Saturday, December 29, 2007
My daughter bugged me today about updating this blog. Yea! I didn't think that she even read me. And she says the other daughter does also.
Tomorrow is the end of our holiday celebrations. All three of my kids will be here, our son-in-law, and the two granddaughters. Son, Rob, has been here since Wednesday and will be going back to Pennsylvania on Monday. I am so blessed to have them want to come home.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I went back to the barn about 8:30 after my chores were done and took some pictures. The fog turning to ice on the trees was awesome. This is a picture of our POA pony, Kelly, who is nearly blind. Can you see the ice forming on her hairs?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Very bulky @ 8 wpi - 3.4 oz./95 grams
Monday, December 17, 2007
A friend, Nancy, started an Alpaca 4-H Club, and John will be showing Slammie at the Fair next summer.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I was telling friend Beth that I will soon run out of the dyed and why does it seem like we shouldn't start new projects, like dyeing, before Christmas. It feels like things should be finished up - wrapped up, literally. But I will probably break through that mind set and get out the dye pots.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Pony....... Yep, we bought her. I think that Smitty is going to call her Fiona, you know like Shrek's wife? We had to put her a ways from the other horses but she seems to be doing well. Smitty is delighted! When he works in her paddock/pen, she follows him around. I will try to get a picture on here.
The (no longer) Boys..... They are doing fine. Although the removal didn't seem to take away that instinct. We were weighing the girls this morning and the no longer boys were just tearing around, mounting each other, and acting like dorks.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I'm pretty excited because she has been ridden English and jumps. Oh, a dressage pony! How great would that be!
Can't you just imagine how excited the granddaughters will be?
Saturday, December 1, 2007
We caught Aries, the ram, and while Smitty held him I got his halter on. Actually, it wasn't that simple because it was on and off a few times for buckle adjustment while Smitty is bent over holding the guy. He doesn't get on his knees often because they are both artificial. That's Smitty's knees, not Aries. Now it's time to lead him about 150 yards. I pushed, Smitty pulled.
OK, so now we are ready to move the lambs who actually look full grown and probably weigh about 60 pounds. Haltering goes great but they absolutely refuse to be led and we can't get ourselves into the push - pull positions because we are trying to move two. Well, Phoebe slips her halter, so now she's moving great but all over the indoor arena. I could just see Smitty thinking to hell with it, he grabs Maddy who I'm leading, and with considerable effort picks her up and deposits her in the pen with Danny, goes back into the arena, catches and picks up Phoebe and dumps her.
I'm all anxious to go watch the breeding process but it's not really happening. Aries is making these cooing noises and doing a tongue thing in their faces but they are just running off.
Back in Danny's pen, he's terrified of these two little girls and when I left to come in, he was cowering in the corner.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I'm off to do barn chores. ☺
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Take a look at the lovelies in Molly's store now that I have my choices ordered. (heh, heh). Her shop is called M.SotherdenArtGlass.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The really great thing about Jenny is that she encouraged us to push ourself beyond our comfort level. First we worked on a really thin yarn and I totally amazed myself. I now know that I can spin laceweight - if I want to. My main concern is consistency and to spin a designated weight. Jenny sat right next to me to help, in fact, she even spun on my wheel so that I could see what she was talking about. I think I have been visiting and watching too much television while spinning. If I pay attention to the drafting triangle (mine is never really a triangle), my yarn is much more consistent.
The really biggest challenge for me has been to make nice bulky yarn. And look ▲ don't you think that's nice. It's from white fiber boy, Buck. Jenny helped me understand the ratios and how they help spin different weights. I actually change now depending on what I want to spin. The bulky is 6 to 1, which is simply the slowest on my wheel. I do need to remember to slow my feet down also.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
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If you don't know Sharon Winsauer, you must go visit her shop on Etsy called AuroraAlpacas. She is my "genius lace pattern making " friend. Maybe you have heard of her Dragon shawl pattern? She just got some awesome roving back from the mill that her alpacas grew for her. I think that she will be listing this in her shop soon, so watch for it.
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I am very fortunate to have fibery friends living close enough that we can have fun days together.
