Monday, May 23, 2011

Ovine, equine, cervine

I've been doing some spinning recently, with Wicklow Cheviot I got at a visit to The Sheep and Wool Centre in Leenane last year. (Definitely well worth a visit for any sheep enthusiast.)

I washed the fleece, combed it, pulled it off a home-made hackle through a diz and spun it up into a rather lumpy but pleasant aran-weight yarn. They are a hardy mountain breed and I didn't expect their wool to be so nice. It's not next-to-the-skin-type wool, but definitely good for other purposes.
LinkI've given up on counting twists per inch and suchlike. I realised I just like spinning. Not having to measure amounts of wool and doing it scientifically - just doing it for the relaxing and meditative passtime it is.In other news, our neighbour's horses came to stay for a while and have been settling in well.They got the snip this week, which was more eventful than it could have been due to one of them needing about four times the normal amount of anaesthetic.
There is something so weird about seeing such a strong and magnificent creature lying unable to move on the ground. Although, much more terrifying was when he came-to and lurched drunkenly around the field at speed, crashing down on the grass randomly.

It's been great to live with the horses for a while, have them graze the field, hear them whinnying about the place. But witnessing them being castrated was a lesson in itself. It is a brutal process by definition, and dealing with such a huge animal is a tricky business. Having two stallions is not an option - they are too unpredictable. It makes you realise what keeping large animals entails. It's not idyllic!

On a more idyllic note though...the upside of having any trees we plant destroyed by deer is that occasionally you walk into the kitchen and find one grazing outside the window.

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