Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow in Tucson!

We woke up to snow this morning. Very cool. Of course, we had to get up early to see it, since it is already melting. It is the first time that it has snowed here at the ranch in the 11 years that we have lived here.

The goats started walking gingerly towards the feeder when they saw me. They always eat a lot more when it is cold. Most of the animals stayed dry. The alpacas and llamas did not care.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stitches West and All About Babies

I am back from Stitches West. It is always good to get away and see what other people are doing. This turned out to be an inspirational trip, because I came back with ideas for using up older mohair. I will tell all in my next post. The show was overwhelming in that there were hundreds of vendors and loads of yarn. There was not a lot of temptation for me, since I spin my own yarn. The space dyed yarn in most booths did not have prices on them, so I could not judge where I fit among them. I did not see any handspun, but then there was so much stuff, that it would have been hard to pick out.

My felted landscapes drew the most attention and helped sell a lot of roving, batts, and mohair locks. My coiled yarns and freeform yarns sold well, but nowhere near as well as they did here in Arizona. Blues were the most popular colors. I will have to write the pattern for my southwestern vest, since I kept getting asked for it. I also plan to put together kits for my layered collar pattern, since people were looking for a batch of yarn specifically for it.
While I was off having fun, things at the ranch kept moving along. I managed to get a great photo of Spindle, so her color can be seen. She is loving the attention of all of the visitors.
Amber went into ketosis, so I had to talk Marc through setting up an IV with Dextrose for her. Fortunately she delivered the next day (I think we might have given her too much!) Two lovely twins - a buck, Flyer, and a doe, Maiden. Above is a photo of Flyer drinking from Amber. She was too lazy to get up and he decided that her teat was just right where it was.
Willow waited till Tuesday morning to have her kids, so I got to dry her babies. I am holding Treadle, a doe. Her brother is named Double. Double and Treadle. Get it?
Dark Chocolate's buck, Star, is out with his mom now. He was the first born and he is really friendly. If you stay still, he will come nibble on your pants.
My intern, Caitlin, has only a few more days here at the ranch. She has fallen in love with the unpredictable lifestyle and says that the babies are the most fun. Star is by far her favorite.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First kid, patterns and Stitches West

Dark Chocolate delivered prematurely. Only one of the triplets survived - a buck. He is healthy, but very quiet.
In preparation for Stitches West, I have been sorting and printing patterns. I decided to write out the pattern for my Southwestern Shetland shawl. It took quite a while, since I included extra photos and a stitch chart for the lace section. It is definitely not for a beginner! Thanksgiving was quite interested.
I will be packing up the shop this afternoon and heading out tomorrow morning for California. I am slightly depressed, since there is rain in the forecast for the whole trip. I suffer from the SAD syndrome, so it is going to be tough. I have been reminded that it is an indoor show and that people in other parts of the country do not hibernate when it rains like Arizonans do.
Caitlin, my intern, will be covering what remains in the shop and watching out for the animals. I don't expect any to deliver while I am gone.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thanksgiving is becoming a little bit of a brat, since she has been put out with the other llamas and alpaca. Sibling rivalry happens even among the animals.
As I was giving an animal tour yesterday afternoon, I noticed that Amber's teats are filling. Her baby is hanging pretty low. I checked my blog and realized that I could have kids as early as this weekend, since I had the coyote issue. I am glad that the weather will be nicer by then.
This is Catlin's pin weaving. It was the back side and I think it has more color and texture than the front. She is probably going to turn it into a small bag.
I took a trip to the Gem and Mineral show along I-10 this past Sunday. I came home with some new ideas and a few different type of beads.
A trip to the Doubletree Inn on the east side netted me these beads.
All of these were spun in the last week and a half. I finished the angora rabbit and need to send it off.
This is a closeup of the center skein. I am doing a series of freeform yarns in these colors. This is the middle range color. I am working on a darker set. Below is the lighter set. I can't which I like better!
After the wool festival, a lot of people told me to pass on thanks to the guy directing traffic using the bike. He looked pretty scruffy, so I thought you would like to know that he does clean up well. I rarely see him dressed for work, since he leaves before I get up. This is Marc, my husband, and I call the look - The Secret Agent Man.