Thursday, May 24, 2012

In Production Mode

I am listing

I am listing the above and below yarns on etsy this afternoon. It takes a while, which is why I will never be able to feature all of my yarns. I have signed up for four shows, so I am busy spinning again.

 This is the view of my freeform hat upside down. The freeform part turned out rather heavy based on the yarns I chose, so I knitted the ribbing with elastic yarn and used only 56 stitches instead of my usual 66. It would make a cute bowl or bag, but I plan to keep it as a hat. The extra layers around the ears will help block the wind in winter.

I am trying to figure out the new design for the blogger. Can't seem to get the pictures and then the text to line up, so bear with me.
 The text is trying to do its own thing independently. If anyone knows how to get it to text wrap, I would love to know!
Our hay! Finally found a farmer willing to cut it for us. Now we just need to get the weather to cooperate. Since it will be the first time for us, I plan to photograph all of the steps. It is currently waist high.

This is a close up view of some of the grass/hay. I thought it was pretty with the sun shining on it. I am so used to seeing the grass cut and never flowering. 
 I am getting lots of queries about Flower and Orphan. Orphan has a very sweet disposition. Both of them will follow just like a puppy with the occasional stop to nibble on a tall piece of grass.
 Orphan is very pushy when I go out to feed. He has actually drunk three bottles at one time. I thought he was going to bust. When they got like this in Tucson, I started feeding through the fence. I won't be able to do that here. Pixie, our part Maine Coon cat has no fear. She got right up to Orphan, but the camera was too slow to capture the picture.
 The alpacas have figured out that it is okay to go in the barn. They are rather stupid, since we had a gully washer last night - thunderstorm and pouring rain, so Marc and I could pretend that we were in Tucson during a monsoon. We sat on the front porch to eat dinner and watch the river run down our driveway. He sure cannot complain the he has not had his fair share of rain!
I am also creating nuno felting kits and will be listing them online. The pink silk and the roving on the left have already sold. I will feature another one with a different colored silk. I am also listing rovings. Based on the number of hits on the one listed already, there is not a lot of interest in kid mohair rovings.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

This was the weekend for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I have to admit that I found the birth of Winter's cria, "Maryland," to be a lot more interesting. I looked out over the pasture before 8 a.m. and all was quiet. I went out at 8:30 a.m. to feed grain and throw out some hay and looked halfway up the pasture to see a small spot of color sitting next to Winter. Maryland was cold, so I toweled her off and went to get ready to leave for the festival. By the time I came back out, Maryland was running all over the place. And today, she is running among the sheep and goats.

I always check to be sure that babies are drinking before I head out. Thanksgiving is watching in the background. She has been displaced as the baby and I am not sure that she is happy about it.

Flowers and Orphan are doing very well. Orphan is guzzling 2 bottles for every one that Flowers inhales. I go out with 6 bottles and a group of other kids take turns coming to drink. Their mothers have enough milk now, but they have gotten a taste for the bottle and how quickly the milk comes out. Smart kids!

I am busy looking for a shearer. The one I had planned on did not put me on her book, so I will probably end up using three shearers to get it all done. One won't do alpacas, one won't do goats, etc.

Anyhow, with the help of a neighbor, I have shorn two goats so far. This is Barbara's Daughter and she was way too hot.

And so, on to the festival. I have to admit that I was disappointed. I was expecting to see lots of handspun yarn and unique designs. Well, the main hall was filled with all of the vendors that I saw when I went to the Stitches. There was an awful lot of millspun fiber and hand dyed fiber - that obviously came from Ashland Bay or a similar source. Not very exciting for me as an artist. Don't breeders process any of it themselves any more? I saw a few skeins of handspun and they were seriously over twisted or spun out of coarse wool. Gives wool a bad name. I plan to apply to the show next year. Maybe I will start an art revolution!

My hat is most of the way done. I am knitting the ribbing with my elastic yarn. It is actually going to fit. I do plan to wear it. Looks a little like scrambled brains!

I have been asked to show my "new digs." The carpet is eventually going to go since it is going to soak up lots of the vegetable matter. I did have a sheet down, but it aggravated me too much, so I threw it in the wash and gave up on it. On the right side of the room you can see a door that leads out to a large porch. Great place to sit when the wind is not blowing.

This photo was taken standing at the door mentioned in the photo above. I have not finished unpacking books, so the miscellaneous stuff is going to have to find a room. The closets are already filled with fiber to be carded and spun.

The electricity is being run to the big red barn now, so I will be able to use my carder this week. We are running water lines to the barn and I will put a water heater, mud room sink and my washing machine in the basement. I plan to teach nuno felting there. I had originally planned on putting all of my raw fleeces in the basement on the shelves until I saw the room empty. If I take out the shelves, I will have a lovely large room that will be perfect for classes. We bought lights for the shop today, but they need electricity. It won't be long! I am starting to feel settled in.