Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!!

What a glorious day!! The snow has been falling since about 8 this morning.
Beautiful big flakes falling softly to the ground. With no wind at all it is just amazing to watch. I am having trouble trying to get some projects in the house finished. I just want to stare out the window.
Here are a couple of shots.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Plying class

Last Saturday I attended a plying class at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence Kansas.
I learned so much!! I went with three friends and we had a wonderful time!
This yarn has several different techniques in it. Core spinning and two different types of tail spinning. I just love the effect this they all had! And this yarn is so fun!! And so ACTIVE!

The red was a single that was a thick and thin and then the darker color was added to it. I liked making the thick and thin, but adding the darker color was suppose to have a much different effect. I just could not get that technique down.
And one of my favorite was cable. Even though I had taken a class in making cable yarn before, this just reinforced my love of making this type of yarn. It just takes so much time to do.

Something else we worked on was Navajo plying. This was something I really wanted to learn and had watched many videos on you-tube, but just never grasped the concept before. But I think I got it this time!! 

Then a trip to a fiber store is never complete with out coming home with something to play with!! 
Merino roving!! Isn't it beautiful! I am going to ply it (just a simple 3 ply yarn) with some gray alpaca I am spinning.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It just never ends

There is always something that needs to be done.

Lately I have been trying to get some permanent fencing up to make it easier to use my electro netting for the sheep and goats.
So here is the general idea. I am building permanent 7 strand high tensile wire fencing that is 164 feet apart. This way I can put up my elecro netting between the high tensile fencing instead of using all electro netting to build the paddocks. Since I tried to move them at least every three days (preferably every day) moving all that electro netting was getting very time consuming.
My husband helped me set all the end posts and put the braces in, but I have pretty much done the rest. He has been working incredibly long hours at work and just has not had time to help. But, I don't mind, well, not too much. Would have gone SOOO much faster with someone else.
So ten acres is almost completed. I was able to get two of the high tensile fencing done so that I could get the breeding groups together about 2 1/2 weeks ago. Much later than I wanted to get them together. I usually try and get them in the last weekend in October. But I was able to 9 electro netting fencing to make a total of nine separate paddocks. I left an empty paddock between breeding groups and all has worked out great! I was able to move each group into a fresh paddock last weekend and it took about 10 minutes total!

Still have a few line posts to get into the ground this weekend and the third high tensile fence will be complete. I still have a few odd short places that need to be finished and one more longer section and that ten acres will be completely done!!
We also set some posts along a heavily wooded area and ran high tensile on two sides and then used the skid loader to 'clear a path' for me to put up some more electo netting. Not sure that we will put the high tensile on the other two sides though. We have the goats in there now to try and clean up the brush so we can actually use it. But I think the plan (at least right now) is once the goats get it all cleared up is to only put them in there to maintain it and have some trails and maybe some benches in there. Guess we will see.

Here is a picture of some of the high tensile fence that I moved. Yes, there was already high tensile fencing there, but, of course, it was in the wrong spots. This tree actually grew around the wire! THAT won't happen  with this 'new' fence because it has about 8000 volts on it! To keep predators out and sheep in!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

October KAL

KnitPurlHunter had another mystery knit a-long this October. It was a lot of fun! Here are the four clues we received.

First clue, this was a super simple and quick knit. I think just by itself it would make a wonderful scarf!

The second clue, an I-cord using 7 stitches. I have never done an I-cord before this one and while it was not hard, I had trouble getting it to be consistent all the way around. 

Clue three, this was an easy pattern to remember, well, almost too easy! I have several mistakes because I was flying through it! Love the texture of this one!

So the first three clues where all the same length. All had provisional cast-ons and all waiting patiently on stitch holders. The fourth clue was putting them all together!!

I think it turned out really good! It really isn't anything I would ever wear, so will probably end up as a gift. Now to figure out who to give it to.

If you would like to knit this easy crowl up, here is the link to the KAL. Michelle has excellent videos of all the techniques she uses.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

About that time again

Usually I try to put breeding groups together the last weekend of October, but I have been trying desperately to get some fencing redone so I can have all the breeding groups out on pasture since the grass recovered wonderfully with the few inches we had in late September and early October.

So with some major luck, the fences necessary to get everyone separated will be finished Saturday and Sunday will be the sorting day. So keep your fingers and toes crossed!!

Here some pictures of the "boys" I will be using this year.

