Monday, November 24, 2008
The miniature llama has been developed from various llama bloodlines from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Canada and North America. In llamas’ native climate of South America it is believed that small llamas may have been products of surviving harsh natural climates. However, today with the knowledge of genetics it has made the possibility of breeding specifically for size a reality. Some of the most well known herdsires in the llama industry from years past continue on in miniature llama’s genes today.
Miniature llamas were bred from many different small llamas with various types of fiber. Today in the miniature llama industry you will still find minis of all fiber types including suri, light, medium, heavy and silky fiber. Miniature llamas can be found in a rainbow of colors.For the last couple of decades breeders have been selecting for llamas that resemble a standard-size llama in every way, but remain small in size. In 1999, several breeders across the United States decided to come together and form the American Miniature Llama Association (AMLA).
Currently, I am washing and combing some Llama fiber from Bill and Shirley. I hope to be able to spin it and do it some justice! The llama that I am working on is from their "Toby" and it is gray, white, and chestnut. The fiber is so soft, and so beautiful. When I am done with all the Christmas rush, I will try and get it done. AND, I will have pictures of the work in progress on my blog.
I hope that you enjoyed learning about Miature Llamas! They are so cute! And so friendly! Drop in on Bill and Shirley on thier blog! They EVEN HAVE SOME FOR SALE!!!!!
Friday, November 21, 2008
But this year, we have even more things to be thankful for. Last Saturday, November 15th, some very good friends came over and helped us with some projects here on the farm.
Friends/neighbors Norm and Connie came over to help out with making wood for the winter…we keep our home warm by supplementing the electric heat by using the wood burner in the basement. Connie donated her wonderful homemade French bread and helped by setting up the food situation in the basement. Meanwhile, Norm helped cut the lengths of wood into more managable pieces and ran the wood splitter. He also helped pile the wood onto the tractor loader and haul it into the basement and stack it.
Norm running the wood splitter.
Look at that lasagna! JO made it! Read on...
ALSO, Darrell and Harry, both former teachers and coworkers of Don’s, installed the kitchen floor tile. Yes, folks, I am no longer walking on a TAR FLOOR! It has been such a source of embarrassment for me all summer long. And it has been a tiresome task, scouring tar off of all the other floors, washing the floor itself, the chair legs, ripping the chairs up off the floor when they attach themselves, etc. And I need to mention a great big THANKS to Darrel's wife Jo for donating a huge, DELICIOUS pan of lasagna for our dinner. I don't know how she knew, but lasagna is my most favorite food on earth. God bless you, Jo!
Yes, this year we have two more things to be thankful for: wood in the wood room and a new floor in the kitchen. But more importantly, we have good friends that we are very thankful for. When you think about the BIG picture, it all boils down to family and friends. For these things, we are very grateful.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
But, in the meantime, THIS painting is TOP SECRET. Because… It is Don’s Christmas present. I told ya I was making all my presents this year!!!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Matilda Ashford came to live with us earlier this year. I just call her Waltzing Matilda.
She was born in New Zealand. Actually, her family was created in Christchurch New Zealand, and she is made out of New Zealand Silver Birch hardwood. Her family history dates back to 1938 and a man named Walter Ashford. She is my Traveller Single Drive Classic Castle Spinning Wheel. One of her unique features is called the Scotch Tension Flyer, which is an idea that Walter came up with. This allows her drive-belt to be left on her flyer whorl whenever her bobbin needs to be changed. She folds down with ease, allowing her to be placed in a vehicle and carted off to a friends house, where one can spend a lovely winter’s afternoon sipping Earl Grey and spinning away. Matilda and I have had great difficulty learning how to dance together properly, but I think that I am finally catching on. She has been patient with me: at least, she doesn’t yell at me when I mess up!
And this is my newest friend, Claire. Claire d’ Loom. ;)
Her maiden name was Claire Leclerc. Her family history dates back to 1876 and a man named Nilus Leclerc. She was created in I’ Islet, Quebec, Canada. The modern loom which may be used in individual homes (vs. a factory) was designed in 1924. Claire’s family line was created in 1936. She is crafted of kiln dried, Hard Maple (Canada-go figure!). She is a tabletop model. So far, she is a TV-tray top model, but as soon as I get the card table up here, she will be sort-of a tabletop model at last.
Claire is helping me make my Christmas presents this year. She and I have gotten to know one another quite week over this past week, thanks to my friend, Connie. I will have to check with Connie’s mother, but I believe that Connie may have been born with a spinning wheel in one hand, and a loom in the other. Probably had a bunch of handspun wool outfits and blankets, as well!
When Claire, Matilda, and I perfect our skills, we will show you some of our craftsmanship. But for now, everything is ‘under wraps’ ‘till Christmas. Shhhh!