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Submitted by Weavolutionary on Fri, 07/10/2009 - 10:26
Migrated Group Comments
I am Lisa. We have 25 acres in Frederick Maryland. I breed white and colored registered angora goats. We currently have 6 bucks (way too many), 8 does and 10 new kids. We have white, browns and blacks. We shear twice a year, so I have a gracious plenty of mohair. I've been working to find nice fine wool fleeces in order to get a nice blend that I can send out to be processed into yarn. I dye fleece and yarn. I like to weave clothing weight cloth on my AVL loom. I'm currently investigating network drafting which I've never done before.
Hi Lisa, I am from the Napa County in California. Currently, I do not have any animals, but have future plans to do so. I am most interested in the small Pygora goats. The fiber looks very interesting and the animal itself would be small enough for me to handle by myself. I am hoping to learn more about animal husbandry and the care of the animal fiber on this forum. I currently knit, crochet, spin, needlework of all kinds and sew. My husband is learning to weave on a ridged heddle. However, knowing us, after he masters the ridged heddle, I know he will be ready to move up to something larger. :-0
Just had my two romney x sheep sheared and they have fly strike! Hoping this list will talk about all things related to our fiber producers -? At any rate, the girls will come through this with a little loss to their dignity, but otherwise okay and they have given me the usual 10 pounds of fleece apiece.
Which brings up my next area of interest. Since this is a hobby rather than a way to earn money, I'd appreciate any suggestions about efficient ways to process wool.
In the past, I've sent fleece to Morro Bay and gotten back beautiful pin drafted roving, but I do like dyeing and carding blends of color. Does it seem to anyone else that washing wool is a huge job? Am thinking of just sending off the fleeces to be washed this time. Does anyone have thoughts on this?
Hi - I'm Sue and we have three wethered angoras, Bill, Peanut, and Wilbur. I also have bags of their fleece laying around waiting to get the hay picked out so they can go to the processors. Boy can those guys grow hair! Lots of fun though.
I agree that the skirting and washing is a big job. I've sent many fleeces away to be made into roving and then dyed that. I also just sent some adult mohair and wool of unknown sheep in to be made into tapestry yarn that I can then weave.
When we shear I try to skirt and wash one fleece each weekend day and eventually it gets done before the next shearing 6 months later. I wash in a washing machine without the agitation. I can get really hot water and I can spin it down pretty dry.
I am wondering what people are doing to limit the vegie matter in the fleeces. We can't cover the goats because the mohair will just felt under it. Any ideas anyone?
Goats are such wonderful creatures. They have personalities and they are a joy....most of the time. Pygoras can have many kinds of fleece. It can be cashmere like or angora like. So know what you are buying. We have found that Angora goats are pretty gentle, even though they can be 50 pounds. One friend of mine who has pygoras has to chase them around because they challenge her fences. Our goats have never challenged or jumped a fence. So when you are looking to buy, ask and observe the behavior to make sure that it matches with yours. Having goats is so much fun...yes and work too, but there is a great pay-off of fiber for us.
When I have had wethers they are so sweet and good natured. Are your boys colored or white angoras? Are they from registered stock? Where are you located?
Hi Lisa -
I'm in Sunapee, NH, and two of my boys, Bill and Peanut, are white and are very sweet. Wilbur, on the other hand, is black (turning a lovely silver) and has a major attitude problem. The butting doesn't bother me all that much, but when he tries to hook me with his horns - OUCH. He and I have had "flip the goat and sit on him" sessions and stand-in-the-corner-so-he-can't-move sessions - all the while telling him speaking softly to him. It works for about a half an hour and then he goes after me again. I'm just stymied as to how to calm him down. He wants to prove that he is head goat, not me. I've starting wondering if there are herbs or even drugs I could give him to mellow him out. None of them are registered since I only got them for pets and for their hair - and their fleeces are gorgeous. I love them dearly, even bratty Wilbur. Any ideas?
I happen to be a wool processor, with a mill in north, coastal California. Washing wool is a job that I enjoy, as is carding. That is why I got into the business. I use utility sinks, a pulley system above the sinks and in line with my washing machine (for the spin cycle). The pulley system is the back saver. The pulleys are on two tracks, to move the wool, which hangs in net baskets from sink to sink. I use 180' water and biodegradable dish soap. I soak for 30 minutes. I get my super gloved hands in there to pull locks apart for better cleaning. Rinses are as hot as the wash.
If you are going to Black Sheep Gathering, come by my booth, somewhere in building 2. Aunt Janet's Fiber Mill.
We have so many new members. Please let us know a little bit about you!
Yes, I live in Sonoma County, so you are familiar to me although I've never sent you any wool. Will you be at Spinners Day on the Farm in Healdsburg? If not, I'll see you at BSG, probably. The 180 degree water is a good idea. Seems like it would cut down on the amount of dish soap used.
I live in NW Michigan and I raise Finn sheep on my farm, Bella Vita Farm & Fiber, for the beautiful fiber that they produce. I also have CVM sheep but I've decided to concentrate on just one breed, so the CVMs will be leaving June 20th to go back to OH with a large CVM flock at Yellow Creek Cottage.
I've been knitting since I was a kid, crocheting since I got married (MIL taught me), spinning for about 5 years and now I'm just learning to weave. My new to me loom is due to arrive on June 20th. I learned to sew while in high school and took tailoring classes at my mom's fabric store. So I've been involved in textiles most of my life. I'm surprised that it's taking me this long to learn to weave...but better late than never!
