Monday, July 28, 2008

A yard for the Ryans!

Hello everyone! We are behind on the update but it will be here soon--we have excavators here grading our yard so we can plant GRASS, FLowers and get our raised beds in for next year's veggies. Finally! This is the last outdoor step to being over our nightmare of the foundation collapsing last August--and we are READY to be done! Our place will looked cared about again and then we can start on the minor repairs inside. Phew.

Pictured is our old girl Magpie, a sweet goat who arrived here in pretty sorry shape. She is healthy now and lives with our old Kelly sheep in a special pasture where they can live with out other sheep who are younger and play harder. They will be happy to see a yard that they can help mow--they love to feel like they are 'escaping' and free!! They think they are sly, even though WE open the gate and let them out! Silly girls. You can read more about Magpie, Kelly and all their friends on our 'meet the sheep' pages.

There will be lots of unwashed fiber on our update, dyed fiber/roving and more! Keep an eye out and thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Well, been quite a week already--hope your lives are quieter than ours! :0) Monday found me hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, cupboards and myself to get rid of the darkest navy blue DYE ever--that bumble fingers me spilled. Ugh and yikes what a mess. It got in my shoes, clothes, I have blue nails, shoes, OMG. And yes, you can giggle at the picture--I forgot to rinse my hair in cool water and guess what?? It is blue too! Sure didn't need to go to all that to get blue hair right? Crap. Took about 2 hours of scrubbing to get that off the white linoleum in the kitchen--and by the way, why put white anything in a farm house???

enough fussing-- today's update includes a few batts, lots of dyed locks, washed Romney and some cool unwashed fleeces--be sure to take a look and we plan another update over the weekend. What have you all been up to? Cheerio!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Baaaaaack--hee hee!

Well, I am back from my overnight with Mom and Dad--it was SO fun! I spent the night there on Friday, hit the fiber/yarn show Saturday morning and then back home after a wonderful grilled cheese lunch! Thank you Mom & Dad for a great time!

The fiber show was a hoot, met in person some people I have only 'met' via email so have faces to put with names. Lots and lots of yarn, fiber and fun to be sure! Only came home with a few pounds of Kid Mohair locks from a seller who loves his critters as much as we do ours. Can't wait to spin them up! The sheep and critter family was glad to see me back home--specially my dog Moose. He did not appreciate me being gone and barked a happy hello when I walked in--for over 20 minutes! Funny but he sure can be loud! The guys did some fencing while I was gone--our Bobbi & Andrew sheep were sneaking out of one little spot in the fence to eat alfalfa out of our neighbor's hay field. Now mind you, they have over 15 acres to graze of their OWN, but grass is always greener right? Ugh. Not being good neighbors are they--naughty sheep! Working on an update, hope to have it ready tomorrow so keep an eye out--make sure you are on our email list--I send those out the minute I complete the update! Cheerio!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sneaking to mom and dad's!

Ok, first, our update will be late Monday/Tuesday for this week, it is beyond miserable humidity wise and even with our dryers, the fiber does NOT want to dry! Sorry about that....

I am sneaking away from the critters today to go spend a night at my parents' house--and tomorrow, Mom and I will be visiting a FIBER FESTIVAL the next town over from their place!!! Wheeee! We were supposed to go last year but Mom was too sick from chemo so this is a special trip for us. She is great so off to have some fun now that the chemo is all over with. Here is where we are going- The Midwest Fiber & Folk Fair in Crystal Lake, IL. Anyone else heading that direction this weekend? I will be answering email as soon as I get back tomorrow (Saturday) so appreciate your patience. Moose has already hijacked my knitting--there was too much fun yarn in the bag for him to hide inside and ride along. AND, I have hidden the keys to my truck AND the Gator mobile so the sheep stay home. :0) More tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And not a creature is stirring......

Well Libby sure has the right idea this week! It is HUMID and HOT. Ugh. Everyone is laying low, staying in their favorite cool spot out of the sun. The llamas are busy wading in the water tanks and we have been lucky enough to have a good breeze--or this weather would be murder.

Been working on new dyed/washed fiber for tomorrow's update, yarn and skirted fleeces. If you are in an area that is too dry to use lots of water to wash fleeces, we are happy to wash fiber for you--on the same note, if you have never tried washing wool, we have some 'tips' from the sheep on our FAQ page--it really IS fun to see the dirty fleece turn out so pretty and white!

