Monday, May 26, 2008


When two of my freeform yarns sold this past week, I got motivated to create a few more. I will post photos tomorrow. I came up with a few new twists. One took an awful long time to make. It has beads looped together. I am on a flower kick, so they reminded me of flowers.

As I was feeding this evening, I noticed that Espresso was shoving a few of the ewes away from the feed bowl. I decided to put a separate feeder out and while out there, check the two ewes that I thought might be pregnant. Based on udder size, they could deliver this week. One looks like a single and the other like twins. Of course, one could just be fat. It would be nice to have ewe lambs, but the ram they were bred to gave me mostly rams. I will take what I can get! Anyhow, I will have to get up earlier this week, since they are first time moms.

I have been procrastinating on paperwork. Guess I will have to get with it tomorrow. It is the one part of the business that I wish I could give away or hire out, but too much of it is in my head, so I am stuck doing it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lots of Visitors

I had lots of people drop by today to shop and check out the animals. I did not get a lot of spinning in, but I did have fun meeting new people and getting a different perspective on things. Sold some of my favorite yarns. I know they went to good homes and I have motivation to make more.

Just a note - if you make comments and you would like to hear back from me, could you include your email address. I would have liked to reply to a few and could not, because there was no contact info. It has to do with how the site is set up. If you are a blogger, your info appears; if you are not, I get your name and no way to say thanks!

It got downright chilly this evening. I had to put heavy sweats on to feed the animals. They were all being good, so I was able to do it in record time. Even Holly behaved (dairy goat.) She had lots of milk this evening - none at all yesterday - probably because it was so hot.

I have almost finished the Six Feet Under Series. If anyone has suggestions for TV dramas that have been going on a while, or good mystery movies, available through Netflix, please let me know. My queue will be empty by this weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More baby pictures

Garnet and her triplets. The ewe and one of the ram lambs have four horns. One of the ram lambs has only two.
This is Classy's kid. She had the doe, walked elsewhere to lose her afterbirth and wanted nothing to do with her kid. Classy is now outside again with Agave and they have made progress. Classy stands up when she sees me coming. I periodically have to lock her head in the panel, but she no longer butts her baby away. When I see Agave staying in the pen with her, I will know that I can let Classy out. Seems to take about 3 weeks for the teenage mom syndrome to get lost. Agave is cute as can be when she runs up to greet me.
This is one of Pearl's ram lambs. He will probably get castrated, since he is a cross and I don't want to use them for breeding. I caught him in mid air!
Marc bought rose bushes for the back yard. One of them is having a hard time in the heat. I decided that the green yarn really looked like the branches and leaves, so I carded up some reds to create a rose. I have started designing another scarf and I am using these two skeins.
Last night's sunset.
Onyx and her three lambs. I have noticed that, when there are three babies, one is always by itself and the other two look like one.
Goats trying to climb the tree. The kids have it easy. One of the yearlings was trying, but just could not make it.
She had to settle for watching the others.
Oreo went to her new home at Chris' this past weekend. I think Emmy missed her a little, but she did not hum, so I don't really know.
This is what happens when I am a few minutes late coming out to feed. It is a mob scene, until I have food in most of the buckets, wagons, bowls, and feeders. Have to spread them out, so they won't fight.

