Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

The Return of the Rental Ram January 7, 2018

Technically, he was a leased ram, but rental ram just has a sound to it doesn’t it?

The rental ram in question is the same one that I used last year, the lovely Nuuk from Sommarang Farm.  He won Yearling Ram at this years MSSBA show at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival.  Last year he was just a ram lamb and I was a little, um, dubious as to if he was up to the job of taking care of my ladies, but he did just fine.  This year, as a full-grown ram, there was no question from the get-go as to his ability to handle the job he was being hired for.

I picked Nuuk up at the beginning of December and I returned him this weekend in the back of my Honda Fit.  It’s about a four-hour drive from here in Iowa to his home in Wisconsin.  This year I took Dusty with me to keep me company, so this was my company driving up there.



Yep, two snoozing boys.  I think that Nuuk was just worn-out from his job the past month combined with the warm car and he was out for most of the trip like a light.  Dusty is usually out like a light in the car so long as he doesn’t think that we are going to the vet.

Most of the time my view was something like this:





Not the most exciting landscape, especially in the winter.  But Wisconsin still yields great barn watching opportunities and it was a pretty nice, though cold, day to be driving up there.

On the way home I always try to stop at The Cat and Crow in Mt. Horeb, WI.


It is such a lovely shop to peruse.  The ladies that run it are just lovely to talk to and they really do a great job of supplying locally produced yarns and fibers.  If you are ever in the area, I strongly suggest that you stop by and check out their wonderfully curated selection!




You know it’s Scotland when….. May 31, 2009

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you see these everywhere,





and a few of these too.


Thursday I spent most of the day wandering the streets of Edinburgh.  









And of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t hunt down a few yarn shops!  The first one that I went to was called K1Yarns.  They had a ton of interesting, locally produced yarns in a really cute, well organized little shop.  I got several balls of yarn there that I will do on a show and tell at a later date.  The lady running it was super friendly and it would be a very cool place just to chill and knit or crochet for a little bit.




Then I wandered over to McAree Brothers Knitting and Haberdashery.  I wish that this store was my local yarn store.  It is filled to the rafters with yarn and books.  However, it was filled to the rafters with Sidar and Rowan, which is sort of like an independant yarn store filling themselves with Lion Brand and Caron.  I honestly didn’t get anything there as there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t get at home.  However, it is a very nice store.




For this trip I decided to bring along a (call the police quick, she’s been bodysnatched!) sock knitting project.  I wanted to master this (damnit!) and I knew that if I brought a crochet project that I would only end-up working on it.  So, here’s what there is of it so far.  I have frogged the damn thing at least 3 times to get to this, though now it looks pretty nice I think!



Our first hotel was pretty nice.  We were right across from a part called the Meadows and, ignoring the traffic, it was really quite pretty.


We changed hotels on Friday as we were able to upgrade both quality (from a Best Western to a Hilton) and location.  Our new hotel is at one end of Princes Street, which is one of the main streets in Edinburgh.  It was really easy to get to everywhere in the city from there.


The Hotel on Princes Street is on the right

The Hotel on Princes Street is on the right


Friday I went to the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh.  It is, I think, probably the nicest botanic garden that I have even been to.  Now, I just want you to know that that is saying something.  I have been to Kew.  I have been to Huntington.  I have been to De Hortus. (And for those of you not in the botanic garden know, these are considered some of the greatest botanic gardens in the world) and this one holds it’s own.  It didn’t have any really spectacular collections of any one kind of plant but it did have a really through overview of all plant kinds.  Plus, it was free to the public except for the greenhouses.  This means that there were PEOPLE there.  People with their children playing in the grass.  To me, this is the purpose of a botanic garden, to educate folks about the plant world.  This is pretty hard to do when NO ONE IS THERE!  This garden was packed with people out just enjoying the sunshine.  Plus, the garden was really well laid out.  I’m not a design expert by any means (I got a B in the class) but I can tell you that the landscape designer of that garden was a good one.











I’m going to tell you about what we did on Saturday and Sunday tomorrow as it is getting late and I have lots more photos to upload for y’all!