Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Boys


Aww geez, somebody left the goats' hay feeder in Johnny Blue's pasture.



What?


Monday, May 26, 2014

Popcorn Pee Pee Pants

Well, if that title doesn't get some google hits, nothing will. :)

Fun new fleece, fun new spindle.

Still haven't decided what to do with PPPP's fleece. Ideas anyone? She's a border cheviot and the fiber is very sproingy and cushy (cough cough, yes, those are technical terms).


I'm leaning, in this split-second moment in time, towards a lap blanket, but I'm very open to ideas.





Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cause the crazy lady with all the sheep said I should


Turns out, an early Sunday morning in May is the perfect time to drive to Lexington and the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. Empty highways; cool, crisp weather; and the chance to meet thecrazysheeplady and get some of her blogging and photography tips first hand.

Obviously there's too much to tell in one post, but here are the highlights.

1) Sara Dunham, aka thecrazysheeplady, is just as cool, interesting, and gracious in person as she seems on her blog. Thank you Sara for a great day.

2) Baxter Black is one cute lamb.

3) I got Popcorn Pee Pee Pants' most recent fleece. How great is that?! Stay tuned to see what comes of that.

4) I met Sara of Soay sheep fame and the blog Shepherd Life. That's one to watch, that one is. ;)  You heard it here first second. (Thecrazysheeplady introduced her to us all a while back.)

5) I also briefly met Aunt Reg. (Ok, yeah, it was a little like meeting characters from your favorite book. Turns out they're real! And turns out I'm a blogger groupie, what can I say? )

6) I got some good photography tips that I will try to use. Some require mastering my fancy camera. Some I can apply to my iPhone. Since my iPhone lives in my (hay-encrusted) pocket, I use it 95% of the time, so this is good.

So, here, without further adieu, is my application of the first tip.

Cloudy days are your friend.

I passed these peonies in bloom outside my office this afternoon. I would not previously have thought to photograph them on such an overcast day. But my phone was in my pocket and this fresh tip was in my head.

Yep, these were taken with my iPhone. With one exception, the only editing I've done is cropping. I did filter out some of the blues and greens on the flower that looks lit from within.
















Cause the crazy lady with all the sheep said I could

When you're crunched for time, 
but you really want to post something, 
a picture of your cat can't hurt. 

Meet Mr. Jake. 







Saturday, May 17, 2014

I'll take a loom with a side of alpaca please...

AVL floor loom. 
A friend from the weaving studio had to unload this beauty when she upgraded to something bigger and fancier. I reluctantly took it off her hands. ;)

Rohan and Zeph 
She's also an alpaca breeder and wanted to downsize her herd a bit, to free up more time for weaving. So I took a couple of those off her hands as well. Rohan is a huacaya and Zeph is a suri. 


The view from the loom.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fiber update in 200 words or less

The reader's digest version.

I got a rigid heddle loom for weaving with horsehair.  Yay!

I warped it with linen-wrapped stainless steel.  Cool.


But, the linen didn't work. 


Not. at. all.

Boo!

I replaced it with a beautiful single-ply silk. 


Sigh. So pretty and...um...silky.

Thankfully, I didn't know that single-ply silk is prone to tangling. 


I do now.  

But, the rigid heddle is easy to warp, so it worked out in the only way that mattered.

To get the weft started, I used an orphaned string of freshly-spun pygora yarn that had been quietly teasing me for a while. 

In fact, I had 105 yards of freshly-spun pygora yarn from Donnanoble begging to be used. 


This was the first project-sized lot of yarn I've ever produced. Yay!

Better still, the first project-ready lot of pygora yarn. Double yay!

Horsehair could wait. 

Continued with the pygora.

Decided on a simple open-weave. 


Finished with the pygora. 



Seven and a half inches wide. Four feet long. Weighs about 2 ounces. 

Dreamy soft. 

Two days start to finish.

Where's winter when I need it? 




Monday, May 5, 2014

Alarming alpaca

Cain and Abel have been with us for nearly three months. I can't say we've really bonded, but I do get a major kick watching them and learning alpaca-speak.

Here's a new sound I hadn't heard before today. Cain is shaping up to be a real guard animal. I don't know what he was alarming at, but he had the whole gang on alert, including me. Cain's the fawn (reddish) one.


video