Wednesday, August 1, 2007

This is what I've been doing for the last couple of days. Well, besides spinning and knitting. Yes, and being in the barn. Click on them for a big picture. I think that I might have the "dying alpaca without felting it" figured out. I'm using the crockpot or oven, add the dye powder dry method and liking the results. Jennifer at Laughing Rat has helped me a bunch and I thank her.

I'm happy that I have figured out how to do the paper label and don't they look "purty" spread out like that. Want to get a bunch more dyed up before the Allegan Fiber Fest. I do have these listed in my Etsy shop. If you want to visit, you can just click on northstaralpacas under the pictures of some things in my shop.

The weather here in midMichigan has been hot and dry. So much so that crops are stressing. The trees in our yard are starting to drop leaves. We are a little worried about getting hay for the winter. We usually order 200 bales of grass hay for the alpacas, and 600 bales of grass/alfalfa for the horses. DH talked to our hay man last night and we will probably have to get some 1st cutting Timothy for the horses and he thinks he may have some 2nd cutting grass for the alpacas. Half the horses are going to turn their noses up at the Timothy 'cause they have always had the yummy, leafy stuff. The prediction is for rain this weekend. Sure hope so.

This is the BabyDoll SouthDown fleece that was given to me last week when we picked up our white lamb, Phoebe, and ram, Aries. I put it out on the table on the deck to pick out the junk. Oh, my, what a job! I guess that I'm really spoiled with the half hour that it takes me to pick out an alpaca fleece. Since this was my first sheep fleece, I wasn't totally sure what to do. Well, I weighed it - don't really know why I weighed it, but it weighed 11 pounds. I'm used to about 4 pounds of alpaca but guess the lanolin must weigh a lot. Speaking of lanolin, yuck - I don't like the feel nor the smell. Will definitely have to get used to that. I went around the outside pulling of lots of dirty, matted stuff. I was pitching and pitching it untill I realized I probably needed to stop or I would be throwing it all away. I tried to pick at the sticks, straw, and hay but finally just gave up. Hmmmm, thought I, maybe it will wash away....
I put about 4 ounces in mesh bags and into the washing machine to soak with some Dawn in the very hottest water that I could get. It soaked for about an hour and I spun it out (no agitating, mind you). When I looked at it, it was still yucky. I did this 3 more times. Wonder I didn't felt the whole thing. What I now have is some fairly white fleece that is full of tiny VM. I'm going to card it up and imagine that the VM is going to fall out.
BTW, Lisa, thanks for the corn/bean salsa recipe. I have really been chowing down, you're right, it's addictive. Topped taco salad with it yesterday.