Sunday, December 23, 2012

Farm Walkabout

 Last Week I started getting cabin fever, so I took a walk around the farm. My first stop was the manhole cover that the beaver keeps covering. I cleaned that off and walked down the stream to check out our water fall. With the water flowing again, the stream was roaring. Now that the leaves have fallen, you can actually see it. Not as pretty!
 I suspect that there is more than one beaver. This is all that remains of one of the trees. Three trees are down and two more are being worked on.
 Since it has gotten cold, the animals are eating between 7 and 8 bales of hay a day. If we run out, I am going to buy pellets. Amazing how much of a mess they can make! The colored goats are looking more pregnant than the white goats. Based on size and the fact that they are not due for another two months, I am predicting a lot of the older ones are going to have twins.
The chickens know how to fly out of the coop now. They come up to the side door because they recognize it as the one that we come out. The Fedex guy is now watching for them as he drives up. I counted 10 out this afternoon. They can fly back in, if they want, but they usually wait to follow me in with their feed.

My son and daughter are both coming for Christmas. Kyle is going to love the wildlife. Kristie calls the farm a story book picture.

Merry Christmas! Might not write again till the new year unless something super exciting happens!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Textile Museum, New Yarns and Dairy Goats

My presentation at the Washington, DC, Textile Museum on "Fiber Connections: The Art and Science of Weaving" went really well. I had a very enthusiastic audience who plied me questions, so I know they were interested. Above is one of the three shawls that I used as a basis for my talk. I loved how the supercoils created the look of a bouquet by just draping it a certain way. It and the more traditional (but still with art yarn) shawl will be for sale at my Chantilly show this coming weekend. I rarely do all white, so will dye them, if they do not sell in the next six months.

This was the third piece that came off the loom.  It was dyed at the Greater Baltimore Weavers' Guild meeting in October. It is not quite long enough to be a shawl or scarf, so I am looking at it as a piece of material that will become something one day.

A friend wanted a picture of what my studio currently looks like. Two weeks ago it was very tidy because I taught an art yarn class. You can see that as I get busy and inspired, piles start to accumulate. I am getting more Internet orders, which makes me happy. Repeat customers always become friends.

I di not include a picture of the Gaithersburg boot, because it would be a case of find the changes. I am using a set way of setting up, so I can save time and find things easier. The Gaithersburg show was really worth doing. I like art shows because people are looking for all sorts of things - and usually the unusual. My yarn scarves are selling well here, so I think the move from Tucson will be worth it.

 I am busy spinning yarns for Chantilly. Since the supercoils and elastic yarns are doing so well, I am spinning one of each in each colorway. I am currently spinning a "Monet" green with ivory beads. I hope to have time to spin one freeform yarn.
And, as if that is not enough, Marc and I went to pick up Rosemary (on the left) from the East Rivendell Farm in Damascus, Maryland. Last year I spent more money on powdered milk replacer for the babies, that I had to bottlefeed, than it would have cost me to buy a dairy goat. Notice in the picture that there are two goats? The younger one, who I have still not named, was an afterthought. While I was cleaning out stalls in preparation for her arrival, I remembered how loud the Nubian goats are and that all goats do not speak the same language. Marc agreed to let me get a second one. I am going to breed her to an angora buck. She is over 6 months old and larger than a lot of my adult angoras. I let Marc pick her out. She is super friendly - but she sure is loud!