Raising Finnish Landrace, Cotswold, Border Leicester, and Romeldales, in the Heart of Illinois, as well as working with rescue llamas.

Friday, August 20, 2010

 We have discovered the wonderful world of felting this summer. All it took was getting the Michigan Sheep and wool festival catalog in the mail and reading the classes offered to whet our appetite for felting. Our first adventure was wet felting a pair of light blue and white place mats for my mom for her birthday to match my folks newly painted kitchen.  While wet felting is truly good clean fun, given the fact that it involves layers of clean carded wool, hot water, soap, and lots of rubbing, it was not until about 6 weeks ago that we fell in head over heels crazy in love with felting. You see, a month and a half ago we discovered needle felting!  I had heard of needle felting, I had seen some projects finished by others and stood in appropriate awe of these folks' talent.  But I had never seen it done until a YouTube video landed in my lap. It just looked so so easy, I thought, "why not give it a try?" Off to Hobby Lobby we went for 4h project supplies and maybe it was a coincidence that I would up in the needle felting aisle, maybe not.  After the trip to Hobby Lobby, I played around with the needle felting tools mostly I created bugs and flowers on to fabric. I discovered that needle felting is a most forgiving art! If you don't like how it looks, pull it off and start over; no harm, no foul. Since that first experiment, I have found needle felting to a very stress relieving art. I am thinking the bug needle feltings may turn into a patchwork pillow after I produce a few more bugs.

Well, along came morning and as with anything one hopes one's children can achieve more than ones' self. WOW, did they!  All of our kids showed an interest in needle felting immediately.  They asked if they could needle felt something for the 4h fair.  Our eldest son got the rest of his projects done in time to play around with the needle felting. To the right is what he submitted to 4h visual arts fiber category. The tree is Finnsheep fleece from a black Finn, the green and blue is black Blue-faced Leicester overdyed, all the leaves are koolaid dyed Polypay fleece, the white cloud is white Finn sheep, the grey stones are natural colored Shetland, and the sheep is from our sweet ole ewe rose, a Corridale cross.  He won first place, a superior, an original design, best of class division, class champion, and was nominated to take it to state and did well with the project there as well. Not bad for the first time he picked up the tool.  

Friday, August 6, 2010


Hello & Welcome to Walnut Springs Farm! We are a small family farm dedicated to honoring God in all we do both on and off the farm.  This site is our quest to share the treasured itinerary of our shepherding of both our human flock and sheep. We raise registered Finnish Landrace sheep in the heart of Illinois.  We also have registered Shetland,  registered Border Leicester, and  registered Cotswold sheep but we shall save those for other posts.

The Finnsheep is a fascinating breed! They originate from Finland and are a part of the "northern rat tail" breeds of sheep. This group also includes the Shetland, Romanov, and Icelandic breeds all are thought to have descended from the wild mouflon sheep.

Why Finnsheep when there are so many other sheep out there?  The answer... family vote. Many breeds were kicked out of by sheer size. We wanted a smaller sheep, so we could all handle them without fear.  This may have been a reaction to years of large cows living here.  We researched different breeds of sheep that might fit best for us. We traveled the internet and the sheep shows.  We bought wool from each breed, I handspun each, and we all touched and wore the samples as bracelets and necklaces to see if any was something we wanted to wear against our skin. We asked other people which of these is softer to you? Great fiber is our primary goal here at Walnut Springs Farm and Finnsheep have phenomenal wool! Finnsheep wool is soft with a light luster and super loft. Along with delightful wool, Finnsheep can have litters of up to 8 lambs at a time. The family vote was unanimous, Finn sheep for us!

Check out our the links on our breed page for further information on Finnish Landrace Sheep, or our sheep for sale page.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Breed Info

Our Sheep
I will be slowly adding links for information as I find them. I have a few more to add but I have run out of time tonight.
Finnish Landrace
Info on the Finnish Landrace sheep breed  Go to the bottom of the page


Border Leicester


Our Rabbits
French Angora
American Fuzzy Lops