Monday, January 31, 2011

Spinning Straw Into Gold

My Cleaned Mohair on left, Blue faced Wool Roving on right
Since the early days of human history, spun fiber has been essential to life. It is the stuff of myth and folklore. Remember the Brother's Grimm fairy tale, Rumplestiltskin.

My first attempt at using the Drop Spindle
Throughout most of history all yarn everywhere was spun on spindles. Even today, much of the world produces yarn with spindles. The spinning wheel as we know it now, with bobbins and flyers, has only been around for a few hundred years.

Enter Marley and FuzzEE.

Two adorable Angora goats that were purchased from a fiber artist outside of Durham, NC. It was love at first sight. Little did I know that once I  got them home they would have to be sheared of all that glorious hair. And what did a spoiled rich kid from the Long Island suburbs know about shearing. Apparently not that much. But I did learn quickly. The weather was getting warm and that hair had to go. Gotta love videos on youtube. Off came the hair. Now what do I do with it? Luckily on a trip to Fayetteville, NC, I met a wonderful woman, who owns a yarn store. She is an artist who does beautiful work with all kinds of yarn. The name of her store is Sunflower Fibers. If you are ever in that neck of the woods please pay her a visit. I worked washing that hair for hours and drying for days. But the hard work was worth it. The fiber is truly beautiful. I guess I will get there someday, the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice, Practice, Practice!

Red Eyes and Dredlocks gave Marley his name

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Free Range House Chicken

Shaggy came to North Carolina by way of the Washington DC Humane Society. He is a Bantam Silky Rooster named by my niece Leyna. You see nobody really wants a rooster, since you only need one for your whole flock of hens, so my mom brought him down to THE FUNNY FARM. He was raised as a school science experiment. A single chicken egg should NEVER be hatched. Shaggy does not know he is a chicken. His feathering is kinda poor and he doesn't know how to perch like a regular roosting chicken. He hangs out with the goats and the dogs, has a sock fetish (later on that) but is terrified of the yard chickens. He high tails it whenever he spies one. But comes to you whenever you call his name. Since he freaked out when I tried to put him to roost with the other chickens at night, (I couldn't figure out why but now I understand) Shaggy sleeps inside. Not in the bedroom. He is spoiled though. He sleeps in his own bed in the "guest room". Lucky Duck. I mean Chicken.
Shaggy making the rounds of the farm

Just checking

Friday, January 28, 2011


Lottie's Baby Buckling
I knew that Lottie was pregnant but certainly not so far along. Yesterday was hoof trimming day. So, up went Lottie on the stand. I did notice that her udder was looking larger and very tight. All my girls came into heat at about the same time, so I figured that they would kid at about the same time. Just not this close together. When I went to close everyone in for the night, there was Lottie in full-blown labor with little kid hoofs in plain site. I hustled her into the shed and within 1 hour another bouncing baby buck was born. He has the longest ears of any of the new babies. That is not a very flattering pic of him but he is ADORABLE!!

Carmela just loves all the new babies.
Carmela and Fiona on the "Stairway to Heaven"

Play, Play, Play, all day long. But where is Zoe?

Taking a break from all that playing

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Growing by Leaps and Bounds

A good shepherd knows her flock. I knew something was up last night when I went to lock up everyone. Mary just seemed uneasy as I shined the flashlight on her.

This morning she had TRIPLETS!! Two does and a buck. Unfortunately one of the does had died. The other two are perfectly healthy. Mary is quite a good momma.

This pic shows Mary and Baby Buck. I'm not sure what his name will be yet. Sometimes I think it is not a good idea to name my bucks since we don't hang on to them. I hate to say goodbye
The second photo is Mary's baby doeling. I know her name will be Frosty. She is very pretty. And a welcome addition to the herd.

Mary and the babies are doing fine. All the new babies (that makes 4 new ones in 1 week) are wearing their new goat coats. I can just imagine what the neighboring farmers are saying about me now!!

That Damn Yankee

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A New Year at The Funny Farm

Well, we started off the new year with at least the right foot. 2 baby does from Chloe (I don't have to be smart... I'm pretty). Zoe is the black and white doeling and Fiona is the perky brown and black doe on the cinder block. They are healthy and bouncing around like rubber balls. Apparently Carmela (Heidi's daughter) has taken a liking to them and is keeping them within earshot. What a good mama she will be!
 North Carolina has been experiencing some unusually cold weather this winter and this is the earliest that we have had babies. I made them fleece coats to wear. They love them and it keeps their little tails from freezing off.

Yes I know "A watched pot never boils"
well apparently neither does a pregnant goat. 

Mary is ready!! Hopefully in a couple of days (if my calculations are correct) we will hear the sounds of some new hoofs. 

Keeping my fingers crossed for some more does.