Do you have a passion for making things entirely by hand or appreciate it in other people? In my teens and twenties, I got a thrill out of being my own mechanic on my old '75 Mustang. Yep, I've changed a few water pumps and brake pads. I have sewn every stitch of handmade rag dolls with a needle and thread (no machine stitching), and I prefer to cook from scratch. Isn't it much more rewarding to gather family and friends to put in fence posts, and raise barns? So naturally for me, prepping the fleece, learning to spin, and then making things from the alpacas' luscious fiber is my idea of happiness! -Kaylen
Recently the spinning group I am part of had a Dye-in. What a great time playing with color with such a fabulous group of people, a beautiful day, and the perfect setting. Here is a link to the group's blog - A Day of Dyeing and Spinning.
There was a lot of fancy dying, and I was a bit embarrassed to bring my tiny attempt at color-making with Kool-Aid! You might remember my first attempts: Kool! and Valenine Hearts. I should have known that most of the ladies had done it before and would be completely supportive!
Here is what I started out with. Teddy's roving.
This is the mess that came out!
This is after spinning!
Another friend decided to give her yarn a dunk.
Some of the pretty projects.
Here are a couple of things I've made with Kool-Aid dyed yarn.
Yes, the color is permanent, and yes I need to try something
other than Black Cherry!
If you'd like to try it yourself, I used this tutorial:
You know how I like to do most things for myself...by hand from top to bottom. Maybe you are just like me! I wanted a way to make my own roving since I am no closer to getting our fleece to a fiber mill. I found this tutorial for making a hackle using a piece of lumber, hair picks or combs, and self-tapping screws. You can do it, too. It is really easy!
Here are some pictures of Chris making mine:
Use clamps to hold hackle steady on the edge of a table, counter, or TV tray.
Now you load on the fiber. I used lightly carded fleece. A hackle is really for blending fibers and colors, but it works for my need to have long strips of roving rather than smaller rolags.
I just used a button for a diz and pulled the fiber through one of the holes while moving across the hackle from right to left.
I eventually switched to a larger coconut button which I think works better due to it's larger shape and hole.
There are lots of youtube videos showing this process. Here is one I really like: Blending Fibre with a Hackle I've been able to make beautiful roving. It works in a pinch.
There is a local event next week to raise money for Holly's Place Animal Rescue. I was asked if I would contribute a few items for the silent auction. I love helping out in this way so I sent a set of felted bowls and 2 pet sweaters. Here is one being modeled by my friend Beth's sweetie, Daisy!
I'm spinning yarn for a friend's order for baby booties and I caught myself singing a song absentmindedly. Ack...you know the ones that stick in your head and you can't get rid of them. Maybe it was the last song you heard, or one that's hung around for years.
I think it is interesting to listen to what others are whistling or humming...they usually give up some secret feeling they are having. Like when I'm running around from school to school and store to bank, I tend to belt out "I am Woman Hear Me Roar!" When I'm cleaning the house or grocery shopping out pops "Stand By Your Man!" It makes me laugh when I realize what I'm singing standing in the cereal aisle. I hum "Moon River" a lot and recently discovered it had been the one my Granddad sang throughout his life so that one feels like a little gift.
The alpacas hum to soothe themselves or comfort each other, or to call their babies. Sometimes it has more of an anxious tone. You know I'm leading up to the alpaca ringtone I made recently. :) Here is the link for your personal use or to just listen to what they sound like: Alpaca Ringtone.
My favorite tune of all time is "Greensleeves". I can thank my mom for that one. Here is a link to a beautiful version on the Lute: Greensleeves with Luca Pianca . I bet we could make a ringtone out of that one, too!
One last note...songs can be used for sibling torture. My son LOVES to irritate his sister with that Justin Bieber song. He just has to sing the first few words (Baby, baby, baby, oh) and she is running from the room.
I'm addicting to Pinterest. Thanks Lindy! Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To start your own pinboards you might need an invite. Let me know if you want one.
What a wonderful quote from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. I added it to my butterfly picture. It was drying its wings having just emerged from the cocoon last spring. Click on the pic to see a bigger version.
Monday we are introducing youngsters to alpacas at the library. In preparing for the presentation I came across this cute show in the UK. It features two alpacas as the lead characters of a children's program. I wonder...will Nuzzle and Scratch find their way to America?
A Gray Treefrog was hiding under a feeder yesterday. This is the first one I've seen, so I went online to identify it.
Did you know you can download nature ringtones? The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife have a site for that called Ringtones Gone Wild. You can get everything from an angry bear to a bluebird, and they have the Gray Treefrog, too.
Now I have a little surprise for you. Here is an alpaca ringtone I made. It is Mystery humming!
Listen to the Alpaca Hum Ringtone
(might take a few seconds to load)
It is super hot here today. The heat index makes it feel like 110 degrees this afternoon. YIKES. We are keeping the water buckets fresh, fans are blowing, and wetting down underbellies every few hours. Here is a video of Jolene and Missy enjoying the summer water ritual.