Friday, February 26, 2010


Poppy finally had her lambs today - an ewe and a ram. The ewe was born last and her mother might have run out of energy in terms of clean up. She is still dirty and sticky. Her mother has not bonded with her as well as with the ram (what else is new), but both are up and drinking and there is no fussing, so I am happy. The ewe will be named "Ever" - is she ever going to drink, while the ram is "Ready" - always ready when mom stands up.

Spots will be next. You could see her whole side ripple this afternoon. She has complete udders and looks ready.
I listed these skeins on my eshop today. I never realized how hard it is to get greens to show up properly. I had to go into Photoshop to adjust the colors. My friend, Virginia, showed me where to go.
I am now over the horror of the thought of having to do all of the publicity for the Spring Wool Festival. I started working on it yesterday and discovered that one place leads to another online. If you look at the sidebar, you will see that I have added widgets for links to Tucson blogs. Kind of cool to see that there is a site just for us. Then I found the website and discovered that there is another place out there for local businesses to post. I have done most of the newspapers and have already heard back from the Northwest section of the Daily Star, so I hope it turns into a featured article.
Anyhow, I am amazed at how much information you can find and add to on the Internet!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Geese are laying

Above is my first goose egg harvest. We still have two females and they must have started laying 3 days ago. I have been keeping an eye on the nests and must have missed due to the yucky weather on Monday. One egg was laying out in the middle of their area. The rest were in nests. Obviously the young goose did not know what was happening as she lay her first egg. I placed the chicken egg that I collected at the same time on top to give you an idea of size difference. I would also like to point out that the geese are not quite as tidy about their eggs. They are dirty!
This is the nest of the younger goose. You cannot see it, but it is 4 inches deep. I saw her in it, but would have known that it was hers because of the white feathers. Ugly's nest has the grey pilgrim feathers and is a lot more shallow.
This is the art yarn that I spun from the batt in the previous entry. It has stars and Victorian buttons in addition to the texture and bows. Below is the same skein with the two singles that I spun from the same batt. They are almost entirely out of the softest kid mohair - only a touch of Merino to add a splash of blue.
I am now spinning coiled yarns to go along with them. One is more towards the cranberry colors, while the other is towards the green. I will probably end up with a super coil out of the remaining fiber. I plan to empty the basket before moving on to another color scheme. I need to spin naturals and definitely some black due to requests, but will probably go bright again, since we are due to get rain again on Saturday. I plan to be ready!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Everyone is asking me to update my blog. They want to know about babies.

So - I still have only the one ewe lamb. One ewe miscarried last Sunday. Since it depressed me, I really did not want to write and depress others. A lot of the sheep are close, but due to the warm winter, the goats are not due for at least another month.

I have not settled on a theme for names, but Marc suggested that I name the ewe lamb "Early" for "She sure was Early." She is still pitch black and might stay that way since she has Jacob in her background.
This is the batt that was hanging in the last post. I hope to have it spun up by the end of tomorrow.
I taught a class on pin weaving this past Saturday and started one myself in order to demonstrate. All of the ladies have begun gorgeous pieces. Mine is the one above. I worked several hours today and yesterday on it and should finish it by tonight. I am trying to settle on a idea for incorporating it into wearable art. It will make a gorgeous picture, if framed, but I don't know that there is a lot of demand for that kind of art.
This is one in a series of three that I spun last week. It is a thick and thin coiled yarn.

This is my latest freeform yarn. Above is one side and below is the other. I began spinning with the green, shifted to the blue, green, and gold blend and then ended with the gold. I really like them and will wait a week or so to list them online, since people are popping in often - despite the yucky weather.
Among other happenings on the ranch, we got our overhead shelter up and Marc and I moved the ram to a pen all his own. I got tired of watching my back and I suspect that he might have had something to do with the ewe's miscarriage. Espresso was never a problem, but this guy has a lot more testosterone!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art Yarns

Above is the beginning of a batt. I felt like it looked a little too much like autumn. I am using the batt colors to create another series of yarns in the hidden treasures line. I have not decided, if I am going to go for buttons with a theme or just stick with beads.
This was what I ended up with on the top side after adding some navy blue following Judy's suggestion. I was too close with the flash, but don't have time to redo the photo, since I need to get to the gym before it closes.
This is the color way that I carded and spun yesterday. The remaining batt was spun and then coiled and is currently hanging to dry.
I spun up a whole series of yarns to go with the spring colors. The skein on the left sold this morning as well as a lot of the yarn that I spun to go with it. The one on the right is still available.

