I wanted Wensleydale sheep, years ago, when I started spinning; so I bought 2 ewes Winnie and Minnie - sadly I don't have any pictures of them - they were 1 year old when I bought them and the farmer next door introduced them to his Welsh ram that first autumn, next Spring I was presented with 4 baby boys - 2 sets of twins each. (Mr Fox got one of them very young and two went to the butcher - but Blarty -!)
For some reason known only to herself Winnie decided to do what sheep do best and give up the ghost - we fought all day to keep her alive; the vet said that somehow she had got dehydrated???????? (it was doing what it does best in Wales at the time and raining with a vengeance!) We moved her to the stable and I had to go our every 1/2 hour to give her water with sugar in it through a syringe to the back of her throat - I went out at 9pm, at 9.30pm she was no longer with us........ I'd been going since 10am!!!! Weeeell I couldn't leave Minnie on her own could I? So Blarty stayed. His name comes from the fact that I refused to name him, but he Blaaaaarted a lot, and became known as "that Blarty thing in the field"!
A couple of years ago Minnie decided she's had enough, we're not sure why, but we still have Blarty, he's about 10 maybe even 11 this year and still going strong......
Why am I telling you all this?
I was in the dyehouse this morning beavering away and suddenly I heard "Blaart" very loud, so turned round to find Blarty rather closer that usual! I was a little slow with the camera - as you can see he's already got bored and is moving on....!
Farmers! - they use your fields for access and are the worst culprits for leaving the gates open! "Oh" said Ewan, when I went out to see what was going on - "I thought the field was empty" How long has Blarty been here?!
I never got round to starting a dyebath today, although I've several things on the go for tomorrow..... but I thought you might like to meet my friend, who spent most of the day following me round.