It’s Cria Season!!

June is baby alpaca time here at the farm and we have 5 so far. There’s another one due any day now also. It’s always fun to watch the herd take care of the crias and see the crias running around and playing together.

We’ll be away until after the 4th of July for our annual fishing trip to Canada but look forward to your visit in July.

Just born yesterday. Really!!!

Scotland, here we come!!!

At long last, this trip is finally here!! We’ve been working hard to get the farm ready for us to leave. We’re very grateful to Andrea Perno for farm sitting for us again so we can visit Hannah in Scotland. With Icelandic Air, you can stopover in Iceland for up to 7 days when flying to Europe (and maybe other locations?). When Paul set up this vacation, he included 2 days in Iceland.

This photo is the outside of the bed and breakfast that we’re staying in while here in Rejkavik. We landed early this morning, came to the B&B, took a nap then went on a walking tour of Rejkavik that included stopping at different restaurants to try typical Icelandic foods. Lamb soup, seafood soup, cheeses & smoked meats, and rye bread ice cream were just a few of the delicious treats that we enjoyed. This is a beautiful, rugged island and we’re excited to see more tomorrow.

The farm will be closed until our return at the beginning of June.

We’re Open our Regular Hours–Hallelujah!!

The driveway is clear–Paul had a great time playing with his new snow plow–and the goats have have all had their kids. The babies are showing off their cuteness and jumping skills on an hourly basis and they would love to entertain you.
 
Please mark your calendar for shearing day April 15, 2017 from 8-2. We are really hoping that the weather cooperates this year.

We’ve survived the Blizzard of 2017

Beauty on a snowy day.

The weatherman got it right this time. We spent most of Monday getting ready for the storm–extra feed, lots of straw everywhere, hay in all of the shelters and one of the large bales moved into the barn. All of the water heaters and both generators were tested and a gasoline run to fill all of the cans was made.

Tuesday, we woke up to a winter wonderland and it continued to snow until mid afternoon. Paul had a great time plowing–something about boys and their toys! We both got our exercise yesterday stomping through the snow to make paths for the animals–especially for the pigs. Their shorter legs put them at a bit of a disadvantage but all have done well.

The goat kids snuggled up with their moms deep in the straw and didn’t see the big deal we were making! I’m glad that Gina held off–she’s the last doe to kid yet this spring.

We’re grateful that the electricity stayed on for us and praying that those that lost electricity soon have it restored.

Hoping that Mother Nature has gotten this out of her system and that we’ll have a perfect day on April 15th for our shearing. Hope to see you then.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 42

Thanks to all of you that have been with me for the last 6 weeks. We made it!!! The X-ray looked good, pins are out and I have graduated from a rolling half walker to crutches partial weight bearing. My doctor said, if I behave, I should be back in regular shoes in a couple of weeks. Happy dance when that happens!!

Found another unfinished project for today in one of my favorite yarns. It’s Weathered Cedar–one of our farm yarns–that was then dyed with green and purple. This was going to be a scarf but I stalled our halfway so it’s now an infinity scarf. A weird thing about the pattern (sorry, it’s been so long that I cannot find it to give the designer credit) is that it’s stockinette stitch based without a border to keep it from curling. This is mainly why I quit knitting in the middle.

To stop the curling, I found a celebratory skein of purple yarn. (Doesn’t everyone celebrate with purple? What’s your celebratory color?) On both sides of the infinity scarf, I first did slip stitches then 2 rows of single crochet. Problem solved and it looks great.

Although this challenge is over, I will be blogging more regularly. My goal is at least once per month so I would like to hear from you in the future.

Thanks again for your support. We hope to see you at the farm sometime.

Should have looked at this AFTER the pins came out. Can’t believe how long they are!!!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 40

Dyed Double Stitch Cowl
Dyed Textured Lace Scarf

These scarves should look familiar. They are both from the book 50 garter stitch gifts to knit and were seen in the natural ecru and fawn earlier.

I took Kathy Kenworthy’s advice and dyed them teal. Usually have difficulty with this color not bonding completely and bleeding. Not this time!! I used 0.75 teaspoon of the dye and 1.5 teaspoons of citric acid and the dye water was clear at the end of the time in the pot. Hallelujah!!

Today was exceptionally busy because one of our fainting goats had twin girls a couple of evenings ago and is not making any milk. We’ve been working on bottle feeding and made a trip to the vet today to get them checked and some advice. A change in nipples and letting them go longer between feedings is getting us in the right direction. Fingers crossed!!

See you tomorrow.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 39

Went back to the 50 garter stitch gifts to knit book for this cowl. It’s the double stitch cowl. In the book, it’s shown in two different colors so I used my new 100% alpaca yarn in ecru and fawn. While the fawn part is garter stitch, the ecru is in a simple 8 row lace pattern. The lace pattern requires double yarn overs, SSK, knit 2 together, and some twisted knit stitches. Not exactly garter stitch but all of the special stitches were well explained so an adventurous beginner knitter would do just fine.

You’ll see this cowl again tomorrow along with the lace ecru scarf from several days ago. They’re going into the dye pot!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 38

Today’s a first for me. Finally got up the nerve to spin 100% angora bunny fiber. I sheared 2 of my black French angora rabbits (don’t worry they’re being kept warm until they regrow enough fiber again) and then carded it. I used a short draft and learned that more time will need to be spent on fiber preparation.

The skein looks very similar to my very first skein of wool–thick and thin with different spinning angles but I’m rather pleased with the result. The lighter photo is before washing and the darker is immediately after washing. This is a small one ounce, approximately 50 yard skein so it will need to be an accent yarn in a project–maybe for the design in a Fair Isle pattern.

I have more of this raw fiber and now cannot wait to work with it some more. Several of my bunnies are ready for shearing when I get moving again so I hope to have time to get better spinning this wonderful fiber.

Immediately after plying
Washed skein (it will dry lighter)