I don't know why I didn't think of it before. When I take a carded batt off my drum carder,
I usually roll it into a button to store in a basket until I'm ready to spin.
When I'm ready to spin, I either tear off strips of the batt, or attenuate it into a long roving. But why not use a diz??
The diz is usually used when combing fiber, rather than carding, but I was wanting a long roving to wrap around my wrist distaff for spindle spinning, and had this inspiration to use the diz.
I twisted the end of one corner of the batt.
And threaded it through a diz hole.
It's hard to take selfies of fiber work!
Now I'm using a diz for all my spinning, spindle or wheel. I think it will also make it easier for beginners, when I teach a spindle class. I'll prepare their wool this way, too. I'm diz-zy!
I worried the first night that I may have been wrong to let Tehya take care of the lambs completely by herself. From my observations, experience and raw intuition I felt that my intervening by bottle-feeding might undermine her abilities to recover and do the mothering, so I made a decision to leave them alone together through the night. And walked up to the silent lambing shed Saturday morning with trepidation...
What a joyous relief to open the door and see this!
Today, day 3, they are sproinging about and curious about their limited world.
Tehya looked like this for days. She (and I) spent a lot of time in the sheep shed, waiting.
Note the outstretched leg, which ewes do when they are close to and in labor. I kept waiting for the telltale signs of her pushing.
A few lip curls, but mostly she just was exhausted from carrying around the lambs and her huge udder.
Friday morning, just at dawn, I went out to the sheep shed and heard lamb cries. HOORAY! It was a little confusing at first because Nara, who isn't due for at least 3 weeks, had claimed one of the lambs for her own, and was distraught when I wouldn't let her keep him. Shooing the others out to pasture, I got Tehya moved up to the lambing shed with her adorable ram lambs.
Both lilac, the 4-horned little guy on the right is Tucker, and the 2-horned one on the left is Twain.
Look at the horn buds on Tucker!
We had a scary, frenzied day of Tehya not able to let her milk down. Lamb milk replacer, goat colostrum, and frozen sheep milk got us through the hours, and after massaging Tehya's udder with warm water and peppermint oil (on advice from my dear friend, Rosanna), the milk was finally in and both lambs' tails were waggling as they nursed. Whew! It's always something...
But always worth it!
Our farm is not just for sheep, it seems. The woods contain excellent tipi poles for harvesting! Two years ago, our son, Tyler, cut and finished Cedar poles for a tipi, shown here:
On his most recent visit this past week, Tyler and friend Madison, trekked up the hill to find Douglas firs for a new, larger tipi. Hatchets in hand, they cut down 20 trees and brought them down the hill. This tipi will seat 24 people around the inside, and be comfortable for 4 or 5 people to sleep in.
Five days of skinning and smoothing! They made it look easy, but I know it was hard work. Cross-training for rigging, they said, as they both work for Rocky Mountain Rigging, whose season starts up soon.
Tyler and Madison also chopped oak for our next winter's woodstove, raked an incredible amount of leaves for fire safety, and helped us fix our sheep shed. They earned their keep! And the beer ;-)
With the last storm done, I wanted to hike back up our property to see if there were more wildflowers than last time.
There were lots of shooting stars, which I had seen a few of last hike.
And the manzanita has bloomed.
Only a few more flowers had celebrated the rain.
I came around a tree and was startled by this lounge lizard. He was neither disturbed nor impressed by my presence, just wanted to revel in the sun.
The best surprise was found beside rotting logs...
I believe they are Cortinarius cinnamomeus, commonly called the Orange-gilled Cort, which I learned from a great mushroom dye website: mycopigments.com. They are simmering in the crock pot, waiting for my next skein of yarn...
I get that we will likely not come close to normal for water this year in California, that we are officially in a drought. Can't we have a glass-half-full attitude, though? The media is all gloom and doom--"too little too late"--yet we have had a delightful series of storms lately, and it must have helped some.
Winter finally arrived in spring!
The rams didn't really appreciate the weather,
but the ewes are sure enjoying the fresh, green grass the rains brought!
So is Freya.
The sheep are happy for the grazing that the storm brought; they get tired of hay. Happy sheep grow beautiful fleeces. Doesn't Lindyhop's fleece look gorgeous?
And the views are magnificent. I say, "A little just in time."