Friday, July 28, 2006
Well, today I need a little bit of our Abigail's wisdom and peace! Our new computer managed to EAT and DESTROY every bit of saved info in the dratted thing--again! We had most of the info backed up and saved seperately however, we are missing our email files and email address book--and having some miscues with the website.
SO, if you have not heard from us and you are waiting on an order, total for an order, or just plain anything else, PLEASE re-send your email to us! We appreciate your patience while we work this out, we apologize for any inconvenience this causes..... aaaarrrgggh!
Otherwise, also know that if you call and do not reach us right away, please leave us a message-- this hot/humid weather is requiring the animals to be put first on our list no matter what needs to be done. They are very fragile in this heat and we are spending all of our free time outside, lugging water and hoses about to keep everyone safe and cool. Monte (our horse) is a fan of a good shower and that is always great fun for everyone involved. I tend to get more wet than Monte as he loves to hold his big noggin over the end of the hose!
Have two shows coming up in the next two months so if you are in the area, please stop by our booth to say hello! We will be at the Milton Historical Society show on the lawn of the Milton Underground Railroad museum (very cool place) in August. In September, we have a two day show at Monroe's Cheese Days--good food and lots to do! Hope all is well and COOLER in your part of the world!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Twisters and Lace--some combination! Been spinning lots of lace weight single ply for all of you that are trying out the new lace patterns that are available now--so many fun projects to choose from! The yarn pictured at left is from our Louis' soft Rambouillet wool. I dyed is some soft pinks and rose colors and then during carding had it blended with some softer than soft natural black Suri Alpaca fiber I purchased from a friend. It is so pretty and I could see a beautiful shawl or capelet from this yarn....
The yarn pictured on right is my new 'twister' yarn. It is spun as a single ply, the core fiber is spun and at the same time 'wrapped' with other pretty novelty threads and sparkles. Too fun and it knits up beautifully!
We will have new roving available soon from our Sophie Beatrix (natural black/bay Rambouillet girl) and her brother Louis (creamy white Rambouillet). Their wool is much more like Merino and has been pindrafted into easy to spin roving. The natural colors are carded side by side-- can't wait to get into my part of that run!
We just completed a new 'assisted living facility' for our four oldest goaties yesterday. After a day in the sun (thank goodness for less humidity and a breeze!) we got their new chalet assembled in a sheltered, shady spot across the driveway from the house--next to the chicken house. They have their own pasture now and will be able to have specialty feed with MSM and Glocosimine added to help them with their arthritis. Vincent Van Goat (he has very teeny ears), his good friend Bella and two little Angora goats named Magpie and Shimmer are now living in luxury--food in front of them at all times and all the comforts they could want. Magpie has lost her front lower teeth (sheep and goats have no upper front teeth) so she needs more time to eat now days... Pictures to follow and hope you all enjoyed a sheepy, fiber or knitting weekend!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Well, hopefully it is not as humid and ungoshly hot where ever you all are! It is just amazingly hot here this week and it is requiring me to stay away from the sheep so they will stay in a cool spot--not my favorite time of year I am afraid! The sheep (and everyone) are so fragile and over heat very easily--and since they are so nosey and interested in what we are up to outside, we try to limit our visits to early morning and late evening to do feeding, with several water/hose runs through out the rest of the day.
On Tuesday a good friend came to visit us and we spent the day visiting the critters and talking yarn and knitting--she is SO inspiring and we hope to start offering some patterns created by her soon--that are created with our yarns in mind! She does such beautiful work--almost always with out patterns! She is the knit 'whiz'!
While she was here she took lots of pictures and the two you see today she was kind enough to share with use! Bobbi Simone and Andrew Sipowicz are our Great Pyrenees dogs that guard half of our flock. We named them after our favorite characters in the TV show NYPD Blue--they are our 'beat cops' that keep the coyotes and pests out of our flock! They do a great job and while I never ever planned to have outside dogs, they enjoy their 'work' and I think with out a job they would be quite miserable. They do tricks and love attention like any pet, but their first concern is always 'their sheep'.
Bobbi is the 'tracker' of the pair (they are brother and sister) and she is always on the march to be sure she doesn't miss any activity. When she takes off in the pasture to see what is out there, Andy puts himself between the sheep and her and waits for her to 'say' things are all clear. Then he goes ripping down to see for himself! They are truly a marvel to watch and we learn from them all the time. Bobbi will climb fences to 'tell' me something is wrong or that she needs us to come check on something.
