Pastel Dreams

Pastel Dreams is finally done.  It is an 8 ft triangle shawl handwoven on a triangle loom.  The fiber is hand painted Boucle yarn.

Pastel Dreams

35% baby alpaca, 30% merino, 30% bamboo and 5% nylon binder to get those lovely loops.  It has taken me many months to weave this as I would leave it for weeks and then come back and do more.  The fringe I did focus on but still took several days to do that alone.

Working on such a big piece was interesting but made life difficult in the little cabin.  I can not remember the amount of times I have stubbed my toes, rammed my shins, caught my hair on the loom, snagged my clothing on it, and smacked my head.

Apparently I did not totally hate it as I am starting another one right away!!  I wound the hand spun yarn from the skeins into balls in preparation last night.  So this next one will be from the mystery yarn I hand spun a few months ago.  Maybe by the time I finish it, I will have figured out what to call it instead of Mystery Yarn.

Pastel Dreams on loom.

I made goat cheese today again.  Decided to try a different flavour and went for Dill and Black Pepper.  This batch did not make much as I ate almost all of it so there is only a small bit left.  hmmmm…….off to milk the goaties for more cheesemaking.

Helena has arrived.

My darling Helena has arrived.  She replaced Icy Breeze.  Icy and I were NOT getting along.  Helena is a half sister to Dolly Llama.  They have the same dad, the same nose, the same face, the same coloring, same stunning gorgeous eyes, same long legs, same great rose grey fleece, same loft, same elegant head and great S curve.  Guess I like them.  Good thing Dolly is my favorite.  or is that WAS my favorite as I now have TWO favs??

Helena

Helena

Helena is different in that she will come up to me, stand for me without any lead or ropes, and let me hug her and blow her air kisses.  Dolly sticks her ears out side ways and says ” Hell no mom, I DO NOT want kisses!”

I trained Helena myself out in the hot sun for a couple of hours.  Whipped my butt big time, but it was cool as she and I had a serious understanding by the time we were done.  She did NOT want to go in the porta potty.  In her defense, it did stink!!  She did not want to cross the bridge..but it was to get to the other side! And those tire things, what the heck are those for? We made it through all the obstacles though.

Helena is a 1 year old llama so she might end up being mates with Enchantment as there is only 3 weeks between them in age.  So far, Helena wants to hang out with big sister, Dolly, who wants nothing much to do with her.

Helena

Helena has been utterly fascinated with the Nigerian Dwarf goats.  She has kicked up her heels and ran in the pens with the goats and went over to say hello to Appletini and got head butted for her hospitality.  It did not stop her as she went back again for a closer look and got head butted again.  Helena is like a curious toddler. The dogs do not fuss her nor do the other llamas.  All of this calm and curious behavior is just HER!  She came up out of the field this way, we just enhanced it with some basic training that she got mostly right out the gate first try.  I did tell her when we started our walk across the road and all over that we would NOT have any of the shenanigans that her sister Dolly did.  And true to her word, she did not knock me down, run out in traffic, try to jump a barb wire fence, get stuck half way and have to be lifted off, or lie down and refuse to cross the stream.

I think that Dolly llama has been a bit jealous this week.  but can you blame me with this darling Helena around??

How to Create Rain. Try Solar Dyeing

I dyed up some new yarn for warp last night. Polwarth Silk that is ever so yummy. Dyed it Ruby Red with Greener Shades Dyes.

Ruby Red Polwarth Silk Yarn

This will be the warp yarn for one of the sweater coats I plan on weaving this winter. I have 3 coats proposed..and this particular Ruby Red one is for me. I did dye up the Teeswater locks that I washed last night in a lovely Chartreuse Green.

Solar Dyeing


This is for the trim, cuffs, and hem of another of the sweater coats. That one will be for sale when it is finished. As soon as I got the locks in the dye and the jars moved outside, it clouded up and started with wind and rain. Oh well, they are ready for tomorrow when it will be nice and hot and sunny!!

Hot Temps, Wild Fires, Hot Temps…and did I say it was HOT!!!