Budster a black badgarface Icelandic, I think this ram is my favorite. Just love his horn set and mellow disposition. And his fleece is incredibly soft. And he is my favorite color.

Athos, a black Icelandic ram. I bought him last fall as a lamb. He grows an incredible heavy fleece
that is thick with soft thel. He is a little smaller than what I like in my Icelandic's, but he was a triplet
so I am thinking he may not have gotten his fair share.  This breeding season will be
the decider, if his lambs don't grow well he will be become a fiber wether. 

 Skor, a moorit gray Icelandic ram that I bought as a lamb last fall. He has nice fleece, good horn set, and a nice meaty build. He should produce some nice lambs.
Di Nozzo, my only Shetland ram. He is such a little guy compared to the Icelandics, but he is boss of the ram pasture. He will have 4 Icelandic ewes this year. I was so impressed with the Shetland/Icelandic cross, I am making it a priority this year. The offspring have the absolute best fleeces and so far have not needed to be dewormed. And the rams grow well so they can go to market sooner than the purebred Shetlands.

The "boy's" in their pasture. Some of these have been sold. And the merino ram in the back will be going to another farm this fall. Plus there are 3 angora bucks in the group behind the Icelandic rams in front.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Basic, Basic Basic

That is the name of the class I am taking.
It is kind of a 'get ready' class for the Master Knitting courses.

I have been knitting for about 2 years now and have decided to take my knitting a step further. Well, ok, maybe MANY steps forward, but I am starting with one step at a time.

The TKGA is The Knitting Guild Association and they offer many corresponded classes. The Basic, Basic, Basic class is set up as three lessons. You are given instructions to knit certain things (swatches) and then you send them off to have them evaluated.

I have just completed the swatches for the first lesson.

Here are the swatches before they have been blocked. The lesson was seeing the some different styles of doing increases and learning some basics of reading the stitches.
Here they all are all blocked. I have only blocked lace shawls before so this was a little different. With the shawls you wanted to aggressively block them (or stretch them out). With these swatches the idea was just to flatten them out without flattening the stitches.
Here is an excellent video of this technique.

These next five pictures are just the individual swatches. You (and I) can enlarge them to better see the things that need to be improved. One of my major problems that I can see (with my untrained eye) is that my tension is not consistent. That is something I will have to really pay attention to as I work through this course in preparation for the master classes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All the pretty colors

With the exceptional drought we had this summer I did not think we would have a very colorful fall.

But, I was so wrong!! It was beautiful!!

 These picture were taken with the camera on my phone so they aren't the best, but you can see the colors!!

These are three of my horses. Sky, the gray on the left, is 29 years old this year. Agape, the bay in the middle, is 31 years old this year. And Legend, the chestnut on the right is only 13 years old.
This is the view from our back deck. It was just stunning this year.

And the ewe flock was all ready to be moved onto the next paddock. Just love these sheep!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Angora goats for sale

A really tough decision had to be made. Most of my lovely angora goats will be for sale. Not because I don't like them and not because there is anything wrong with them, but because Kansas has been in an official drought since May. But rain fall has been pretty slim since last fall. And even though the remnants of Hurricane Isaac gave us some much needed rain, we are still over 14 inches below normal for the year.

And to add to that my hay guy called me this morning and left me a message saying that he raised his price per small square bale by $2.00. He had already raised it 50 cents earlier in the year. With this raise it is 50% higher than it was last winter. Unfortunately I don't have a large barn to store a years worth of hay, so I am dependent on a hay supplier.

The pastures have greened up since Isaac, but the ground is drying up quickly again and no really rain in the foreseeable future. So with a very heavy heart I will be selling most of my angora goats. I will be keeping one buck and four does and will not be breeding any of them this fall.

I hope to get some of them sheared this weekend, so will have fleece sample available and will get some pictures "naked". If you have any questions, please let me know. You can email me at

