Thursday, May 28, 2009


I caught a picture of several of the Rambouillet/Columbia crosses diving for the first feed bowl that I filled. The two on the far left look more like Jacobs and the ewe has horns, so they must have some other cross in there. Will have to ask Tor!
Three baby goslings hatched om Monday morning. They are already being moved around by the moms. I am always being asked whether the sheep and goats will take care of another's baby and the answer is no. The geese do take turns sitting on the nests and then share in herding the babies goslings around. This allows the goose on the nest to remain sitting. There are two more eggs, but I don't think they are going to hatch. I will pull them on Monday since I don't want "Ugly", the Pilgrim goose that is sitting to get heat stressed.

On Monday, I nuno felted this piece of fabric. I have since cut out a vest and started sewing it up. The material is gauze and a royal pain to cut and sew. I should have it done by tonight. I love the color combination. I might make more material, but will sell it and let someone else have the *joy* of sewing it up! I photographed the felting process with the help of a friend, so I can write a pattern for my methods. They are just different enough that it will be worth it - also the number of requests shows that there is interest.

Above are two locks of mohair from goats that I have sheared. The shorter black one is from Jalapeno and is the normal growth for a 6 month period. Danny missed a lock on Belgian, so the creamy lock is a year's growth. The reason you would not let their hair grow that long, is shown clearly. The oldest portion can start to felt and become unusable. I have 6 wethered bucks with six and seven inch locks who will be sheared next week. Their hair will be good for doll hair and lock spinning. They are second clips and really fine.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Onyx and her 4 lambs are thriving. Based on size, they are taking after her Border Leicester ancestry. She was hoping for grain.
It was a lot cooler than it has been recently, so I did not have to turn the fans on. We have had quite a bit of over 100 degree weather. Pearl and Onyx are the only ones in the arena still not shorn, so they hang out near the fans.

This is Ruby with her mother, The Witch. The Witch has progressed to the point that she will stand still for Ruby and Rica when I come into the pen. The kids don't even try to drink from her until I show up. They know my voice and start hollering as soon as they hear me, a car door or the house door closing. It is funny, but kind of sad, since they obviously know that their mother does not love them.

This is a close up of Elgin's fleece. The kids' ringlets are starting to show up. She is almost all silver now and has a lot of the recessive trait for black in her background. She is gorgeous! I have severl others who look like they will also be silver. I am excited. I had two silvers last year, but both were bucks. Not whatI wanted to keep!

This is a full photo of Elgin.

This is one of Cinnamon's buck, Peak. I plan to use him for breeding this year. His color catches my eye every time I go out. He is also very placid, a lovely trait in a buck, if you ask me!

This is Bisbee. I plan to use him with the white does. He already has his facial hair coming in. He is almost as big as his mother and it looks odd to see him go under his mother to drink.
I have several shades of red. I prefer the chocolate color on the right. I find the others look a little to0 red. Of course, none of them will be quite that color when they are sheared in October.

I have start spinning small sample skeins. A lot of these will be perfect for creating trees or prickly pears on a landscape or for knitting or crocheting freeform. Most are 6 yards long.

This batch of batts filled an order for someone wanting landscape colors in these shades. I made several more for the shop and plan to spin some for fall. The blends turned out really well.
I discovered another reason for sticking with pellets for the animal feed. I was cleaning out my mud room and sorting fleeces. I found two with moths remains in them and was very interested to discover that the moths had only been in the areas with the alfalfa hay and had left the lanolin covered area alone. My bags were mixed in and none of them had any signs of moths whatsoever. No vegetable matter does make a huge difference!
I am always reading and then going back a few years later and skimming through books on fiber related subjects. Tonight I picked up a book that I bought a year or so ago on felting. I noticed this time around that they consider nuno felting and purse/bowl felting to be master class level felting. Those are the two things that I teach on a very regular basis and to people who have never felted before. No one seems to think they are that hard. I sure don't - otherwise I would not be so willing to teach for free!
I have only managed to get one estimate for the hay barn. Not too many companies make those things! I need one more for the insurance company. The hay barn is now an eyesore. Can't wait to get it cleaned up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Animals, landscapes, projects

Above is a skein of freeform yarn that I am currently knitting up as a scarf. I sold the last sample scarf, so I need another to show how the different textures will look once knitted. I have also just realized that I should crochet one.
I added a button bird in the sky on this one after I photographed it. I was inspired to finish it, after seeing the one that my friend, Virginia, brought back to show me.

This is Viginia's landscape that she felted here and then went on to embellish. Hers has a space theme inspired by her husband's work.

These are the doe rabbits born a few months ago. They are German Giant Satin crosses, so they are rather large. The black faced one in the middle is the mother.

These are the two young bucks. They are available for sale now. They need to be played with!

A current view of the goat yard.

Part of my silence on the blog was a result of having to get some shearing done.My blades are dull and Marc is on the east coast, so I am getting a break. New blades arrive tomorrow and Marc will be home, so I will be back at it. This was the first one that I did. I have done five. The last one I sheared was Sweet. Her fleece was so dense and sticky that I wore out two blades on her. 8.75 pounds raw.
Espresso's fleece has just been washed. For being five years old, he had an awesome fleece. It is still next to the skin, although I will probably dye it and use it for felting.
This is Estrella. She and her sister Elfrida were born almost two weeks ago. She has really pretty markings. She is in the arena.
One of the Shetlands in the far out pasture delivered this afternoon - a pure black ewe. Since the lamb has drunk and she won't get chilled - not with the 100 degree weather - I left them to run around. I just have two more expecting. They are sheep, so it won't be as stressful as waiting on a goat. She will get an Arizona name starting with "F".

Allergies are horrible right now. Part of the problem is the ironwood tree (above.) It has no scent, but packs a wallop. Palo Verdes are still going strong, as well as the sweet acacias. Unfortunately, I can no longer take anything to control the symptoms, since I think they are causing me to have nightmares. Very scary dreams that I can remember when I wake up.