Introduce yourself and the fiber you grow!

We are growing in numbers and it would be great if everyone would introduce themselves and tell us about your fiber.

Comments

Posted on Tue, 06/16/2009 - 22:45

I guess I'll start. As you can guess from my name I raise sheep. We have 15 Shetland Sheep located in Central KY. We shear twice a year. I have a local man shear them for us. The flock breaks down to 6 rams (Anyone need a good Shetland Ram?), 8 ewes and a whether. We bred our stud ram Lincoln our first year and ended up with the 5 boys, and 2 girls. We didn't breed this year because of the drought conditions last year, and my pastures took a beating. I couldn't see adding to my load. If this year keeps being this wet, I may need to think about breeding again. They can't keep the grass down. I'm not even using one of my pastures.

Some of the wool we process, and some we have processed at a small local mill. My partner is a long time spinner, and I'm just starting to learn to weave. I have a 32" Kromski Harp that I recently purchased.

I "played" with a small 10" Beka loom without much success. I found that It was almost impossible to maintain any tension on it.

Our wool comes in various shades of white, gray, brown and black. We hand dye some of it, including the dark colors. Over dying them gives them a totally new look.

Besides the sheep, we naturally grow vegetables, and sell them at one of the local farmers markets. I got a late start this year due to the wet weather, and the weeds are overtaking what I have planted. I need a couple a dry days so I'm not up to my ankles in mud, before I can really weed it.

 

Posted on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 14:26

Hi - I'm Diane from Central New York.  I live on 75 acres with 11 horses, three sheep, three cats, two children, and one husband.  Sheepwise, we have an old black Finn wether, a 3yo white Border Leicester-Corriedale ram, and a 3yo black Border Leicester-Corriedale-Merino ram.  We have someone else shear once a year, but I do all my own processing.

I'm a fairly new weaver, and I too spin, knit, crochet, and weave.  I have 3 sheep and a poorly controlled urge to buy fiber, so I spin a lot.  My current handspun handwoven project is in the carding stage - four colors used each as a main color with the others as a heather.  Three will be used as warp and one as weft for yardage for an unstructured jacket for me to be woven on my Glimakra Viking 4-shaft jack loom.

 

Posted on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 20:26

I'm Lisa in Frederick Maryland.  We have 25 acres.  I have 24 Angora goats (6 bucks, 10 kids and 8 does).  All my animals are registered, either as a colored angora or as a white angora.  I am trying to breed for animals whose fleece is exceptionally fine and stays beyond the first clip.  I wasn't always a farmer. I learned to weave in the city....in Los Angeles to be exact.  I lived in an apartment in the Hollywood Hills.  I moved to the Sacramento area and we bought a 10 acre piece with goats in mind. But my husband's job moved to Oregon and later to Maryland.  I made my "line in the sand" here. I'm not moving any more. I also negotiated for a farm with goats and chickens.  Little did I know that this had always been my DH's dream....he never told me that. 

I have a 16H AVL loom which has been sorely underused because life has gotten in the way. It is slowly being used more as I balance my life to include all the creative parts of me. I love to weave clothing weight cloth and of course I have woven a ton of scarves.  I am now exploring the design possibilities of network drafting

I look forward to sharing questions and celebrating our successes with animals to the finished cloth!!

Posted on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 05:36

I'm Jenny from just south of Auckland in New Zealand and we have 35 alpacas at the last count. We are concentrating on breeding fine blue black though as I spin and weave, I have to have the other colours too...

I've been weaving for about 3 years now and have just set up a commercial weaving business based around an AVL Industrial loom which I'm not too pleased with at the moment.

Posted on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 11:35

Hello -- I'm Cynthia, in Oklahoma.  In the past I've raised Angora rabbits (only a couple at a time) and have grown cotton.  Right now I have no fiber in production but thought I would join this group since I've always hankered after a small farm.  It's looking increasingly unlikely to ever happen -- but there's no harm in gathering information anyways, right?

Posted on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 14:59

Hi all,

  I'm Janet in California, between San Francisco and the Oregon border, near the coast.  My fiber animals are three French Angoras.  I bred last week, so I'll soon have more!  I have raised Angoras in the past, with the sad experience of a couple of dogs breaking in and killing the 8 rabbits that I was keeping at the time.  I now have a Fort Knox of rabbit housing.  We also keep chickens and geese in this housing.  Out in the pastures are our Dexter Cattle.

