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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  12:28:20 PM  Show Profile
Sarita I wish I was too - the wind is relentless and my poor bedding plants on the porch are taking a drubbing. We are having gusts over 40 mph. one almost knocked me over a few minutes ago!! At least it's not a tornado. We don't get them very often but had one a few years ago and it took out nearly 5 acres of trees from the back of my place - now it's good pasture but was a bummer at the time. What do you card with? I am using hand cards for now but hopefully will get someone to show me the Viking Combs which is supposed to be better with the longer stapled fleece.

Sheri
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  2:43:48 PM  Show Profile
Sheri, I have a Patrick Green drum carder but I find myself using the hand cards, don't ask me why but I like to spin better from what I hand card. I am very tactile and I guess it is more satisfying for me. Whoooo Knows! I am also just about as fast as using the drum carder and I feel like I am exercising my upper arms too. I give the hand cards a rest if my wrist or elbows begin hurt.
The winds have kicked up here too.
Monica, got your message, the pink silk and white corriedale yarn is beautiful! You are a natural!
Sarita

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  2:50:07 PM  Show Profile
Has anyone spun dog hair? I started saving it from my Anatolians and now my little huskey about the same color - kind of a soft fawn. It is so soft it reminds me of angora rabbit. Another friend said that it had to be mixed with a longer fibered wool. Is that so & if so do I have to have a drum carder to blend the fibers?

Sheri
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  4:48:18 PM  Show Profile
I am going to go with buckets, sinks and the such when I finally get my sheep and wool. Just don't want to take chances and to be honest I like working with my hands better so hand carding will be the thing for me as well.
I am kind of bummed we don't have the sheep already but so many things have been going on. As I said before this weekend should be coop building and hopefully just about be done with it and then sheep shed and off to the fences!!! Hubby talked about maybe taking first week off in June as I am done with school (work) as well and we can both be out there.
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  6:45:40 PM  Show Profile
Sheri I love spinning dog hair and cat hair too. No you do not have to blend it with wool or other fibers but I would spin it much like you would Bunny fiber. I have over the years had a big customer base (Dog Breeder and Show owners) who I spun for and each one had individual requirements. When I spin my own Great Pry Dog Fiber I add about 20% lambs wool because dog is really hot to wear and the wool gives it some air. You can do it on cards - work it just like you would do any blending of two fibers. Heck I even once spun Hampster fur for a little girl who's sweet one passed on and she wanted to keep something on the little guy. I spun it thin and we made a necklace with a locket at the middle with a picture of her sweet on in it. I even spun my own hair once for a class - dryer lint was a big hit too.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  6:53:45 PM  Show Profile
How do you prep the dog hair? Do you wash it like wool and then card it? I have never tried blending is there a ratio - like one layer fur, one layer wool....? Sorry but I am really pretty new at this.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  04:40:01 AM  Show Profile
No worries Sheri

You wash it like wool but you do not have to work so hard because dog fur most of the time is way cleaner then wool. You can use just regular shampoo to wash. Dry like always and open with fingers when dry. When you layer with your cards you can either eyeball it or weight it out to get the percentages. Lay thin layers of the fiber alternating then comb as always, depending if you want a ruff blend or completely blended will depend on if you do it several times or just once. If I am making something ruff and trendy I can just hold the two fibers in my hand and control the way it is drafted out.

You will get hooked on this - dog is so warm that I am reminded of that saying "Three dog night" - when you wear dog you will be warm no matter what the weather.

There is also a designer in Toyoko who gets $12,000.00 a sweater from spun cat fur - I am hoping the cats are O.K. but WOW talk about a niche market and he is rolling in dough and fur....

