Monday, August 20, 2007

Where to Begin?

It's been such a fun weekend - I don't know where to begin.
OK - let's start this way. In my previous post - I mentioned
one of our lambs - Lyra. She's a funny colour. It never
occurred to me to see if she might be Emsket.
Thanks Nancy! I think she's Emsket. What do you think. This picture was taken inside the barn - it's a pretty dismal day out here - but she looks grey to me. It's been several years since we've had an emsket lamb here. I keep forgetting that they start out black, then go kind
of brown - and then grey. It could be shaela as well - hard to tell at this point. But I would say
-definitely modified.

On to other things. Such exciting things (not that Lyra isn't exciting) - but - after several
weeks of waiting (and some dummy with a forktruck running over the first pallet) - my new
baby has finally arrived.

Yes - here she is - my new Louet Victoria. It's been a long and stressful trip from the factory - fraught with many pitfalls along the way - she even got lost - but she is finally here.
I can't wait to start spinning tonight - right after I get off this computer.

It's such a tiny and light little wheel, I'm looking forward to spending many hours in the future getting to know her.
This is so exciting (if only you could see me giggling like a silly little girl). I've been in spinning withdrawal all summer because I sold my other wheel in early July. I can now get out some of these great new fibers that I got this weekend at MFF (Michigan Fiber Fest) - and play!!!!!!

Which brings me to the rest of our fun weekend.

On Saturday, my Dear Husband (Kevin) - such a darling, took the day off of work, and drove me 3 1/2 hours to MFF in Allegan, Michigan. It was our first time there, so, we got lost on the way a few times (you really can't get there from here!), but we finally made it. The weather was beautiful, my camera batteries died, so I couldn't take any pictures - but it was great. Kevin very patiently wandered around to all the booths and exhibits with me for several hours (all you have to do is feed him every so often), and he even encouraged me to spend to my hearts content. The only time he objected was when I was going to buy a pottery mug - for my collection (I am a potter too by the way) - but, we had a great

Here's some of the stuff I bought:

On the left is some alpaca blended with silk roving. On the right are Wensleydale sheep
locks - dyed and natural. These are great for felting.

In this picture, there is a silk cap at the top of the picture, then on the right hand side and at the bottom is a cashmere/silk dyed top. On the left hand side is a dyed soy silk top.

I just love these wild colour combinations, especially the pink and lime green at the bottom.

This picture here just has some of the extra goodies that I bought.
I couldn't resist the T-shirt that says
"GOT SHEEP", and there's a needle felting
book, a "Clover" needle felting mat. There's a pair of fingerless gloves (for my daughter for Christmas), a Diz, a sheep pin, and some lovely
sheep cards.

Lots of yummy little treasures.

And this last picture shows the rest of the fiber
samples that I purchased.
At the top of the picture is some Black Diamond
Bamboo fiber (it's very soft).

On the right is some Yak fiber in natural brown, also very soft.

At the bottom is some Soy Silk in a creamy white. This is surprisingly soft, and I can't wait to try it out.

And on the left, the light brown is baby camel

I can't wait to get playing with all of these great fibers, and play a bit more with my drum carder.

While I've been waiting for my wheel to arrive, I've been very busy out in the garage all summer - washing and picking fleeces (that's a blog for later in the week). So now, I have lots of great fiber, ready to be processed into rovings and batts.

Well - now it's time to fire up the wheel. I'll be back!

Friday, August 17, 2007

These 2 are Sold

As Promised, I am going to give pictures of 2 more of my lambs tonight. This first one is Kalwa Taure Chiara, she is out of Cherrington Molly, a lovely crimpy fawn, and the sire is Woolly Pedro, a black HST. Chi-Chi, as we fondly call her, is a lovely moorit, smirslet. She is a total darling, sort of. Lately, she has developed a very annoying habit of trying to jump into your arms when you get close. But she is a sweetie anyway, and we really do enjoy her.