   I own and operate a cottage industry wool processing mill, Aunt Janet's Fiber mill. I buy wool from my shepherd friends, and sometimes blend a bit of my angora with it.  I usually use only 10% angora with the wool, which is just enough to add a nice halo, and the feel of the angora.  It probably adds some warmth as well.   I knit, weave, felt, etc.  I have grown cotton, flax, and some dye plants.  In the garden this year I have three piddly indigo plants and calendula.

I'm looking forward to reading info from this list.

 

 

Posted on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 20:18

Howdy, folks!  My name is Michael, and the fiber that I raise is silk.  I have silkworms going typically from mid-March to early October, and I work with the silk in a variety of forms, mostly reeling.  You can see my work at http://www.wormspit.com

 

 

Posted on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 20:28

Me too...I'll never get my little farm. But I can't complain. I've got a 1/4 acre lot so plenty of room to grow cotton and one big fat grouchy angora rabbit. Maybe we'll both have our farms someday :) BTW, I have some awesome Pima cotton seeds if you ever want to start growing again.

Posted on Mon, 07/13/2009 - 06:09

I am Robin from Northern California. I raise Jacob sheep and have about 110 sheep right now, including lambs I haven't sold. I need to get back to about 50 ewes before breeding season! I am active in the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association--in fact I'm the Registrar.

I have a fiber business, Meridian Jacobs and sell fiber, weave products for sale, teach classes, and invite people to the farm for field days, etc. I am in the middle of renovating my shop/classroom building and will use that as an excuse for a Grand Reopening soon!

Posted on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 22:04

I am Diane Tauzer from the Woodland/Davis area of the Central Valley. I own 8 angora goats: 2 older white does and 1 white doeling with red gene, 2 older brown grey wethers and 3 young wethers 1 red, 1 white and 1 black blue. They are all from the Magical Menagerie out of Red Bluff CA. I have been enjoying spinning for the sake of spinning and just decided to actually use my fiber.I have been studying under Robin Lynde for weaving and seeing her using her Jacobs fiber inspired me. I just finished a sweater with yarn all from my 4 older animals. What a wonderful experience! I have a basement full of yarn and looms that I am trying to use up before I buy more but like my name sake from NY have a poorly controled buying impulse.

Besides the angoras, we live on 160 acres, have ~50 boer goats, 2 horses, 11 head of cattle, 3 guardian dogs, 1 border collie, 1 lab/golden retriever, 8 chickens, 1 goose and 100s of thousands of bees, 2 sons 17 and 25 living in the area and a 21 year old in San Diego CA. My husband is a commercial beekeeper and runs between 6000 to 10000 hives depending on the rate of collapse we experience. My oldest son helps run the business and my 21 year old is trying to join the USA Paralympic Swimming team. The 17 year old finishes high school this year and (hopefully) moves on.

Posted on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 01:14

Hi - I'm Peggy in Northeastern Utah.  If I ever get my very small farm off it's arse....it will be called Rocking Circle P, Fruit, Nut, and Fiber Farm.  We won't discuss who the nut is.  I raise Shetland Sheep ( 3 rams, 2 are this years lambs and 5 ewes), Navajo Churro Sheep (2 ewes), and Angora/Pygora Goats (2 full angora does, and 9 does/wethers and 1 lone intact buck). 

I shear all of them, because we don't have any reliable shearers in the area.  I had one fellow come out a couple of years ago and I had so many 2nd cuts on the fiber , but he did a good job of cutting the sheep....skin that is, so I decided I could do that good a job with a pair of sissors.  That's what I used the first year and then purchased some real shears.  About lost the end of my finger the first time I used them.....deadly little blighters they are.  Can't have a farm without..... cats (8), dogs (5), horses (5), chickens (6), Guineas(6).....all the rest of the critters.  I would like to create a small cottage mill.  I have crocheted for over 30 years, knit for about the same, spin for last 5 years and learning to weave for only 2 years (still a beginner). 

This ought to be a great group. 

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 09:54

I read your site when you mentioned it somewhere on ravelry, and didn't go back to say how immensely cool it was, so I will here. I'd love to give sericulture a try, at least once, but I don't know if I could keep the worms fed. My sheep rearing ambitions are pretty well permanently on hold unless I move out of the city.

