Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another Word About That

I received a couple of questions about my Spencer Jacket post. Mainly, where did I get the pattern? So I took another look at my post. I neglected to give any details about the pattern! I guess I was still so overcome by the completion of it. It was the first pattern I downloaded from Ravelry.  The name of it is Carie Cropped Flare-Sleeve Cardigan by Stefanie Japel. It was published in the book, "Fitted Knits". If you type in the name you can still download the pattern. If you don't subscribe to Ravelry, do so now! Google it and join now! Then join our group, 3 Sisters' Workshop. We are alot of fun, even if I do say so myself!  Happy Knitting!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The 2 Year Sweater

I made a New Year's Resolution almost two months ago that I was going to work harder to finish the projects I start. Or that I started. This sweater is one of them. I am so proud of myself to have gotten it done! Following a project through to the end really does build self-esteem. It is not just a bunch of hype that do-gooders talk about. I feel so much satisfaction when I create something. This sweater started over 2 years ago as a pile of mohair and Isabelle's fleece. (Isabelle is a world famous Border Leicester ewe that I owned) The natural silver grey yarn blend I spun was 50/50 mohair/sheep's wool. The pattern I used was the first one I ever downloaded off Ravelry. The Empire style sweater is buttoned with a vintage button just under the bustline. I haven't put it on yet because I think by looking at it that it might be a touch too small. I don't want to burst the bubble I have going on right now. Its a very giggly bubble so to continue it, I am going to set it up on this mini mannequin at the next couple of festivals I set up a booth at this spring. It is acquiring a nice halo effect from the moahir, nice and warm and fuzzy. Just like the warm fuzzy feeling I am getting by looking at it. Happy knitting.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Sunday, February 20, 2011

3 Sisters' Workshop Carting Class

I have joined with 2 fellow sisters and we have become 3 Sisters' Workshop! My fellow sisters are Julie and
Amanda. For more information about us, visit our website. I just love that logo! You are so talented, Amanda!
We are hosting several workshops this year. The next workshop is on Llama Carting. Have you ever wanted to learn how to teach a llama to pull a cart? Or put on the harness? We have an experienced trainer, Tim Kohloff, taking the helm of this workshop. I think this is very interesting and can't wait for the workshop date, March 5th, to come! There are only a couple of spots left in the class, so get your registration in soon if you are interested in the class. This is going to be the new thing this year! How fun!
Talk to you soon, Tammy

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Scent of Spring

We have had some unseasonably warm temperatures the past few days (mid 70's) and its given a taste of spring to the alpaca boys. They have had a surge of energy, running around chasing each other trying to capture the girls' attention. At this time I can get a good idea of which girls are bred and which ones didn't take by their behavior. The bred girls couldn't care less about what the boys are doing. While the boys are chasing each other down to the back fence and up to the front the girls are a pasture away laying around. I take that behavior as girls being bred. Good for me but bad for the boys! Here is a pair of knitted mitts I finished recently. They were fun to knit! I think I'll knit another pair. And I've added another picture of our newest addition to the herd, Leo. I'll talk to you soon,  Tammy

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I would like to introduce the new junior herdsire of Illini Alpacas, Leo! This picture was taken last week in the snow. Its hard to believe that was last week when today the temperature will reach 72! Ahh, life in the midwest. I usually wait to introduce new alpacas until they have become part of the herd. Yesterday and this morning, I saw Leo pronking around the pasture with Diesel. Before, the other boys would try to play with Leo but he was standoff-ish and wouldn't participate. But not anymore! He's out there running with them. He is a beautiful appy, isn't he? He will be a year old in June, so I have a while to go yet before he becomes a herdsire. Some males are ready to breed at 18 months but others not until 3 years old. No matter how long it takes, I will be anxiously waiting. Hopefully sooner than later.
More pictures will be coming of Leo. I'd like to thank Ed and Joanie Kinser of Enchanted Hill Alpacas for creating Leo and enabling him to live here with me. Welcome, Leo! Live long and prosper!

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Saturday, February 12, 2011

1 Fiber, 2 Yarns, 2 Different Scarves

I've been working on different projects lately in sort of an A-D-D fashion, jumping from one to another in no certain order, for a little while now. Although I didn't start out with this plan in mind, I recently noticed how I used this one fiber in two different scarves. It is alpaca. I blended the colors and found it pleasing to me. And obviously to others because I sold over 3 lbs of it! I spun the fiber for one scarf in a smooth two ply. The other yarn I core-spun. The scarves are very different and not until you put them side by side would you notice that they are the same fiber.