More flowers

The ironwood trees are in blossom. From a distance, they look like pale pink trees. It is only up close that you can distinguish the blooms.
This is such a lovely flower for such a nasty cactus! The chollas are hooked and can cause a lot of pain.
The saguaros are also blooming. Hard to believe that their fruit is so red inside.
The Christmas cactus is also in bloom.They have the tiniest little needles on them, that are just as bad to remove as the barbs of the cholla.
We know summer is here, when the cardinals show up. We have had a pair nest in the ironwood tree outside my studio window every year that we have been here. I took this picture from inside. I think it turned out better than the ones I took outside, where I was actually closer to him.
These are the blossoms on the palo verde trees. We have both types. The ground is now covered in yellow - except where the goats and sheep are - it is either in their hair or eaten by them. The goats love chewing on the branches of the palo verdes that we prune. I try not to give them the branches from the blue ones, because they have stickers and it is murder to get them out of the kid mohair.
I noticed that I don't have any barrel cactus flowers. Will have to try to find one tomorrow. Anyhow, I am going to try to reproduce their colors in yarn.
Marc is in New Jersey and cold - he says it was 40-50 degrees and raining yesterday. Kyle just came and told me that it is going to drop to 70 by Friday and possibly rain. The break in the heat will be nice. I had the fans running yesterday and I was hosing off the alpacas and a few of the heavy fleeced goats. They loved the wind today. It drove me nuts!
If you ever don't find me in the studio or shop, call the home number. Now that it has gotten hot and less people are coming out, I am in production mode and running into the house regularly to wash fleeces. Just call the home number listed on the sign at the door, or browse till I come back.

Flowers galore

I dyed all of Sweet's second fleece in colors that were inspired by the flowers blooming in the desert right now. On Sunday I went out and took photographs of every type of cactus and trees that was in bloom at the time. It was a good thing that I did, because we had wicked winds today and most of the smaller blossoms are now on the ground.
I spun up two yarns using the mohair that I dyed to recreate the Bird of Paradise flowers above.
I have fiber the color above picked and ready to be carded - only problem - it is too bright for me right now!
I spun a yellow/golden skein that recalls the prickly pear flower.
These are the seed pods on the creosote. I will spin those up as a novelty yarn. Should be fun. I am currently forcing myself to spin at least a few hours a day on two orders that I have. My conscience is catching up to me - so I have to dream about the yarns I will be spinning.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The weather?

I am not sure, if it was the weather this winter, but the two yearling Shetland ewes, that I moved to the arena now have udders. The Shetlands seem to deliver shortly after the udders appear, so who knows when they will deliver. I had them in with Cormo till December and then moved them in with the Shetland ram, Tarragon. Guess he was busy, because they got pregnant within three weeks. I also have Cumin's yearling ewe and Spots that look like they will be in the next two weeks, so now it is four ewes, instead of the one possible. I kind of expect ram lambs, since that is what I have gotten in the past. Anyhow, this is pretty late. I am glad that I have moved my fall shearing up a month. It is too hot for animals to be delivering.

I have been spinning some pink/slate blue kid mohair. It is turning out too pale and anemic, so it is going to hit the dye pot. I am thinking the slate blue, since it is a popular color and I like it more.

If I feel ambitious later, I will load some photos that I have taken over the last few days. Cool dyes and cool colors!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another one down

No photos, since I am too tired and did not take one, but the Shetland ewe that I was waiting on had her baby - an ewe - this morning before I went out. I figured she would, since she was standing in the "birthing" shed. Most of the sheep and a few of the goats have been going to the small shed to deliver. Guess it gets them out of the wind and away from the rest of the sheep.

My Mothers' Day yarn has already sold. Might have to do another, but none will ever be exactly the same. I plan to put more cream into the next one. It was really lovely and definitely silky. It had the best mohair in it.

I am doing a series of yarns using Sweet, the yearling with the best second fleece. A friend in Colorado bought her brother. I will have to see how he held up. It is lovely to spin and nicer than the first haircut on a traditional angora goat. No Size has turned out to be a real winner!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rite of passage

Abe is the first person in a while, who has dared to try milking Holly, our dairy goat. It was not as easy as it I find it to be now. He was really intent!
The milk had started to flow at this point.
Abe had the hang of milking now. He got off easy, because we are only emptying one of Holly's udders. We are leaving the second one alone for Holly's buck.

Anyhow, we are milking Holly between 5:30 and 6 P.M., if you are interested in trying!

