Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dyeing, Making hay,felting and last lambs of the year.

Just picked up a bunch of my fiber from the Sweitzer's Countryside Mill. I had her turn some of the mohair into yarn. I have been dyeing the skeins different colors. I got back seven pounds of the white and have been having a good time color combining. They are not going to be striping, since I am using my dyeing. The top two are skeins that I spun this week.

The farmer is cutting our hay now. He fluffed it today so it would dry. He plans to bale it tomorrow. We will be borrowing his elevator to get it into the hay loft. 

We have fenced off the front yard now and have put a sign on the front gate reminding visitors to close the gates behind them. I will only move the animals when I am not expecting deliveries. The doe above was shorter than the grass. I figure the extra pasture is about 7 days of feed, if all of the animals are on it. That is equivalent to 32 bales of hay. Of course, they can't be on it all of the time.

I have been teaching felting. So far, this is my favorite bowl. 

Blackie had her lambs last Sunday evening. The one with the white spot is an ewe, the other a ram. They are out of her, a Shetland, and a Moorit Merino ram, who was supposedly to young to breed. Lovely surprise. Baby season is over till September, when the Merinos will have their lambs.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shearing, locks, lambs and a garden

 The alpacas and 3 of the Merinos were shorn this past Wednesday. The alpaca fleeces were fine, but the ones that really excited me were the Merino fleeces. All of them were very fine, but the finest and loveliest color of all was the Moorit one top left. It was variegated from deep chocolate to taupe. I have already washed that fleece and I am working my way through the rest other two.
 I am having a lot of trouble finding a shearer who is willing to do angora goats. Nathan Good sheared the alpacas and Merinos, but he has already told me that he was not willing to do the angoras. If anyone knows someone on the east coast, I would  love to know. I have called quite a few listed on the American Shearers Association page. Most are not returning calls. Some have bad numbers.
 Columbian obviously got pregnant by a Merino ram, since her lambs look just like him. These photos were taken a week ago when they were a day old. I let them out in the front yard today. They are almost as big as she is. One ram and one ewe with sweet faces.
 I am still waiting for Blackie to deliver. On the day that Columbian delivered, she thought she had babies and went looking for them every time the lambs bleated. She even went so far as to nuzzle Left a few times. It was funny to watch. Of course, she is getting bigger and bigger and is definitely overdue based on when I pulled the rams. Marc said she will have them some day. Maybe...
I am spinning, felting and washing fleeces. The one big advantage to Maryland is that I can now have a garden. With all the rain that we get, it is looking pretty good. We are eating lettuce and three kinds of radishes from the garden. I have a spicy kind that has ruined the traditional ones forever. My turnips and rutabagas are getting close. I will be harvesting sweet peas this evening. The chickens are loving the radish tops, lettuce and whatever else I pull from the garden. I really love the varying shades of green. They are my inspiration for a few yarns.