Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Whole Year in Maryland

 Today is the anniversary of our arrival in Maryland. Can't go running off to celebrate anywhere because lambs and kids are popping again. Three moms delivered today. A black mom had a black buck, a white doe had a white doe, and a moorit Shetland had a black ewe. This last one does not even weigh 2 pounds. Fits in the palm of my hand!
 My sisters came from Massachusetts and California to visit this past week. No one can sit idle here at the farm and all got involved in helping feed, bottle feed and milk. Nadia is above left. Shirley is to the right.
 We have named the black bottle baby Raven and Pearl's ram is going to be Pearl's boy. He is half Merino and feels luscious already. Paula is on the right.
Shirley took to milking right away. Marc taught her, not me! She milked half of the time she was here, I milked twice and Marc did the rest, with Drew, Paula's son doing it once.

We had a blast and I hated to see them leave this morning. Shirley has decided that she needs to move to a farm now. She wants space and a dairy goat. She would have taken either Rosemary or Parsley and been happy. Paula is contemplating moving to Maryland to help out and maybe start her own business.

I am listing yarns as well as wearable art on my eshop as time permits. Take a look, since I now have traditional yarns millspun from my animals and some new textured yarns.

I have also finished my Random Pleat Scarf and published the pattern on etsy, Ravelry and my eshop. It requires 300 yards of sport weight yarn. I have embellished the scarf with vintage earrings. The scarf model will be for sale in the fall after Stitches East.
My mannequin contest is still ongoing. I am getting some really good names. I might have to put them up for a vote at the end of April.
Thanks to all of you who have supported me over the past year. It has been a wild ride and time has flown by!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Name my Mannequin Contest

 It is funny how the angle at which you see something changes your view/perspective. I stood on a chair to photograph the scarf above and I stood on the ground to photograph the one on the bottom. If you have met me, you know that I am seriously short.
I think this one looks snooty. Maybe that is why short people look at tall people and see a different attitude than those who are taller.

Contest rules:

I would like to name this mannequin by April 30, 2013. The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate that they can spend either in the shop, on my eshop or etsy (email me if you decide to choose an online gift, or at any of my shows. Must be redeemed by the end of May or win is forfeit.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Baby Season is Here

Baby season is officially here. In 6 days we had 37 kids and lamb born. I still have ten does to deliver and 12 ewes. They appear to be a week or so out, which is giving me a small break to get shop things caught up. Photos and stories are below.

Just before the kid explosion, I picked up my roving and yarns from Sweitzers Fiber Mill. They turned out lovely. The above yarns are a three ply lace weight from a first fleece Border Leicester Shetland X. It is lovely and I dyed it dark turquoise. I always add yarns over a period of an hour, so there will be variation in color. The lighter ones at the top were put in last. I have 5 skeins of the paler turquoise (pictured below) and 10 of the truly dark ones. They all have 240 yards and will be priced at $17.25 a skein. You can order direct by email: or wait till I get it listed on my eshop or etsy shop - hopefully later today.


This is a skein of natural colored Suri alpaca that I have spun. look for it on my eshop soon. I have one other in the wash.

 Above are two skeins that I got back from the Sweitzers Mill. The top is a moorit Merino blended with a first red kid mohair. It is gorgeous. The bottom skein is from a Shetland lamb blended with kid mohair. It is just a tad less silky feeling, but still gorgeous. Both are three ply and DK weight. I also have a dark chocolate 100% Merino.
 I have been busy spinning and playing with new ideas. The above yarns have twisted coils. Still have to knit or weave one up to see how they will look, but they feel lovely. The ones below are brushed mohair (not as soft as kid mohair) that are spun thick and thin.

 I just finished a scarf with random pleats and I will be listing the pattern on etsy, my shop and craftsy. I still have to get a good photo. I have ordered a mannequin that will arrive this week. My old mannequin now looks too beat up to use. All that hauling around for shows has worn out the "Headless Wonder."
 Now for baby pictures. The little doe in the back took five days to get on her mom. She had to be treated for pneumonia, since she got amniotic fluid in her lungs at birth. I finally took her coat off last night. She is happy to be running around freely with the rest of the kids.
 I just don't have enough hands to get the baby bottles and kids back and forth from the house. This little buck fit perfectly in a bag and was content to ride up to the house for a short session with a heating pad and baby bottle.
 Among all the baby births, the adult goats and sheep got their spring shearing. Now I can keep an eye on udders and predict (not likely) when the next batch of babies will be born. Got 53 fleeces and have already washed 4. I turned the water back on in the bank barn, so I can wash. Soon I will be listing classes since I  have a long list for nuno felting.
This mom was awesome. She had just had a baby, when I had to pull a kid out of another white doe. The second mom was stressed and did not look like she would take her kid. I took the kid, covered in goo, and put it in with this mom. She adopted it as her own immediately. I will be able to tell them apart, since one is a buck and the second one is a doe.

Lots of babies: you can call to schedule a farm visit: 401-795-6070. I have decided that I am not going to do a fiber festival here at the farm this year. Too many issues with scheduling a shearer and so many shows in the fall. I will be updating the list of shows on my website as soon as I hear back from a few places. I will be doing Stitches East in November in Connecticut. This coming weekend you may find me at the Carroll County Home Show in booth #60.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

First angora goat kids of the year are lovely black and red bucks out of 394. It is easier to remember some of the goats by their numbers and this mom is one of those. She did a great job. Both babies are already up and drinking, but I will verify that a few more times.

I have a few more who could deliver today. So hard to predict since I have a lot of drama queens!