Little by little I’m working on washing fleeces and alpaca blankets. I only have a bucket or two that I use so I can’t go too crazy with the amounts. It isn’t like I can throw an entire fleece or blanket in and get it all washed at once. I’ve tried in the kiddie pool and it just doesn’t work. They don’t come very clean. I prefer washing wool to alpaca. Alpacas get all dusty and that dust sticks in the fiber like crazy. Yes, wool is greasy with lanolin but it actually washes out. They both do really, but I’ve worked more with wool so I’m more accustomed to getting the gunk out of wool.
As far as spinning the two fibers I haven’t figured out what I like better yet. They both have their merits. I love the crimpy feel of the wool. It has more elasticity than alpaca and doesn’t droop/hang like alpaca. Sometimes that is what a person wants though. Alpaca is lovely for a drapey (probably not a real word but seems to apply) fabric. I think I like the blends best. This way you get the benefits of both fibers.
Soon I get to add my goats’ fiber into the mix. I’m excited for that. I must say though that these goats had better make some really nice fiber because I am not thrilled with their attitudes. The older one is a royal pain. Neither are very friendly to humans or each other. Sure they like food and I can kind of bribe them this way, but that is about all they like. Food and causing trouble. Cami (the older one) was chasing BB (the younger) around yesterday. Not just chasing, but chasing to then head butt her. So ornery. Cami will also hit the fence after my one dog. The fence doesn’t get hit now that the electric fence is up but it still gets half charged at. The new pup doesn’t seem to get this response. I wonder if it is because the goats have been around guardian dogs before, the dog is just a puppy, and she is the same color (and about as fluffy) as the goats. I’ve even seen Cami take one of my cats. Poor cat was just following me while I did chores and she got slammed by a goat. Geez! Talk about not a fun thing to have happen.
The other goat, BB, is so unfriendly to humans that even though I can now catch her, sometimes I’ve had her butt me and even try to bite me. I had a really good bruise on one knee for awhile after one time and last time I caught her was when she decided that biting was the way to go.
There are ways to handle them without getting nailed for sure. Mostly they need handled more. They have a big D-day hanging over their heads though. No fiber or not good fiber then they go down the road. With the little kids I don’t need livestock of any kind that is not fun to handle. I don’t want animals that are a royal pain to be around. I do like having them around but I don’t see any point in feeding and housing a critter that isn’t half-way pleasant. I try to work with them often enough that hopefully they’ll get better. I do really want to have the animals around.
As far as the rest of the farm goings on…Luna the puppy is proving herself to be a great little (soon to be big) pup. Kyra has accepted the pup quickly and loves having someone to play with. The cats and chickens are giving the pup wide berth. Chickens crack me up. They see the pup and act like they are saying, “Oh dear, oh dear!” The cats just give the pup the evil eye.
We’ve had some crazy warm weather so everyone has been out enjoying the sunshine and getting rid of the cabin fever. Almost all of our snow is gone. I’ve even managed a couple of days in the garden.
I need the weather to turn though so I don’t feel bad about spinning a lot. I really need to spin a bunch of yarn. I ended up trading yarn for the puppy so I’m more-or-less out of yarn to sell. My day is well on its way to being another busy day so I’d better get rolling and spinning.