Friday, September 29, 2006

And then there were TWO

Israel now has a buddy in the pen. Yesterday we welcomed "Tommy" to our flock! Tommy is about 8 or 9 years old, very tame, and a busy traveler. He's been to Christmas pageants, elementary school shearing demos, and animal blessings, because of his easy-going nature. Tom was a bottle baby and learned that people bring good things like hay and food into the sheep pen!

Tommy is a good bit smaller than Israel, and has much lighter colored fleece. I should call them "Salt 'N' Peppa" but I won't. Actually, Tommy reminds me more of Yoda--small, wizened, and quirky. (You thought Israel was funny looking!)

The first order of business when I turned Tommy out in the pen was that Israel had to show him who was the KING. They ran around and around the pen for a while, and in a short time, settled into a good working relationship (Israel: "you go where I say you can go!" Tommy: "yeah, whatever... where's the grub?") Now I'm happier that Israel at least has company out there during the day.

It's starting to look like a farm.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Love the Smell of Orvis in the Morning

For those who don't enjoy wool like I do, a little explanation. "Orvis" is a soap used to wash sheep, or sheep's clothing. I use it to wash my raw wool and it has a nice smell, and reminds me of wonderful times with my hands in a good fleece.

Last week, my friend Cyndi and I tackled some of the alpaca fleece she had been stockpiling. We washed some really beautiful stuff. It's so fun to hang out at Cyndi's, with her alpacas humming, and chickens scratching, and the horses wandering around like overgrown hounddogs. We enjoyed a gorgeous day in the 70's with a nice breeze--perfect for washing fiber. The photo shows some of the fleece drying in the sun, in a rainbow of alpaca colors.

Growing Fiber Flock?

Israel The Sheep's been here just over a month and already I'm tempted to add to the flock. My friend Cyndi down the street at Paca D'lites Alpaca Ranch tells me one of her boarders is looking to sell a couple of her fiber guys and am I interested??? Answer: the price is very reasonable and Ted and I are considering it from all angles. The guys are very cute and sweet, and of course, have wonderful fiber. Gizmo is dark chocolate brown, and Moonstruck is a yummy fawn color. I'm doing the requisite reading of everything "alpaca," from websites to textbooks. And I'm spinning up some fiber to give it a test run. It's looking good, but there are a few bugs to work out.... more info as it becomes available.