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  04:45:14 AM  Show Profile
Grace
THis may have been addressed already but what kind of soap, if any, do you use for sheep wool?
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  06:48:40 AM  Show Profile
Good Morning Rae

Many folks use Orvis which is used to wash sheep for shows and such. Then there are those who use the Orginal Dawn Dishwashing Soap. I have used both and over the years I have developed a lavender soap that I use - clean any type of fiber and then also places a gentle smell into the fifber while also protecting it from any pests. One issue that I found really important is the ph of your water. So that can also add to washing and rinsing times.

Get those suds going and have fun

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  09:12:39 AM  Show Profile
Thanks for the advice Grace. You mentioned to spin it like you would bunny. How do you spin bunny? I have never spun anything except wool.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  2:14:43 PM  Show Profile
What I mean by that is you want to spin it with loft (I use the over the finger drafting) a soft core and then when setting it I wack it to keep the fibers together.

Dogs who have double coats will will have more loft then those who are shorn like poodle or Afgan's.. I carry a book in my farm shop just about spinning dog. There is a lady in California who that is all she does and has been doing for about 20 years.

Hope that helps but if you need more info I would be glad to help.
Oh, I spun a friend of mine's Sheep dog with her Poly Pay Sheep. She made a wonderful sweater that she wears to sheep trials with her dog and sheep performing. Talk about great advertising for me... He dog passed away last year and she always tells me that the sweater is her most prized item - her husband wished he was but it is the sweater.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  4:50:59 PM  Show Profile
Funny you should mention that as I no longer have Anatolians as they all got old and passed and I couldn't afford a thousand dollars and a plane ticket for another one of quality blood lines. Anatolians shed their undercoat which is very soft. Did you ply the dog hair yarn that you spun? It was wanting to spin dog hair that got me into all this in the first place. Of course I could never do anything just half way - in for a penny, in for a pound so now I have sheep too..... My kids just shake their head every time I jump into a new art form. My whole house is one gigantic studio - with supplies of every sort in every nook and cranny. I sucked up each bedroom as they moved out and gave it a new artsy purpose. I don't think I could ever move to a smaller house - I wouldn't have room for all my supplies and equipment.

Sheri
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  5:40:53 PM  Show Profile
Grace
Got the book Managing your Ewe. I can see it really has lots of important and helpful information. Thank you.
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 20 2009 :  8:42:53 PM  Show Profile
Sheri - it is like you are describing my house. I always tell folks I could be snowed in for years and still never run out of creative projects. What is great is when it is two in the morning and a creative thought wakes me up I can go to any place in the house and have the materials to PLAY.... Now on the flip side it is like my brain never shuts down. I have really been thinking of destashing ( have done that with some of the fabric but still have enough fabric to open another store. Then there is the stamps, paper, beads, paints and the list goes on - I understand it is my passion, weakness the soul - great to hear I am not the only one.

Rae like you like the book - it was my first tool in managing sheep and it has saved many a ewe and there little one's. Happy Reading.



Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - May 23 2009 :  6:48:08 PM  Show Profile
Grace is your weather finally shaping up? Ours is slowly, may try plant a couple things this weekend otherwise next. Don't have a great growing season here but usually do ok in the garden.
Thanks again to everyone for so much information on the sheep. Mine aren't here yet but each day brings us closer and at least I will have an idea what to do when they move in!!
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 24 2009 :  08:27:38 AM  Show Profile
Rae I hope you get to planting something wonderful soon. I had rain on and off for the past two days which is perfect. The eart here sure needs it and since it is a gentle rain my poor dry ground is able to soak it up.

I am excited for your new additions and you have to share all the tales once they arrive. I remember when I was to receive my first flock of Southdowns - I could not sleep for two days. Then when my two flocks of Icelandic sheep where crossing the US to arrive here I was on pins and needles for a week. I admit when they got here it was pure trauma - hit by the worst storm in 20 years and we could not find them for days. I sat crying at the window thinking they where all lost in the storm. But we found them many days later. They had tunneled under all that snow and was eating the pasture - as my oldest son said "Mom they do come from Iceland - do you think five feet of snow is ging to bother them"? I wanted to slap him but he was right... Many years of sheep raising has taught me - ups and downs but it was all a good ride. ENJOY those sheep....