Off on another water run--at least we can play in the hose right? Monte (our horse) loves a nice shower any time we fill tanks. His favorite trick is to put his big old nose right on the end of the hose--resulting in a very nice shower (not always appreciated though) for his human family. Casper (honkey donkey) does not appreciate showers but does like to blow bubbles in the water tank. Silly donkey! Cheers for now!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Our Carder works!!! Yeeha!

New shawls and throws from the 3 Chics updated this week--be sure to check it all out! Wild West and Rodeos?!

New dyed fiber today from our Frosty & Keebler--this picture is called Rhubarb Cobbler and includes a blend of each sheep's fiber. Yum!

And last but not least, our carder is fixed (well almost)--needs a minor adjustment and we are in business! Keep an eye out--we have this Jordan Valley batt offered and also a Crazy Quilt batt from --yes, our Frosty & Keebler's combined effort! Our next update will be Thursday July 17 (the day before mom and I scoot to Crystal Lake to the Midwest Folk & Fiber show! Fun fun fun and hope I meet up with lots of friends I don't see that often! The sheep are very angry though, they want to go too but Jim won't give them the keys to the truck! :0)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rainy day update!

Well, we are catching up on LOTS of pictures and items that have been waiting for a spot on the website--hooray sheep! The update is complete for today so be sure to have a look around... new unwashed, dyed fiber, Garth Batts (pictures) and 3 Chic Knit items that are made up completely of our handspun and knit up by my mom Nancy, our friend Barbara and me..... :0)

Garth decided to have his fiber carded up with soft silky silver/blue Angora rabbit fiber from our cutie rabbits AND white Bamboo fiber--Garth's choices will give you a soft and slinky yarn that will have texture and warmth! (we will post a picture of Garth when he decides to stop mooning the camera!) Hope you all have a great weekend planned and another update on Sunday! Happy fiber day!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A nice day does not an update make?!

Happy Wednesday everyone! Well, not completely for me, those sassy sheep are being very unco-operative with accomplishing an update today! (Really!). It is finally not as humid today with a great breeze. Whew. It has been pretty evil & from what I hear, we have today then the humidity creeps back in for Friday and highs over 90?? Gees. It is a tough time when you have a wool coat to carry, even though they were just sheared April 1-- so I have to sneak around on water tank fills all day so the sheep stay sleeping where they are cool and comfy. Otherwise, they see me and it is time to visit and they are just too hot. Better for them to rest.

However, today it is not an excuse--but here is old 'sleepy' Popeye, sleeping with one eye open to see if I will really crack the whip and get the sheep to work on things. :0) Actually, he always looks sleepy, just so easy going!

We will update tomorrow, promise (they SAID so) and it will include Molly's Romney cross wool (first picture), unwashed fiber (including Popeye's), 3 Chic Knits & new handspun that includes my fav besides wool--Bamboo!

And my mom has been busy busy knitting away--this is her latest shawl--a snuggly one made out of my handspun--and we have each stripe identified so it will be a 'story' shawl that includes all the names and pictures of the sheep where possible! She knit this up by long rows, leaving a fringe at the end of each row so the fringe even matches up with the stripes! Pretty cool huh??

If you need some fiber to shop in the mean time, check out our good friend Martie's brand new site-- lots of great finished items, yarn and fiber--just beauteous! And of course there is Carolyn's site and Linda's too--browse browse browse all sorts of goods!! More tomorrow..... :0)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

New updates and fun yarns!

Hello everyone--did you enjoy your weekend? And who would think the sheep are posting this 200th blog entry?? Wowser--and for an old dog learning a new trick she didn't want to learn originally, this has turned out to be great fun! Thank you all for staying tuned! This is the new Snaggle Tooth skein of yarn--you can find it on our Single Ply page. Too too fun and even 6 yards of lash yarn added to the end of the skein to have a matching trim for your project....

Our Max is also offering up his fiber--this round is seconds (Neck & leg fiber) that would be good for blending or stuffing--very little debris and a gorgeous red head he is! He now has a crush on our other llama Chaquita--their pastures are right next to each other and he pines on his side--while Chaquita just ignores his very existance! Poor Max!

This is a new fiber and oink snort me decided I have to share! It is rare Teeswater wool, very comparable to Wensleydale and Blue Face Leicester--this fiber will have to run through our picker but some locks still have the curl unbothered--just know this if you are planning to tail spin ok?