How many mulberry trees do you need pruning rights on to feed a batch of worms?  Do you have to cut the branches fresh 4x a day or can you do it every day or so before they get too old?

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 13:50

Thanks for your kind words!

How many bushes/trees you need totally depends on number of worms you raise.  If you look at my Bombyx rearing journal, you can get an idea of the size of branches I was feeding daily, but it was quite a large group of worms.  You can store mulberry in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; I usually get several days worth at a time and just feed them off as needed.

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 14:32

I saw the size branches, wow. What I don't quite get is how many of those you get from a single tree. Or, to turn it around, how many worms could I support from one or two trees without them looking like the mad mulberry marauder has molested them?

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 15:55

How big are your trees?

The tree I was cutting those from, is over forty feet tall and I couldn't put my arms around the trunk and have them meet.  You had to look to find where I was cutting them from.  Of course, with a smaller tree, it would show more. 

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 18:24

You've got me on a tear here. I'm researching mulberry trees, wondering if I have room to plant one. The maple on my front lawn is dying and has to come down. I was thinking oak, but mulberries are nice.

According to this:

Here it says the black mullberries are native, and white and red are Asian imports brought in to start a silk industry.
http://landscaping.suite101.com/article.cfm/mulberry_trees

Which kind do you have?  Have you seen issues feeding silkworms on black mulberry?  I've tried both and I like the dark ones better - and if I'm going to plant a fruit tree I'm going to eat the fruit.

Then again, I could plant the oak I was thinking of in the first place and find native silkworms that will eat it instead.

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 18:36

here in Dallas, there are a lot of the black and white, both planted as landscape trees and "bird-planted" wild.  I harvest most of my leaf from wild trees around where I live.  I haven't had any issue; they switch without complaint from white, to black, to Osage orange.  The only problem I have encountered, is that the black often has tougher leaves with a little bit of hair on the backs; they can be difficult for the very young silkworms to chew. 

 

Polyphemus caterpillars eat oak, and they're a joy to raise, but you dont' get as much silk per cocoon, and you can't crowd them in to containers. 

Often, trees used for feeding silkworms are male, because the fruiting takes energy from the leaf-producing parts.  In an ideal world, you'd want fruitless white mulberry for feeding worms, and fruiting black mulberry for tastier berries.

 

Posted on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 20:01

Well I still don't know if I'm going to commit to worm wrangling, but you've inspired me to order a field guide to caterpillars and go appreciate my nearby park, so thank you :o)

Posted on Thu, 07/23/2009 - 22:44

Rabbitgeek.com is my website. My sons started in 4H rabbit project in 1999 and we had a wonderful time going to rabbit shows, fairs, national livestock shows and conventions, etc. My sons no longer show rabbits.

Until recently, we had angora rabbits. My lovely wife Tracy was the chief angora wrangler. Because of the rabbits, we learned to spin the fiber. We used to throw it away until we found out people would buy all we had for $5 or $6 per ounce!

The rabbits started us out in fiber projects. We still have bags of fiber to spin and yarn to knit and weave.

I can try to help with questions on angora rabbit fiber.

Have a good day!

Posted on Fri, 07/24/2009 - 02:43

Hi-I'm Andrea Shuman from Hayward, California and I go by the nicname Cookie.

My Husband has a pet Umbrella Cockatoo, female who goes by the name, Tukki (who acts like she hates me), 2 bull frogs and a pond full of koi fish and a cute mail canary by the name of Rudy.

I like weaving, but not that good at it yet.  Still learning, but have done some projects on most of my smaller looms.  I love my Weavettes, Hazel Rose and Spriggs Adjustable Looms.  I also have an 8 Harnest Table Loom, but on a floor stand with a project on it I need to finish up.

I also have 4 different ridgid heddle looms.  One of them is the knitter's loom because you can get away with weaving yarns suitable for knitting and crocheting.

I have a large variety of different crafts and I spin too.  Most of my projects are small, but I'm spinning some silk yarn that I'm going to use to crochet a lacy butterfly shawl created by Noreen Crone Findlay.  I'm also spinning some yarn to knit an Adult Surprise Jacket.

I like doing beadword, painting (not not much lately), dollmaking, etc.

