Saturday, 22 August 2009


I'm sure I've probably mentioned somewhere along the line that I have 1 pet sheep - Blarty.

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.

His fleece is lovely - curly but strong - and I dye it regularly, mainly for my own samples, but I occasionally give some away to those that appreciate where it's come from!


Patricia said...

Stunningly beautiful...who knew?

Debbie said...

Mainly people who have met him!

I assume that's what you mean! I keep promising myself a jumper made from all the different colours spun up - but time flies by, and I hate knitting!

Benita said...

Wow! Hie fleece does take colors well! And I love the picture of the 6m of Turkey Dyed cloth. I'd love to hear what all you went through to get that gorgeous red! Did you use the recipe in JN Liles' book?

madewithloops said...

Hope to meet him one day soon. I love Wensleydale's. I would love some of his yarn one day a deep and rich berry colour please.
See you soon

florcita said...

What a fantastic story! Im a felter and always fantasize with having my own sheep. Well, not much room where we live, plus the "garden of food" -as we call our veggie patch which has taken over the whole of the 400m2 of garden- would probably suffer with a sheep around... not to mention Olaf, our dog, who would probably find it interesting to bark all day.
Anyway, I liked reading your story and Im bookmarking you to come back for more.
Have a nice week!