Friday, October 26, 2007

Coiled yarns

I wove some material for bags and got my friend, Heidi, to sew them up and embellish them. I gave her a bunch of coiled yarns to use and she knew just what to do with them. Above is a close up of the flowers that she crocheted and attached to the bag in a freeform manner. Gorgeous, if you ask me. It has two pockets and lots of room inside.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Animals can be finicky

Saffron has been fussing all day. I figured she was in heat. I got back tonight from the knitters' group at Barnes and Noble, and she was still fussing. It was downright pitiful sounding. Yesterday I saw her giving the buck in her pen a hard time. He is in rut, but he might not have figured it all out. Anyhow, I went out and took Saffron and put her in with No Size. Why mess with a winning combination? She and Precious had the best does out of No Size. She is a happy goat right now and all is quiet! Guess she wanted her boyfriend from last year.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dressing up for a change

I don't usually model my garments, but this is one of the creations that I made and it looks better on me than on the mannequin. A first! Marc and I were going to the Tucson Pima County Open Studios Tour kickoff downtown and I wanted to show off something that I had made. I had planned to wear the freeform shawl that is almost finished, but 85 degrees is too much for mohair and wool. This one was just right. After seeing the back, I am going to have to write the pattern and make another one in a different weight yarn and color.
Just too lovely, even if it is on me!
This is the skein that was on the bobbin in the previous post. It includes emerald colored beads and butterflies.
These three skeins are all based on the same colorway that I had in the last post. The bottom one is the one that was on the bobbin. The one on the top left is my own original design and the result of not liking how twisted pieces would slide on the yarn.
I am now spinning up the rest of the batts that are in this colorway plainly, so someone can have yarn to make larger garments with the novelty yarns spread out.
Marc advised me to knit up one of these skeins, so others will know what it will look like. I spent so long spinning them, that I am afraid to dig into the knitting. I already have the idea of using the novelty yarn in a freeform log cabin style. They colors vary, so I would never have to cut the thread.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Too much fun

This has become addicting. I have decided to name this line of yarns "Hidden Treasures." The above yarn is a blend of raspberry and green with touches of brown Shetland. There are beads, butterflies and bows in this yarn.
This is the stash for the yarn I will start spinning tomorrow. I went to Michaels intending to get some shades of orange buttons and beads and could not find anything that matched it - and they have a lot of stuff! I decided to just go with navy and raspberry for my next two yarns. I was really happy when I got to the register and realized that most of what I bought was on sale: 33-40%.

I promised myself that I would spin one or two smaller skeins of normal stuff, so I am finishing up some angora rabbit. I plucked Parsley, the French rabbit this afternoon and sat down at the wheel to spin it immediately. It is amazingly soft. I carded some with red kid mohair and some with a grey lamb Shetland just to see how they would turn out. It made the Shetland nicer, but the best was just angora.

Kyle gave me his two movies from Blockbuster and said that I might like them, so I can go back to spinning.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Novelty yarns

This is a skein of novelty yarn in progress. The completed yarn is below.
The above yarn is spun at sport weight or thinner with beads, ribbon, novelty bits and pieces added to thick and thin, knots, buds, etc. Took forever to spin all 305 yards. You could do an entire freeform piece without ever cutting the yarn and weaving pieces in. You can call to buy it (520)572-3758, or email me at
This is a bulkier skein of yarn with lots of coils, fuzzy mohair, beads, ribbons and novelty bits thrown in. It has the same color skein as the one above. It has 155 yards.
The fiber used to create the above two skeins is Shetland/Border Leicester lamb, kid mohair and wool.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Taos and the Pluckyfluff Camp

Margo and I drove up to the Taos Ski Valley before going to our workshop. This was my favorite picture. I have several of the tall trees with their leaves changing, but the sight of water running over rocks was refreshing and the focus of several pictures. I plan to do a felting of it. The Shetland ram fleece in a previous post has the exact same colors as the water running over the rocks. It will be interesting to see, if I can duplicate the motion of the water.
This is one of the batts that I created at the novelty yarn workshop. Lexi calls it crazy carding. I signed up to be a Louet dealer today, so I can carry the carder that produces this type of batt. the Patrick Green carder is awesome for classic yarns. One time through, and I am spinning away. It takes out all of the texture, so I need a coarser carder. never thought I would say that. I have ordered three carders, sold one, and have one more. They will not ship before next week, but that is ok, since I have the Patagonia Fall Arts Festival this weekend and no time to play with the novelty yarns.
This skein of yarn is the result of the batt above. It has lots of texture. The colors are gorgeous and wildy random.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Shearing days

Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated to shearing and moving goats and sheep into their pens for breeding. Mamas got split from babies, which is resulting in a fair amount of fussing. Barbara and her daughters are by far the most vocal. By next week they will have settled into a new routine. I ended up with 14 lovely fleeces and washed four of them immediately. The rest will have to wait until I get back from Taos. No Size's fleece is one of the ones at the front of the pile. Even marc was impressed with it. Still as nice as a typical kid mohair, but not as nice as his offspring's hair. These two Shetland fleeces are gorgeous, but really surprised me. The lambs were born with moorit and black. Since they stayed that dark looking, I thought that they would be that color when they were sheared. The Shetlands can be hard to catch, so it was not until Penny started shearing them, that I realized that they had both turned shades of grey. The orange tips are not sunburn, but the color that the lamb was born with. I did not get time to card them, since I really did need to gather up the stuff for the workshop that I am taking in Taos on Monday and Tuesday. One of my friends and I are leaving early tomorrow morning. A friend is covering the shop for me, so I won't feel guilty. The following weekend, I will be at the Patagonia Fall Arts festival, so there will not be anyone in the shop on Saturday.
The highlight of the shearing days was teaching Penny, the shearer to drop spindle. With all of the years that she has been shearing, she never learned how. I sent her home with a drop spindle, niddy noddy and a few types of roving. She took to it like a natural. I will be teaching her to knit next time she comes. You have to do something with the yarn!

If I am able to get access in the hotel, I will post while I am gone.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Shetland fleeces

Most of these Shetland rams have been castrated. Several would make great pets for a spinner looking for a small flock and who is not interested in breeding. A few have already been shorn and more will be shorn at the Wool Festival.

Jacobs ram

As you can see from the above photo, Granite, the Jacobs ram, was well named. He destroyed the pen and chains were no longer going to be enough to keep him in. Marc and I were out raking on Friday evening and this guy was lifting the whole pen out of the ground, concrete and all. It was really scary to hear the racket that he was making. I had discovered on Thursday, when I took visitors out, that Granite had shoved the side fence out about 4 feet. Kyle helped me get the panel chained to the remaining fence pole, but that was not going to be a solution.
This is another pen that we turned in to what one of my friends called a padded cell. There is a tire dug into the ground at the middle of the pen. Granite has already taken it down twice. Someone mentioned that she used tired to protect her pens, so I suggested that Marc drive down to a tire store to pick up a few. He came back with an entire truckload! So far, Granite has not attacked the gate or the fence where the waterer is. Of course, now I am minus the large pen for the colored goats to go into for breeding, so I am going to have to put them in a pen where the ironwood leaves drop. Not good for fiber, so it cannot be a long term proposition.

Know anyone that wants a Jacobs ram? He is available in January or he goes as dinner. I understand from other breeders and the vet that this is typical behavior for adult rams. Got to have a fence beater every year!