WHEW!! HOT does not even really describe how it has been these last few weeks. I have barely been able to get it below 80 Degrees F in the Cabin even at night. Apparently our insulation is doing wonders even in the summer. hmmmmm…not what I had in mind I tell you.

Our thoughts have been turning to building our house. Designing our terraced garden, planting more fruit trees and bushes, and generally just nesting I suppose. The cabin has been great in our time of need, but I am so ready for our house. With all the wild fires in Colorado and so many of them being so close, it has given pause to the house idea as well. Part of me worries about living in the woods as there seems to be a plethora of stupid people that should have to wear signs like “I’m a Dumb Arse!” and “Not allowed in the woods without supervision”. I mean really..deliberately starting fires all over the place as well as target practice shooting at propane tanks in the woods. Exactly HOW dumb are these people?? And the destruction and mayhem that they have produced. Wow!

I am happy to say that our house will be made of concrete and stone. Built slab on grade concrete solid floor, so the only really burnable stuff I suppose is the internal things, the roof, windows and doors. I wonder if the basic structure would still be there after a fire? I hope to NEVER have to find out.

I am dreaming of my 20×3 indoor garden in the house, my little round mosaic iron table for 4 and entertaining for any friends that come by for a fly cuppa tea or my fancy Aztec Mocha. In only 6 days I get to go get my new Nigerian Dwarf Goats. I can’t wait. Fresh Milk again that is way better than any I had before with so much butter cream and fat that I won’t need to put whipping cream in my coffee and milk any longer. yeah!!!

Anna Rei

We are starting with 2 does that will be in milk and one little doeling to grow up and breed later on. I haven’t had goats on the ranch since December and I do miss them. We have had dairy goats here on the ranch ever since we got here except these 7 months and it has been really weird. I have changed breeds entirely to go with the Nigerian Dwarf Goats and this should take care of some of the physical back and hand issues that I was having with the full size goats.

I also removed one llama from the ranch on Friday. Icy Breeze went back to Sally as she did NOT like me. After 4 months of working with her, the dislike became mutual. The energy of the group now that she is not here is different enough that it feels like I got 3 new llamas instead of just removing one llama. The remaining 3 girls are MUCH happier. I don’t know if we will find a fourth to trade and take Icy’s place or if we will try to sell her. The group is working so well now that any incomer must be JUST right or it will upset the apple cart.

I am going to do some solar dyeing today of some washed Teeswater locks. I thought Chartreuse Green again to go for the trim and cuffs on the green coat I am getting all the bits together for. I will more than likely be weaving and construction of about 3 sweater coats this winter. I have all the art batts carded for all three coats, but have only spun half of 2 of the coats. I have the yarn skein ed off for the warp and will finish dyeing that as well. Once done, I should have hand spun yarn for weft from my blended carded art batts, hand dyed warp yarn in a solid color which will match the color of the Teeswater locks for all the trims, cuffs, and collars. I had to get that all ready for all 3 coats and then will set it aside to do the weaving and construction of the coats in the winter after the fashion show, fiber festival and some spinning orders.

I will be looking forward to more photos of goats, llamas and fiber projects to come in future blogs.

NO I have NOT finished the 8 ft Triangle Loom Shawl yet. yeah yeah I know…need to get it done!!!

Worst Weekend EVER!

This has been THE most horrible weekend ever.  I don’t know if I jinked it by going in and knowing that I didn’t like one of the owners of the campground. I also figured out I am NOT a theme camper, group BBQ sort like last night where the food is catered in (I enjoy a group BBQ if we did it potluck style so I can be sure the food won’t make me ill), Hawaiian theme, limbo, or a sit around in a big group and watch movies and eat Jiffy Pop popcorn drenched in soybean oil kind of gal. (the movie would have been great had I been able to relax, but with trying to get everything done it just did not work out.)

2 out of 3 meals that they had set up I ate 2 and got sick throwing up both times.  I was fine with food that I brought so in the future will stick to food I know is free from the things I am allergic to.  So yes I did pass on the spam and green chili breakfast this morning as prepared meal number three as the other two had me throwing up.  Frankly spam and green chili burritos had me throwing up at just the idea of it. ewwwww!!

