Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lovely Cashmere coming out of the machine in cloud form.  Not the best of pictures, but you can get the idea.  This is the first pass through, so there is still guard hair and other things in it.  It's still very soft and wonderful to feel.

   We are in another arctic blast of winter.  Got 6 inches of snow overnight and this morning.  It's too cold to work in the dehairing room till Thursday, from the sound of the weather forecast.  Single digits and below zero for the next couple of days.  At least the sun is supposed to shine.  The goats will like that.  Good thing I haven't had the time to comb them out yet!  They'd all freeze without their cashmere now.  I will be so glad when I get my "real" dehairing room built that is well-insulated and warm no matter how cold it is outside!  This is frustrating not being able to work, when I have a bunch of cashmere to dehair on a deadline of sorts.  A deadline of my own making, but still....
   I got two DVD's of Judith MacKenzie-McCuin on spinning and plying.  Very good!  "The Gentle Art of Plying", and  "The Spinner's Toolbox".  Both are very good and I highly recommend them, even if you are an experienced spinner.  They are excellent for a beginner.  Very helpful.  She is a wonderful teacher, entertaining and knowledgeable about everything fibery.   The only thing is, I have to be wide awake and not sleepy at all, or I fall asleep, her voice is so mellow and soothing.  Not monotonous, just easy on the ears.

   Well, it's time to get back to spinning!  More as it happens.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy New Year!

I've been too busy to write in here for a while!  Happy New year everyone! 
The de-hairing is going well, albeit very slowly.  I am thoroughly enjoying it, though.  It's pretty cool to watch a clump of washed, raw cashmere go into the machine and come out the other end a nice, soft cloud.   I'm buried in nice soft cashmere, is there a better job? :-)
   We have had quite the winter, so far.  First extreme cold and lots of snow, then lots of rain and warmer temperatures, which melted about half the snow and turned our whole road into an ice skating rink.  I went down to town today and had to put the chains on the truck.  Even slipped a bit with the chains on!  Rather scary on some parts of the road.  So now we have 4 miles of solid ice.  What fun!  Oh well, it will go away eventually. 
    I have decided that this coming fall I'm going back to the little square bales of hay.  The round ones are way less labor intensive, but having to go down each week and get one is a real pain.  So, since I'm not set up, really, for the rounds, with no tractor or anything, I'm going back to the little bales and fill the hay shed up this fall. 
   We have decided to get new chickens this Spring, so the older ones are going in the freezer pretty soon.  Lots of stewing birds.  Out of 20 birds, only getting one egg every other day is just not economical, so it's time for new, young ones.  We still have 8 turkeys to do in, too.  I'm going to kind of miss the gobbling of the toms, but then again, not so much.   It was rather annoying to have them gobble every time I said something, especially when I was talking to another person!    The two older hens are kind of my friends, so it will be hard to let them go, but, then again, we are done raising turkeys. 
    All the goats are doing fine.  Some of them are starting to release their cashmere already and I don't have the time to comb them right now!  I'm just going to have to put the dehairing on hold for a few hours each day and get it done.  I don't want to lose all that wonderful fiber!  It's rather ironic that I got this machine so I could dehair my own cashmere and not have to wait months and months for it,  and now I don't have time to do my own, I'm too busy doing other people's.  Oh well, it's paying for the machine, so it's all good.
   Well, that's it for now....