Catching up on details

Classy had her kid doe about lunchtime and abandoned it immediately. Kyle helped me corner her and put her in a pen. Kyle named the kid Agave. She is out of a No Size kid and a No Size look-a-like, so she will probably have gorgeous hair. She is half on a bottle now, since her mother does not want to stay still for her. I have found Agave wandering in the wash, out behind the shed, and everywhere, but with her mother. Classy might get with it, now that Onyx is in the shed also. Agave did try to drink off Onyx, but figured out immediately that she was not wanted in that pen. Kristie and her fiance', Abe, gave me flowers for Mothers' Day. I loved the color combination of the flowers themselves, so I gathered up fiber that I had in the shop and studio, so I could create a batt using the same combination.
This is the yarn that I spun yesterday. I spun another one today and coiled it over a cream cotton thread. Might get a photo of that one tomorrow. Lovely color combination. I dyed more of the cranberry using Sweet's last fleece. It is silky and soft and the nicest of the white kid mohair sheared this spring that I have washed. Can't wait to spin that up!
I took a lot of pictures of Kristie and Abe in attempts to get a really good one for their engagement photo. We all liked this one the best. They are doing it in black and white. The colored one that we liked the most was oriented as a landscape and they wanted a portrait style. The first batch of photos had a very intense blue sky and the blossoms on the chollas were really vibrant. The next day, the flowers had already shrivelled up and the sky was white. Someone said that there is a lot of smoke in the air from a local fire. Either way, the sky was dulled out. The black and white photo looks really good. I am tempted to post one of them with goofy faces, there were a lot of those kind of pictures mixed in!


Onyx had an ewe at 6 this evening. I was amazed that she had only one baby, since she was as big as Pearl and Pearl had triplets. I moved her into a pen in the shed, because she was hanging out way back in the fenced area - a little too close to the wash where I have seen coyotes just sitting - waiting for dinner I am sure. I was so amazed that she had only one, that I even walked the wash area near her just to be sure that a baby had not wandered off.

I milked Holly, went inside to eat dinner and went back out at 9 - just now - and discovered that Onyx had just had a third baby. The last two are rams, which is OK. It explains why she was so huge and ate so much. The last two were really big and they seem to be healthy. Sheep are a lot less work than the angora goats. All of them have had their babies up and on them with no help from me. Sure is nice to just be an observer! Now I just have one sheep to worry about and she is a ways out. You can tell which were the last two born, but you might not want to look too closely!

Monday, May 5, 2008

On the artistic side

I have been asked numerous times to write up directions for the way that I teach felting. I spent yesterday afternoon felting this bag and spinning up a strap to go with it. I plan to list it for sale on my etsy shop. I photographed all of the steps and have started writing up the procedures. It would be done, if the Microsoft program did not keep shifting things around. Since there is no logic to how the things move, I don't know how long it will take me to get it straight! But, I thought I would let those who wanted to a copy know that it is almost done. I will have to charge for the instructions, if people want hard copies, because it is going to take a lot of ink! I believe that pictures tell more than words.

Babies and moms for sale

Habanera's kids are out of No Size and have his hair. The buck is for sell, as well as his mother. They will all be registered with the Colored Angora Goat Association. Habanera is black, so her kids are color carriers.
This is Habanera. She is also for sale. She is three years old and has given birth all by herself each year. I have chosen to keep her doe, so I can see what happens down the line in crossing with No Size.
This is one of the black bucks. Since I have several and can't keep them all, you get to take your pick.
This is a sample of the goats that came out of No Size. This is the Texas doe's buck. This one is pretty friendly, since I had to help him get on mom for his first few drinks.

There are several red yearlings available as well.

Tusd School Felting

Last Thursday, some students from TUSD came out to felt. Some chose to do landscapes, while others chose to do bags. They all turned out really well. They will be back to knit this week. The ones who made bags will be making straps for them, while the others will be making scarves.

Pearl's lambs

Pearl finally had her lambs this morning. All three are healthy rams and they have the mother's look. She is half Border Leicester and their dad was a Shetland. I think the BL look has come through. Her offspring last year had the best fleeces and these are white, so I can count on some more gorgeous white. They will get castrated within the next month, if no one buys them before then. Her babies were the friendliest, so maybe these will be also. As a note - she did it all by herself!