She is very very protective of her sheep with strangers and they will not allow strangers in the pasture with their sheep unless we are with the people visiting. When my friend was here, although Bobbi knows her, she still worked very hard to keep our sheep at a 'safe' distance (as seen in the picture of her with our Speedy sheep)--even though she knows things are ok. She does not take any chances--they are my kind of dogs! They have protected our sheep from the many coyote families that roam this area and we do not have to worry about roaming dogs either.... I would hate for anything awful to happen here ever and am always glad we purchased the GP's!
Off to spin some more yarn, hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday!
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Well here is the beautiful Chaquita--guardian of our little group of goaties here at the Homestead! She came to us from our good friends Kathi and Jon needing a job to keep her busy --and out of trouble! Suffice it to say she was much loved but she was not playing nice with their other llama Julia! She has been great for us, is very serious about her 'job' with the goats and this year she got an 'all over' shearing. She was very good while we waited, pacing the driveway waiting for our friends Jenny & John to get here to shear her--and our Dalai Llama. She actually can be a spitter when she is ticked but she only got upset when it came time to shear side two--so we were very proud of her patience! It only takes Jen and John about 20 minutes to actually shear them once they are securely tied so nobody (llama OR handlers/shearers) are injured. They have a magic tough with the llamas and I am always impressed with the kindness they show them.
Jenny is a dedicated rescuer of Alpacas and Llamas. She lives nearby and has been a friend for some time now. She had a little band of her own alpacas she started out with that has now grown to include many alpacas that needed a place to be. Some 'rogue' or naughty ( like the little black Alpaca that came with our Dalai who liked to shake sheep--not!) or just the unwanteds. Some have come from some very sad situations.
We are happy to announce that we will be selling the fleece from Jen's alpacas beginning this week (hoping to post them to the website tomorrow) so please keep an eye out for some beyond soft and beautiful fiber from very loved creatures at Jenny's farm--proceeds will go to help support the alpacas and llamas and their feed, medical and care expenses.....
Our first ever hay crop is cut and drying so it will be a busy weekend getting it all baled up and under cover! Pictures to follow this 'momentous' event--we have never had our own hayfield and the sheep spent many hours pouring over seed catalogs so we are anxious to see how things turn out! Off to work on the website!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Almost the fourth of July already--where has our spring gone??? Not sure we really had one for a very long stretch! Got the thistles mowed (thanks to our wonderful neighbors) in the boys' big pasture and used the little weed sickle to get them gone in the smaller pastures this past week--big fun huh? The picture at left is one of my favorites, we have a little Bantie rooster who is blind in one eye. He has taken up residence with Kelly who babysits our lambs. I am not sure but he may think he is a sheep? Or that those are funny looking chicks he lives with--ha! The sheepie girl peeking around the corner is Brenna--she lost her mom early on so is living with us--and Warrick, our Border Leicester lamb given to me by a friend for my birthday. They are sweet poopsies and I love catching them so relaxed and sleepy!
I thought I would post some of our 'favorite' links today, I am sure I will miss a few because we have so many so please do not be offended if I do--these are some basic places that you can find inspiration, special fiber and more!
Handpun Revolution- the website/home of our friend Lexi Boeger--a very talented hand spinner/artist from California. Take a look at her book Handspun Revolution--I highly recommend it! (I hear tell book two is in the works?!)
Apple Hollow Fiber Arts - Home of our good friends Kathi & Jon--they offer a great variety of yarn, spinning, carding and weaving equipment, books and videos. If you are ever in Door County, Wisconsin--be sure to look them up! They have a wonderful shop in down town Sturgeon Bay that I hear is just the best place for, lessons, coffee, knitting, spinning, weaving and lots more!
The Flying Ewe- home of our good friend Carolyn--a great place to find exotic fibers, yarns and so many great goodies!
I am sure I will have more to follow so keep an eye out! We are in the process of updating even more wonderful wool to our site so keep an eye out! Anywhere from Jacob and British Suffolk to Merino, Icelandic and Corriedale wools are on the way.... Hope you all have a great long weekend with lots of sheepy/fiber fun involved!! The sheep and their Ryans