Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Short Post this Week

I have not had time to get out with my camera, so I have almost no photos, which makes for a boring post.  But there you have it.....

I am delighted to say that my alpaca rug that I entered into the local art show took first place in textiles and 3D!  Its a shame that the 2 are grouped together, because I don't know how the judge decides between totally different mediums.  I am glad I am not the one who has to decide.  I am very pleased and even more so that not only did I get first place, but this rug and another one I had for sale at the Art Center both sold!  The Monroe Arts Center has art from member artists on display for sale and is open 3 days a week for people to stop in and see what our local artists are doing.  By the way, that is my father-in-law's "junk" cat sculpture to the left of my rug.  Talk about keeping it in the family, my mother-in-law also had several paintings entered in the show!

The other big news I have this week is that I FINISHED the spinning for the blanket I plan to weave!  I washed it all and hung it out to dry on Sunday.  There are over 5500 yards of 100% alpaca 2-ply yarn in 4 colors:  white, fawn, brown and black.  I looked at past blog posts and determined that I was spinning for this in June of 2013.  It is a long time, but considering that except for the white yarn, which I spun from some fleeces I had processed into roving (ready to spin fiber), the rest was hand prepped with either hand carders (black) or on the drum carder ( brown and fawn).  I am very pleased with how this yarn came out.  It is gratifying to take all that yarn (we're talking 3 miles of yarn here) and put it in to wash and see the magic that occurs.  Carding and spinning forces the fibers to be somewhat straight and compacted, but once water is added, they return to their original state as much as possible, which means they fluff up and become lofty.  And for alpaca, this yarn was no exception.  It is beautiful. I just hope I don't ruin it when I put it on the loom.  When will that be? Maybe I will start next week. I have purchased new "heddles" for my loom which I think will be kinder to the yarn than the old flat metal heddles that were on there and so right now my loom is in pieces  getting cleaned up and ready for new hardware.  More on that next week.

Upcoming:  this Friday and Sunday, Grover and I will be in Zanesville at our 5th agility trial.  We are still in the Novice class in Jumpers with Weaves (JWW) so this weekend's goal is to Q in that at least once.  We have not Q'd at all in JWW.  We have moved up in standard to the Open class and since our first attempt at that was a complete fail, I would just like to get a couple good runs in there.

Also, my yarn is ready for pick-up at Morningstar Fiber Mill, so I need to plan a trip up there so I can get to dyeing for the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster over Memorial Day weekend.  I will NOT miss it this year.

And this coming Tuesday, I am taking Rowdy back to the Veterinary hospital at Ohio State for a re-check on his right hock joint.  If anything it is more swollen than when he went in in November and his activity level has dropped off again despite the medication.  He will be 10 on April 30th, and he still has several years ahead of him and I want his quality of life to be good, not marginal.  He will not be happy unless he can be active.  As it is, he wants to catch the flippy flopper and chase squirrels and swim in the pond and it is hard to try to limit these acitivites.

By my calculations, we could have 2 crias due sometime in the next month or so.  I do not have exact breeding dates, which is different than in the past, so we'll see how that works out.  Also, soon it will be time to get out the shears.  We have 21 alpacas to shear this year.  I think we did 22 last year.  So much easier than 50!


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