Friday, January 30, 2009

Garnet update and spinning

The yarn above is one that I am spinning right now from the batt below. I plan to coil it to the green cotton. I know most of the country is dealing with the rigors of winter, but my 70 degree weather is making me think spring. I am fascinated by how different the yarn is turning out from the batt. It is a combination of kid mohair and Shetland. It is silky and soft!
Garnet seems to be recovering. I am going to be force feeding her with probios until she delivers. That stuff is a miracle worker. I had been giving her glucose with Vitamin A and D. Tor suggested adding probios. She started fighting me over it, which I considered a good sign. I asked my friend, Trish, if her husband would be willing to help me lift Garnet so she could take care of bodily functions. I was amazed that she actually started standing on her own and was even able to walk away from me. Two hours later I went back out to feed and put a bucket of water in front of her. She drank half of it - first time she did anything on her own since Wednesday. I am very excited. I guilt tripped Kyle into going out with me this evening to lift her again. She can't get up by herself, but she is steadier, so I think she is going to make it. Of course, her hair is starting to fall out. She will have to be sheared right after her lambs are born. I am hoping that she will be eating on her own tomorrow. Marc will be back for a few days, so I will have some help.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Garnet, the Jacob's ewe, has developed ketosis. I hope I found it in time. I am treating her for it and hope that she goes in labor really soon. I thought she was in labor this morning, because of the heavy breathing and the way she was stretching her legs. I called Tor and, after feeling her, decided that she was not in labor. Kyle helped me get her up and she was so weak that the ketosis popped in mind. She is a lot more alert, but will not eat on her own. I will give her a day and then check with the vet. The problems are: the lambs might not be ready, a C section will cause her to not want to milk, and the expense, when it is all so iffy.

Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I give tours on a regular basis. The Amphitheater school had a large group come out yesterday morning. I was impressed that this bus was able to maneuver around my driveway. It was a lot longer than the buses that have been out before. I am hoping that the group will share some of their photos. I am careful not to take pictures of people without their permission, so I had Chris, who was helping demonstrate for the event, limit himself to taking pictures of the bus. It was a very well-behaved group of 6 and 7 year olds. None of the animals stampeded and Agave behaved more like a dog than a goat. She wiggled her way into the school group pictures.
I have two red hat societies coming out in March, so this skein was created in their honor. I plan to put it into the shop until I finish the southern shawl - I have already knitted the skein I mentioned in the last post and have to spin another. A never ending project. I have already used 500 yards.

This is Garnet, a Jacobs ewe. She could deliver at any time. I spent two hours getting her into the pen next to the far out pasture shed. It would have been easier, if the goats had not tried to get into the action. A few sheep from the far out pasture escaped and then had to coaxed back out. I need to let the does in the large shed out and can't do that with the Shetland ram running loose.
Tomorrow I have the Tucson Visitor Center volunteers coming out to take a tour in the afternoon. I m really glad that the rain that was in the forecast is no longer there. Cold is bearable - wet can get ugly!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Southwestern Traditions

This is one of the two shawls that I am currently working on. I ran out of yarn - again - so I am waiting for another skein to dry.
The finished shawl will be around 20 by 60 inches - more of a wrap than a shawl.
Tucson is a southwestern town. I first visited it when Kristie was less than 1 year old. I won't tell you how long ago that was - you can do the math! Anyhow, there were lots of cool places to visit then that had a southwestern flavor. My favorites were the Hidden Valley Inn - which has been replaced by a more commercial venture in the past two years and the OK Corral - which closed in the past 6 months, if I remember right. Kind of sad how all of the old southwestern sites are slowly disappearing. The old dude ranches can now be counted on one hand. The gem show is now getting more publicity than the Tucson Rodeo. This is my celebration of the cowboy lifestyle!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More baby bunnies

The bunnies are cracking their eyes now. This photo was taken yesterday. The mother is no longer covering the nest, so they have been venturing out a little. Today they were all curled up under the light. The runt of the little is the little red one on the left. Some of them are really big!