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22857 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22857 Posts

Posted - May 24 2009 :  09:02:43 AM  Show Profile  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Hey gals!

I am here on my friends ranch with some very sweet Oberhasli goats and two bottle raised babies. They are so sweet! I will send pictures as soon as I can!

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
www.allergyjourneys.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 24 2009 :  09:03:38 AM  Show Profile
Grace I am jealous of your rain. We have had this really cool and cloudy spring but with little rain. Then it slammed down relatively hot - near 80 yesterday and even warmer today and tomorrow. Wind - I don't think I ever remember having so much wind. It's really hard to skirt fleeces in this much wind so I keep having to postpone it. It's definetely been a strange weather year so far. At least the garden is in except for the tender things like tomatoes and cukes.

Rae I know how much work starting from scratch is - especially the fencing. It will be so fantastic when you can finally get your animals. I enjoy reading your posts of your progress.

Sarita and Jami - hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I'm sure you've been as busy outside as I have.
Have a great rest of the weekend.

Sheri
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Alee
True Blue Farmgirl

22857 Posts

Alee
Worland Wy
USA
22857 Posts

Posted - May 24 2009 :  09:05:28 AM  Show Profile  Send Alee a Yahoo! Message
Oh I have question for you all!

Oberhasli goats are only supposed to be tan and black, but my friends got a new Billy last year who is registered, but he has produced 3 offspring with white patches. Do you think he might not be pure after all or just a recessive gene?

Alee
Farmgirl Sister #8
www.awarmheart.com
www.farmgirlalee.blogspot.com
www.allergyjourneys.blogspot.com
Put your pin on the farmgirl map! www.farmgirlmap.blogspot.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - May 26 2009 :  07:46:37 AM  Show Profile
Garden is in, lambing done, started washing those fleeces! Grace, we got rain too, a nice gentle slow rain... we put out 1 large garden and 1 very large melon patch, Hubby is on vacation and we spent all day Saturday planting. He has over a hundred hills of watermelon and cantaloupe and I put in the veggies. We started before 8 am and left the garden just about 8 PM, we didn't even take many breaks. Well that night it started to mist and rain and again all day yesterday. He is building wooden tomatoe cages now. I have arthritis and between the gardening and the rainy weather...I hurt and can't hardly get up or down.
I have learned a couple of new things in the last couple of days, 1. White Knight's fleece felts very easily...it is very fine. I never agitate when I am washing a fleece but his sure started to felt. 2. I washed a corriedale fleece earlier in March and thought I could get by with just very hot tap water...wrong! I started carding on it last night and it felt oily so I will do it right and get that water to almost boiling to cut that lanolin...good thing I got into it before I let it set for a few months...it would have been a gummy mess.
Better get back to work, I hear it calling my name.
Sarita

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 26 2009 :  07:56:42 AM  Show Profile
Hope everyone had a great weekend. It was pretty hot here after being in the upper 40's and going to nearly 80 overnight. Finally able to move some of the bedding plants out to harden off. Worked outside the entire weekend. Finally managed to skirt one fleece yesterday but the wind came up right as I was finishing. Today I will get to washing it. Sounds like you were having a real work day Sarita. That's some garden. Here, I am lucky if my tomatoes make it. Our temps can really swing back and forth. Have a great day everyone.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 28 2009 :  06:51:54 AM  Show Profile
Ladies it sounds like we all have taken our energy pills. I spent the weekend making Dandelion Syrup (recipe on my blog) it is way too good....

Then I washed four Angorga Kid fleeces. They are from one of my boys who went dating at another farm and for the breeding cost I trade her for the offsprings fleece. I then dyed one portion of a fleece and I really love the way it turned out. Hope to get some on Etsy today but first I have repairs outside to make - you know the never ever ending list....