Thank you for letting me join this group.  A while back when I discovered I wanted to learn backstrap weaving, I discovered a weaving book in the library at the University my Husband attended and borrowed a good book on weaving which I was able to xerox instructions out of before I returned the book.  The book showed a nice detailed illustration on how to make your own backstrap using wooden dowels which I carved the ends so the strings and heddles don't slide off easily.  I even woven my strap that goes around my back to make it authenic.

Cookie48

 

Posted on Fri, 07/24/2009 - 23:28

I have a question on angoras. I have one bunny, her name is Bunny Boop...sort of like Betty Boop, get it? yeah....anyway, she is over a year old now and she still hasn't done this mythical thing called "blowing her coat". No lumps of fuzz floating around the house, no nothing. I have to shear the fiber off of her a little at a time while I distract her with food. What gives? I thought the fur just sort of fell off these rabbits. I didn't know it was going to be a secret recon mission every time I need fiber. I practically have to dress all in black and hang from the ceiling over her grazing body like a CIA agent just to harvest her fluff. Ok...I'm exaggerating. Is she defective? Deformed? I do love her though.

DJ

Posted on Fri, 07/24/2009 - 23:36

Some rabbit breeds like the German and Giant angora breeds generally do not blow their coats, that is their molting pattern has been changed by selective breeding. These rabbits must be sheared, usually every 90 days or so.

German and Giant angoras have been bred to be wonderful wool growers, so a fiber length of 4 inch is often available at 90 days.

Does that sound like like your rabbit? Is that your white rabbit in your avatar picture?

Have a good day!

Posted on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 11:33

G'day.  I'm Megan and although I don't have fibre animals anymore, my husband and I had a 350 acre farm in Australia. I moved to Ontario (collingwood) in Aug'08 and he will follow when the farm is sold.

We raised fine wool merino's, (at one time we had 450), Angora goats (125 of those), 8 alpacas, 2 angora bunnies, 1 horse, 65 corriedale x merino coloured sheep(they were very fine and soft). Our goal was to raise the finest, cleanest  fibre we could so I could sell to spinners.I would have coats on my coloured sheep to stop the sun from bleaching their tips. I still have much of their fibre (probably more than I could ever spin) washed, packed and ready to be shipped. Unfortunately after 8 years of drought and record prices for feed ($24. small bale of hay), we decided to sell up and come back to Canada.

I learned to weave in college (1979) and took it back up when we bought the farm.  I also knit, spin, crochet and have just started tapestry weaving.  I love the idea of spinning and creating pictures through the tapestry and will focus more on that than anything else for the moment.

So for now I am sourcing my fibre from the farmgate.

 

Posted on Mon, 08/10/2009 - 01:56

I just joined this site.  I raise alpacas in Massachusetts and learned to spin and weave shortly after purchasing our first alpaca back in 2000.  I mostly weave now, since there just not enough hours in the day.  I spin for demonstrations at shows and fairs.  I weave mostly for resale at shows and our farm store.  Although I do weave with alpaca, I also enjoy weaving with other fibers as well.  I welcome all kinds of suggestions as I'm always looking for inspiration. 

In addition to my alpacas I have 5 dogs ( and Akbash who guards my 'pacas, Bernese Mtn Dog, Shepherd/bassett mix, yorkie & yorkie mix.) 5 cats, a bird, and 2 teenage boys ( 17 & 19).  OH!  and a husband. 

Posted on Fri, 09/11/2009 - 18:37

I'm Careena. I have 2 llamas, 4 sheep and a dog. My sister has Cashmere goats. They are not my goats. She really doesn't have time for them and so they come to me for attention when I go to visit my sheep. We keep trying to get her to get rid of them.

My mother thinks we should downsize, get rid of the wether, the llama with the not-very-good fleece, and all. I'd like to replace them with a better wool-producing sheep, but we'll see. Our's are Cotswolds, with a long, course, curly fleece that's better suited to rugs than sweaters.

Posted on Sun, 10/11/2009 - 21:14

 I'm Kathy -- I live in Northern Virginia.  I am a knitter, very amateur.  A year ago my husband and I attended a local fair and stopped at the only yarn vendor there -- alpaca.  As we walked away he said, "THAT's what we'll do when we retire!"  A week later we were coming home from our weekend place and passed an alpaca farm -- and the rest, as they say, is history.  We now own 4 alpacas, but they live on the farm where we purchased them, as we don't have enough room for them.  Retirement seems a ways off since we have to get two kids through college.

