Sunday, February 21, 2010

Work never stops

Well here they are at day 7. Just so cute and since they are satin angoras they have a wonderful shine. Eyes should be opening in another 3 days.

The last of the snow finally melted. Now we may have a bit more on Tuesday.

I have been spinning steadily. The bad part of working from a home office is you never really seem to stop working. I don't just sit and watch tv anymore. I always have something fibery in my hands, updating paperwork or computer data. The ladies in the spinning group I attend are always asking "who" I am spinning rather than what. It's a very good thing I really enjoy what I do.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Here are the latest to join the herd. My chocolate doe had these big, fat kits Feb 13th. Just missed Valentines' Day. She had 6 and all are doing extremely well. The pic shows them at day 2.

I decided to bring them in since we were expecting high winds with snow flurries and freezing temps. I lost 2 batches in early winter when freezing temps and high winds came through. So these go out in the morning to visit the doe and be fed.

This past week we had record snow fall at 12.5 inches. This much has not been seen for 111 years. I went tracking in the woods and found deer, raccoon, and coyote tracks. It was very pretty, but soooo cold. I wrapped a shetland wool scarf around my head and neck for warmth.

I know there are lots of man made fibers made for insulation now, but I still prefer natural wool. The main thing I have found when wearing the synthetics is the smell they develop. When I get warm when working in cold weather the sweat and synthetics combine to create an odor that I find objectionable and quite noticeable and yet when I sweat in my wool clothing it seems to mask any body odors.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's snowing now. It's been snow all day. This is the pretty fluffy white stuff. You can almost see it coming down in the pic. You can see the trip to the rabbit hutch was white and wintery.

I decided not to go to the post office to get some of my orders out. While I am confident of my driving ability in the snow, I have far less of my fellow drivers.

Last year during a snow event I was coming back on a feeder road following in the tracks of the previous cars going only 5 miles under the speed limit when a Hummer went whizzing past me. My truck was covered is ice and snow. So much for common sense driving.

The weather is really cold, cloudy and now rainy with snow coming soon.

I have been working steadily on my spinning orders. I just finished Tyler, an Old English Sheepdog, plus three additional orders and a sample.

The sample was a Blue Kerry and I wished I had taken a picture of it. It was a beautiful color and very soft. The entire effect was lovely.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The weekend was a nice change of pace for me. Mary Berry of Fancy Fibers hosts a really nice event at the Briar Wood Retreat,, in Argyle, TX, the Winter Fiber Fun Retreat. This is the 2nd year for this event. The classes are great and very affordable.

I could only swing a Saturday with them, but it is really a great way to meet other spinners and knitters in a relaxed and casual setting.

For those coming any distance, there was lodging available on site. Since it is held in February everything is on the bleak side outside, but the colors of everyones fiber was very inspiring. I went around trying to guess what the fiber was of those spinning. It also inspired me to a new round of dying (fiber, not personally).

I listened in on knitting 2 socks at at time class. Beginning these socks is the most tedious part to learn and I had to smile to myself listening to everyones comments getting started. It was a bit of a challenge, but once the process started to click things smoothed out. It is the only way I knit socks.

Mary was gracious enough to allow me to bring a small assortment to vend at her event. I am always ready to enhance anyones stash.

This event will continue to grow and I encourage anyone who has thought about going to do so.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here is project I worked on recently. This is one of my clients, Rocky, an Akita, I spun and knit the afghan for his owner. Rocky was spun pure into a 2 ply yarn.

This was an awesome project. He was so warm, fuzzy and wonderful. I had a hard time sending him home. I had him curled over my shoulders while I knit on the other end.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A local fiber event will be happening this weekend, the Winter Fiber Retreat, in Argyle, Texas. It is put on by Mary Berry of Fancy Fibers. It takes place for the entire weekend, but I could only schedule enough time for Saturday. Mary is nice enough to allow me to lay out a small assortment of my fibers, and such and be a vendor as well as attendee.

The Kid 'n Ewe was a great success for me this past November. It seemed the number of people who attended was down from the prior year, but those who came were ready to visit and buy. I saw many of my past customers and met a lot of new people.

I did bring 3 kits to sell at the show and sold 2. I am always leery of selling this way as I always want prospective buyers to understand that angoras take much more work than they realize. So I give everyone the doom and gloom speech on owing them, emphasizing that they make terrible children's pets as most adults can't handle the amount of upkeep they require.

I am positive that both kits went to good homes in this case.

The Kid 'n Ewe was embroiled in problems with contract issues and the board for the fair grounds acting in an unprofessional manner. Not a good way to handle any business and expect it to grow. Since the organizers didn't even know if the event was going to be held in Boerne until very late, much of the usual advertising didn't happen.

Hopefully this will be resolved in better manner this year. I like this event and the people who run it are a nice group.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Well I haven't posted in an absurdly long time. I can't believe how quickly every has gone.

The rabbits are doing well. I have cut back on the breeding as the costs of feed and hay are just simply expensive. They are so sweet when they demand attention. I relax just by walking into their hutch.

I added some fibers from Peace of Yarn, baby suri, baby camel and and baby alpaca. They are so just want to roll in it....those who work with fiber understand what I am talking about.

I also found a source for pulled, carded sari silk. Hopefully I will have that in stock in the next month or so.

I've been wanting to try Gotland for a long time. I wanted a raw fleece to start with. I finally found one and am working on that now. It is all washed and I am in the process of flicking the ends. For any non-spinners reading this that means I am taking each lock of fiber and brushing each end. It opens the lock up and creates a fluffy end.

My main business is going well. Spinning pet fibers is keeping me very busy. I had to extend my turn around time as I do need some down time to spin for myself. I have been ramping up my equipment to help keep up with demand. I finally bought a Patrick Green SuperCarder electric drum carder. I really wish I had done this earlier. It is saving my shoulder from a lot of wear and tear. I am really pleased with it and the results it produces.