This coral thick and thin is one of the few in the color way that still remains.

This is the art yarn that triggered the rest of the series and I am really excited that it sold so quickly. I am busy working on hidden treasure yarns, since I have sold so many in the past three weeks. They are the most intriguing for me to spin and I love that people are now seeing their uniqueness. I have the 4th Avenue Street fair next month and the spring shearing the next weekend at the ranch, so I want to have new colors available.
Another view of the skein.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

400th Post

I promised animal photos for today. I am currently waiting for #17, Poppy to pop. She has full udders, has dilated and has starting to chew on wood and licking. I figure tonight or really early morning. There are a few others that are really close, but she has been standing in the stall for three days now and did not come to eat. If the other ewe had not already delivered, I would not even be looking at the ewes and stressing. I was supposed to go to the movies with Marc and some of his friends, but 4-5 hours away is just too much. My Tuesday nights at Barnes and Nobles are shorter, now that I am doing baby checks. Don't dress up, if you come out to visit and want to help during a delivery.I am so glad that this wheel barrow was empty, when the does started to play. I learned a few years ago to not leave a full one around, if I did not want to have to refill it.
This is what happened a second later.
Mounds, the white Rambouillet, is in the last stages of pregnancy and looks horribly depressed. I am feeding her lots of grain, since she looks like she could go into toxemia. The longer she goes, the more I think twins.
Absinthe found a quiet resting spot in with Watusi the new alpaca. The young does are popping in and out of his pen. He will not get lonely.
The black ewe in the foreground is calling for her lamb - standing right behind her. Such a racket!
On this occasion, the lamb responded and came to drink. If the lamb is not hungry, she will ignore her mother. This lamb hangs out more with another ewe than with her own mother. She is a very fast runner and she starts stampedes on a regular basis.
If you need to ask about this photo, email me at You must be 18 years or older.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Color Play

As I was walking back to the shop yesterday, I noticed that my batt came pretty close to the color of the sky. I am hanging things on a rack outside - kind of like they used to hang out a banner years ago to let people know that the shop was open.
I am really ready for spring. Some of the colors will be yellow and coral. The yellow has already been spun up into a coiled yarn. See the picture below. It is a blend of kid mohair and merino. The coral is all kid mohair.
These are three skeins that I had hanging out to dry two days ago. You can always tell when it is humid here, because yarn won't dry in an hour. The two on the left are all kid mohair that I spun from a batt that I think I featured on an earlier post. It turned out too pale, so it hit the dye pot for some richer blues.

The kid mohair locks above and below were dyed for an order. I should have some left and I plan to list them on my eshop - I just opened it last Saturday and have already started to fill it. If you have been to my shop and have suggestions for kinds of things that you would like to see listed (no obligation to buy!) then let me know.

This is the skein of yellow that was spun from the left side of the batt. Really cheerful, so it is still hanging on the drying rack, till I decided what to do with it. More than likely sell it, since I went to the Tucson Gem show today and came back with at least three cool ideas to use in yarn.
Above and below are two weavings that will probably become bags. I was cleaning out my scrap basket with a friend and found the really dark blue thick and thin. It goes perfectly with the blue that was on the loom. Then I took a portion of a skein from the shop to add some cool texture.

I currently have a 22 yard warp on my loom. I have only worked about 3 yards, so I decided that I would start playing with it. I am doing one in pale fawn alpaca with Shetland coils to add some fun. The weft is dominant, so I will be able to use almost any color I want on top.
I will share animal photos tomorrow. No new babies, but I am catching the animals doing a lot of silly things, since I am taking the camera out every day now. I have three groups scheduled for tomorrow, so I am betting that moms will pop babies, just because I am busy.