jeudi 26 décembre 2013
There is a way to go until my spinning skills are refined enough to produce a yarn that looks anything less than rustic but its all practice. The stitch I have chosen is designed to complement the textured yarn. A tutorial on how to knit yourself a scarf in bramble or trinity stitch was all that was needed to get me started. This video makes it very easy to follow!Although mine doesn't have quite the same accomplished look to it :-)
I am hoping to add a little twist to my scarf to release it from the rather mundane but that all depends on whether I can produce something that is aesthetically pleasing and workable. It make take me a while but I'll post something when I get there!
mardi 24 décembre 2013
samedi 21 décembre 2013
vendredi 20 décembre 2013
I was going to do a post on the winter solstice which is tomorrow. Unfortunately my photos of the golden sunset, were rather more tarnished than golden! However as I was wandering around putting everyone to bed I couldn't help but notice that on this apple tree there are JUST two apples left! They are beautiful and ripe and yet incongruously were left still hanging on a bare tree. It was too good a photo opportunity to miss!
Wassailing LINK celebrates the apple and the drink and passing of the wassail is traditionally celebrated around Christmas. Providence! I will leave with a old chant recounted when wassailing, of course its sheep related :-)
Next crowne the bowle full
With gentle Lambs wooll,
Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
With store of all too,
And thus ye must doe
To make the Wassaile a swinger.
dimanche 15 décembre 2013
Recently I ventured deep in the heart of Brittany, it is a magical place, where myth and legend come to life. The area is rich with celtic symbolism and the geography and landscape does much to draw you close to its beating heart. Its dark corners hide goblins and faeries in equal measure.
Nestled into the landscape is Ménez Meur seat of the Parc Régional National d'Armorique. LINK here is a flock of Ouessant sheep whose origins can be established back to the earliest days of the breed. They are without doubt a flock whose heritage is a long one.
I was fortunate to visit the flock earlier this year, I was able to spend a quite a bit of time with the flocks (one white, one black) and came away with the lasting impression that the breed is in sound hands. I may have also come away with a sheep or two oops:-)
mardi 10 décembre 2013
dimanche 8 décembre 2013
I was asked the other day about feeding the sheep in the winter. Everyone has their own thoughts on this subject and opinions will vary.
The ewes are currently getting a bucket of windfall apples a day between them. I''ll know when they are fed up of them as they'll start to leave them. For now I view it was a welcome addition to the grass and hay provided over the winter. The rams have their own supply of windfalls and this years bumper crop of apples means that the ground under the tree is still a carpet of apples.
Feeding grains is personally not something that I like. I find that Ouessant sheep really don't need the high protein content. I will supplement and a base of luzerne granules can be used with the addition of ewe nuts and or afalfa and molasses as a coarse mix when needed. This mix can be varied according to the specific requirements of the group of sheep being fed and is more sensitive to individual needs than a highly concentrated commercial feed supplement.
vendredi 6 décembre 2013
mercredi 4 décembre 2013
dimanche 1 décembre 2013
I am grateful to both his owner J Schneider and also A Bergmann for accommodating my ewes in Germany to allow for this mating to be possible.
Ushants dam Spered Breizh Nimue, a home bred ewe was selected for her origins and type to go to Germany, she was narrowly placed ahead of a very nice ewe at the GEMO national show at Brécé this year to be given Prix d'honneur brebis blanches.
To be able to reach deeper into the breeding of Ouessant Sheep than purely the aesthetic and to be in the fortunate position to look towards conservation of the heritage of the breed and its Breton roots is a priviledge. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me along that road.
The Ouessant Sheep originates from the island of Ouessant, part of a tiny archipelago just off the north coast of Finistere, Brittany. The island of terror as it was known to some, was swept by the full force of the atlantic’s weather, the hardy sheep adapted to survive on poor grazing from salty clifftop meadows. It was the women of the island that raised the sheep, renowned for their black wool to weave into cloth known locally as berlinge and their meat with its sweet and delicate taste.
La race "Mouton d'Ouessant" est originaire de l’île d’’Ouessant qui fait parti d’un petit archipel au large du Finistère, Bretagne. L’île de l'épouvante comme c'était connu par certains était balayé par les intempéries de l’atlantique, ces moutons rustiques s'adaptaient à survivre sur les pâturages pauvres des falaises salées. C’était les femmes de l’île qui élevaient les moutons réputés pour leur laine noire à tisser « la berlinge » une étoffe régionale et leur viande avec un goût doux et délicat.