Well, the snowdrops here are not quite as advanced as this - it's a photo from last year, but they ARE starting to show their heads above the surface; the bravest of the flowers.
January has been a time for several things: business planning for the year ahead; getting applications in to yarn festivals around Scotland and the North of England; and trying to be kind to myself. Years ago, at business school, I remember looking at marketing as being a mix of Product, Price, Promotion and Place - and it has been useful to force myself into applying that kind of structured thinking to my own work.
Lammermuir Wool has applied to several shows - and we should hear back from most of them over the next few weeks. The biggest news though has been being accepted for a place at Edinburgh Yarn Festival's Sunday event Make:Wool on 24th March. This is a development of last year's Meet The Shepherdess event which was the busiest event we have ever attended - a very busy four hours indeed. If you are coming to EYF, or are in Edinburgh on 24th then please do get tickets for the Sunday event as we'd love to see you!
We made a decision NOT to lamb this year - as last year was so difficult. Eleven years in and we thought we would take a spring off-duty. So, no lamb pics to come this spring.
Over the winter, there is less grass for the sheep as it won't grow again until the temperature picks up. They are fed hay each day and the quality of last year's hay has been superb - the sheep love it! Later on they will also get hard feeding, and they also have fodder supplement via a mineral lick bucket. They are certainly well provided for. Grass is their favourite though - and even in the snow, they will dig down to find grass.
Last year's fleeces are off to the Mill in Yorkshire and it will be a stressful few weeks trying to get it back in time for the EYF event! We have additional fleeces in the mix this time, too - following the success of last year's Shetland/Romney blend: Essy 4 ply. We have been lucky to purchase fleeces from a championship winning flock in Aberdeenshire, as well as from a neighbouring flock of Shetland sheep. Next year's clip will also be blended with local Cheviot fleeces: all to expand the range and amount of yarn that we have to offer. Looks like all the dreaming and planning is paying off...