Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Started (and almost finished!) Shearing

Can you find the hidden dog?

Yes, we finally got down to the dirty job of shearing.  And It is indeed a dirty job.  I recall I was told Mike Rowe once featured alpaca shearing on "Dirty Jobs".  I have never been able to catch that episode.  He can come help me shear any day!
 This is what I look like after a day of shearing.  Heading back to the house for something cold to drink.  This was Sunday and Sam and I sheared 8 in about 3 hours.  We did the rest of the females in the main barn (5) on Monday evening and last night we did the 5 males.  We have only 5 left to do. That makes us very happy.  Last year when we had shorn 18 we were way less than halfway done.  

We had to shut the dogs in the house while shearing because Grover was getting very vocal and excited when the alpacas would make any noise.  Unfortunately, Grover decided that he would knock over the kitchen trash can (which he has never done before) and eat much of the contents, including several paper towels I had drained sausage on, chicken bones and, believe it or not, a whole mushy red pepper that I had recently discovered in the refrigerator.  The seeds were all over the dining room and Grover's poop was quite multi-colored the next day.  There is almost nothing that dog won't eat!  I am sure Rowdy helped with the chicken bones and probably the paper towels, but not the red pepper.  Now the garbage can is going on the back deck while the dogs are unattended in the house!

 So here are some of the younger females all denuded of fiber.  They will be much cooler even though they look funny. 

And some of the males waiting at the gate for their morning feed.

This weekend is a big weekend for me.  I will be attending the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster Ohio with my friend Tari.  We are planning to camp on the fairgrounds instead of splurging for a hotel and we are sharing a booth, so space will be limited.  I will take my rugs, but may not put them out as they do take up lots of room.  I finished dyeing my  last lot of yarn and did up a sample swatch so people can see and more improtantly FEEL what the yarn is like knitted up.

Here it is in skein form

and in knitted form, which also shows the color
 variation.  It kind of forms an X in this swatch, but most knitters will be knitting a larger project and the colors will spread out a bit more.

Grover continues to do well in Obedience Class and the instructor asked me last week if I had ever thought of doing agility with him, to which I answered that yes, I had, but wanted to see how he did with obedience first.  That is kind a pre-requisite anyway.  Rowdy and I did agility together almost 4 years ago and I determined at that time that Rowdy did not think agility was fun.  Grover thinks EVERYTHING is fun.  We are not allowed to take photos until graduation day, which is fine because I have my hands full in class with Grover, a clicker and treats anyway.

Grover likes to do whatever Rowdy does, and has even taken to sitting and now sleeping on the stairs.  I had never seen a dog do this prior to Rowdy .  It just verifies to me that a younger dog will look to and learn from having an older dog around.  Hopefully, the older dog will be a good role model!

This iris was given to me by a friend shortly before he died much too young.  The first time it bloomed was the day of John's memorial service 2 years ago. I will always think of John when these bloom.  They are blooming like crazy by my back door right now which is fitting as I am shortly leaving to attend a memorial for another young man who has left this world much too soon.  Now I will think of Bryn also when the iris blooms. 

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