The First Lambing

Do you know what I've decided is the perfect end to an emotional day?

Lambs.....

lamb

Since relocating from the big city to Dorset, Little One and I have been enjoying so many precious moments together. We've grown accustomed to watching the sides of the road carefully for deer and pheasants. We've learned which days will distract us entirely with their big skies that go on forever. Owls keep us awake and we don't mind one bit. 

It's been a shift that I'm so grateful for. Relocating into a new area during Winter could have been incredibly bleak but noting the changes that are coming with each month has been fascinating. The Gorse in flower with its cheerful pop of yellow against a vast stretch of winter barren land is currently one of my favourite sights but this week, something topped all of that. 

One of the biggest shifts in measuring time is learning the activity of neighbouring farms. Our friends just started their first round of lambing. Tucked inside sheds and away from the cold that's rolled in this month, their Dorset Cross ewes began this year's round of lambs.

ewe and lambs

It's a humbling moment to watch a Ewe deliver a lamb onto the straw and nibble away the sack that once was so essential for it to thrive inside of her. Within the hour the lamb is wobbling its first shaky steps and thus begins a new journey for the little sweet thing.

Little One watched  the whole process thoughtfully. There were lots of questions about mummies tummies and milk. We shared a cuddle as I explained how the lambs need mother's milk just as she once did and she placed her little hand on my neck in a silent shared moment of remembering. Thumb in, she kept her hand there for some time while she watched a little lamb grow in strength enough to take its first feed. It had been an incredibly tiring day for me and suddenly there was this moment and I found myself holding my breath, not daring to breathe out in case it moved on. 

lamb
Dorset Cross Ewe
lamb

The shed was strangely peacefully despite lambs being born regularly. One decided to make its entrance backwards and was swiftly assisted but otherwise the ewes delivered independently with just a watchful eye of the skilled Shepherdess. The Dorset Cross lamb earlier in the year than the farm's other breeds and tend to have twins but occasionally triplets. The farm foster multiples on to other ewes to make sure that both mother and baby thrive with enough milk. Those that can't be fostered will be reared by hand which meant there was time for a little cuddle and bottle feed that utterly delighted both myself and Little One.

ewe and lambs

It's a strange thing to switch from the fast paced frenzy of submission deadlines, article pitches and the emails to the quiet shed full of sheep. Somehow though it feels like this was how it was always meant to be. I'll take the whirl of creativity mixed with life's most humbling moments anytime. I've been smiling all week. 

 

New Year Calm and Clarity

When it comes to getting a feel for the emotional state I'm in, you need look no further than the kitchen most days. If the sides are brimming with tins of baked goods, the fridge is bursting with fresh seasonal ingredients, then I'm feeling peachy. If I've slammed oven chips on the table and realised the fish fingers are not even defrosted? Things are bleak and it's best to give me a moment to put things right again. 

baking clutter
lemon zesting

New Year brought the realisation that I need more time for me in 2015. I am tired and I just need to indulge in some good food making and eating before strapping my walking boots back on and journeying into new adventures. As a result my kitchen is a den of activity right now- lemons are being used everywhere (always a good sign) and there's been some pretty special lunches and dinners. 

dressing in a bottle
roasted jerusalem artichokes

I've bee playing around with new to me recipes like this one for roasted Jerusalem artichokes but I've also been on something of a mission....

seeds and nuts

It's got me twice in a week...

dried fruit an nuts

and I'm not there yet.....

breakfast bars

The PERFECT breakfast bar! I've been using up dried fruits, seeds, nuts and oatmeal from the cupboard but I've still not found just the right mixture that I'm craving. I want seedy and nutty, not heavily sugary and not crumbly. What's your favourites? 

Resolving not to Resolve

It's that time of year isn't it? New year, new start, new resolutions. I'm dire at them. Really. I once achieved a fantastic year of knitting when I challenged myself to learn all these new things like sweaters and cables and socks and I had a sort of sponsor via a knit friend. We rewarded each other with amazing packages whenever we accomplished a goal we'd set out. You can see the list

here

on my project page. It was ace. I've achieved absolutely nothing like it ever since.

When it comes to my knitting intentions in 2014, I have so much good stash and so many good intentions. I've got

knits crushes

galore and I just want to knit all the things. Oh but I have a Playful Tot and work from home without childcare. Tricky.

So rather than make a mountain of goals I just thought about what it is that I might like to achieve this year. Stash enjoyment is high on the agenda once more because I've really got some good stuff in there! I want to work with it and if I do eventually get my much covetted spinning wheel, I want to feel there's room for fibre in the stash and that I have knit lots of things that I've always wanted to make before I start splitting my already precious time further still. There will always be new patterns I want but I hold this mental list of favourites that could really do with some working on now. Do you do the same?

So I spent a joyful hour queueing a ridiculous amount of projects. Chances of knitting all of them? Pretty slim but I did tag them with stash I have, stash I could overdye, stash I could add to in order to complete them and stash to splurge on as a treat. I'm attending a few events this year and I'm going to try to only invite yarn for the 'splurge' section into my stash so it has an intended purpose and the correct yardage (a major failing of my stash I've realised). The yarn that I'm not sure about can be gifted or overdyed. Yes, I'm crazy enough to try to dye over some pretty fancy yarn. If it's something I keep hovering over because it's just not exactly the shade I had hoped, I should play and try to improve it. I used to love dyeing so it's time I got the dye pot out again and started relearning what I once enjoyed so much. It's just trapped potential in those skeins otherwise and I have some patterns that I really want on (and off) my needles!

So stash curating and dyeing. What else? Photography. Urgh, I missed my camera so much in 2013 and when I take more pictures, I blog better and I'm more creative I've noticed. It's time to dig out that SLR and relearn the settings (there's a theme here have you noticed?). It also will spur me to block and photograph some finished objects. I can't believe I still haven't shared my

Girl Crush Sweater

for example. To be fair, the light has been dire thanks to the typhoon we've been enjoying. Yuck.

So I guess my theme is consolidation and making what I have work. I don't get much slack so I should refocus on what I already have.

Oh and did I mention that sewing machine in my loft room? Yeah..... that needs to happen this year too. Time travel anyone?