Thursday, May 12, 2011

All's Quiet...

This is a perfect example of my greeting from Rowdy whenever I arrive home:  he always has to have something in his mouth.  In this case, it was extreme.  If you look closely, he has a tennis ball, a toy raccoon AND a pair of my socks (hot pink).  I wish I had seen him scooping up all these items.

Believe it or not, things have been rather quiet around the farm.  No more crias have been born.  It is definitely a watch and wait situation at this point.  For example, we had 3 females bred on the same date last year, June 1st.  2 have delivered, 1 on April 30th and 1 on May 4th.  It is now the 12th and the 3rd female bred on June 1 could go another 2 weeks before she delivers.  It is just a fact with alpacas.  I also have 2 others who were bred June 10th and June 24th.  They could also deliver any day now, or wait until mid-June.  It's always interesting to see who will hang in there the longest.  I believe our longest gestation to date was 370 days.  Or maybe 372, I'm not sure.  Maybe by next week, I will have new cria photos to post.

Here is a nice photo I took of our beehive with the male alpacas in the background.  We have not done anything else with the hive since last week except open up one additional entry hole for the bees.  We monitor the activity up at the hive by watching the bees come and go.  I guess we were too close too long the other day and Rowdy got stung, even though he was further from the hive than I was.  Maybe he looks more threatening than I do to the bees.  Poor guy.

We have yet to start shearing.  It has been so cool and rainy, except for the last 2 or 3 days and we were too busy those days to get started.  Soon, though, very soon.  I am going to a friend's farm on Monday to help them with shearing and just to be social.  

Sunday was Mother's Day and my sons called me from Lake Tahoe.  It was so nice to hear from them!  That's all the present I needed for Mother's Day.  We did have Sam's Mom and Dad over for dinner and enjoyed a nice afternoon on the deck with them.  I made chicken Marsala with some of those morels Sam had picked and gave Mary, my mother-in-law that purple shawl I have been working on.  That's the reason I have not said much about it in this blog, I wanted it to be a surprise for her and I know she reads this!  Here is the shawl being blocked and also a close up.

shawl being blocked (shaped)

 It came out very nice and I hope she gets a chance to wear it.  She's a Red-Hatter and I know red and purple are Red-Hat colors!  Hence the purple alpaca shawl.

close up of lace detail
 I just love knitting lace.  You have to pay attention to what you are doing and the end product is gorgeous, in my opinion.

I've actually had a surprising amount of time to work on fibery stuff.  I have spun up several skeins of the alpaca/cormo roving I wrote about in the last post.  Yesterday, I took advantage of the very warm weather to wash the skeins and hang them outside to dry

Getting fiber back from the fiber mill is sometimes like opening a Christmas present.  This week I received back some fiber I had sent in to the mill I use most often for roving.  I tried something new and took Eclipse's fleeces from 2010 and 2009 and dyed some of it and left part of it undyed.  I dyed it in 2 colors, so I had 3 colors, natural (very light fawn), teal and lilac and had the mill do a "3-way swirl".  It came out so cool!  I can't wait to spin some of it up to see how it looks as yarn.  

 I have been working on my rugs when at the office between showings and phone calls and have a 2' X 6' runner and a 2' X 3' rug almost done.  These are the first on my "new' loom.  It is working out well.

I also set up my smaller loom in my studio this week and warped it for a couple table runners with  some yarn I purchased a few years ago.  Warping for a 12" project seems like a piece of cake after warping for rugs!  These runners will be about 12" X 48" and will be fall colors, since that is what I had.  They are 100% alpaca.  

 I am doing a 5K this Saturday, and have been trying to train for that between rainstorms.  I think I am about ready.  I've had 3 good 3 mile runs this week.  

I have also gotten some tomatoes and peppers planted in the garden.  Need to get some beets and squash in next.  The lettuce is coming up.  The asparagus has not been producing much.  I need to do a little internet research and see if this is normal or if we are doing something wrong.  It has been in for 2 years now and I was expecting more from the bed this year.  

Lookin' out my back door this week from a different angle we see the lilacs over by the creek in full bloom, and of course Rowdy just had to get into the photo!  The lilacs smell So good.


  1. Love reading the blog. I love my shawl. It is so pretty and very delicate looking. I will cherish it. We had a good time visiting. We are usually in more of a hurry to get home, but did not have church on Sun. evening so left us more time to visit.

  2. Glad you like the shawl, Mary. Yes it was such a nice visit and such a nice day.