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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pre-emptive Posting

I realize that I said in the last post that all has been quiet here...well, it continues to be so and perhaps that is a good thing.  I called this a pre-emptive posting because one of my dear brothers in law is so fond of nagging me when I get behind, and he apparently is busy with Mardi-gras celebrations so I'm sneaking one in on him.

The new-old bunnies came home- only two of them.  The wee black kit with the white markings was kept by her owner to try to groom with her bum hand.  I brought home puir wee old Wensleydale, who looks like an old droopy eared man with sparse fine hair (he is five), and Briar, whose initial grooming consisted of me trying not to be bit- somewhat unsuccessfully.  Grrrr.  Two other bunnies were placed with a fiber fan/dog groomer.  She definitely is a competent groomer.

Work is annoying as only paid work can be.  That's all I'm going to say about that.  Unless prodded of course.

I'm awaiting my first Ashland Bay order...eagerly I might add!  Camel/silk, baby camel, cashmere, alpaca/silk, tussah silk, merino, BFL/silk, multi colored dyed merino....When it comes I just might disappear into the box for a day or so....more excuses for not posting.

Winter Carnival was this past weekend...a little freaky because there is only 12 inches of ice.  I have a healthy fear of drowning and was glad to hear Lila wasn't thrilled about going. She and I went to spinning in the morning and then to the Kitty Donohoe concert at the arts center.  A lovely singer/song writer from Ann Arbor who kindly sang "the Maple Syrup Song" at Sam's request. The weather has been above average, but going back to normal so visions of tapping trees are growing dim until March likely.

Only two more weeks of the after school arts enrichment course in the fiber arts.  We are wrapping up basket making and then have one last week of "catchup on whatever you want".  I won't know what to do with myself on Wednesday afternoons!  I am contemplating some sort of course in master spinning (because I have nothing else to do and apparently am a glutton for punishment)...there seem to be a few options out there.  I'm wondering of anyone has completed any of the North American courses and have a recommendation?  Or you can just tell  me I'm being silly and get on with it....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

All is quiet...

It has been a pretty low key couple of weeks here at the farm, though we still seem to have plenty to do.  The weather has been so mild the woolies have really enjoyed basking in the warmth, eyes closed and faces pointed to the sun.

Lila recently had her 11 year old vaccinations so she and I made the trek to the big city of Marquette- a girls day out.  Did the pre-requisite shopping trip to Target where I bought Sam Fin three new pairs of pants...he grew an inch and a half and all of a sudden the pants drawer is emptier.  Lila and I went to the "Pet Stop" and bought some Guniea Pig food and a larger cage for Duncan's  GP "Jewel".  She seems to like the extra room.  Onward to downtown Marquette to meet my friend Karen for some Thai food on Front Street.  It was a lovely lunch.  Lila's comment was "you guys sure talk a lot"....well, yes!  After Lila received her poking we did some grocery shopping and picked up a pizza at "Main Street Pizza" to take home for family movie night, knowing their wouldn't be time on to make a home made one when we got home. 

The big event this week is that I am picking up some bunnies from a friend that need to be re-homed.  Unfortunately their owner has nerve damage to her wrist and can no longer take care of them.  Four of them are angoras from our farm.  She bought two of them from me last year and rescued three from other people (who bought two of them from me in 2010 and 2009).  Two of the rescues were in pretty bad shape and she nursed them to health.  This was a difficult decision for her and I expect we will both be in tears when I go to pick them up.  The good news is that two of the angoras are being rehomed to a lady who is a dog groomer and rabbit fancier so I know they will be in good hands.  I'll be keeping three of the angoras (somewhere...) and the sixth bunny is a white lop who is going to be loved by a little girl in Lila's class.

This one is coming home-she is a cutie too.

There will be no baby bunnies at our farm this year because it is so hard to find people who have either the willingness or time to dedicate to care for them and it just isn't fair to the rabbits.  The percentage of bunnies that went to good homes that I have sold over the past three years is dismally low and it makes my heart heavy.  SO- we will enjoy all of this bunch into their old age and then see what we shall see!

On a happier note, I've opened a dealers account with Ashland Bay and am contemplating what I'm going order this first time.  The choices are rather dizzying and there are some scrumptious fibers available!  I have a sample set of everything and have spent some hours fondling the samples.  I also have had the pleasure of spinning a few of them already and I am IMPRESSED!  :)  So, Spinner's End Farm is going to offer both local, homegrown fine fibers and well as dabble in global luxury fibers.

So far, I'm thinking about Camel down blended with Tussah silk, alpaca blended with silk in four different shades (I've spun this- it is like Crack for spinners); Baby suri alpaca top, Cashmere top (OMG!), BFL/silk blend (this spins up great and has incredible sheen) and some Tussah silk.  Oh and they have a lovely merino top that I'm planning to handpaint.

  Camel Down and Silk

Black Alpaca and Mulberry Silk
Chocolate Alpaca and Tussah silk

Medium Brown Merino
BFL/Tussah silk (This takes dye really well!)

Any ideas our there for other fibers you'd like to see?