I know, where is Rowdy this week? He kindly agreed to let the first cria of the fall season have his mascot spot on the blog. SHE was born Friday, September 10th as I was setting up for the Wild 'n' Wooly Fiber Festival in West Virginia. Sam discovered her when he went out to do the evening chores. She had a slow start, as crias born after 4 pm often do, but is racing around the pasture now.
Our second cria arrived this morning, Sept 15, early, just like they are supposed to. Another female and this one is jet black. So we are off to a good start on the fall birthing season. I just didn't have time to get a photo of this little one, so next week will have to do. As I am writing this, Sam just called to say that we are 3 for 3, another of our girls just delivered a female cria! This is a big deal for us because only once before have we had 3 females crias born within a week and that was 8 years ago. So now we have had 2 in 1 day! He says this one is a light fawn color. Her dam, Carmell, had a very difficult delivery last year resulting in her total rejection of the cria, which was her first one. Keep your fingers crossed that nature and maternal instincts will take over and this mama will realize that this is her baby and will nurse and take care of her. I don't feel like bottle feeding!
As mentioned, I attended the West Virginia Wild 'n' Wooly Fiber Festival this past weekend. This was the first year for this festival and it was put on by the West Virginia Alpaca breeders. I think very wisely they chose to make it a Fiber Festival instead of just an alpaca festival. There is great room for growth and attendees can see all kinds of fiber animals, not just alpacas.
Frankly, when I arrived at the venue I was afraid the weekend might be a waste of time. The venue was a huge horse arena at WVU's agricultural farm a good 1/2 hour outside Morgantown WV and not on a 4 lane road! But they must have done a good job of advertising because there was a steady stream of traffic both Saturday and Sunday and I think most of the vendors and participants were pleased with the turnout.
I took 4 young alpacas with the hope of selling them, and sell them I did. I was very pleased to come home with an empty trailer Sunday night. They were purchased by a nice woman who already has a few alpacas on her farm and wanted a few more. I know they went to a good home.
I also took about 4 pounds of my hand-dyed rovings in beautiful colors and I only brought home 6 oz of it! My hand-dyed and spun yarns sold well and I sold a couple pairs of mittens. I only sold 2 oz each of my natural white roving and natural black roving and none of the brown. So the colors are definitely what I need to concentrate on for future shows. I even took some of our plentiful acorn squash and sold a few of those.
Here is my dear friend Charlie from Riverboat Alpaca Ranch in Marietta. His wife, Ann, is the one who told me about this festival and we all had a nice dinner together Saturday night.
I met some very nice people and made some contacts, one of which is a fiber mill in Virginia. I would like to send them some of my fiber to be made into yarn or roving. Not sure which yet. Speaking of which, the yarns I ordered back in late May are going to be ready to pick up early next week so I need to get my loom put together! I really need something else to do!!
Meanwhile, back at the farm, Sam has completed his picnic pavilion, windmill and outhouse at the pond, and the hay is all in, so he has moved on to the next project, which is our garage floor. It is gravel and poorly drained and he has been wanting to cement it ever since we moved here. Now it is finally being done. As I write. Here are a couple of before photos and by next week, hopefully all the "stuff" should be back in where it belongs. One great thing about this project is it forced Sam to do a thorough clean-out of the garage. Yeah, that's HIS job!
There has been very little knitting or spinning time for me the last couple weeks. Now that Labor Day and this festival are behind me, maybe I can finish the pair of socks I started before I went to California. Although we do have things planned almost every week for the next 2 months. Adoption Day at the shelter this Saturday, a Mother Earth News conference type thing in PA the following weekend Sam wants to attend because there are some interesting seminars on things we are interested in, like bee-keeping. October will bring more festivals and Sam's every-other-year trip to Colorado with his brother to go elk hunting. I also plan to have some of my high school friends out to the farm in October for an informal reunion after 30+ years. Before I know it, the holidays will be upon us! Ack!!!