This is Cody. His sire is Jones (a buck from Indian Springs Farm, ISF 1012) and his dam is FRF Cedar (Fae Ridge Farm). Cody has some wonderful markings! Really not sure what his pattern is. Built nice and solid and a nice set of horns on him as well. His fleece is wonderful, very uniform with nice tight locks. He is very parasite resistant and has never needed to be dewormed.  Sorry, I am taking him off the list, he will be staying here and will become a fiber wether.
 This is Cicso, a red buck. His sire is also Jones and his dam is Abby (ISF 0704). I just love this color! This is the color I am really breeding for. Nicely built. His fleece is a little more open that Cody's, but still very uniform.
He is also a little more friendly than Cody.
This is Carmella. Her sire is also Jones and her dam is Agatha. She is the lightest peach color and she has a dense, silky,uniform fleece. Carmella is one that I had planned on keeping, I just love her color and her fleece. Her dam is not a registered angora and is a color carrying white. Her dam has a clean face and sheds out her throat fiber every summer.
On Reserve
This is Charlotte. Her sire is also Jones (ISF1012) and her dam is Abby (ISF 0704) She is a beautiful red. Charlotte is also one that I had planned on keeping. She has a nice fleece with a little more open lock. A nice doeling.
This is FRF Cedar. A 2003 doe. Her sire is KSF Hawkens 319 and her dam is FRF Carley Rose 05. She is a solid black. Her fleece is not as uniform or as fine as her kids. She is a wonderful mother, but is not friendly.
Have decided at her age she deserves to stay here and not have the stress of going to a new place.
 This is Clover. Her sire is Jones (ISF 1012) and her dam is FRF Cedar. She has some incredible fleece! Very fine and uniform. Unusual markings that I am told is called sable. A lovely doeling.
On Reserve
This is SUF Matilda, a 2005 solid black doe. Her sire is FRF Sampson and her dam is SLM Heather. She is not registered, but there is recording of some of her lineage. She has been an excellent mother. Her fleece is more wavy than locks, not as fine as her kids.
On Reserve
This is Coral. Her sire is Jones (ISF 1012) and her dam is SUF Matilda. She also has the unusual markings like Clover. Nice tight, fine locks. A stunning looking doeling. Since her mother isn't registered she won't be either unless she is inspected. I don't think she would have any problem passing inspection!
On Reserve                                                                          

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fiber "U"

Last weekend I traveled to Lebanon Missouri for Fiber "U". Had a fantastic time!! Took several classed and learned so much. Saw a couple of fiber friends I haven't seen since March. And there was so much beautiful fiber!!

I made this reed spinner's basket in my first class. I really did not know what to expect when I signed up for the class, but am VERY happy with how it turned out!! I can see me making LOTS more of these! It was fairly easy to make and fun at the same time!!

This picture just doesn't show what this is at all. It is a felted cloth I made in the "Felting with an Electric Felting Machine" class. It is about 20 x 30 that I created. The backing is just polar fleece and then I added alpaca fleece, dyed wool and mohair and some 'bling'. Then sent the whole thing through the felting machine. Amazing!! It took about 6 passes to come out a usable fabric, but can you imagine how long it would have taken with a felting needle!! I plan on making a purse out of it as soon as I find the right pattern (something simple).

This is a felted business card holder I made in one of my other classes. Basically felting in a ziplock bag! Should go good in my new purse. :)

Then I HAD to buy this skein of sock yarn. Alpaca, merino, silk and nylon. Oh my, is it soft. I just might make this pair of socks for me!!

I did take two other classes, Knit like the Irish and Knitting with Beads. I learned alot from the bead class, but did not like the yarn or beads we used so I ripped it out before I took a picture. The Knit like the Irish class was kind of frustrating. The instructor had several problems and finally said she would email us the pattern. I am working on it now, a lot of cables, so look for pictures of that soon.

Hope everyone is staying cool!! We are currently in our second heat wave of the summer. Temperatures are predicted to reach 106 and higher for several days in a row. It is just miserable.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A fiber day!

Went to a spinning class in Lawrence at The Yarn Barn. It was a class on creating your own designer yarns. Learned, or tried to learn, the difference in spinning worsted, semi-worsted, and woolen yarns. Had a fantastic class! The teacher was wonderful and the other students were so good! And everyone created a different kind of yarn. Mine wasn't really anything that special, except I did some blending on the drum carder with different colors and am thrilled with the results!

Here is my finished yarn still on the bobbin.

I have some fun fibers to play with from the class also! Look at this variety!

This is a card of some little samples of spinning we did. The first one is just what we 'usually' spin at home. The second had to be something that we normally don't spin. The third was using the modified long draw. And the fourth was doing the long draw. The long draw was the worst for me. That is going to take some practice!!

And, since I was already at the yarn store......... I thought I would pick up a couple of skeins of yarn to start my pillow for the KAL (knit along) with Knit Purl Hunter.

Now to get some more fleeces skirted and to start on the this awesome pillow!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


These pictures were taken about 3 weeks ago. Sure wish we still had all that green grass!!