Then my least favorite was to go thru the spice cabinet and chuck out those goodies that are past their prime. Since I dry a lot of my own herbs I try to change them out every year about this time. Then if that was not painful enough I reorganized the freezers and frig's (Yes, I have two of each) in order to use up those things that need it and make room for this years bounties... Then I reorganized the walk in pantry - yes, for that same reason...

After all that was done it was about 12:30 pm and so I started the crock pot up with a 10 bean soup and lovely ham from a friend who raises them organic and grassfed.. Great lunch for me tomorrow and new goodies for the cleaned freezer. Wished I could have you all over with some warm cornbread and 10 bean soup. Just know I would if we could.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - May 28 2009 :  07:29:14 AM  Show Profile
It's that time of year when you do the "gettin' while the gettin's good" right? Grace, you are keeping mighty busy! Sarita, glad you're getting some time to "play" with fleeces. I know it's not playtime but creating always feels so good, it's like play. Sheri, how's that dress coming?
Alee, sorry, I have no clue about goats so I am no help but glad you're having fun farmsitting.

Sheri, we were gone over the Memorial Day weekend but hear it was hot here too for this time of year but today is supposed to trump those temps up into the 90's? I hope not. I am a fair weather girl...like it just right. The weather was perfect for our trip with a bit of rain but that was okay. We just don't get any rain here to speak of and it's fun for a day or 2.

When we got home discovered a lamb carcass in one of our fields. Figured out it was that triplet wether who was sick when his mother had mastitis. Oh, and you should see her bag! The parts that were feverish and bloody are now sloughing off and it's the grossest thing. No infection is left and she's gained back her weight and eating and her 2 remaining ewe lambs are hanging with her but that bag has this big ugly brown scab hanging down that flops back and forth when she trots. I'm worried about flies this time of year. I've never had this happen before so something new. She's going down the road at weaning.

Next Monday we have our yearly flock inspection for the scrapie program. We will be certified scrapie free flock this year. It's taken 5 years to get here and we will still have our yearly inspections but guess it's good to have the certification. Not sure if it's really rewarding us in any way but it's something I wanted to do and we're almost there.

Well girls, I am trying to get laundry caught up, garden back into shape...the warm weather in our absence brought my spinach and lettuces to harvest stages finally but also the weeds are ready to harvest too!

Jami in WA



Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 28 2009 :  07:49:52 AM  Show Profile
Glad you got to get away for the weekend Jami. The dress is nearing completion I had a fitting for hems so am now back to the hand sewing part. I have been doing my spring outside work so today hope to get back on it. I really don't like doing hems in lining or putting in horsehair braid. It will be a relief to have it finished. I still have to make her slip and head piece/veil. I worked in the gardens all day yesterday just trying to stay ahead of the weeds with all this wind they are coming on strong. My first pole beans are poking up and the radishes. It's finally starting to feel like winter is finally over. Around here tho you never know.
Had to deal with a dead chicken first thing yesterday - my old laying hens are dying off one by one but with the warm weather it was grim. I only have 4 left of the old girls now. My younger chickens are happy as can be as I feed them all the grass I've been yanking out of the beds. I used to let them roam but got tired of chicken crap on the front porch....

Hope everyone has a great day.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 28 2009 :  07:57:37 AM  Show Profile
Jami - glad you are back safe and sound. Sorry to hear about the little guy but those things happen. I am glad to hear the mother is on the mend and the other two little ones are thriving. I was so sorry to hear about your husbands father - I will place him in my prayers.

Spinach and lettuce harvesting - wow I wished mine would have survived the hail storm. Do not have time to replant so I will count on my farmers market... My tomatoes are still trying but the pounding we have had in rain the last week I just am not sure....

I love hearing all about your days - let's me know I am not the only one with dirt under my nails, fiber in my livingroom and bones that say "You worked hard today"...

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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