Sunday, September 20, 2015

Where Did the Time Go?

We are finally getting around to updating our blog, thinking we missed a show or two. Little did we remember that the last time we posted was a year ago! As we prepare to leave for the Big E this Wednesday, we decided to catch up.

The Year in Review

  • Following our success at the Big E in 2014, we headed to Louisville for the NAILE in November, where the bright spot was watching one of our ewes owned by Gina Bilyeu win Reserve Champion. Otherwise, we won a couple of classes, a little disappointment after doing so well in Massachusetts.
  • As for our breeding season, we've cut back and only had 10 lambs, 5 rams and 5 ewes this year. We sold 2 ewe lambs before they were 6 weeks old.
  • It seemed a good year to return to Maryland, where we won 5 out of the 8 classes, but alas, no champions.

  • Memorial Day weekend brings us to Wooster and we took only one ram, Jack. He won champion ram and was the top selling ram. He was purchased by the Barney family of New Hampshire. Perhaps we'll see him at the BigE?

At the same time, we sent TP, one of our rams who had sired many winners to New York with the Knappenberger Family.

  • Then life became very busy as our son Zac and his family moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, this summer (of course, we were delighted since Amherst is a short drive to West Springfield). We even timed a trip to stop in to see the Northeast Youth Sheep Show and expose our grandkids Lucia and Theo to the world of showing sheep.
  • August rolled around and we made it to the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan. We enjoy the show mainly because of all the wonderful Michigan Sheep Breeders we have met over the years.  I love my workshops - this year 3 baskets and some alpaca spinning - and look forward to Jerry bringing the sheep for the weekend show.

A Good Year!
Reserve Champion Ram Natural Color Wool
As much as we enjoy the sheep business, we still are hoping to sell our flock in the near future. Spread the word!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Big E - 2014


We had another enjoyable time at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. This year we took ten sheep and had a lot of success!

  • In the ram show we had the second yearling ram and the second senior ram lamb. 
  • Our pair of ram lambs were second.
  •  The first place junior ram lamb, which was also the reserve champion, was out of a ZNK ram Barbara Thompson had purchased from us.
  • We won first and second in the yearling ewe class and second and third in the senior ewe lamb class.
  • The yearlings won the pair of yearling ewes and the lambs were second in the pair of lambs class.
  • We had champion and reserve champion ewes.
  • We won Breeder and Exhibitor Flocks, Get of Sire, Best Fleece, and Best Headed female.
  • To top it all off, we won Premier Breeder and Exhibitor.
  • In the final all-breeds fleece competition, we were pulled out in the top four.
Of course, the Big E is not all work and showing sheep. We had a great time reconnecting with other sheep breeders from all over. We especially enjoyed hanging out with Lydia and Hannah Smith from Vermont. 

Best Headed Ewe

Reserve Champion Yearling
Breeder and Exhibitor Flock
Champion Yearling and Best Fleece

See you at the NAILE in November in Louisville!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer, 2014

Good News from Vermont

We received good news from Lydia Smith from Vermont who had purchased a ewe lamb and a yearling ewe from us in early May. At the North East Youth Sheep Show,  the yearling won Reserve Champion, best fleece, and best head.  Lydia is a natural, as you can see in these pictures!

Sheep Lead-In

Who knew we would ever be involved in the sheep lead-in competition again?!
At the Madison and Fayette County fairs and the Ohio State Fair, we were well-represented by four-year-old Alli Knecht in the lead-ins. Alli's parents, Angie and Matt Knecht, bought two of our lambs so that Alli could participate in the lead-ins. I knitted a dress and hat from our wool for Alli. She named her sheep Katie and Sparkles, and she quickly became friends with them. Above is a picture of Alli modeling her outfit. As you can see, she's knows what she's doing! Alli and her cousin showed both lambs in pairs, winning first place at the state fair.

Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan

ZNK Border Leicesters had a successful weekend in Michigan. First of all, we took the white ewe lamb that failed to sell at Wooster. She won Champion White Long Wool Ewe and found a new home in Virginia with Cathy Shiff.

In the Natural Colored Long Wool division, our ram lamb was champion.

 And our ewe lamb beat our first place yearling for champion Natural Colored Long Wool Ewe.

In all, we had 9 first place ribbons, 2 second, one third and 1 fourth. We also were awarded Premiere Breeder for Natural Colored Long Wools. Not bad!


I also had a chance to take a couple of workshops during the week. I attempted to weave again, this time on a rectangular continuous strand loom from Hillcreek Fiber Studio using yarn that I spun. I wove a divided work basket in a workshop with Bev Larson, The Basket Lady.

A week in SW Michigan with friends, new and old, is something we look forward to every August. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May, 2014

We took a quick trip to the Maryland Wool Festival to deliver 2 ewes to Lydia Smith from Vermont. We just happened to arrive in time to see the natural colored Border Leicester show. The champion ram and ewe were purchased from us at the Wooster sale last year. The ram was shown by the Sands family and the champion ewe was shown by the Bilyeu family, both from Pennsylvania. 

Wooster was pretty successful. We had the top selling natural colored ewe, and our ram was the reserve champion. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones interested in the Border Leicester breed.

We feel lucky to have sold quite a few sheep in the past month. We hope the sheep will do well for their new owners.

Now we look forward to the Michigan Fiber Festival in August. Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Flock For Sale

We've finally decided to sell our flock of white and natural colored Border Leicesters. Travel and family will be our focus now. Raising and showing the sheep have been an enjoyable and worthwhile experience that we've been able to share. The people we've met along the way are wonderful, and hopefully some of the travel plans will include sheep shows to visit with friends!

Our plans are to sell the flock as one unit. In the meantime, we'll sell at Wooster - The Great Lakes Fiber Show over Memorial weekend and possibly Rhinebeck - New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in October. 

Please contact Jerry at if interested.

We have had a lot of success and fun along the way!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

NAILE 2013

Success in Louisville!

Our luck in the show ring this year continued at the NAILE in Louisville. In the Natural Color Border Leicester ewe show we had the first place yearling ewe, first place senior ewe lamb, and second place junior ewe lamb. The senior ewe lamb was also Champion Ewe and Best Fleece. 

We also won all three pair classes and flock, which was undefeated this year.

We have had a lot of help showing the sheep throughout the year . We'd like to thank Brian Larson, Emma Hopkins, Colin and Artie Siegmund, Don Drummond, Jill Morton, David Freds, Tyler Myers, and Alisun Watson.

 We'd like to wish ewe Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Big E, 2013

Jerry soloed at the Big E this year with much success. He took seven sheep and came home with a lot of ribbons and smiles. In all he had eight firsts, two seconds, one fourth, one sixth, and a tenth.

The ram lambs had a perfect day. They won the senior ram lamb, junior ram lamb, and pair of ram lamb classes. The senior ram lamb was picked champion ram, while the junior ram lamb was reserve. The first place yearling ram was one that we sold to Barbara Thompson last year. He also sired the reserve champion ewe lamb.

The yearling ewes didn't do as well, placing sixth and tenth. However, they did place second in pairs (you figure that one out). The senior ewe lambs were first and second in their class and paired up to win the pair class. The final ewe lamb placed fourth in its class.

Jerry also came home winning Exhibitor's Flock and Breeder's Flock. The champion ram lamb also won Best Fleece. Just before leaving the show, Jerry was awarded The Big E Shepherd award, topping off a great week.

See you all in Louisville!