I had done a little weaving, and wasn't sure I really liked it, but since we got into the alpaca biz, I have learned to spin, and dusted off my rigid heddle loom.  I've made two throw rugs with my home spun yarn!  My husband built me a very small tri-loom and I have made one scarf with it.  I really like that, but the scarf seems a little small.

I am envious of those of you who can "live" with your animals, and can sure relate to those of you who are dreaming of farms.  I am excited to participate in this group!

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 01:08

Hi, Just joined this group.  I live in NE Ohio and have had a spinning flock that has changed over the years from pygmy goats, angora goats, pygora goats, navajo churro sheep, and most recently llamas and alpaca.  I shear myself and spin and knit or weave with the yarn. I'm anxious to hear about your animals.

Posted on Sat, 12/26/2009 - 16:15

Hello!  We live in New Hampshire and have alpacas.  We have 5 beautiful males here on our farm and our 2 females and 1 cria board at a large farm nearby.  We plan to grow our farm into a large fiber male farm.  I love weaving on my tri-loom and eventually we will weave rugs on the gigantic floor loom we purchased (used).  I love to read about all the projects that everyone makes!

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 06:46

Hello everyone,  I really enjoyed reading about all of the different animals we are using for fiber.  My husband and I have a suri alpaca ranch in Montana and have been at it over 18 years.  We have about 80 of the dear animals and are breeders, do alpaca investment packages for other alpaca owners, and most recently have had our fiber processed into yarn.  That one was my project of love.  I just started weaving last year and wanted to use my own yarns.  I was just given a Bergman loom, in pieces, and will gladly accept the challenge of assembling.  Next up...learn to dye.  So much to learn so little time!

Posted on Mon, 07/05/2010 - 02:20

Good evening all!  Just had a wonderful 1/2 of rain in dusty SW Kansas.  My husband and I raise alpaca also.  We shear our herd, I skirt and sort, then some is sent for processing for yarn.  The rest I keep to spin and weave with.  I will try to get some pictures up on the site of some of the things I've done.  As one other poster noted, ".........so many things to do, so little time!"

I have two spinning wheels, Schacht Matchless wheel (I'm still learning to use) an Ashford Joy (portable and I can take it to shows and to teach on).  I started out weaving on a Schacht rigid heddle (one of the earlier ones that doesn't fold) and was given a Norwood 4 shaft/4 treadle loom.  I recently purchased a 50 year old Sabina sectional loom from a great weaver in central Kansas.  I've done some basic weaving on it and am in the process of attempting curtains for our family room using a clasped weft weaving structure.  PRAY for me.

Glad to be a part of this group.  Hope we can talk more

 

Thanks

Teresa

Jornada Alpaca Ranch

Posted on Mon, 07/19/2010 - 18:17

Hi!   from North Texas. Whitesboro to be exact. My farm is named the  funnyfarm... Live in a geodesic dome home, make my own electicity (solar and wind).

  I'm new on this list...Raise spinning wool sheep in natural colors (black, off white, red, brown and silver)...they are cottswald mixes...mixed with Finn, Calif. CVM and Rambolet (sp?) and Lincoln...also raise goats.  The flock is about 85 ewes, last time I counted.

Have been spinning for about 25 years...learned to knit about 1 month ago while recuperating from back surgery...and also purchased a Kromski Harp at that time.  In my spare time ;)  I'm a Psychologist and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.

Posted on Tue, 06/16/2009 - 22:45

I guess I'll start. As you can guess from my name I raise sheep. We have 15 Shetland Sheep located in Central KY. We shear twice a year. I have a local man shear them for us. The flock breaks down to 6 rams (Anyone need a good Shetland Ram?), 8 ewes and a whether. We bred our stud ram Lincoln our first year and ended up with the 5 boys, and 2 girls. We didn't breed this year because of the drought conditions last year, and my pastures took a beating. I couldn't see adding to my load. If this year keeps being this wet, I may need to think about breeding again. They can't keep the grass down. I'm not even using one of my pastures.

Some of the wool we process, and some we have processed at a small local mill. My partner is a long time spinner, and I'm just starting to learn to weave. I have a 32" Kromski Harp that I recently purchased.

I "played" with a small 10" Beka loom without much success. I found that It was almost impossible to maintain any tension on it.