And THIS skein of yarn is a beauty created by our friend Daniela (will add her link as soon as I go look it up--or email me!) from Homestead fiber--she called it Sheep in the Meadow, big puffs of white fiber nestled into green single ply, AND if that wasn't cool enough, a little needle felted sheep to add to your finished project--just way too fun and what a great skein of yarn! Thanks for sharing pictures Daniela!

The sheep have finished today's update so be sure to have a look--look forward to hearing from you and happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fiber fun & sheep in the sun!

Happy day after the fourth!! Hope you all had a good time watching fireworks, picnics and of course FIBER!! I was cracking up at the sheep in Bobbi & Andrew's group--they were intent on taking off with the Gatormobile! I swear-- the picture of the spotted Jacob (Pipi) was taken right before she hopped up into the driver's seat! Of course she got out of there too fast for me to stop laughing and snap a picture! The second picture is our little Angus sheep--I think he IS the one who could figure out the key situation and take some sheep to town--or at least to party with the sheep next store.... Hee hee! You can read lots more and see new pictures too on our meet the sheep pages on the site!

It has been such a beautiful weather weekend, Jim has been out mowing pastures to get rid of thistles before they get too high (must not have in fleeces!) and I have been going between visiting the critters to spinning lots and lots of yarn.

This picture is yarn I am spinning on my new to me wheel that I purchased from my good friend Martie. The roving is Corriedale wool that started out a natural silvery color--and I dyed it up with navy blue. Just so pretty that I stashed it away--way back before the basement collapse last fall. I was a little afraid of the wheel, it is patterned to be similar to the antique walking wheels, but has a treadle which makes it so easy and comfy to sit and spin miles and miles of yarn from the quill. Here is a link to the maker's site for better pictures and such--it is a 'big wheel' and my studio does not allow manuevering for pictures!

I was a bit wound last night myself (hee hee) and could not settle into a project. I must have needed the karma attached to this wheel (a big thank you Martie!) because I sat down and spun ALL the blue Corriedale and started on the dark red/brown Romney cross I saved too--have about 2 pounds of the brown to spin so hope to get a dent into it this weekend while I can steal the time! Very soothing and must have needed the challenge a new wheel brings? Too fun!

Be sure to stop in tomorrow, the sheep already have lots of pictures ready for the update!

I hear through the grapevine that Holly will be updating tonight or tomorrow night too!! wheee!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th and Thank You Andrea!!

I sent the sheep out to retrieve the mail last week one day and not too long after, I looked out and chaos had broken out! They were arguing about who would open a package that had arrived--and they were very determined to keep it for themselves, believe me!
I went out and restored order but had to promise they would have input on what was created with this GORGEOUS yarn! Our friend Andrea spun this two ply yarn, hand dyed it with NATURAL dyes (many from her own garden) and sent it to us as a surprise--and it worked!! It is soft, luxurious yarn that is full of good karma--thank you SO much Andrea and watch for pictures of what it turns into soon--I cannot wait to get this yarn on the knitting needles! Wheeeee!
Hope you all have a great weekend planned? I have been spinning quite a bit and of course washing/dyeing wool like a fiend so the sheep can have a good update on Sunday. Be sure to stop back in and look forward to hearing from you all when you have time--Happy 4th from the sparkling sheep! Have to make a 'sweep' and be sure those sneaky sheep have nothing firecracker like to contribute to tonight's displays--scary thought huh??? :0)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mid-week fiber fun!

Hello everyone! Hope your week is going well--at least it is a short work week?? :0)
Just finished updating the site so be sure to have a browse around! I did a bunch of fleece skirting (many I was hard pressed to share--oink snort) and one includes our Chaquita's blanket fiber--she is our gorgeous llama who watches over our 'flock' of goaties! She has four to look after and she takes her job very seriously--always on the look out for trouble.... Her favorite is Odey--he likes to go off and cause trouble by head butting the other goats, then running to hide out under Chaquita's tummy--knowing full well that nobody would DARE to challenge him there! Silly but she thinks Odey is her baby--too fun and cute!
I also added a new yarn to the single ply page called Snaggletooth. I had SUCH a great time spinning the yarn--it is made up of mainly wool (dyed & natural) and lots of other goodies including cotton, ramie, recycled soda bottles and way more!! As I spun it up, I also added in some curly Cotswold locks dyed a bright sunshiney color. Fun fun fun!!
We will be updating again on Sunday so be sure to check back in--hope you all have a wonderful Fourth! (if you go to the fireworks, please leave your pets safe at home ok?)