Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lots of mohair

Thought I would show some of the different lock styles based on ages of the angora goat. The picture above is the typical fleece of a 2 year old angora goat. It has a lovely sheen, but I would only use it blended into some other fiber to keep the shine and soften it up. By itself, it would sell easily as doll hair, if I let it grow long enough. Otherwise, I would call it rug yarn. There is a use for all mohair, you just need to be able to discover the feel.
The above fleece is still on No Size. It is his sixth fleece and even nicer than his last one. Notice the fineness of the fiber and the tight lock sturcture. He is what is referred to as the Texas angora goat, because of the fiber style. His fiber is what I am breeding for in my herd. Not all of his offspring have it, but their hair is superior to the typical angora and the next generation appears to be as lovely as his. Time will tell. And, just think, I saved him from the sale barn!
This is kid mohair from one of his offspring. Very fine and crimpy. This is a buck and he is already sold.

Monsoon finally here

The monsoon rains have arrived with a vengeance. The other night (12:30 A.M.) my son, Kyle, and I went out to check the wash. It does not always run, but it sure washed that night. It did not overflow and the animals are fenced away from it, so there was no danger. I walked around the pens and the sheds checking on everyone, because Marble, the Rambouillet ram, was bellowing. He is in the pen closest to the wash and was running back and forth in his pen. Good thing he was not out, because he would have caused a stampede.

Of course, everything is now really green. I have the camera out with me most of the time now. Caught a whole rainbow tonight, but it was so close and so big, that I had to photograph it in sections.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


While waiting for Kristie to make copies of her new harp music, so she can add pedal markings to them, I visited the Borders bookstore next door. As I was walking out, my eye was caught by a book on Monet. Pretty hefty volume and bulky to carry home, but I bought it anyhow, because after looking through it, I realized that there are a lot of inspirational pictures in it. I have been told numerous times that my felted landscapes look a lot like Monet's work. I decided to see, if it were true. Close up pictures of small areas of his work look just like the batts that I have been creating. I can see that I will be able to draw a lot of color combinations from his work and card them up for both spinning and felting. I might try to recreate one of his landscapes in felting to see how close I can get to the same color combinations.

I spent some time spinning from the fiber that Jamie and Matt gave me. It is lending itself to a laceweight/fingering yarn that will have a lovely sheen for a shawl. Depending on how many yards I get out two bobbins, I will also do a skein or two of plied yarn from the same size single. I wrapped the yarn to see how it looks plied. I would love to say that i is my spinning that is making the yarn turn out so lovely, but I think it has a lot more to do with how well the roving is prepared and the soft touch of the fiber. Wished my textured yarns flowed so easily,but I suspect they would be more boring, if they did.

Competition over for Kristie

Kristie played the second stage beautifully. She did not make it to the third, so I went to Wooly Knobs Fiber Mill yesterday and checked out their setup. I am really glad that there are people like them willing to do the drudgery of washing and carding loads of fiber. I had been toying with the idea of eventually buying a cottage industry size carder. After seeing the amount of work involved, I think I am definitely on the spinning side. I can't see myself doing nothing but washing and carding other people's fiber, most of which is just black, white, brown or combinations thereof. I NEED color!

Jamie and Matt were very welcoming and gave me a bag of alpaca/Shetland to play with. Got a few ideas for felting that will be very useful, if I get to teach at the Fibers through Time next April. Now I need to send them a care package with yarn. It won't be a "coals to Newcastle" either.

I heard back from Taos, and I made it into the Pluckyfluf workshop in October. I have been spinning more novelty yarns, checking out knitters' interest, and I think it will be loads of fun to see first hand how she gets her ideas.

You can google the Wooly Knob Fiber Mill and Pluckfluf to see more.

I will be back Saturday evening. You are welcome to call my cell while I am gone: 520-401-6117. I am not in the competition arena any more, so I will be able to answer.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Pictures do work!

This is the yarn from the June 25, 2007, entry. I have already started creating a pattern for it in crochet. It feels like a jigsaw puzzle. Colors come and go, and the shimmer of the kid mohair is lovely.

I carded this batch up and spun it before leaving home. If I get bored, I will be crating somethign from it. 820 yards will go a long way, so it will be a knitted shawl of some sort.

No fair warning for Kristie when I took this picture. She would not let me take a photo of her dressed up yesterday, so I will replace this with a better one, when she does.


Kristie played the first stage of the USA International well enough, that we think she will make it to the second stage. Since we will not know until Saturday evening, she is practicing away. If she makes it, she will play sometime on Sunday afternoon.

I have been busy crocheting, kumihimo braiding, and spinning. I finished a shawl and one skein of yarn.

My flight here was memorable - plane had to turn around and land at a small airport to refuel. Dallas closed for an hour and all flights had to circle. Managed to make my next flight because everything else got messed up. I was glad that mine had such a long delay that I made it. Lots of people were being put up at hotels at their own expense. I was 2 hours late and got to Kristie's at 2 A.M. We did not get to bed till almost 4. I think we are almost back on Kristie's schedule. Late sleeper, so afternoon performances are best!

I am going to see, if I can load pictures from Kristie's computer. If not, you will just get the written word. Boring, but better than nothing.