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Saturday, April 02, 2016

Meet the Sheep day at Meridian Ranch

A special Saturday at Meridian Ranch
When visiting the new spring lambs a few weeks ago, Robin told me of today's Meet the Sheep event. Meet the Sheep means Open House on the ranch, an opportunity to meet Robin's spotted Jacobs sheep and to practice fiber arts. I'm glad I decided to participate before my spinning wheel has a chance to accumulate any dust.

On arriving I first went to the barn. There were a couple of adorable baby Angora Goats, the cutest being this loud little female, kid here.
Young Angora goats are the source of fine Mohair
There were also lots of fuzzy wuzzy baby English Angora Rabbits on display for the day as well.
Some baby bunny coochie-cooing going on here
I met the lady, Betty Chu, who owns the Angora bunnies and goats on display. She had a lot of samples of dyed fiber which caught my eye. I also caught on that she had angora rabbit fiber on sale at half off - getting ready for this year's harvest. That stunning info caused me to break a promise to myself, 'No more new fiber until you've spun all the old fiber'. Ooopsy... two bags of fiber for the price of one does a lot to heal one's soul.
The basket of pink & yellow pastel fibers were 'sun dyed' as
with sun tea. I intend to experiment with sun dying wool 
The basket - above - of darker fibers are dyed mohair fiber from goats - beautiful stuff with a nice curl. I tried to buy some raw mohair, but the goat and bunny lady is currently out. I did get her info so I have a source for more - later - after I spin up the life time's supply of fiber I already have.

When I tore myself away from the bunnies and goats it was time to set up my spinning wheel and get some work done. Many of Robin's spinning friends were here today, all set up under some lovely shade trees by her shop. Shop.. yes, must have a peek at Robin's shop before I get to work... Oh, but first, I had to walk past the display and demonstration tents...

And as long as I was passing by, might as well check out some of the demonstration items...

Felted Wools... 
Hand dyed, knit then felted decorative bowls...
Some more felted goodies...
Finally made my way into Robin's shop...
Weaving wishes...
 Sleeping Beauty's spinning wheel accouterments
And lots of ready to knit, crochet or weave, wools

Rusty at work
And the niftiest fibers this season, are Meow and Woof Yarns, inspired by and dyed to match pets. There are other types as well, such as tortoise shell cat, Malamute or Siamese kitten. A portion of the profit goes to animal charities.

The skeins below are 'Rusty's Yarn'. You may recall Rusty, Robin's handsome male Border Collie who has  his very own blog.

Now that's some premiere Rusty-quality yarn in those bags!
ACH! Always side tracked by gift shops. Enough of that (note to self, must try sun dying wool from the dye I bought...). Where the HECK was I? Oh yes, spinning.

My wheel is the one on the far right.
Always interesting to see what is on everyone else's spinning wheel. Meself, I'm spinning up some of my wool fiber cache, a warm brown wool sliver - it has reddish highlights and a sprinkling of white hairs. When dyed, the brown picks up a little of the color, and the white hairs pick up the color completely. The end result is awesome, and I'm going to hopefully dye this batch of yarn after I've plied it.

RIP My dear Adele
I have spun a lot recently, but even so I was off on how much I could accomplish in one afternoon. I brought enough wool to keep Rumpelstiltskin up to his knees in gold for a week. Still, it was fun and I enjoyed chatting with the other women. A few years ago, one of them adopted a couple of my Faverolle hens. One of them, Adele now scratches about on that big, free range pasture in the sky. Today Adele's Mom arranged to pick up two fully grown Cochin hens to boost her thinned flock. I got to meet the new hens and they were rather pretty girls. Oh, how I miss having a flock of hens.

Enough of that! Had a nice productive day which boisters my basket of spun wool at home. I still haven't found my calling in knitting yet however. Haven't done a project in ages. A while back at a party at Rick n' Nancy's I met a woman who belongs to a knitting group called... love this name... The Woolverines. I am working up my courage - and a project - so I have something to work on. They meet every Sunday afternoon at a Sacramento coffee shop. Coffee & cakes? Knitting? I'm very-nearly-almost there already.

Hum... as it is Meet the Sheep day, a parting photo of
one of Robin's peaceful flocks seems apropos

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