What a Wonderful Spring!

Dolly and her five lambs

Life has been a blur, a very busy spring, even during these “slower times” during the COVID lockdowns here in Ontario. We had another great lambing/kidding season. Twenty two ewes had sixty lambs and six goat does had nine kids. We had one ewe who had quintuplets again this year, lots of quads, triplets a few twins and two singles. Lots of busy mommas and one loud barn!

Finnsheep are great mothers, they are very attentive and love their lambs. It is so interesting to me to listen to them, both the ewe and the lambs talk with each other, just like people, each with their own individual voices and calls. Some ewes you could hear across three fields, as they can be so loud, others more quiet, reserved and not as chattery.

Sweet faces!

Finnsheep make a lot of milk to feed their multiple babies, sometimes we supplement as well to make sure all the lambs are keeping up in weight and growth. So much nutrition is in the milk. At just two weeks old the lambs also enjoy eating creep feed, which is a variety of grains and cracked corn, rolled oats and alfalfa.

Violet and her cute crew
A few of the kid angora goats

It’s not long before they’re all grown, independent and soon off to their new farm homes. A bittersweet time, but for now, trying to slow it all down and enjoy every minute of it. We hope you’ve had a great spring too!

Finnsheep Fleeces

We’ve had a wonderful year with lots of healthy lambs born in the late spring. Eighteen ewes, forty nine lambs equaled one busy barn full of cuteness!

Annabelle and her lambs
Sweet little faces!

We have lots of fleeces coming up for sale, as shearing has begun! Finnsheep wool is a handspinner’s dream and excellent for felting.

Soft beautiful lamb fleeces for sale

If you would like a fleece we have many to choose from. We will have them listed in our shop or on Facebook. You can also contact us directly.

Avocado Dye

When I found out that one of my favourite foods produces one of my favourite colours, I was up and gathering all the bits I needed as soon as I could get to it! This gorgeous dusty rose, comes from using avocado skins and pits!

I used the skins off three avocados, their pits chopped and an additional three pits I had saved aside to plant, this project took precedence to that for the time being! So a side note, if you wish, save all of your skins and pits in a small bag in the freezer, as you eat the avocados until you’re ready to use them. Place all the avocado skins and pits in a pot of water, more than enough to cover. I used approximately 1.5 litres. Simmer on a low temperature, careful not to scorch. I left my pot on for just over an hour, then covered it and left it until the next day when I would be ready to dye. I think giving the pot that time to sit may help saturate the colour, though I’m not certain if it does.

The next day, using a sieve, I removed all of the solids from the dye pot.

Look at this beautiful colour, I’m still so impressed that avocados do that!

I placed the sieved dye back into my dye pot. Before dyeing the yarn of your choice, it must be soaked and thoroughly wet. I used a wee skein of chain plied alpaca and two skeins of Icelandic handspun. The Icelandic is a bit on the tan side. I had some wonderful squishy skiens of white handspun Finnsheep wool, but I was apprehensive to use it because I didn’t have enough dye to do it all and am saving it for a project. So maybe next time when I get some more avocados eaten.

Your yarn should be good and saturated with water. Leave it to soak for at least ten minutes, I left mine for about thirty. Squeeze the water out and place the yarn in the cold dye pot. The dye should cover the yarn. Mine was pretty close, so I added about 1 cup of water. Be careful not to add too much fresh water, or if you have to just be aware it will dilute the colour some.

Keep your element on low. You do not want your pot to boil, that is quite important! Let it simmer on low for a good hour. Then turn the element off and let the pot sit. I let mine sit until the next day. The great thing about using this dye is there is no need for a mordant, avocados are high in tannins so the dye sticks well on it’s own. (Amazing!)

The next day, I removed the skeins, rinsed in cold water and hung the skeins to dry. My heart sang. I just LOVE this colour!