Our wool comes in various shades of white, gray, brown and black. We hand dye some of it, including the dark colors. Over dying them gives them a totally new look.

Besides the sheep, we naturally grow vegetables, and sell them at one of the local farmers markets. I got a late start this year due to the wet weather, and the weeds are overtaking what I have planted. I need a couple a dry days so I'm not up to my ankles in mud, before I can really weed it.

 

Posted on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 14:26

Hi - I'm Diane from Central New York.  I live on 75 acres with 11 horses, three sheep, three cats, two children, and one husband.  Sheepwise, we have an old black Finn wether, a 3yo white Border Leicester-Corriedale ram, and a 3yo black Border Leicester-Corriedale-Merino ram.  We have someone else shear once a year, but I do all my own processing.

I'm a fairly new weaver, and I too spin, knit, crochet, and weave.  I have 3 sheep and a poorly controlled urge to buy fiber, so I spin a lot.  My current handspun handwoven project is in the carding stage - four colors used each as a main color with the others as a heather.  Three will be used as warp and one as weft for yardage for an unstructured jacket for me to be woven on my Glimakra Viking 4-shaft jack loom.

 

Posted on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 20:26

I'm Lisa in Frederick Maryland.  We have 25 acres.  I have 24 Angora goats (6 bucks, 10 kids and 8 does).  All my animals are registered, either as a colored angora or as a white angora.  I am trying to breed for animals whose fleece is exceptionally fine and stays beyond the first clip.  I wasn't always a farmer. I learned to weave in the city....in Los Angeles to be exact.  I lived in an apartment in the Hollywood Hills.  I moved to the Sacramento area and we bought a 10 acre piece with goats in mind. But my husband's job moved to Oregon and later to Maryland.  I made my "line in the sand" here. I'm not moving any more. I also negotiated for a farm with goats and chickens.  Little did I know that this had always been my DH's dream....he never told me that. 

I have a 16H AVL loom which has been sorely underused because life has gotten in the way. It is slowly being used more as I balance my life to include all the creative parts of me. I love to weave clothing weight cloth and of course I have woven a ton of scarves.  I am now exploring the design possibilities of network drafting

I look forward to sharing questions and celebrating our successes with animals to the finished cloth!!

Posted on Mon, 06/22/2009 - 05:36

I'm Jenny from just south of Auckland in New Zealand and we have 35 alpacas at the last count. We are concentrating on breeding fine blue black though as I spin and weave, I have to have the other colours too...

I've been weaving for about 3 years now and have just set up a commercial weaving business based around an AVL Industrial loom which I'm not too pleased with at the moment.

Posted on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 11:35

Hello -- I'm Cynthia, in Oklahoma.  In the past I've raised Angora rabbits (only a couple at a time) and have grown cotton.  Right now I have no fiber in production but thought I would join this group since I've always hankered after a small farm.  It's looking increasingly unlikely to ever happen -- but there's no harm in gathering information anyways, right?

Posted on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 14:59

Hi all,

  I'm Janet in California, between San Francisco and the Oregon border, near the coast.  My fiber animals are three French Angoras.  I bred last week, so I'll soon have more!  I have raised Angoras in the past, with the sad experience of a couple of dogs breaking in and killing the 8 rabbits that I was keeping at the time.  I now have a Fort Knox of rabbit housing.  We also keep chickens and geese in this housing.  Out in the pastures are our Dexter Cattle.

   I own and operate a cottage industry wool processing mill, Aunt Janet's Fiber mill. I buy wool from my shepherd friends, and sometimes blend a bit of my angora with it.  I usually use only 10% angora with the wool, which is just enough to add a nice halo, and the feel of the angora.  It probably adds some warmth as well.   I knit, weave, felt, etc.  I have grown cotton, flax, and some dye plants.  In the garden this year I have three piddly indigo plants and calendula.

I'm looking forward to reading info from this list.

 

 

Posted on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 20:18

Howdy, folks!  My name is Michael, and the fiber that I raise is silk.  I have silkworms going typically from mid-March to early October, and I work with the silk in a variety of forms, mostly reeling.  You can see my work at http://www.wormspit.com

 

 

Posted on Thu, 07/09/2009 - 20:28

Me too...I'll never get my little farm. But I can't complain. I've got a 1/4 acre lot so plenty of room to grow cotton and one big fat grouchy angora rabbit. Maybe we'll both have our farms someday :) BTW, I have some awesome Pima cotton seeds if you ever want to start growing again.

