Friday, November 16, 2007

Jacob's ram again

This guy is a bit much. Marc went to Desert Diamond Casino and came back home to feed the animals for me. He discovered that a Shetland ram and the Jacob's ram had busted the gates of their pens and gotten out to do each other mischief. They were both after the same ewe, that had been locked up with the Jacob's and had gotten out , when the Jacob's broke out. Marc managed to get the rams back in: the Jacob's because he just stood there - not scared enough to run off and the Shetland after a great deal of running. Marc called me to tell me about it and to let me know that Kyle and I would have to catch the ewes. Thank God, Kyle is such a good runner. I distracted the ewes with a flashlight - too dark to see anything without it by this time - and Kyle ran them till they got tired. Everyone is back in their pen, although the Jacob' and his harem are in a different pen. He broke out of the padded one and it is destroyed. That guy's testosterone should be packaged!

The show has been a bust so far. I don't think the organizers spent all the money they have charged on advertising like they should have. We had less people go through than were here at the wool festival. Anyhow, I plan to take my wheel tomorrow and at least get some real spinning in. I spun 1.6 ounces on a drop spindle. Four cute, tiny skeins, but not much to show for all the hassle of taking things down and putting them back up. I could look at it as practice for the 4th Ave, but I don't think I really need it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another surprise!

Fillip found the weak link in his pen last year, after we moved the sheep that got terrorized by kids. He took full advantage of it. I found a pile of afterbirth this evening when I went out to feed. Neither of the llamas looked pregnant, and I had asked my friends. I figured nothing had happened. Marc got home as I was running in to get a flashlight and he walked up the wash with me to find the llamas. They did not come to eat, so I should have realized something was up. Emmy and Brillo were in a huge spitting contest this morning. Now I know what that was about.
The baby is definitely Emmy's. It looks like it might be chocolate brown, but I won't know till morning. Flashlights and the camera do not really help. Emmy had no udders when I was out there at 6, so I went back out with grain a short while ago. She does now. Looking at her backside, there is no discharge or anything to indicate that she is the mom. The bonding between her and the baby is obvious. I took the time while I was out there to check Brillo. I would not be a bit surprised, if she delivers tomorrow. Her back end is moving in a very strange way and I do not think that she is constipated!

Too bad the baby was not born before the wool festival. That would have been a real treat. Anyhow, life is never dull on the ranch!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bunnies have been named

This angora doe was named by one of the visitors to the wool festival. She is officially Cadbury. As you can see, she found the bucket of food and just hopped right in. Of course, Rocky, below, found it first. I had to move the bucket. I did not want them to get the food stuck to the wool. They are getting too big to spend all of their time in the cage.
I have been letting them roam the studio. They have not ventured over to the shop side yet. They are not afraid of Charcoal, my studio cat, which makes for some funny incidents. Charcoal reaches into their cage and taps them. I am sure that she would do more, if she thought she could get away with it. I don't have to worry about the bunnies, when they are out, because Charcoal sits and watches them, but runs away when they start in her direction. She is used to bunnies running in the opposite direction, so she is confused.

Hidden Treasures Wrap

This was one of the skeins that I spun up with the idea of knitting it freeform. So many people could not visualize the end object, so I had an excuse to pull it out of the shop in order to knit it up. I was thinking a scarf or a shawl, but a wrap seems to be the better way to describe what I ended up with. I used size 11 needles. Larger needles would have let the treasures slide to the back side and smaller needles would have caused the wrap to feel stiff and not drape properly. I ended up pulling two skeins that I had listed on etsy in order to finish. I did not want to wait to spin new yarn and wash it to set the twist. It took approximately 350 yards to complete. It was a lot of fun to knit up and will appeal to anyone, who likes a mystery!
Buttons and coils.
Stars and twists.
Bows and beads
The wrap can be worn with both sides down over the arms, or as I have hung it here, with a brooch to hold it in place. I am pricing it at $325, based more on the fiber than the knitting. No one wants to pay for that!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Never done creating

The above is the color combination that I have chosen for my next hidden treasure yarn. I plan to knit it up myself, so people can see what the yarns will look like. I sold a lot of the novelty yarns this past weekend, but some friends told me that they really want to see what it would look like. I have this thing about taking yarn from the shop, so I chose a set of colors today. I already have the hidden treasures and now am carding the kid mohair. Since I do not have wool in these colors, it will be all kid. Just what I love to play with!
I told myself that I would do at least one of the novelty yarns from the Pluckyfluff Camp each week, so I don't forget how to do them. This tailspun is not my favorite type of spinning, but the natural color of the red kid mohair with the really dark tips called out for it. I don't know whether the color looks quite right in the photo, but it is only 5 yards long and took forever! Really soft. Will have to think how I could use it, if it does not sell.

Tucson wool Festival Photos

These photos were taken early, before the first tour and shearing. Most people were hanging out by the animals, so I did not get the customers.
Chris had just learned how to card, so I talked him into paying me back (got to get my volunteers somehow!) by demonstrating how to card. I watched him for a few minutes and was impressed with his gift of gab. Future fiber salesman!

The winners of the drawing, so I could get email addresses, are: Nisha Martin, Sandi Baxter, and Citabria Shipman. They are all knitters, so it made it easy to pick yarns for them. If one of them is you, come during shop hours, or call to pick out your skein. I am not designating them, so first comer gets first choice.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tucson wool Festival

Sponsoring the Tucson Wool Festival forces me to clean up once a year in great depth. I can almost see my studio kitchen counter now. Anything I don't get sorted out will get dumped in a box and I will look at it another (never) time.

Someone called this morning to say that she heard about the wool festival on NPR, the Arizona Spotlight. Hope it means loads of visitors tomorrow!

I did get Marc's mural hung yesterday, just to clean out the studio. I have stuff on chairs that I am going to have to find homes for, so we will be able to use the chairs. I even got my loom tied on.

Penny will be arriving this evening with three of her children. I still need to make up her room! Time is flying.