Thursday, February 28, 2008

One of those days

Lambs are doing well. Drinking well and not really afraid of me. Can't say that that makes Hazelnut happy, but at least she did not stomp at me like she did with Marc. The one in the foreground is the ewe. I named her Daisy and the ram Woolly after the Desert Woolly Daisy. Their fiber reminds me of the words, so their names will be easy to remember.
The thing hanging off the end of Brillo's nose is a piece of cholla cactus. I went out to feed Desert and found Brillo trying to eat and not being able to. I ended up calling my friend, Tor, to hold her, while I removed it. All things considered, she was fairly well behaved. She was starting to slobber, so it could not wait for Marc to get home.
Last evening I heard squealing over the baby monitor and went out and discovered that one of the sheep was trying to dig up the baby rabbits in the photo above. I put a concrete block over them to give them shade and protect them. They were still doing fine this evening, so I took a picture. They are really young, since they have not opened their eyes yet. I assume that their mother is coming back to feed them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hazelnut's lambs

Hazelnut had her twins tonight. I went out to feed Desert and, out of habit, checked out the small shed in the far out pasture. I was really excited to see Hazelnut hanging over a baby and another behind her. This photo was taken half an hour later. The lamb on the front is a ram and the larger one at the rear is an ewe. Marc and I put up a set of panels and a rug over the panel to keep out drafts and the other sheep. Both lambs are healthy and drinking, so no worries there. I need to go out once more to make sure that the afterbirth comes out.

I had expected her or Columbian to deliver. Columbian has been fussing and was really uptight tonight. I think she was planning on using the shed. Hope she uses the large one.

Tor was over yesterday and told me that none of the goats are as near as I think. He did admit that they could drop babies, as soon as he drove out of the driveway - that happened last year.

Anyhow, I am glad to have babies that are alive and well. Now the name debate begins. I have decided to definitely go with desert plants and trees. I am thinking to use names like Organ Pipe Cactus for triplets, Prickly Pear and other names like that for twins. Will post nicer photos tomorrow and their names.

Polly's bowls

Polly made this bowl and the one below at home after making the purple bowl at the bottom here at the ranch. She has excellent color design and truly neat ideas for embellishment. She is allowing me to share them, so people who come to learn to felt can see what they can do after the wet felting is done. I cannot wait to see what she does next. She has found her passion!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Linda's shawl

Linda showed up this morning with a completed shawl. I am seriously impressed. It takes me weeks to get something finished. She did a superb job of arranging the colors. My picture does not do it justice. Makes me want to knit one in shades of pink, red kid, and white, but I need to keep my pegs stuffed, so I am spinning. The 4th Ave is coming soon and, once babies start arriving, I don't know how much time I will have.

The weather has warmed up and I am washing and dyeing mohair and wool. Partly to fill orders and partly to have new color in the shop. I am weighing before and after washing of fleeces to see just how much I am losing down the drain. The Jacobs ram that cause so much damage only produced 1.78 pounds clean. It is gorgeous and soft, but does not cover the cost of replacing the pen and panels he destroyed. It is next on my carding list, after some kid mohair that was ordered.

Spring is here

Based on the racket that all of the birds, not just the geese, spring is here in Tucson. My son was hanging out and decided to let the geese out to roam. They are now laying, so I have to be vigilant when I am feeding them.The male will go after me. I hide the eggs that I am removing from the nests. I don't want them to sit this early and I don't want 32+ goslings again!
No lambs or kids yet. They are waiting for Wednesday, when they know that I have to go off. If I do not show up for guild, it will be because Moms are doing something.I don't plan to be missing the excitement of new births. Hate to miss the meeting, but I can live with finding out the news a few days late.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A week for freeform yarns