So glad that you have joined us. We just have the goats and because it is more desirable to have a mohair/wool blend, we have been thinking about having sheep here as well. We haven't done it because of feeling overwhelmed with just one breed, so I totally understand your decision to concentrate on doing one thing. The newest Spin-Off magazine had a great article on CVM sheep. There are also CVM Angora goats which are interesting because they consistently throw color when bred to white angoras.
What kind of loom is coming to your house? How did you learn to weave? Did you rent or borrow a loom from someone?
The article in Spin Off about the fiber of love is written by my girlfriend, Chris Spitzer of Yellow Creek Cottage. She has one of the largest flock of CVM sheep in the country. My CVMs are going back to OH with her and she is bringing me my loom. I'm getting a Leclerec Nilus II 60" loom.
I took a video today of the new Finn lambs. One set of twins was just born this past weekend and the other twins the week before. You can see the goats in the video too. The sheep that is right up close and personal is Daisy, she's my Avatar here and on Ravelry.
I loved both your videos! Isn't it great to have the little ones around?
I've husbanded (owned) Angora goats -- have spun and dyed that mohair.
I currently have two French Angora rabbits. The first attempt at spinning that angora wasn't very successful, but I've got plenty more to try. This next attempt I'll be blending the angora with some superfine merino and some silk to see what comes of that. I plan to cross these FA's with some Satins for Satin Angoras. We'll see how that goes as well.
Hi, I have lived in New Zealand for just over 7 years, and since living here have been introduced to spinning, felting, knitting, dying, and most recently to weaving. I learnt to crochet as a child, and also sew and do heaps of other crafts. I have 3 pet sheep (corridale/suffolks) and 4 alpacas. I have just rainbow dyed some wool from one of the pet sheep and am planning on what to weave now i have almost finished spinning it. I have mostly used a ridgid heddle loom, I also have an inkle loom, and got a 2nd hand 4 shaft table loom a couple of weeks ago, but yet to be experimented with.
Hi, I'm Sue and live in NE Arkansas. We raise llamas and have friends with alpacas. I have a small home business selling my fiber, Ashford products and other fibers. I'm an avid weaver and have been trying to get up the nerve to do some big projects with handspun. Have done small scarves on rigid heddle, but want to use one of the large floor looms I have to make something larger. I travel to shows alot with my wares and to visit family (Florida, Texas and MA), so it would be great to get to visit with other weavers when I'm in their neck of the woods and visa versa...it is so hard to find weavers as we are hidden at home with looms:) Looking forward to breaking through the "animal to cloth" barrier and hearing from other shepherd/weavers! Only wish I had high speed:)
Hi Lisa, Have you ever mixed mohair with llama? We raise llamas and I've mixed it with wool and alpaca with good results. I love mohair...takes dye so well and stays shiney! Maybe we can do some trading sometime?
I have not blended mohair with llama. I have to say that my experience with llama has been really limited. So it would be fun to trade. Do you have an ETSY store where you sell your products?
It will be interesting to hear and compare your experiences with our northern hemisphere experiences.
What happened when you tried to spin the angora? I've never spun it. Was it similar to cashmere, short staple length?
What was your treatment for the fly strike? I've had many kinds of problems but not that thankfully!!
Hi all! I grow my own pima cotton and raise my very own grouchy angora bunny. Theoretically, she is supposed to "blow her coat" which has never actually happened. So I surrepticiously cut bits of her fur off while she eats...her favorite thing to do. That way she's occupied and doesn't know I'm vandalizing her little body. Now that she's a big girl, over a year old, I've been harvesting her fur and am going to card it with the pima.
If anyone knows anything about angora's, I am open to any and all suggestions.
Greetings Everyone, Lisa and Kayt,
My name is Pat and I raise 12 sheep in the unincorporated suburbs of Chicago. I can't cover the Icelandics because of felting too. As far a getting rid of VM in fleeces combing does a beautiful job! My rambo girl gets lots of hay in her wool, but using the 5-pitch English combs (or any wool combs) makes a beautiful top which is a pleasure to spin. All the short ends and VM is out, left on the comb to be discarded or used for stuffing or something.
We've tried various styles of feeders and they all seem to have problems with hay-feeding. When they can eat the pasture grass they stay the cleanest, don't they? And they look so happy out there in the green meadow! Wish I had more land so I could have lambs again, but we're all wethered now. Can't keep any more.
I love to weave blankets. I use millspun warp and handspun weft. I'll try to post a couple photos.
Glad to meet you folks!
Washing is a big job. It helps if you have 2 tubs. I saw a unique bag at a recent fiberfest that holds a lot of wool and makes it easy to lift it out. I'm going to look into that. So far I use my pitchfork to lift the fleece from one tub to the next or to pick it up and slide it into a mess laundry bag to spin out the water. That works quite well. I love my pitchfork, wish I had another like it. It's an antique! Susan's Fibershop in WI has those bags. I'm sure I've seen them elsewhere too.
I usually send my wool out to be processed to either a roving, top or yarn now--so I can get spinning, dying and weaving. But it costs!
I'm in IL, near Chicago. I have sheep, not goats, but I've always heard and from my own experience, you have to be very careful with intact male animals--even sweet ones. When the hormones get surging they go bonkers. I've always heard never turn your back on a male--always keep an eye on him. Sounds like Wilbur is too familiar with you. Be careful and good luck!
I didn't see your reply until today. I was having a difficult time navigating around the site. I see that they've made some changes to the site and that it's still a work in progress.
But, in answer to your question...yes, I love having the lambs around. It's hard to believe but they are old enough now that they are eating hay and weaning has begun. As soon as the pasture regrows a bit they will be going out to graze where I can see them play.