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I had just decided to let my grays grow out but kind of like the way my hair looks in this pict. so I don't know..... I'm on the right up above. We are outside my kitchen on the deck.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The arrival time was perfect because I am running a 15% off all my roving sale until November 16th. On November 16th there will be a Trunk Show at the Etsy headquarters in New York City. We were invited by Etsy to do it and many members of our fiber arts group, EtsyFAST, have already sent stuff. To celebrate this Trunk Show, many of our shops pledged to offer sales of at least 15% off. See here for more information.
I'm also thinking on November 16th I should do more with sales because that will be my 1 year anniversary of having my online Etsy store. Maybe offer 15% off everything in the store, not just roving. Any suggestions?
I got a little off track there because I wanted to tell you how I got my ♪♫♪ three bagsfull ♪♫♪.
Phil, a buddy from nearby town, borrowed our horse trailer for a trip to Indiana to pick up 2 new alpacas. In return he offered me the raw fiber from three of his alpacas. You can see Pudge at Phil and Polly's site. Needless to say, I'm thrilled!
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It is an incredibly windy day here in midMichigan. I locked all the horses outside with hay and water. If I leave their stall doors open, sawdust and crap will blow all over the barn. Actually, the horses don't mind. They were all standing out side anyway, with tails to the wind.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
And, of course, if you are more of the giving sort and not so interested in your own wish list, you can ask your friends and family to make their own wish lists to help you out with your shopping this holiday season.Just thought you all might like to know about this feature. It’s much easier to drop a URL than a subtle hint ;)
EtsyFAST, our fiber arts group on etsy, are on a really big roll. We are having a Trunk Show at Etsy headquarters in New York City on November 16th. I surely can't go to the event but some of our group will be there. Many of us sent items to be displayed. I sent some yarn and little packets with my business card and some alpaca fleece.
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Monday, October 29, 2007
I just came in from doing morning chores and am worried about Lady Belita (that's her with her last cria, Pollux). She is acting very strange. Moaning a little but she's pretty verbal normally. She's laying down with her legs out to the side and not in the normal cush position. Remember, she's pregnant. If Smitty were home to hold her, I would probably give her a shot of Banamine to relax her, but I will just keep watching her for a while. She's acting a little like a horse does when he colics.
3:30 Update on Belita. I had the vet here. Took her temp., listened to her belly, checked gums for dehydration, and gave her Banamine - just like I would have done except I would have given it in her muscle 'cause I just can't seem to hit those veins. We also gave her some ProBio which is a probiotic to ease her stomach, sort of like yogurt. I was out to check her about 1/2 hour ago, took her halter off, and let her out of the barn. She still isn't normal. Just wants to lay around and is a little shaky. Will continue watching/hovering.
9:00 Lady Belita - At 5:00, we took Belita's temp and it was 97.3, which is quite low. Her gums felt dry. Worrying about dehydration, we syringed 2 cc of Pedialyte (not in spellcheck) into her mouth. Back out at 7:00-temp up to 98.5, gave her another 2 cc of Pedialyte. Seems more alert and no shaking, ate a little hay. BTW, a normal temperature is about 100, 101.
Vet Russ is stopping here at 8 tomorrow a.m. before he does some herd health at a nearby cattle barn. I will go out and check her just before I go to bed tonight.
...and I have a sore throat. Feels like I won't need to chew food today because the razor blades in my throat will masticate it enough. I haven't had a sore throat since I quit smoking a little over a year ago. poor me.
I have been really lucky lately in getting Treasuries on Etsy. Treasuries are when a curator, that's me, gathers pictures from other Etsy stores and presents them to the world. Below is a link to my latest.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Yesterday he wore his halter with a short rope dangling. Even though I worried about him, he also wore it all night.
This morning after his breakfast, I tied him up! Yep, for about an hour. I wanted to use a bungee cord so that it would give some when he did his rearing and pulling but didn't have one. So I rigged up an old elastic trailer tie that I had used for hauling horses around. He did do considerable thrashing but never really got himself into trouble. I could keep my eye on him while I was cleaning the horse stalls, but managed to stay out of sight. I wanted him to think I wasn't involved and he would learn to give to the pressure. And....it worked! When I put a lead on him and released the trailer tie, we actually went for a little walk out side with no rearing and pulling. YEA!
I'll continue tying him up for a couple of days until he thinks our walks are fun.
