Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dye Day

some of the days results

Well Happy Dye Day! Our first ever hand painted dye class was held this weekend. I worked myself to the bone getting ready, on the heels of getting over a bit of a cold, and ended up flat on my butt for Sunday. But it was all worth it as we turned out a ton of beautiful, colorful yarn and roving.

Nancy was amazing and so very patient with all of us. And Molly the dog supervised all of the days activities. I’d say it was a successful class, and conducted with a minimum of dye on us (except for Jennifer, who’s hands may never stop being blue). I know I learned a lot.

After everyone left, I still had an iota of energy, so My mother-in-law Dot and I finished dyeing the left over yarn and roving. Hmmmm, now I need to decide what to do with all this yarn…

That winds up March. Now we need to gather our strength for April which will be a very busy month for us. We start on the 11th with Paul Sands, coming down to do some shearing for us. We’ll only have our three yearling boys to do, but there are three other farms bringing alpacas to be shorn. Then on the 18th I’m heading down to Tucson to take a class on spinning novelty yarn. Hopefully the new drive band for my spinning wheel shows up before then, or it may end up being a very challenging class. Finally on the 25th I’ll be judging the Pima County Fair 4-H alpaca show. I’ve even prepared a mystery obstacle for the kids and alpacas. I love a challenge!

In between all this, I have to get the rest of the alpacas shorn. Then comes the fun part of figuring out what to do with all our fleeces this year!
I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

poo vac

still learning how to add text

Ok folks, you asked for it and here it is… the amazing poo vac.

All you need for parts are a 55-gallon trash barrel, a yard leaf blower/vac and some flexible tubing (oh and calk of some sort to seal the connections, but I forgot to ask if there was a particular kind.)

Cut a hole in one side to mount the yard vac. The one we bought has a quick disconnect, which makes it easy to start on the ground (for those with short arms like me) and then connect to the can.
We used an old pair of panty hose to cover the air intake on the inside of the can.
Next cut a hole on the opposite side of the can for the hose connection.
Viola, you’re done.

Some notes after using this for about a week. At full throttle, the lid of the can sucks in and can break the seal. We think reinforcing the lid will prevent this. We’re going to try cutting a piece of styrofoam to fit up in the to prevent the lid from bending and keeping the whole thing lightweight. Some other thoughts were to ad wooden reinforcement bars to the lid or some sort of angle iron.
Widen the wheels. This works great on flat ground, but can get a bit tippy when you go baha with it.
And finally, it works great in beans, but you need to break up any clumpy stuff or it will clog the hose. We used a 2.5” hose; Brian thinks if we go to a larger hose, this will be prevented (and may also solve the issue of the lid seal.)
Hope this helps everyone.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

2008 Southwest Reg. Alpaca Show

Well that appears to have worked, photo and all. It appears that I have finally made it to the 21st century. Now I just need to get my web designer, Genia, to get it linked to the web site…

We’re back from the 2008 Southwest Regional Alpaca Show in Phoenix. I had a great time! And came home exhausted, as usual. I love meeting new people and getting to catch up with old friends.
Aries did quite well for himself. We took a fourth in our class. Aries was the youngest in the class and we got dinged a little for that. The judge said she would like to see him grow into himself. This fall we’ll be back on the show track and we’ll see what happens!

I set up my little P.G. electric carder and did some demos at our booth. I had the spinning wheel there too, but didn’t get to use it much.

Now that the show is behind us, we’ll be focusing on a dyeing workshop that we’re hosting at our place at the end of the month. There’s never a dull moment around here!


Well, this is a test, this is only a test, where this an emergency....

You know the rest.

I've never blogged and I'm not good with anything techno, so I have no idea what I'm doing and just want to see what happens.