This little girl, who is somewhat of a chameleon,
is Kalwa Taure Lyra, she is out of Willow Garden Greta Garbo, a mioget, and Woolly Pedro, again a black HST, however, he also carries mioget.
When Lyra was born, she was very black,
she is now going to moorit, and I'm somewhat
interested to see if she will turn mioget.
I find her facial markings to be very striking.
Lyra was somewhat skittish as a lamb, but now
she is one of the first to come running over
when you enter the barn.

Speaking of the barn, tonight I got to go out to the barn for the first time since my surgery.
It was so funny when everyone came running around the corner, and all the lambs skidded to a stop when they saw me standing in the aisle: "Do I go see Mom - or head for the Hay?"
Sorry to say - the hay won out - although a few of them came over afterwards to say hello.
It was more of my older girls that wanted to stop and chat and have a chin scratch. My daughter was quick to shoo everyone away, more worried that they would mob me and cause
a stumble. I must say, I am getting around pretty good - and the pain is subsiding - it's the upcoming operation that has me worried.

Tomorrow - I am off to Michigan Fiber Fest - just for the day. It promises to be a very long day, so I won't be posting. But I will try to post all of the goodies that I get when I get my bearings on Sunday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm Bored

Sigh - I am so bored. I've just had some minor surgery, and, well - I can't go visit my sheep, and I'm waiting for my new spinning wheel, and well - I can't do much of anything except sleep and play on the computer. So, I guess I will re-introduce some of the lambs before they start leaving for their new homes.

Actually, these first two lambs will be staying here
with me.
This first one on the right is Kalwa Taure Gabriella.
She is out of Cherrington Alice and Ewenique
Tristan - both parents are white,
although, Tristan does carry the moorit gene.

Gabriella has one brown hoof and
then end of the same foot is moorit -
so we will watch that to see whether
it fades or not. Right now -
it looks like it's going to stay.

I'll have to get a better look at her fleece when I'm allowed back out in the field. If she's anything like her Dam, then she will have a beautiful, soft and crimpy fleece.

This little lovely here is Kalwa Taure Jillian. She is out
of Kalwa Taure Blizzard and Woolly Pedro.
Jillian was our last lamb born here this year.
She's going to be a grey flecket like her mom. And I'm sure she's going to have her mom's personality too. Blizzard is our most favoured sheep here at Kalwa Taure - she has such a sweet and gentle personality, and I certainly think that Jillian is going to be just like her. She loves the chin rubs and is just the friendliest lamb we have. I am hoping that she maintains more of a medium gray colour, as that is the colour that I sell most of in my wool.

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow I will try to post two more lambs. And on Saturday my DH and I are off to Michigan Fiber Fest for the day - I must say, I am getting anxious, I have been looking forward to this all month.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


If you go back to the archives, and look at my blog for May of this year, you will see that I am experimenting with kool-aid dying of fleeces.
Today, I had a chance to pick out the fleece that we dyed in the bag at that time.

This is Abigails fleece. I chose it because she made a real mess of her fleece with hay - so , if
I screwed it up - I wouldn't be upset by the loss of a nice fleece.

Here's how we did it. I laid the raw, shorn, fleece out on the ground - and proceeded to soak it down with hot water.
Then, I poured kool-aid over it in various areas (look at the pictures from May).

Then - I put it in a clear plastic garbage bag - sealed the bag - and left it in the hot sun for about a week. YES - it was NOT pleasant smelling when I opened the bag.
I then proceeded to wash the fleece as normal.

My theory is that the lanolin closest to the sheep's skin does NOT soak up the dye, and any dye in those areas will wash out when the fleece is washed. I was correct - yeah!!! Now - also - the green and blue do not hold very well. Some of it stayed - but most of it washed out. The best colour is the red, which stayed very nicely, and the orange stayed pretty much as well.

Today - I finally opened this fleece - and picked it. By the way - this is a lambs fleece - it was
lovely - the crimp is very nice - and oh boy - is this soft.

I'm very pleased with the process - it was a fun experiment.
This ended up being a 2 pound fleece after all was done - and will be for sale for $25.