This is the yarn on the right that made the scarf on the left. I like the texture of the core-spun yarn. It makes plain stockinette stitch fancy!

To the right is a child's size neck scarf. The fiber was spun in a two-ply and knitted in a garter stitch. I think the color of the yarn is truer in the pic to the right rather than above. You can compare the yarn above the child's scarf for a good comparison. Its fun to see how different effects on yarn preparation can lead to such different results. It makes me want to knit something else.... I gotta go now..........................

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another Snowy Day

So what are you doing on this snowy day? Autumn and I would like to know. She was all in my business today when I went out to feed. Actually, she is always in my business- rain, snow or shine. I enjoy farm life. I enjoy going outside to feed when its only 14 degrees and snowing like a madman. I spent 2 1/2 hours out there and finally said to myself, "I guess I HAVE to go in now. sigh." Some people may call me crazy, but this is my life.

To the right is Lonestar. He is turning into a handsome boy. His fiber is wonderful. And he has a fuzzy  face that could be on postcards. All of last years crias are getting so big. I spent some time during feeding taking these pictures today.

At left, is Tricksee. I have never met a more photogenic animal! Every time I took out the camera, she would pose for me like this! She looks quite striking against the snowy background. You can see the snow on the alpaca's backs. Their wool has excellent insulating properties.

To the left is Jadzia and Diesel. Everyone is Jadzia's friend in the barn. She gets along with everybody. I have yet to see her spit at anything. I'm not sure she knows how. And right is another great pic of Tricksee with Aztec in the background. I wonder if it will ever stop snowing? We in the Midwest aren't used to it. So we need to whine about it alot! I think I'll go and pick up some knitting. Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Been Busy Lately

Well, we are expecting snow yet again. This is the view across the bottoms at my house.  We still have snow and ice from last week leftover. I fell again today on the ice. An adult feels so stupid when they fall! I wonder why that is? And you look quickly around to see if anyone saw you. (((giggle)))
I wanted to share the baby knee highs I made last week. I believe they will fit 0-6 months. Of course, I changed the original pattern to turn a real heel. But I really liked this pattern because it called for a larger leg. Most babies, that I know at least, have fat little legs. I think I'm going to have to figure out a pattern to make  me a pair of these! I have more finished projects that I will be sharing soon. And--Leo's here! I can't wait to share pictures of him with you. He is everything I dreamed of and more! Talk to you soon,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Every Girls Crazy Bout A Sharp Dressed Man!"

"they come runnin' just as fast as they can, cause every girls crazy bout a sharp dressed man. da da da dum, da da da da (ZZ Top)" Yes, the girls go crazy for Laredo. It must be the grey tuxedo color or his quiet demeanor. But the girls on my farm love this boy! In the past, I had girls that would only breed to him. I sold those girls in a package because my genetic tree for the alpacas was becoming a 'stick'. And this past fall, a new batch of girls would only breed to Laredo-again! You would think that an open female would breed to any male put with her. Not so here. For instance, Canela spit, kicked and yelled at Griffin when put together. Two times I put them together. I thought maybe she had a retained placenta or some kind of infection or something. The next minute I brought Laredo in the barn to breed to Vidalia. And here comes Canela and cushes at the door next to Laredo breeding Vidalia! The same thing happened with Emmee. And Aztec. So look at him pictured right. His slim build belies how much he eats. He is gorgeous. And full Peruvian. And he has thrown 8 for 9 grey crias no matter what color he is bred to. And he has thrown 8 for 9 female cria. And he is a gentleman breeder. So, I guess a genetic stick is better than a genetic stump! lol  How can I go wrong with
 grey girls? And now he is bred to half my girls for next year. Even Helen, the reigning barn queen, likes to sit by him when he is eating. She doesn't sit by any of the other boys. Ever. So there you have it, as you can see, "Every Girls Crazy Bout A Sharp Dressed Man!:" 

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Alpacas Love Snow!

Well, here we are in the Midwest with more snow! I am a person who generally likes snow. That is because we usually don't see alot of it here, outside of St. Louis. We usually get a few inches a couple of times a year. That's all. But not this year! Even I have had enough of the white stuff. The alpacas don't seem to mind, though. As long as the hay holds out, they are happy in this white weather. I wish I could be that easy to please. I've been doing some knitting that I'll share later. Go make a snowball and throw it at something! Happy knitting.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy
The first picture is Emmee.
The middle picture is Venus, Roadie and Emmee. And below is Aztec.