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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coopworth # 217 and a Naming Contest

We've got a new sheep!  Coopworth # 217 is a two year old ewe who is carrying on the line of Coopworths originally from a well-known breeder in West Virginia.  Her grandmother, Honeysuckle, came to the Owens Farm when they first moved to Pennsylvania.  Honeysuckle was known for her exceptional fleece and had a ewe (# 140) who also had beautiful white fleece.  In the fall of 2011,
# 140 was bred with their natural-colored ram Baritone and had twins: a ram lamb and my # 217.

Number 217 spent her first year as part of the Owens' Sheep Camp.  She was haltered, led around, given treats, entered into Lamb Races and Hide and Go Sheep, and got to play with lots of children.  As a result, she's really quite friendly and curious about people.

After that cushy first year, she spent the winter with a group of other yearling ewes and rejoined the flock this spring.  Right now, she is out to pasture and will be getting her first blanket next week to protect that beautiful fleece.

So, it's time for another naming contest!  Since her grandmother was named Honeysuckle, I hope you'll keep that in mind in coming up with a sweet name for # 217 in her own right.  Please post your entries (no limit) on our Facebook Page (I'll have a post on which you can comment and add your entry). I'll have some nice crochet treats for the winner, but I do reserve the right to end the contest and just come up with a name of my own liking for her.  Good luck!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's a Winner!

The Market Bag got done in the nick of time and posted to the contest page!

And I got an email saying that I had won one of the Online Presence Review from Dream Your Success.  I'm really excited about this opportunity to have a fresh eye look at my site, this blog, all my social media posts, etc., and give me some insights on how to bring it all together and where to channel my energy and of course will share what I find out.

Which got me to thinking about how there are Talkers and Doers.  I'm a sucker for webinars and other resources that are supposed to give you insights into the latest business technique, and I recently signed up for a free newsletter and mini-course on the Facebook Landing Page.  Now, this fellow sure spoke well about how he did research and came up with a fool-proof template that really helped his business grow, but he really didn't explain what the landing page is about and how to take action steps to actually make one of your own.  So, I did a quick search for "how to make a Facebook landing page" and up popped Heather Porter's website, on which she's got a free video that takes you step-by-step through the process of what the page actually looks like and how to create one!  I haven't actually watched and implemented the whole video yet, but I can tell that, once I've thought through exactly what I want to go onto my FB landing page, I'm going to be able to actually get it done!  So, that's the difference in my opinion between the first guy (talks nicely but ...) and Ms. Porter (who actually gets things done and helps you do them too!).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CAL, Part 2

I'm almost finished with my Yet Another Market Bag, and I thought I would share what I hope are some helpful tips about how to make the handles.  It's going to take a little math, but bear with me!

I had 108 stitches around the top of my bag.  When I flattened it out, I decided that I wanted the handles to span 26 stitches.  Ok, so that means that I will use up 52 stitches for both handle spans, with 56 stitches remaining for the sides in between the handles.  Since I just hate fastening off and reattaching yarn, I started my first handle where the bag trim finished off (I did 4 rounds of single crochet stitches to finish off the bag).  I chained 60, counted to the 26th stitch from where I started chaining, and did a sc in the 26th st.  Then I single crocheted in the next 28 sts (which is half of the 56 remaining stitches), chained 60 again for the other handle, counted the next 26 sts, did an sc in the 26th st, and single crochet around again another 28 sts, which brought me back to my first handle.

Then, I started to work into the first handle's chains, but instead of working into the front, back, or both loops of the chain, I flipped over the chain and worked into the ridges or bumps underneath the chain.  Here's a new video on my YouTube channel that demonstrates the technique.

Ok, so hopefully I will be posting a picture of my finished bag shortly!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Whammo! and a New CAL

I was pretty cocky, thinking to myself that I had managed to get through the entire fall and winter without catching a cold or the flu.  So, when my husband caught a bad cold a few weeks ago, I laughed and told him not to worry about hugging me and sharing a cup, etc.  Well, I bet you know where this story is going.  Yup, I've been hit, and hit hard, by the cold since last Thursday.  Am just starting to feel like myself again today and getting back in the groove. 

But, I did use the opportunity between hydrating myself and taking naps to start Crochet Tracy's new CAL -- Yet Another Market Bag by Debbie Solinsky, available on Ravelry.  To join in, go to or her group on Ravelry to post pictures of your version of the bag.  Oh, and I just posted a video to our channel on YouTube about how to avoid cutting and joining yarn on each round of the mesh section if you want to keep using the same color.  Enjoy and post your pix on our Facebook page as well!

Here's a picture of my bag so far!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Free Craftsy Mini-Courses!

I've really been impressed with how Craftsy is growing and making such great online crafting classes available.  As any good business would, they are offering some free mini-classes to demonstrate the quality of their work. 

The next 2 free Craftsy mini-courses I'm going to take are:
1.  Know Your Wool
2.  Short Rows
Check out all of the other free Craftsy mini-courses by clicking here (full disclosure:  I am a Craftsy affiliate but wouldn't be one if I didn't think they have a great product/service to offer.  I'd really appreciate your using my links to check them out, thank you).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

R.I.P. Princess

Well, I guess the title says it all...  Caroline called me Monday morning at 8:30 am (I knew it couldn't be good news).  Well, apparently, after the flock had been checked on Sunday, Princess once again managed to get away from the flock and get herself stuck upside down somewhere and just wasn't discovered in time.

By chance, Caroline happened to have her camera with her on Saturday while out in the pasture and got this great picture of Princess and two of her triplets (the third is hiding in back).

She sure was a beautiful sheep, and I hope she did not suffer...  I'm happy to have had a small part in her time on earth and cherish the fleece and yarn that she gave me.  I hope she's frolicking happily in a better place...  And I do so appreciate that Caroline called to tell me in person, it's a loss for her too, but I'm sure as a farmer, this truly represents the cycle of life.

Caroline has another sheep for me to adopt, and I hope to introduce you to her soon.  But, this post is about Princess and my appreciation for her.  Long Live the Princess!