I have been busy spinning bits and pieces in an effort to clean up the studio and clear the clutter - so I can make a new mess. I have also been splitting my time between the two shawls that I am working on. Both are about half done. I will be working on the southwestern one while I watch Lost with Kyle and his girlfriend tonight. Two hours of knitting.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Glad it is not me

I took this photo of Latte last night. She does not have udders yet, so she is at least a month away from delivery. She has given me triplets in the past, so I am expecting the same this year, since she is already so large. She has saddlebags, or the middle aged spread. She is running around really well and is still a little hard to catch - which amazes me based on her size.
The animals out of pens means a lot more raking to keep it nice for visitors. I was raking by the light of a halogen tonight. It takes longer to rake than there is daylight after shop hours. Desert, the Rambouillet ram in the pen on the right has already busted the back panel of his pen. He does not want to be in there alone. I might have to get pens fixed before the mud room at this rate.

A photo of the bunnies from two days ago. They are already a lot bigger. There appear to be three reds, a black, a white and a peach. The wool is just starting to come in. I found the black one outside the nest this evening. Nice and plump. I lost the other black one yesterday. It was not growing and bottle feeding did not work. The rest look like they are all going to make it now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


One pen of animals escaped yesterday, so I let all of the rest out today with Tor's help. The ones that had escaped were banging on fences, so it became a way to return peace. Some of the animals can be very vocal when left on their own. Of course, this means a lot more raking. Unbelievable how much of a mess the few escapees made in one night.

While letting animals loose, we took time to trim a few hooves and check for udders. The Rambouillet are about a month out and so is one of the Shetland/Border Leicester crosses. Garnet, the Jacob ewe will probably be the first to deliver. I expect the next month to be rather quiet.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Baby bunnies

The pink are probably going to be white babies and the gray will the blacks. All 8 survived the night. I am a big believer in letting nature take its course. They seem to be doing well. Not exactly cute right now!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Baby bunnies

No photos - but Lindt, my doe rabbit had 10 babies, 8 of which were living when I last checked. Very squirmy.

Other animal news - baby season is fast approaching. Garnet, the Jacob ewe has the beginnings of udders. She was the the first to deliver last year and looks to be the same this year.

Will keep you posted and maybe get photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New colors

I just listed this yarn on my etsy shop. It was a lot of fun to spin, since they are not my usual colors. I named it South of the Border, since it reminds me of the Mexican colors that you see in their pottery. I am spinning a single to go along with it. I can just see it being knitted up in the yellow and green shawl pattern that I wrote. A friend bought a skein of the freeform yarn that had flowers that I had crocheted in it. They looked so cool knitted up that I decided to start adding some to yarns on a regular basis.
I am busy on a new freeform shawl. It is in shades of pink, blue, and white. I have already started sewing the pieces together and plan to get a few more attached tonight. I am hoping that I can exert some self control and not make it quite as large as the last one. My goal is to have it almost done by the 28th of January, when the Tucson Visitor Center volunteers come out to take a tour of the ranch.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Projects and an ornery doe rabbit

Above is a sampling of the yarns that I have spun over the past few days. They are now hanging in the shop.
Lindt (finally remembered what I had named her!), is most definitely pregnant and due any time. I took this photo with the intentions of putting it on my blog on Saturday. She decided that the nesting box was not good enough for her. I put newspapers in to block the wind from below and put a light on the area where she has started a nest. Since it rained this weekend, I took out the damp papers and gave her some paper towels to play with. Her nest is now much taller than the box and has paper towels in it as well. She cleaned her whole cage! Hope she delivers soon and has live babies. The alternative is too depressing.

While my sister Paula was here, we felted bags and finished some that I have had hanging around for a while now. The blue/pink one at the bottom started out as a vase. This is much nicer.
A few of us have tried out nuno felting and variations on it. This neck warmer started out significantly larger. It is my favorite among the pieces that I did. Some of the other projects turned out really well. I plan to take better photos of them and post them.
Anyhow, I am now ready to list a date for nuno felting. It will probably be in February, unless I get an earlier request.