Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baby blues

This kid is out of a red doe and a black buck. Neither had blue eyes, but it was obviously in the buck's background. This kid's eyes and a few others are staying blue. A very different look!
My new Merino's came from Mendenhall Farm in California. A friend was showing his goats and sheep in California and brought them back for me. I am really pleased with them and they are not stressing with the heat. Best of all, they are significantly smaller than the Rambouillets!

This elastic yarn was supposed to match the skein below. There is some of it spun up in the single, but the overall look is too different for me to use them together, so I am going to list it on etsy.
This skein has the southwestern charms in it. I will probably list it on etsy with a photo showing the charms a little better. You can see the horseshoe and the hat, if you look closely.

The last necklace is done and in the wash. I have been carding almost all day and I am accumulating some really cool rovings.
In other doings - I have been experimenting with Navajo plying and discovered that it is pretty easy, since I have had so much practice doing funky yarns.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Major Changes at the Ranch

Last Saturday, I went bead shopping to relieve stress with my friend, Holly, and I came back with some southwestern charms. I plan to add them to yarns. I already have one set on the wheel right now.
I now have two more rooms to fill with fiber. This was Kristie's room and I gave it to Kyle last year as a study. He has now graduated from the U of A with a BS in both Physics and Math. He has been accepted to the San Diego State University for his master's with a teacher's assistant position, so he moved out there this week. He stripped the rooms - except for the huge bed, which we had told him was staying here. He took Garfield and Licker, two of our cats, so I moved the rabbits into the kitchen - in cages of course. It is just too hot outside.

A lot of the furniture that we have been hauling around became Kyle's. We bought the couch when Kyle was 8 weeks old and he asked for it years ago.

Stress also puts me in the design mode. I saw a slouch hat online and decided to design a knitted one for my yarns. I will post the pattern on etsy, as soon as I have checked for typos and put a picture on. I am designing a crochet slouch hat right now. I am spinning elastic and matching novelty yarns, so fiber artists can make their own.

I also took the material off my loom, since I noticed that the right side of the warp was looser than the left. It is giving me a chance to finish those designs. The scarf below was an adaptation using pin weaving in the weft.

The skein of yarn was dyed in a ball, so one end is a lot darker and a different color from the other. It is about 11 inches wide and will be just right for a climate - that is not Tucson!
I made this shawl during the nuno felting session a few weeks ago. It matched my shirt perfectly!

Necklace number 10! One to go! Then I will spin some to sell.

Finally sewed the straps on the felted bag that I made several months ago. It is 15 by 15 inches and is sturdy enough to hold a laptop - or several knitting projects!

And last, but most important of all, Pearl had triplets this morning and finished up just as I was going out to feed. No worries for me and all lambs were definitely bonded to her and drinking when I fed at dinner time. Baby season is over!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Birds that Sing

Friday morning, I was listening to the birds singing outside my window and the melody of a song that Kristie played years ago for Kyle's kindergarten class started running through my mind - "Thank you, God, for the birds that sing..." I had been asked to play for his class and I knew that Kristie was already a better pianist than I would ever be. As I was removing the roving from the carder, I glanced outside the window and spotted this cardinal. Gorgeous color on a dreary day!
This is Chinless. Her chin is not noticeable to someone unaware of what an angora goat should look like. She has a sense of desperation when I come to feed her, even though she can't even drink a whole bottle when I come out to feed. She frantically pokes at the bottle, but can't seem to remember that she has to open her mouth to suck. I have figured out how to feed her and hope she learns how to drink from a bowl as she gets older. Otherwise, she is a character. I caught her looking at herself in the shine of the garage door. She has learned to walk through the fence to greet me. Scary thought, since she could do it when I am not around and get taken by a coyote.
Necklace number 9 is finished!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Girls' Night Out

A close up of necklace #8. I liked it so much that I have carded up a batch that I will turn into a freeform yarn after I finish spinning the last three necklaces. I want to get them done, now that I have a few more ideas - hat in a slouch style, vests and the rest of the bags from my gray 15 yard warp to sew up. All of the current bags and any that I finish before the end of the month are on sale till June 30 at 15% off.
I let the three angora doe rabbits out to run around the studio tonight. Won't do that again real soon! They were hard to catch and made a huge mess. I am not into house cleaning! I did notice that they managed to find spots to rest in that acted as camouflage for their wool. The white one preferred the light colored tile.

The large copper hid under the maple colored loom.

And the black one found the vacuum cleaner. It was fun to watch them run around, but I had to get Marc to help me corner the last one. And then I had the clean up!

The Gila monster was back on Friday behind our pool area. I got some really great photos. My camera has a 20x zoom, so I felt like I was right up on him.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Time to reflect

Things have been quiet around here. Babies are almost all here and settled with moms. I am still bottle feeding Shake and Chinless, Barbara's kid who was born with a deformed chin, but it does not require the heroic efforts and the time that the main baby season requires.

I have decided to sell a lot of the 2-4 year Shetlands and angora goats and I don't plan breeding very many. I would like to focus on the art side of the fiber business and it will allow me to do shows elsewhere.

I am always being asked about where I do shows and being told that I would do really well in "such and such" a place. I am going to apply to large shows that require being juried and to fine art shows, not fiber shows, because I am looking for what I call "real people." Most fiber artists seem to be buying most of their supplies online. I figure that I have saturated the Tucson area, so I am applying to shows in the Phoenix area and San Diego. I have already received word today that I have been accepted into the San Diego Holiday show at the Del Mar fairgrounds for Thanksgiving weekend. It makes sense to do that one, because of location and the fact that my son, Kyle, has been accepted to San Diego University as a master's student with a teacher's assistant position. It will give me a chance to check out his home and also get his help. (Slave labor!)

The picture above is part of a vest that I am weaving. I have almost finished it, but will not cut it off the loom until I have finished the warp. I can see the beam, so I am almost there!

I am spinning 400-600 yard skeins of fall colors and carding up 5-8 ounce rovings of colors to sell and to have for blending. I am on a red kick right now and have almost finished a Romney fleece by blending some with black Rambouillet, some with white kid mohair, some with chestnut llama, and some with all of it thrown together randomly (my favorite and the one that I will probably spin.)

My Moss Green Garden shawl is almost complete and the first 7 necklaces have been mailed!