Socks, The Matriarch Of The Flock

Socks smiling in the morning sun.

I remember when we were lambing and the sheep were pregnant, they behaved differently towards each other.  I can’t say exactly what they did, but they seemed more protective.  They seemed to pay attention to each other more.

And that’s a quality I see more and more in my sheep Socks.

Along with Tess (who died some years ago) and Suzy, she’s one of the first sheep I got when we still lived on Old Bedlam Farm.  So she’s around 7 or 8 years old and I noticed recently that she has some more white hairs on her face than she used to.

I also noticed how she seems to watch out for the other sheep.

It’s been a subtle change, the way it was when the sheep were pregnant.  So even though I sensed it, I wasn’t sure what was happening.  But when she followed Griselles cries last week when Griselle was stuck in the back pasture and helped guide her back to the barn, I became certain of it.

In some ways, Liam took over as leader of the flock when Zelda began to decline then died. But I feel like Socks took over as the matriarch.  The one who keeps an eye on the other sheep and is there for them when they need it.

 

Griselle, Doing Okay

After getting stuck in the back pasture on Tuesday, Griselle was her old self today.

She gobbled up her grain then ran to the hay feeder and stuck her head deep inside it munching away with the other sheep.

I still have the back pasture closed off.  This weekend I’ll put up a temporary fence, blocking off the area where Griselle got stuck so the sheep and donkeys can graze there again.  Even though there’s no grass, there’s plenty of scrubby brush to keep them busy.

 

Griselle, Stuck In The Back Pasture

Griselle unsure which way to go.

I heard a sheep baaing sometime after lunch, but didn’t think it unusual.  It was only when I went to feed the animals at three o’clock and saw that Griselle wasn’t with the rest of the sheep that I wished I had paid more attention to it.

Knowing that the sheep’s call came from the back pasture earlier, I headed out calling Griselle’s name.  And she answered me.  I followed her call and heard that some of the sheep answering her as they followed me.

Griselle was as far back in the pasture as possible.  She was between some tall bushes and the fence and although she wasn’t stuck, she wasn’t able to get out from behind the bushes.

When she saw me she panicked and tried to run into the fence.  I wished I had a lead with me to put around her neck and guide her out, but didn’t think to take anything with me when I realized she was missing.

So I took off the cowl I was wearing, that someone had made for me years ago from my sheep Tess’ wool.  I crawled through the bushes and quietly cooing Griselle’s name, looped the cowl over her head.   With a little tug and a hand behind her butt, I was able to guide Griselle out of the bushes.

I got behind her to move her forwards but she still seemed confused and kept running back towards the bushes.  That’s when Socks and the twins, Asher and Issachar, showed up.

The rest of the sheep and donkeys were hanging back grazing but Socks, leading the twins, was calling to  Griselle.  She seemed to be looking for her.

Once Griselle saw Socks she ran to her and followed her back to the other sheep and then to the barnyard.

Griselle is my oldest sheep since Zelda died.  She was one of the four Romneys that we got from Donna who rescued them from a farmer who couldn’t care for them anymore.

I’ve been feeding her grain since last year because she has a hard time keeping weight on.   I’m not sure if she was recovering from what happened today or if her eyesight is fading but she seemed confused when I fed her grain after we got back to the barnyard.

I closed the gate to the back pasture and am thinking about blocking off the area where Griselle got stuck.  It’s not a place the animals usually go, there’s not much for them to eat back there.

I’ll also keep an eye on Griselle to see if I notice any more changes in her behavior.

Griselle following Socks out to the pasture.

Bedlam Farm Donation Wool For Sale

Bedlam Farm Donation Wool for sale in my Etsy Shop

Maggie had a dilemma.  Last year she bought a bunch of my wool and now she’s not knitting anymore.  So she offered to send it back to me to resell and donate the money to The Army of Good.

I thought it a wonderful idea and immediately sold one of the skeins of wool to a regular wool customer. Then I decided a couple of them would make a good donation to the Save Your Ass Donkey Rescue benefit auction.

That left us with five skeins of Bedlam Farm wool to sell.  So I posted them in my Etsy Shop just click here to see and buy them.  They’re $27 each + shipping and the money will go to help the refugee kids at Bishop Maginn and the residents at The Mansion Assisted Living Facility.

So thank you Maggie for being so generous and thanks to all of you who buy the Bedlam Farm Donation Wool.

Full Moon Fiber Art Etsy Store

Suzy’s Shawl In The Making With Some Bedlam Farm Wool

Suzy’s wool and my roving.  The makings of a new Shawl.

I’ve been selling Suzy Fatzinger’s shawls for a couple of years now.  She spins all the wool herself and much of it comes from her angora goats, Lucy, April, Alice, Ruth, and Larry.

For Christmas, she made a scarf for Jon’s daughter Emma.   We did a trade, she gave us the scarf and I gave her some of Liam’s raw wool and now a ball of my yellow roving. (I still have one more 8oz ball of roving available in my Etsy Shop)

Suzy got her wool back from the mill around the same time I did.  It’s the black wool with silver swirls in the photo above and she started spinning and knitting it right away.

Then I sent her my yellow roving which came from my sheep, Liam and Rosemary, and she added the red wool to the color combination.

So here’s Suzy’s next shawl in three different stages of progress.  Some still roving, needing to be spun, some wool already spun and some already knit.

I’ll be selling Suzy’s shawl on my blog when it’s done.  And I’ll keep you updated along the way.

You can see some of Suzy’s shawls that I sold last year here. 

Our New Podcast, Friendship, Wool, Stickers, Awakening

Photo by Jon Katz

I helped Jon clean up his office yesterday and underneath all the stuff on his desk, we found the microphone we use to make podcasts.

It’s been a while since our last podcast.  Today’s is called Friendship, Wool, Sticker, Awakening and you can listen to it here or on Itunes and Apple Podcasts.

We talked about my wool, which is sold out except for one ball of happy yellow roving. My Twin Healing Trees Magnets which sold so quickly (thank you all!) I’m ordering more.  And what we learned from our friendship with Susan, who recently died.

Now I have to get all those orders for magnets in the mail, so enjoy the podcast and thanks for listening!

You can listen to any of our Katz and Wulf On Bedlam Farm Podcasts anytime by clicking on the podcast buttons on my blog.

Kim’s Barber Pole Wool

Kim

My Karakul sheep Kim is shy and has the sweetest face.

I used her natural colored white wool in my Barber Pole yarn.  The grays in the yarn are from Izzy (who died this summer) and Socks.  So it’s a mix of Romney, Border Leicester and Karakul wool.

I love the way the Barber Pole looks with the dyed yarns. Or the mix of Barber Pole, yellow and natural gray.  But I don’t have too many of the dyed colors left.

Each skein is 200 yards and 3 ply worsted.  They’re $27 each plus shipping.  I have one more 8oz ball of yellow roving still available too.

You can see it all and buy it here. 

My wool for sale in my Etsy Shop

 

Full Moon Fiber Art