BTW, that's a picture of his awesome fiber all spun up......
Pam, look, I put the picture where I wanted it. Thanks for your help!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
In spite of felting the roving a little, this yarn came out quite soft. I plied the dyed single with a single that I spun from dark fawn Polaris and ended up with 204 yards, which is considerably less than I thought I would get. It weighs 4 ounces and averages 10 wraps per inch which is considered bulky. The dyed fiber fought me some and just wouldn't be consistent. Hence, we have here an unintentional Thick N Thin yarn.
More views of this yarn can be seen in my Etsy shop.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I've been so pleased that I have been able to dye my alpaca roving and maintain the yummy softness of alpaca that Cary encouraged me to teach the crockpot/roving method. Well, I goofed. I didn't over cook the demo roving. Nope, I was in such a hurry to get the next person dyeing that I abused my fiber. I usually let the roving cool completely in the pot and then handle it VERY gently. At the workshop, I dumped it into a drainer in the sink while it was still hot, and before it was cool, started rinsing (way too vigorously!). This resulted in a rather harsh, hard to spin fiber. You can see it above ↑. It looks fine and will probably be a nice yarn. I'm going to ply it with Polaris, which is a very soft, golden brown and I should end up with about 350 yards.
We are planning another workshop and I have learned a good lesson here. Slow down! Be patient!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
It has been a while since I posted something that I have made. I think that this yarn is really nice. The gray roving that is the foundation is a combination of black alpaca, Beringer, and light fawn alpaca, Celeste, and white Merino from genopalatte.
As I was spinning each single, I held and added the colored silk that I had dyed last spring. I just had to knit a little swatch before I skeined it up and, oh, my, did it ever feel good in my hands. Unfortunately, when I took a picture of the swatch, I had forgotten to replace the memory stick, and didn't realize it until I pulled the knitting out.
Was kind of a bad morning because I took the skein outside to photograph, came back in and realized that I had left the lens cap on. If you want to see more pictures of this yarn and the alpacas that grew it, look here.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
In mid August Selana, from Dortmund, Germany, bought a skein of Lady Belita's yarn that I had dyed a burgundy color. I remember worrying about it running when washed and even mentioned in the listing that it might. When Selana sent me this picture, I asked her, and yes, it did run. After crocheting it, she started to hand felt it but finally got "fearless" and tossed it into the washing machine. Pretty cute, isn't it? The good thing is that she likes (as do I) the color. This was one of my first attempts at dyeing and I was using Landscape dyes which worked well, but I have switched to the Jacquard brand although I don't have a conscious reason.
The purse is listed in her Etsy shop if you want to take a look.
Selana is also a digital scrapbook designer and has a nifty Etsy shop for that. She designs all things digital like cards and scrapbooking stuff.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Remember way back in the middle of September when I posted the apples and the yarn that I dyed for the EtsyFAST monthly challenge? Teri of knitsbyteri bought the yarn and knitted this awesome shawl. Can you see the outlined apples on it? This is her own pattern. Teri started knitting at one hand tip and worked across the back neck edge, increasing across the bottom until the center back was reached and then she reversed the process. I didn't know that we could knit a shawl like this, but then I'm practically a beginner knitter. See her Etsy listing here. Teri was very kind in her listing and gave my shop lots of coverage.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
We were disappointed because in a shorn class, the judge evaluates just the confirmation of the animal and not the fleece. Lars has really lovely, crimpy fleece. He did bring home a fourth place ribbon though.
Beth also showed Orion (Slammy) who is Polaris's full brother - same mom and dad, just a year younger. His competition was way too keen - a class of 15 really nice brown guys.
I am so lucky that Beth is not only an incredibly, awesome friend, but also willing to show our animals. I can do it but actually get physically ill in the show ring....heart racing, stomach upset, blurred vision. Of course, the animal can feel all my tension and gets upset also.
Then the judge spins up some of it and evaluates on: Ease of preparation for spinning and Ease of Spinning.
Finally the yarn itself is evaluated for Hand feel, softness of yarn & loft and Brightness. A total of 100 points can be earned.
And the winners are....... light fawn, Celeste, on the left above got a blue ribbon with her 100 points. And brown, Sonata, on the right got a blue ribbon for 98 points.