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 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 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!!!

Winter Carnival Contest from Spin Artiste

The Winter Carnival from Spin Artiste is in full swing. You have this week only to vote on your top favorite three items. This contest is celebrating fiber things created with winter in mind.  The Holly Berry Ruana ensemble is handspun merino yarn plyed with baby soft angora rabbit.  Wearing this outfit, is like having a bunny hug all day long!

Holly Berry Woven Ruana, Skirt, Hat and Bag

Alba Ranch has entered the Holly Berry Woven Ruana, Skirt, Hat and Bag ensemble. You can see the contest here and vote by commenting at the bottom of the thread with your favs.

There are many entries that are beyond stunning.  so Hurry on over and have a look and see all the yummy fiber lovelies!!

Winter Carnival from Spin Artiste!

Update: Nicole Constantine won the Winter Carnival Contest from Spin Artiste with her “Long Winter’s Nap”. Congratulations Nicole!