December 2016

A Different Story - celebrating Cornish Tin and other minerals with wool

Sue Blacker's picture
22 December, 2016 - 13:51 | Sue Blacker

As with last year, we were lucky to be able to use the wonderful resources of the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro to stand alongside our new skeins of Cornish Tin II – the second version of our limited edition birthday yarn.  Next year we are planning something completely different ...

As on wanders around the bigger exhibits and photo’s, it may be easy to overlook the large glass display cases full of old rocks.  This is a shame as the samples have been lovingly collected by avid and knowledgeable people, carefully labelled and stored and then gifted to the Museum.  Some of the samples still have their original labels (as above for the sample of Blende, a zinc mineral).  Even more importantly, many are special and rare examples of local minerals with the location also identified.  And most importantly for us, the colours are astonishing and work very well in contrast with the slight lustre and fluffy texture of our Cornish Tin II yarn.

Sheep and Death (a seasonal reflection!) (Part Two)

Sue Blacker's picture
22 December, 2016 - 11:22 | Sue Blacker

Image courtesy of the BBC

A difficult year?

We all also know that each year brings its own challenges, particularly the weather – too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, or mainly too much of these at a time!  My own experience this year has not been easy and I will share some of it … firstly the lambing was good, with two live lambs per ewe.  Some were rejected, so we ended up with two bottle-fed babies, which survived, even the ewe born weighing 0.5kg.  They were born in March-April and all went on well to weaning and then to first shear in early July, when the shearer remarked how well they looked.  However, we had problems with a couple of ewes, two with mastitis and one sudden death, for no apparent reason, so it is probably that some of the apparently healthy lambs were not getting all the nourishment they needed.  So fairly early weaning and shearing were additional stresses.

Sheep and Death (a seasonal reflection!) (Part One)

Sue Blacker's picture
22 December, 2016 - 11:15 | Sue Blacker

Image courtesy of Raw Story

Sheep are proverbial amongst the farming community for having a strong death-wish!  Indeed it is even said that no Blue-faced Leicester should be sold without an accompanying spade with which to bury it …

(We should point out that it is illegal to bury dead stock mostly, but this saying pre-dates current requirements!)

The main issue for sheep is that, although they have relatively few predators once past being tiny lambs, apart from out-of-control dogs, they are quite inclined to get both diseases and parasites, particularly if intensively farmed on land which has had sheep for many years.  This is of course exacerbated by their flocking instinct, so it’s a bit like primary schools as great incubators of infection.  Older animals can carry a level of parasites without problems if they are otherwise healthy, and have also been observed to self medicate from suitable herbs or ivy, whenever they get the chance, and to avoid plants poisonous to them, such as bracken or ragwort.

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