Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fence Fixed.....Finally!

Jack Russel mama and puppies up for adoption at the Humane Society of Monroe County!
You gotta admit, they are cute!  Pure bred and puppies will be able to go to new homes in a couple weeksMama is 6 years old.

Yes, I was finally able to get Sam to commit a couple hours to help me fix a stretch of fence that was in bad need of repair.  It is only one such stretch, but it has been needing repair for a long time and it seems every time I would tell him "ok we are doing this on" whatever day, it would rain or something would come up.  In order to replace fence, the old fence has to come off.  The biggest problem with this is that while we can close gates to keep alpacas where they need to be, there is good ol' Buck to deal with.  So before I could tear down fence, I had to "Buck-proof" all the gates where he would normally just squeeze through.  I used cattle panels and wired up old fencing to thwart him.  Boy, he was NOT happy when he realized he could not get over to where I was working! So now that this stretch is done, we need to purchase more fencing and start on other replacement.  This fence was 12 years old and we put up inexpensive fencing to start off with as our budget was limited.  Lesson learned, pay more up front or buy fencing twice.  

In addition to fencing repairs, one of the chores on my spring/summer list will be to re-oil all our buildings and board fences.  When Sam built our alpaca barn and 3-sided sheds, he used rough sawn poplar boards.  He saves all our used motor oil and we use that as a preservative on the buildings.  In the past, we have had our boys do this fun chore, but this time, I guess it will be me.  I have 1 barn and 3 sheds and a few hundred feet of board fence to do.  Need to start soon before it gets too hot!  I am sure I will add to my list before too long.

It has been cooler this week.  It rained all day Saturday and I went shopping.  It was one of those epic shopping days where I actually found everything I was looking for!  I won't bore you with the details.  So Sunday it was dry but cool, which was good for working outdoors.  Last night it started to rain and was still raining this morning.

Here are young wet alpacas who have just all been allowed together in the same pasture.  They have all crammed into one side of the shed to eat.  Silly things!  3 of these are the boys who were gelded (neutered/castrated) almost 2 weeks agoI deemed they were well-behaved enough to be put in with females.  They had not really been showing any signs of obnoxious male behavior prior to gelding or I would not have put them all together. 

As you can see, we have not started shearing yet and I am glad because the temps have been so up and down.  Of course pretty soon it will just get hot, I am sure.  I am busy planning whose fleece will go into yarn, etc already.  I need to get yarn fleeces shorn first once we start so I can drop those off at the Great Lakes Fiber Show Memorial Day weekend.

Meanwhile, I have been continuing with my yarn dyeing.  I got another batch done up this week and it came out gorgeous (new drying rack:  successful shopping trip Saturday!).  I love the blues and white together. 
 I finally got last week's batch re-skeined.  It just looks nicer in the skein if the colors are not left in patches.  It's hard to explain, but here's how it looks now
 The colors are actually darker and more saturated than they look in this photo.  I used outdoor lighting, but it was very bright out.  The colors are rich jewel tones.

And here is the colorwork hat I did up with the hand-spun alpaca/silk yarn I dyed a couple weeks back.  It came out really nice.  It 's a slouchy hat which is hard to tell from this photo but I did not have a model.  I love how it came out.  I wish I had more of that yarn to dye!!
I have started a knitting project to donate to the Country Store at our big Humane Society fund-raiser, which is a Longaberger Basket Bingo on June 23.  I saw this kit and thought it would be perfect for a HS fund-raiser:   

PS, I have raffle tickets for Longaberger planters for sale!  $1 each or 6 for $5.  All proceeds will help the animals : )

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