber (tog and thel - it's a double layered fleece) that you can spin, felt or you can use the curly locks for dolls!

To Enter:
Simply comment below, before the cut-off on December 18th, with your favorite fibery project!

Want a second chance to enter? Post this blog entry to your twitter OR your facebook, and then come back here and comment AGAIN letting me know you did so! 

Only two entries per person, sorry!


Update: We have a winner! Our winner is #6 - Kelly H, who said "I'm a knitter, and wannabe spinner, so I'd be using your lovely wool to learn how. I'd also use some to needle-felt fix a small hole in my favouritest sweater that a moth found last year. We're going to be educating ourselves on sheep farming this winter, with big dreams in mind. What made you decide on Icelandics?"

Congratulations! Be sure to check back for additional giveaways this winter. I've got at least three, maybe four lined up and they're all going to be awesome! (I may do a few more fiber giveaways as I destash some of the bags of fuzz I have amassing in my house!)


  1. Oh, girlie! You know I've been eyeing your sheep since you got them. I'd love the chance to play with some of their fiber!! Even if I don't win, I'd love to purchase a bit just to mess around with it.

  2. Shared on Facebook today! (Aunt) Eileen Jenkins. I'm the one with the trio of snowmen too!

  3. First comment didn't take - user error! Recently finished a trio of felted snowmen. Fun to do and a learning experience for me! (Aunt)Eileen

  4. Last year I made felted snowmen for everyone-what a big project, but was happy with the result as were the recipients.
    This year wet felting dryer balls.
    I have never used real quality wool, just others cast offs.

  5. I'd probably make some flowers to cover the moth holes in one of my favorite old wool coats, or a pincushion for my quilting pins.

  6. I'm a knitter, and wannabe spinner, so I'd be using your lovely wool to learn how. I'd also use some to needle-felt fix a small hole in my favouritest sweater that a moth found last year. We're going to be educating ourselves on sheep farming this winter, with big dreams in mind. What made you decide on Icelandics?

  7. Posted onto my facebook. I'm into sharing blogs i like.

  8. Thanks Ash for sharing! I'd needle-felt itty-bitty sheep ... and maybe finally work up the nerve to play with dyes.

  9. I would love to win this! jkrenner85 at

  10. I've been thinking about making felted slippers but learning to spin is on my 2012 list of things I want to do!

  11. I would love this - something new to try for 2012

  12. I have enjoyed some small felting projects-- balls and ornaments-- and would love to try more.

  13. @Kelly H. Congratulations, Kelly! Please contact me via email so I can get your information and figure out what color fiber you would like! emilymargaretjenkins at gmail