I was guilted at least once or twice about not being at scheduled events ect, and frankly I am not a child and had more pressing things to consider.  Like getting my VW bug back from the mechanic and giving him his truck back as he is on vacation all next week.  Locked myself out of my bug on Thurs then later that afternoon the bug died and had to be towed with the Great Pyr that I had just picked up for the dog parlor.  I didn’t get the packing and such done on Friday.  It was too much and too overwhelming and I could hardly walk on Friday night as my body just quit on me. I either pulled apart the wiring that Charlie had done and broke it or he didn’t design it to come apart.  I can’t remember as that was over three weeks ago.  I had to fix it with a borrowed set of pliers and my teeth.

Note to self: unplug the damm thing from the running car before you touch the bare wires and shock yourself on the ground between the trailer and Land Rover.

I had to spend about an hour and a half fixing it which meant at 7pm for the meet and greet I ran back up the mountain to get the mechanics truck and met him back at the campground to get my Bug.  I had to try to set up my camp site a bit and get the power sorted so I had the fridge and could get my cold stuff out of the cold box before it got horrible.  That was why I got to the meet and greet about 1.5 hrs later after I was told that they had introduced me already and were waiting for me.  When I got over there and no one spoke to me, it was as if I didn’t exist so I have no idea what all that hoopla was about.  And that general thing with me being more separate and most pretending I was not there, was the way the rest of the entire weekend went.  I said forget it and went back to finish setting up.  I really felt it was more critical to get power and lights before dark.

After I went back to my trailer I was seriously not feeling well and sat for a bit doing FaceBook to only realize about an hour later that I had better get moving back up the ranch to check on everyone or I was going to set up and not be able to walk.  I had been feeling more and more sick during that time.  Then on the road, half way to the ranch, realized I was going to be sick again. I couldn’t sleep that entire night even with pain killers as I was too tired and just in too much pain.  I woke up Saturday more tired than I had been before bed.

Went to the ranch to do chores, shower, and change and didn’t make it to the open house tour from 10-2 until about 11:30 am.  I got:  finally, we were waiting, it was locked, we wanted to see, etc from loads of folks as I was trying to unload the car and get the dog out before she baked in the Bug.  They had me in a spot shared with a 15 ft Terry Rambler where our doors faced SOUTH.  I backed in the trailer and with the wind could not be outside to spin so that entire plan for the weekend was ruined. At least I had my crochet with me and started on a free form circle poncho with matching mobius.

Note to self:  get one of those cool trailer door things that lets you latch the door back on the trailer so it doesn’t smack you in the shoulder and head and leave bruises.

The wind was brutal.  I never put up any shade tents or they would have gone the way of Glen and Sharon’s red tent!!  The spot that they put the two of us in..both shiny aluminum and no awnings…..was the worst spot in the entire trailer park.  It was near 100 degrees F and the pool was empty unless you count the sludge. They decided to drain it and started to fill it after cleaning it the afternoon of all this heat. A side note, I did back my own trailer in and was only about 1.5 ft between her front tongue and my back bumper…..AND I was straight.  Not bad for first time ever right?

I went to the BBQ on Saturday night and got sick from the food again.  So I went home to check on everything as I had this weird feeling I would get home and find Glenda, the mama llama, dead along with the baby.  She was alive and had NOT delivered.  I checked.  Repeatedly!  I did find my 2 year old Siamese Cat dead in the barn as she had had difficulty with her kittens and died.   I wondered if that was why I was so agitated.  After taking care of Beta, RIP, I went back to the campground.  I was so tempted to just say screw this and stay home.  I had set up my bed and had on PJs before leaving so I just fell into bed.  I did sleep better, but still not the best.  I set my alarm for 7:30 am with the intention of packing up and getting out of Dodge.  A car alarm went off in the park at 6:30 am so I packed up, loaded everything, backed up and hooked on, slit my finger open somehow in it all and bled all over the hitch and wires.  But I was on the road and out of there still by 8:13 am.

