Sunday, May 29, 2011

Albuquerque, More Lambs, and Fleeces

I just got back from the Albuquerque Fiber Fiesta. Foot traffic was slow, so I got a pound of yarn spun. I just wound it into skeins to be washed.

I go to the shows with the intentions of making money to feed the animals and gleaning inspiration for new projects. I met lots of doll makers and was seriously impressed by the workmanship. My sister and I did buy Topaz, from Arley Berryhill. A search on his name will give you his website. Gorgeous!

I saw a different type of doll that is within my skill level, so I bought the pattern to make it. I have already decided that I do not want to make the face, so I am going to use material that I bought from sewbatik to make the body. The abstract fabric will lend itself to the design. I also will be able to show another use of kid mohair and of the felted fabric that I intend to start making.
Lynnae of Chamomile Connections was in the booth next to me. When it got too slow in the afternoon, we got our wheels into the corridor, so we could chat with each other and other vendors. I am spinning from one of the huge batts, while Lynnae is spinning some of her space dyed Merino Seacell.

The silver buck is my favorite. Unfortunately, I cannot use him for breeding since he is related to all of the blacks. He is gorgeous and he is for sale. So are a lot of other goats and sheep. The feed jumped from $10.15 to $14.50 a bag, so I am going to have to downsize now and not in the fall as I usually do. The sales will not be at firesale/auction prices. They are all registered. Some will be going to Del Mar with my friend, Tor, for the CAGBA and Angora goat shows there next month.

This is the buck's fleece close up. It is just now starting to curl. We have very low humidity. The first rain will curl all of the mohair fleeces.

Went out to feed the Shetlands this evening and discovered two ewe lambs One blends right into the dirt. The mom is a first timer, so she will stay in the barn for a few days. Her babies are tiny, but they have both been on mom.

This ewe lamb is almost a week old. She was born last Monday and I had to bottle feed her. Her mother is behind her and enormous in comparison. The mother's milk is now in and baby is doing well, so Marc let them out of the barn yesterday,while I was gone.

Marc discovered the mom and ram lamb when he went out to feed last night. The mom has Jacob and Border Leicester, as well as Shetland in her back ground. The lamb has more Shetland. I will be selling both of them. They are a long hair breed. The lamb might fade to gray or white by fall.

I will be home for most of June and July. I plan to go to Del Mar and see my son, Kyle, at the same time. I also have a show at the end of July in Pasadena. I hope to get a lot of these fleeces washed and carded. Dealing with my Dad's estate has really slowed me down, but most of that is now taken care of, so I will have more fiber time!

If you would like a workshop, let me know and I will try to schedule it. I won't be teaching in August or September.

I am also reducing my prices on batts for the next month. Crazy batts off the Louet carder are $4, the batts off the Elsa carder (huge carder) are $5, and the batts off the Supercard are $6. Do come and check out the selection.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yarn extremes

Somehow the post that I created at my Dad's did not make it to my blog. I made it back home after 10 days in Colorado Springs dealing with his estate. His house has sold, so I went to sort his belongings, do a yard sale, and donate the rest. Wish I could say that I am back to doing my usual things, but there is still a lot of paperwork to sort and time shares to sell.

It is hard to settle on any one task, so I started carding batts in hopes of tidying up the studio. It is not quite happening, but the batts are lovely and will work as very interesting yarns or parts of landscapes.
The above are all Shetland. The front and the back are not the same, so they are reversible.

It took me three days to card the batts for the kid mohair above. Thought I would show how much trash is still left in after three cardings. I plan to coil this kid mohair, so I will have yarn available for the Medieval collar pattern. This is lace weight yarn.

I have started another knitted landscape using the size 35 needles. I just ordered a batch of them, so I can sell them. They are an addiction.
I am using 12 strands of yarn that I have spun. I carded the batts with the intention of having variegated yarns. I have knitted 18 inches and with 51 stitches on the needle, it is approximately 46 inches wide. It is using up lots of the non wearable yarn. It is a perfect use for the older mohair and scratchier wools. I am currently shifting to a darker pine green to create the illusion of a forest. I plan to embellish on top with coiled and super coiled yarns. I was considering changing colors in a middle section for the sky, but the numbers of threads was outrageous, so I will let surface design break the horizons. The needles and all of the yarn are quite heavy, so I am only doing a few rows at a time. You would not believe how much yarn it is eating!