Monday, October 31, 2011

A Man, a Plan, a Canal: Panama

I worked for some time trying to figure out a palindrome for A Woman, a Desperate Mess, an Impasse, but could fine none.  No palindrome, at least.  BUT, after spending an entire drizzly morning working in my "wool vault," I finally found a solution!  Nearly 200 pounds of llama, finewool, alpaca and ??? fiber in four different colors were boxed up and sent off to Zeillingers for spinning; Wensleydale fleeces were sorted and stashed,  cashmere and pygora fleeces were sent off to Fantasy Fibers for dehairing, and I started washing the other angora fleeces. 

The farm is settling down into fall, goats sheared, sheep peacefully growing their long locks, sun low in the south, but I am gearing up for the last best event of the year:  The WeFF up in Torrance next weekend.  Sorting, packing, planning and creating some new yarns, I have been really busy in the house.

Imagine my surprise when Yollie came bursting through the dog door the other evening, soaking wet!  Huh?  She made one mad dash through the living room (mercifully missing my wheel) then back out the door.  We followed her, trying to figure out what was going on.  At first we thought she had fallen in the lily pond, but there was no water on the deck.  Then she flopped her big self down in a patch of dirt and began rolling and tossing dirt everywhere.  Mad, crazy creature!

 When she had finally coated herself completely with dirt she gave a gloriously happy sigh, and rolled over.  It was then that it dawned on me:  she had found the outflow from the washing machine, and had been totally seduced by the buck smell in the water coming off the fleeces I was washing. 

I bet the girl goats just loved her.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Am in Love

Never mind that he is younger than all of my children, or that he has a wife and child, or that I am married with seven grand kids, or even that he lives in a different state: I LOVE JERRY LADD!  And his dad isn't bad, either (;>)

Jerry took pity on me several months back when I was writing and ranting about our most recent shearing disaster with a brutal shearer, who was fired, leaving us in the lurch for shearing the goats in the fall.  Jerry said that he would be happy to come out and shear for us and, not only was he true to his word, but he arrived on the dot, at 7AM this past Saturday, with his very patient father along to lend a few hands.  He was prepared, experienced and utterly charming.  Plus, he's a spinner! 

Jerry set up his gear and started in on the does and kids, trimming toes as he went.   He remained unruffled - even when a couple of the devils actually bit him!  He worked with a smooth, expert style and patience, while his dad  (a businessman from Bakersfield) provided back-up, sweeping, horn-holding, kid catching and doe wrangling. 

 After the does and kids, we moved across the drive where he took on three extremely stinky bucks with the same gentle confidence and poise.  Even big, stinkey Eddie took the event in stride.

The big test, however, was shearing our spoiled bottle baby/premie, Mouse.  I'll let you be the judge.  Just look at the picture below and tell me if you agree that even the mighty Mouse has fallen under Jerry's spell.

With a smile like that, who wouldn't?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gathering of the Clan

The dust has settled on September, and October is quickly passing.  The annual gathering of the kids and grand kids was a super success - after putting the slide show together, I am ready to have them back again right now!

The little pink jeep and the empty playhouse now sit alone and dejected, so sad.

A few weeks after the gathering we attended the first ever Vista Fiber Festival.  All I can say to that is "wow."  The two organizers, Mimi Loutrel and Judy Maddox, pulled off a flawless two-day event that was successful beyond all expectations.  And it was such fun!  I met old friends that I haven't seen in 40 years and made many new ones. 
The event was held on the spacious and fascinating grounds of the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, and there was a mineral show going on in a nearby building, so there was plenty to do and see for folks of all interests. 
 There were two dozen vendors (including a pen of beautiful and friendly alpaca youngsters) and about two thousand visitors.  Can you believe it?  The weather was warm and beautiful, sales were brisk, and everyone was happy.

 Part of the tents with the weaving barn in the background.
 Our booth, somewhere in the crowd!
 The weaving barn, front and back

 Overview of the vendor area
The first day I used my wheel, second day I demoed the Navajo spindle.

Will they have it again?  We certainly hope so.  Will we attend? ABSOLUTELY!!!