I got home to the real drama.  Glenda had her baby cria at 2:30 am.  She did NOT read the llama instruction manual!!!  I had to watch over 20 hours on 2 different cameras in fast forward to find out when and what happened.  The 2 main Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD)  have been in and out the pens at different times with the llama girls.  The main LGD interferes with the mothers and babies and I end up with a scared mom that rejects the baby, a bottle baby that thinks he is a Great Pyr Dog, and a very unhappy Melisa.  That main LGD had been benched out of the pen with the llamas for 4 weeks in anticipation of Glenda’s and Icy’s big day. The one remaining LGD is a perimeter guard and doesn’t do the close personal protection that the other LGD does.  I suspect that he may have never done this before but he must have watched the older dog as he scared the mom off the cria about 30 seconds after she had the baby, picked up the baby and removed it from her, chased her and all the others from the pen and laid down about 5 feet from the baby to guard it all night long.  This all took about 3.5 minutes and it was done and she had lost her baby because the dog took it to guard it!  I know that he thought he was doing the right thing, but he was wrong. So he is not in the pen with them any longer. Now if mom and baby bond, and the dogs are NOT in there for a few days, they are totally OK and leave the mom’s alone after going back in. It seems to just be a labor and delivery issue. By the time I had finished watching enough tape to figure out what happened, the baby was 12 hours old with no colostrum.  I had to dig through my frosted up freezer to chip out some frozen goat colostrum and get it heated into a pop bottle that we had to open and pour the pop down the drain.  I  had just threw out all pop/baby bottles about 1.5 months ago  thinking I would not need them.  I am so glad I still had the rubber nipples and some of the frozen milk and colostrum.  I managed to get between 8-10 ounces in her and then she was done…full up! 

Just before this time, I had 2 friends from Canon City arrive to help.  I was so overwhelmed and feeling so poorly that I unpacked the stuff from the trailer with the help of my two friends, Liz and Biggi, from Canon City.  We put the cold stuff in the fridge and then made a HUGE pot of coffee.  It was in the middle of our coffee that Brenda arrived.  Brenda is from Florissant and has llamas herself.  She said that mom and baby are not broken bonded as mom was talking to baby and baby was sometimes responding so give them 24 hours in a pen alone and she just might kick my butt tomorrow morning.  Here is hoping..that she is bonded and the baby is nursing.  NOT that I get my butt kicked.  Ha!

I had no idea that she was coming, only that I had phoned her and told her that I had the emergency and she had tried to call back and not got me so she hopped in the SUV and came over.  How lovely.  Thank you Brenda.  And Thank you Liz and Biggi as I was beyond overwhelmed when you got here.  It was huge for you to drop things and come. Thank you so much.  Thank you all!  I can still barely breath and it is almost 7 pm and I haven’t done my daily chores for all my other animals.  They have been let out of runs, watered, pens cleaned and the llamas are totally sorted with the baby fed.  I needed to get my thoughts down, slow down, breathe, and see if I could remember who I was and what I need to do next.  I must go for now as my hand is cramping from all this typing and I am still very scattered.  Dark is coming so I have to get things finished.

PS.  when I unhooked the Scotty and took it back up to the trailer pad, I realized that although it looked like it had been on correctly, and the padlock was LOCKED, the trailer was actually NOT on the hitch correctly.  I went to jack it up on the wheel to get it up off the ball and before I had even unlocked the Master padlock or opened the hitch bit, it POPPED off the ball.  OMG, that could have happened going down the road back up the mountain or on the bouncy ranch road.  Must have had a really heavy Angel sitting on the roof of the Scotty holding it down on the hitch.  I did have my two chains on and crisscrossed but it would have damaged the Scotty.  When I did get back to the ranch, I didn’t get turned correctly and ended up almost jack knifing it.  I had to power over the dirt pile with the Land Rover and will have to have Charlie look at the bottom of the Scotty in the dropped floor to make certain it is OK and not hurt.  I think it is fine but just want him to double check. There was NO other way around it as I could not get straightened up or back up and when I tried to fix it the jack knife only got worse.  That would have finished me off this weekend if I would have ruined the Scotty.

I am going to post this and go walk a few dogs to clear my head!!!

I thought I would never say this, but I am so looking forward to MONDAY!!!