4 Seasons and premature Doeling

Since my last posting,  Emma did finally kid.  She had a very lovely marked bouncing boy!  we named him Monty and he literally bounces around.  He can be seen at times catapulting through the air, and landing in his favorite spot…on the broad back of Brownie the sheep!  He has attempted it on various other smaller sheep with varying results. 🙂

The little premature doe, April, is sitll with us.  she has not been feeling well so we don’t know how she will go.  she has scours and we have no clue why.  Tried various medicines and so far she seems to be determined to keep the scours.  I did wean Jet, Ringo and Blue and put them in the big boy pen a while ago.  The weaning may not have been too premature, but the big boy pen I think may have been.  I do not think they got enough food even though I thought they were.  Ringo was down in the pen at the beginning of this week and than his brother Jet was.  Charlie just said that Jet died during the night.  They were weak from lack of food, so we made them a special pen out of alfalfa hay bales and have had them separate with unlimited food for days…I thougth they were coming on, but Jet gave up the fight.  When Ringo got knocked at the beginning of the week, I thought he was injured internally and would not make it.  He has however still been with us for another FIVE days..so there is hope with him.  We took Blue out of the big boy pen even though he was thin but not as weak as the others.  he has been having fun in the doe pen but he is so close to that age where he could be too fertile.  When we remove the last of our sale animals this week, we are going to separate the really big boys into that far pen and leave the smaller boys in the middle pen so that they can be separate from the girls but still be safe from being in with the big boys until they grow a lot more.  I hope this helps the issues.  sometimes the angora goats just grow so slowly.  Monty is at least a month younger than them and is probalby twice their size and 4 times more energetic!!

After working night and day on my fiber entry for the show, they cancelled it!  🙁  so it won’t be displayed but here is it.  Four Seasons:

It starts at the left with the white one as winter, than spring, than summer and than fall going clockwise.  I used Wensleydale, Lincoln Long Wool (coloured and white), alapaca, mohair (coloured and white) throught out the weavings.  there is raw fleece tied in, rovings, hand spun yarn, mill spun yarn from my rovings, but there is no synthetic yarns from any shops or anything other than pure fiber as even the hooks to hang it were braided from left over warps.

I listed six different listings last night on www.albaranch.etsy.com so go have a look and enjoy! it is a great collection of fine yarns that I had got back from the mill.  Mohair, Merino, and some merino/mohair blends.  some white and some colours.  I finally listed some of the red yarns, a medium and a dark fawn mohair yarns!

I have been making goat cheese every week recently, and boy it is certainly nice to have it again.  Sales are starting up on the etsy shop again, go stop in and buy something!! 🙂

Fusion Art Show and April is born

I have been a bit behind in posting anything as I have been busy weaving up a storm for the “Fusion a Convergence of Fiber Artists” gallery show that is coming up.  I have my main entry done and we are hoping to get it photographed today and I can post a pic when we do.  I am also putting in a few smaller things that I made earlier this year.

I just got my newest order of yarns and rovings back so I have plenty to weave with and of course we just sheared again about 2 weeks ago.  since this time they were all mostly covered, the fleece is fantastic and so much better.  It is clean, brigther colours, and softer without wind damage.  I plan on hand processing the 3 lincoln, 1 teeswater and 1 wensleydale fleece that I have.  I will send the rest off to the mill to have some stronger, thicker warp yarns made up for weaving since everything recently has been fine light weight yarns.

Rachel had a new baby doeling premature.  It was touch and go for a while there, but she is now 10 days old and running around the pen.  her legs were not strong enough to stand or walk at first, and than later she could be was effectively walking on the backside of her knees but she is stronger now and up on her hooves like a proper little goatie and jumping around like they do.  she is still very tiny, maybe all of THREE pounds now, but she is just goregous.  she is going to be staying.  Emma has still NOT kidded, I swear her knees must be superglued together. ahah  will keep you updated 🙂

Washing Raw Fleece, Blue Angora Goats

I haven’t gotten anywhere with my list of items that I wanted to accomplish today.  I have instead baked bread, listed items on www.albaranch.etsy.com and wrote in my blog.  oh well, I guess I had better get busy!!

I was explaining what equipment that you may need to wash and card your raw fleece at home by hand.  It really is simple.  The items in my list are probably not even essential but I have found they do make my life easier.

1. a few or as many as you want of the cheap plastic 99cent 2-3 gallon buckets from walmart

2. set of good rubber maid gloves as you will be working with dirty fleece in really hot water

3. liquid laundry detergent as most dish soaps are too harsh on the actual fleece

4. dash of fabric softener to help your wool soften and smell wonderful

5.  a few of those white zippered lingerie washing bags to put your fleece into thereby avoiding it going down the sink drain and plugging it.  I usually get the ones that are about the size of 1-2 quarts, where you can put about a pound of fleece in it max as that way it is easier to wash by hand.

6. you can get a set of carding combs from a spinning place or you can go to the local pet shop and buy two of the same size brushes that are the square wire mesh brushes.  they can be used for carding just the same but on a smaller and much cheaper scale.

7.  get 1 or 2 of the silver metal wide tooth combs to also do some combing of your fleece

There you have the basics for washing and carding your fleece at home in your own easy to size batches.  You dinna have to be posh with your carding combs as the doggie ones will do just fin!

Having said all that, I not only have the dog ones, I have the special large carding combs, a set of small carding combs that came free with my big drum carder from louetts that I have used maybe 3 times in about 5 years.  so there you have it, I send mine out to the mill these days!! haha I hate carding but I can do it if necessary.

Blue Angora Goats

I am skirting, picking by hand, washing and drying my fleeces this weekend as I need them for a new project in their long ringlet lock form.  so at least I don’t have to card anything!!

We have had a few additions to our family in the last week, if you have been over to the hubby’s blog, you will have seen a pic of our new BLUE angora twins.  I think that the boy’s name is definitely going to be BLUE, but the verdict is still out on the girl’s name.  I can’t decide between Stella or Star.  any suggestions?