Saturday, December 29, 2007

Between Christmas and New Year's Day......

This is a custom hat that I just finished for Anna in Texas. She and I have had a great time communicating about its creation. Anna said to make it tall so that we can be sure that it covers her ears. I had my daughter Terre, who has a rather large head try it on and it almost covers her eyes, as well as her ears. Anna wanted it 10 inches tall, but I stopped at 9. I spun the brown and white by holding the two colors next to each other to create this nice blend, and then double stranded it while knitting. The top blending is Luke and Celeste, and the bottom is Sonata.

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

Foggy Morning in the Barn

It was so foggy this morning that local schools were on a 2 hour delay and finally cancelled. Bet the teachers are enjoying an extra day to prepare for the holidays. Ahh, I remember how thrilled I used to be....... More baking time.
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?

Frosty Berringer

I think this is a really neat picture because Berringer (Bear) is 7 years old and has grown lots of those nasty, prickly guard hairs. The fog/frost this morning settled on them and they really show up.
Because they are lighter in color and stand up from his nice fleece, it has always been easy for me to just pull them out when I clean his fleece after we shear. His fiber, sans guard hair, always spins up with a luster.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alpaca/Mohair Yarn Handdyed and Handspun

Only 2 more ounces and I will have all my handdyed roving used up. This yarn started out as 2 ounces of dyed up white Pollux, one ounce of natural brown Sonata, and a handful of mohair that I got from Edie Bowles at SpinningMoonFarm through her Etsy store. Edie was very helpful teaching me a little about mohair. My past experience was working with some not so fine stuff so I was a little negative. I carded these three elements together on my carder. Have I mentioned that I'm not really very fond of carding? And I do have a very nice Strauch that does a great job, but I just want to get to the spinning. The white that you see in the yarn are the tuffs of mohair.
Very bulky @ 8 wpi - 3.4 oz./95 grams

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas from John and Slammie

This is dear friend, that I mention all the time, Beth's son and Orion (barn name Slammie). While we were at Tractor Supply today getting barn stuff, Beth took John and Slammie back to the pines to get a Christmas picture for her Christmas cards. She might kill me if I have ruined her card surprise, but I don't think anyone on her list reads my blog. This picture is just too cute and needed to be shared with all of you.
A friend, Nancy, started an Alpaca 4-H Club, and John will be showing Slammie at the Fair next summer.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More Dyed Yarn

This is yesterday's spin. I have only 2 more dyed up roving and then I'm going to have to heat up the crock pot again. I think the colors in this are quite yummy. Remind me of the granddaughters who love pink and purple.

A Determined Spinner

This is incredible. Issalura bought 4 ounces of Tobasco's roving from me to spin. This is her first spinning attempt. Awesome Yarn! And you need to check out her spindle - she created it with an old tea canister, a nail, a screwhook, and a hot glue gun. You can see more pictures here in her Flickr account.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

EEEHAW! She's pregnant!

Phone call from vet's office this a.m. Sonata's progesterone is 6 - that's a confirmed pregnancy, folks. Remember when the vet was here last week and he couldn't tell for sure with the ultrasound and drew blood? Yippeee, Skippeee! That means 3 spring cria, and 1 September cria. 11 months gestation!
I meant what I said yesterday. I am going to use up my dyed roving! I deserve to spin this lovely stuff! Yes! This is what is hanging up drying right now, and I've started about 4 ounces of a pink/ lavendar roving that I had named Heatherbelle after a very dear young friend.
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

Spinning up the dyed roving

For some reason I have been saving all that lovely dyed roving that I did this fall. No longer! I think that I had some stupid mentality like, I need to sell it and don't deserve to use it myself. It's so much fun to spin that I'm getting right into it. The 206 yard skein that I spun up yesterday sold this morning but is still drying so I can't mail it out or it might arrive frozen because it's going to New York state. So when I finish here I'm going to get into that bin filled with yummy colored roving.

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

Boys Will (no longer) Be Boys

NS Orion (Slammy), NS Pollux (Luxy), and Gunsmoke (Gunny)These are not happy boys this afternoon, in fact, they are not truly boys any longer. That is - their chances of ever being daddies are gone.... Yep, Russ, our vet, arrived at nine to do the dasterly deed. Dear friend Beth (thanks, woman) assisted Russ at the business end and I (wimp that I am) sat on the ground holding their heads. It was about 15 degrees in the barn and Russ was sorry that he said we could do it here. My original intent was to take them to the clinic but this worked out great. This picture was taken about three hours after the neutering and, as you can see, they are up and doing fine. A little subdued, but eating and doing their bodily functions like they should.
While Russ was here, he did ultrasounds on the four girls. We think they are all pregnant but he drew blood on Sonata for a Progesterone reading cause he wasn't positive. If she is pregnant, she is due next September. The other three, Ariana, Lady Belita, and Celeste are due in June and July.
Imagine four little cria running around here next year. I will probably bore you with tons of pictures and bragging.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Pony?

Oh, my, a new adventure here. We are going to look at this Haflinger mare on Friday. Daisy Duke, 4 year old, quiet, 850 pounds, trail safe. Since we had to have Smitty's Haflinger, Thor, put down last summer, he has really been missing his own equine friend. I'm betting we will be bring this little girl home unless something is seriously not right.
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

Rammin' Around This Morning

Whew! what a morning in the barn. When we finished with the poop scooping, husband asked for my help. Now you must realize, we are amateurs and have only had sheep since mid summer, and that I leave sheep business up to him. The help needed was to move the ram from one end of the barn in with the two ewes, leaving Danny, the whether, where he was - and - to move the two lambs who were in with the ewes to stay with Danny - BECAUSE it's breeding time! You would think this would be relatively simple, however, no one had ever had a halter on before.

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.