I have been kicking it non-stop getting ready for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this coming weekend. I did start a little bit of prep in March, but I also had two huge deadlines for other projects that had to be met. I also find it hard to do some of the required tasks in small doses. So much has to be pulled out, so many things prepared in various stages, that it only really works as a full-time, around-the-clock venture.
Remember Jenny's beautiful curly fleece, that she wrecked last year? This year, I won: the coat stayed on. It is gorgeous and I have been washing the locks in small batches. Some have been put aside to be sold in their natural color, but not all of the fleece was pearly white, and those portions were dyed.
Isn't it interesting how the dye took up differently along the locks? I think it had to do with the fleece's exposure to the elements. She didn't have the coat on all summer and that part of the fleece has a different texture.
I have been very busy dyeing regular roving as well. Weighing and packaging it is always the part of the operation that I fail to allot sufficient time for, and once again I am left scrambling at the last minute to get it all done. I took a hit today when my right-hand helper, the sun, failed to make an appearance. Mighty hard to dry all these things in a timely manner without its help, and I spent today jerry-rigging poor substitutes.
My body is starting to protest against the pace. In addition to all the bits of wool that are attached to my body and trailing around on the floor, I am feeling like they are stuffed into my head as well. I was in this state when the office manager came into the house this afternoon—I was in my usual haunt these days, the basement—to announce that lambs were in the office parking lot.
The ewe and lamb group had been moved onto the rich grass on the other side of the house on Saturday afternoon. They weren't super happy with the damp drizzly conditions today, and I was planning to move them when Secondo got home from school at 3 pm, but evidently they decided around 2:30 pm to take matters into their own hooves. It wasn't just a few lambs. It was the entire flock.
I managed to get them out of the parking lot and into the small paddock. I put the gate back onto its hinges, sort of, while they tried to push their way back out again. My last view of them was grazing the non-existent grass, in the rain. Sheep logic.