Sunday, July 29, 2012


Ever since we arrived in Woodbine, MD, the Shetlands, Merinos and Mounds have hung out at the top of the pasture. I have to go way up to check on them. I managed to capture them with the bank barn in the background. They sure do love the grass.

Now that our chicks have arrrived, we are back to our "normal" from Tucson. These are Speckled Sussex and we chose them because they are supposed to lay 4 eggs a week and be good brooders. I would like to hatch our own chicks nex year, so I got a straight run. There are definitely a few roosters in the bunch.

My Green Crochet Shawl pattern was chosen to go in the 2013 Crochet calendar. It is featured for April 12th and was renamed Lacy Shawl. Kind of exciting, even if I did know about it months ago!

I am going to weave two white/natural colored shawls for a presentation that I am giving for the Greater Baltimore Guild on October 2nd, 2012. Title - Fiber Connections: Art and Science. The yarn is spun, so I am working on tying on my loom.

I was able to catch a photo as my first sunflower started opening this afternoon. I took an even cooler picture of one about to open, but I don't want to bore you!

There is always a lot to do here. I turned my compost, dealt with some animals that have health issues, and sheared a buk who looked too hot. This is his fleece. It is 5 or mre inches long - but it weighed only 23 ounces - even though it is a full 6 month fleece. His fllece feels like it has already been washed. No vm in it and no grease. Guess the rain does a good job. I have been delousing them routinely, so there is no back scratching and no felting. His fleece is superfine. I am thinking that eating grass and clover gives a finer fleece.

And here he is - no nicks or cuts. He is registered and for sale ($350) - out of a great line. If he does not sell, I will use him with the older does.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spinning Yarns and Gardening

I am bouncing all around in my color and fiber selections right now. The coiled one is going on my eshop, while the rest will go in the physical shop here in Woodbine, Maryland. I am alternating between listing on my own shop: and my etsy shop:

I am not sure whether you can tell what is growing in Watusi's pasture, but it is ragweed. The goats, sheep and alpacas had all been eating around it. My neighbor finally informed me the other day that it is ragweed. Sure enough, I did an Internet search, so I could be sure, and then I was out there mowing it down. It really needs to be tilled under, but then I would not have the grass and other "weeds" that Watusi has been eating. It pulls up fairly easy, so I am weeding a little each time I go out.

This is my real garden. The sunflowers are over 5 feet tall. They tower above me now. My beans, cucumbers and tomatoes are growing in their shade and twining around their stalks -instant trellis. Where the wooden pegs are in the rear of the picture is the last bed that Marc helped me dig. I have peppers, stevia, catnip and corn with a few more sunflowers in that bed.

This is my first cucumber. I have not harvested it yet, since it is so small!

I have some really great neighbors, who started their gardens while I was moving in and doing kid and lamb deliveries. They have been keeping me supplied with different types of squash, peppers, zucchini. Ruth gave me basil and tomato plants. I cut 2.6 pounds of basil off and stripped the leaves this weekend. I dried a quart and used the rest to make and freeze pesto sauce. In two weeks, I will be cutting a bunch more. Gardening is occupying almost as much time as gardening. I am almost ready for chickens. Marc mentioned them when he got back from Tucson last week. Guess he misses them also. We need to figure out where we want to put them, since we don't want to lose them to the dogs.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Shear Perfection

Shearing is now done until October 27, when all of the angora goats and some ram lambs will be shorn.

Thanksgiving is getting her hair cut by Nathan Good of Shear Perfection. He did a superb job. No stress for the animals or for me (most important!) While shearing Maryland, the cria born May 5th, he mention that "he" had a lovely fleece. Based on how he squatted to pee and no obvious testicles, I thought I had a girl. I do not breed with the intentions of papering my alpacas, so I will keep him, if I don't find a buyer. His fleece is as lovely as Thanksgiving's so with plenty of pasture, I am not under pressure.

Nathan was also willing to grind down teeth, so Jennifer went to the dentist without leaving home!

Marc held Winter, Maryland's mom, so she would know where her baby was. I think of the alpacas as large animals, but they are not once shorn and especially being held by Marc!

I am still doing lots of freeform - between spinning, washing fleeces and gardening. I am also checking out the various knitting and spinning groups in the area. So far, the spinning group associated with the Baltimore Weaver's guild has my vote. I plan to check out the Columbia Sip and Knit group that meets next Tuesday at the King's mall.

I have signed up to be a vendor at Spin Quest on August 25th. You can find more information by going to Spin Artiste's website and Ravelry pages.