Posted on Mon, 07/13/2009 - 06:09

I am Robin from Northern California. I raise Jacob sheep and have about 110 sheep right now, including lambs I haven't sold. I need to get back to about 50 ewes before breeding season! I am active in the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association--in fact I'm the Registrar.

I have a fiber business, Meridian Jacobs and sell fiber, weave products for sale, teach classes, and invite people to the farm for field days, etc. I am in the middle of renovating my shop/classroom building and will use that as an excuse for a Grand Reopening soon!

Posted on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 22:04

I am Diane Tauzer from the Woodland/Davis area of the Central Valley. I own 8 angora goats: 2 older white does and 1 white doeling with red gene, 2 older brown grey wethers and 3 young wethers 1 red, 1 white and 1 black blue. They are all from the Magical Menagerie out of Red Bluff CA. I have been enjoying spinning for the sake of spinning and just decided to actually use my fiber.I have been studying under Robin Lynde for weaving and seeing her using her Jacobs fiber inspired me. I just finished a sweater with yarn all from my 4 older animals. What a wonderful experience! I have a basement full of yarn and looms that I am trying to use up before I buy more but like my name sake from NY have a poorly controled buying impulse.

Besides the angoras, we live on 160 acres, have ~50 boer goats, 2 horses, 11 head of cattle, 3 guardian dogs, 1 border collie, 1 lab/golden retriever, 8 chickens, 1 goose and 100s of thousands of bees, 2 sons 17 and 25 living in the area and a 21 year old in San Diego CA. My husband is a commercial beekeeper and runs between 6000 to 10000 hives depending on the rate of collapse we experience. My oldest son helps run the business and my 21 year old is trying to join the USA Paralympic Swimming team. The 17 year old finishes high school this year and (hopefully) moves on.

Posted on Sat, 07/18/2009 - 01:14

Hi - I'm Peggy in Northeastern Utah.  If I ever get my very small farm off it's arse....it will be called Rocking Circle P, Fruit, Nut, and Fiber Farm.  We won't discuss who the nut is.  I raise Shetland Sheep ( 3 rams, 2 are this years lambs and 5 ewes), Navajo Churro Sheep (2 ewes), and Angora/Pygora Goats (2 full angora does, and 9 does/wethers and 1 lone intact buck). 

I shear all of them, because we don't have any reliable shearers in the area.  I had one fellow come out a couple of years ago and I had so many 2nd cuts on the fiber , but he did a good job of cutting the sheep....skin that is, so I decided I could do that good a job with a pair of sissors.  That's what I used the first year and then purchased some real shears.  About lost the end of my finger the first time I used them.....deadly little blighters they are.  Can't have a farm without..... cats (8), dogs (5), horses (5), chickens (6), Guineas(6).....all the rest of the critters.  I would like to create a small cottage mill.  I have crocheted for over 30 years, knit for about the same, spin for last 5 years and learning to weave for only 2 years (still a beginner). 

This ought to be a great group. 

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 09:54

I read your site when you mentioned it somewhere on ravelry, and didn't go back to say how immensely cool it was, so I will here. I'd love to give sericulture a try, at least once, but I don't know if I could keep the worms fed. My sheep rearing ambitions are pretty well permanently on hold unless I move out of the city.

How many mulberry trees do you need pruning rights on to feed a batch of worms?  Do you have to cut the branches fresh 4x a day or can you do it every day or so before they get too old?

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 13:50

Thanks for your kind words!

How many bushes/trees you need totally depends on number of worms you raise.  If you look at my Bombyx rearing journal, you can get an idea of the size of branches I was feeding daily, but it was quite a large group of worms.  You can store mulberry in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; I usually get several days worth at a time and just feed them off as needed.

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 14:32

I saw the size branches, wow. What I don't quite get is how many of those you get from a single tree. Or, to turn it around, how many worms could I support from one or two trees without them looking like the mad mulberry marauder has molested them?

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 15:55

How big are your trees?

The tree I was cutting those from, is over forty feet tall and I couldn't put my arms around the trunk and have them meet.  You had to look to find where I was cutting them from.  Of course, with a smaller tree, it would show more. 

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