Fleecewood Farm

  (Hastings, Minnesota)
MERINO...WOOL at its finest
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Busy Spring

Well its that time of year again- LAMBING! We came home from a graduation reception at 10:30 pm to find that Nellie, one of our meat sheep had had quads! For you city slickers that is 4 lambs! and on her own!  Then at midnight another ewe went into a tough labor.  It was breech and I felt since she would more than likely have triplets- it was best to leave it to the expert.  When the vet was done we had three lovely lambs.  Unfortunately the ewe and the first lamb transpired after 2 days, even though we tried everything.. So now we have 4 bottle lambs.  Nellie decided two were enough mouths for her.

We entered the Shepherds Harvest fleece competition this year. First time we have sheared before lambing in years. Ended up with first, second and third place ribbons !  We sold those fleeces, but shortly I will have others up online for you to enjoy.



alone on the farm

How fast the time flies.  Its been a busy spring. My husband was out of the country for a month- and I was left to finish lambing and care for a brand new litter of Aussie pups-( 8 to be exact)- on my own. Each day brought new challenges, but to my surprise I was able to handle them all.

  Like one of my best ewes getting sick after lambing and never recovering.  When she died  I had to shear her on my own.  So wouldn't you know that the shears would burn out in the middle of the task.  I had to improvise with a pair of our clippers that I used to use for my sons hair years ago. It didn't quite have the power to handle the task- and it ended up taking me an hour and a half to get the fleece off !  But it was worth it- a beautiful brown gray, with few second cuts.  And then another crushing blow, when her daughter, who I was bottle feeding, finally joined the others on pasture, only to die the second day out. Tears again.

My pups kept things exciting. We had so much rain that instead of being outside, they had to stay in our basement for awhile. They taught each other how to go up the steps and then would have races to see who would get to the top first.     The gate was another obstacle they figured out. If one pup pushed against it, it wouldn't move.  But teamwork led to success and freedom.      When they were able to go out into the yard they started to dig an escape route next to the fence; thinking I wouldn't notice. I'd fill it up, and they would make another.      Then there was the time I needed to train 2 pups how to spend some time in a kennel since one would be flying to his new home.  Logan adjusted well and didn't mind sleeping inside.  Greyson was another story altogether.  I wasn't too concerned since he was going to a local home.  I had them both in their own crates and was busy in the kitchen, one room over.  How surprised I was when Greyson was suddenly at my feet, wiggiling and looking pretty pleased with himself.  He had figured out how to open the door of the cage!

Anyway, this is just to let you know that we are a little behind on our schedule. Normally the latest we shear is in June.  But this year we are already into July- and you know how hot it has been.  So tomorrow is the day we have finally locked in.  So it won't be long and my store will be filled up with fleeces again.  So come back and check us out in a few weeks.




Knitters Challenge

It has been a topsy- turvy year.  Earlier, the rams eager to visit with their ladies,broke down the fence bordering the two pens.  So we ended up having lambs born in the late winter months.  We usually strive to have our births in the spring, so the ice and snow is not a threat to the newborns. But with sheep each year they add some new situation to the mix, so you are always learning.  They like to keep you on your toes. Now it wasn't the fence that was new... that has happened before.  This time it was that one of the new lambs ears had puffed up.  And yes you guessed it.  Our first frost-bite case.  Unfortunately it resulted in tinier ears.  But "little Missie" doesn't let it bother her and otherwise is doing fine. Although she does look a little impish.

It has been a wild ride for me too.  I had an off the beaten track adventure with breast cancer. I was very fortunate, living wtihin driving distatnce of the Mayo Clilnic. I was spared chemo but did have 6 weeks of radiation. I came through with flying colors (sunburned ones)..  Now why you ask, am I bringing this up?  What does this have to do with our farm? Well, let me explain.  I came up with an idea I would like to toss out for consideration. I call it the Knitter's Challenge.

Are you ready for a "Knitters Challenge"? Do you love working with wool and knitting lacy shawls or stoles? Do you have a little extra time on your hands and would like to bless someone else?  Does your knitting group need a new focus project?   I had the privilege of staying a few days at the Hope Lodge in Rochester, MN. This is a great place for people from all over the country, the world actually, with all kinds of cancers to stay, while undergoing chemo and/or radiation treatments at the Mayo Clinic.  I believe it could really put a smile on a few faces and help them feel loved during their tough journey, if they had the chance of wrapping up in something beautiful.  Please pass this information on to friends and knitting groups.  If you are interested in knitting a lacy shawl or stole and donating it for a drawing at the Hope Lodge to benefit cancer patients please email me at susan@fleecewoodfarm.com

As I am mulling this over, I think a drawing may be appropriate for some one ply yarn.  I'll keep you posted. 
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