Linda Searcy from Olympia, Washington, visited this week and fell in love with my freeform yarns. Above and below is the shawl that she started knitting from the Monet Waterlily Series of freeform novelty yarn that I spun. As a spinner, she was fascinated and she jumped at the chance to take my class, so she got an individual lesson on Friday. She was incredibly patient as I jumped up to help customers and ran out to feed Desert (Rambouillet lamb) his bottle every so often and check on future moms. No babies still!
I just finished this shawl and hung it in the shop this morning. It already has a new home. Very exciting for me, except for having to make a new one to replace it. I have written a pattern for this shawl and it is selling very well on etsy, as well as in the shop.I started a green and black kid mohair one that I am already falling in love with.My favorite yarns are the ones where the colors continue to shift and this yarn does.
I sold Linda's mother a wet skein of novelty yarn that has about the same colors as this yarn shown below. I would list this yarn on etsy, but think it will sell quicker in my shop. Photos don't do it justice. Anyhow, after teaching the class, I had to spin some myself! Coral is definitely going to be in.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

Still waiting

I am still waiting for the lambs and kids to start arriving. I had expected the Jacobs ewe woul have delivered by now, so maybe it will be twins this year. I can't tell a thing with the Shetlands. Too much hair!

The black doe in the picture below sounds like she is in labor all of the time, which is worrying. Of course, Latte and Barbara have done that in years past and I have just had to realize that they are drama queens.

On a sad note, Peaches miscarried her kids on Saturday afternoon right after the storm that went through. One of them did not look quite right and I am pretty sure they were premature. So, I am waiting for other kids to arrive in hopes that that was not a sign of the season to come. On the psoitive side, I was able to catch Peaches this evening and milk out colostrum that has started to come in. If her teats were not so small, I would have my son, Kyle, milk her. As it is, Marc and I will take turns at it for a few days. Her colostrum could end up saving another baby, so there is some good in it.

Crochet class

Alma showed up for my crochet tune-up class (which is free by the way) with the desire to make a hat. I decided that it made an easy progession for learning the stitches, so we started with a chain, single crochet, single crochet in the back of the loop, double crochet and then treble crochet. Having mastered those, Alma decided that it would be fun to add a different color and style of yarn. She came back with a thick and thin that really perked up the project. She has promised to bring the finished hat back for me to see. We designed a bowler hat for her. The hat above and below show the rpogression of the hat that I designed, while teaching. At the point where Alma went with the thick and thin, I went with a colied yarn. We both switched to larger hoks for the novelty yarns. She used a single crochet and I used a double crochet. I was amazed at how much my hat expanded at that point. I was already redy to start working even and then decreasing, since I decided to make a pill box hat. The top center looked bare, so I crocheted a chain flower to put over the hole. Novlety yarns are making my hands itch to experiment. I have the 4th Ave street fair coming up soon, so I really need to be spinning. I never caught up since the December one. Novelty yarns are my favorite to spin, but I have to have the classics to go with them. so, I am spinning Shetland and Shetland with kid mohair, in hopes of covering my feed costs and maybe savign up enough to buy a larger carder or mill by the end of the year. If anyone knows of someone selling one that one person can operate, please let me know!

Busy month

This is a scarf made by Sharon Pettus using my yarns. She put them together in a way that I would not have thought of and it turned out gorgeous. I got her permission to post the pictures I took. She alternated the coiled yarn with a simple single and a creation of my own that I call spun lambs tails. Can't wait to see what she does with the last batch of yarn!
Penny came to shear on the 6th and we harvested 14 fleeces. Marc had a discussion with me that same weekend about the cost of feed and actual income from the fleeces. Turns out, that I will have to spin the Shetland, if I want to break even on their feed. The mohair sells at a high enough rate, once it has been washed, to cover the cost of the goat's feed. If the sheep are not producing offspring, I end up in the hole. Economics is not my favorite subject!
This is the fleece off the last Shetland born last year. He was really small under the fleece. After shearing, the wethers were moved to the arena with Espresso and the ewes to the larger penned area, so I can watch them to check for lambing activity. They are much easier to handle in the area with the sheds once babies have been born.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Got a scare

Had to come back and use my blog to determine when I should expect babies to start popping up. Latte had this strange fluid dripping out of her backside that I associate with kids coming. After looking at my blog, I figured that I should not expect babies till the middle of the month. She is huge and might deliver early. She has usually had triplets, but I am thinking twins this year. Marc and I got lights strung up, so we are ready. Everything else is in the shed, to include coats, if I should need them. Sure do love my shed!