Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday

I want to wish my dad a very happy birthday.
For anyone that knows my dad, they know that he's as good as they come.
He is known around here as Don, Dad, Grandpop and "Pastures and Gates Guy".
If you were to stop by the farm anytime on the weekend you would find him riding some kind of equipment. Tractors, lawn mowers, golf cart, four wheeler, just about anything that can get you around and if it digs a hole it's a bonus.

If you haven't had the pleasure to meet my dad, you're missing out.
He's one in a million.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Love, Lee, Rick, Dalton, Garrett, Andee, Sean, Brady, Shea, Lizzie, Nick, Mom,
Maisie, Star, Melody, Wdamo, Geneva, Spicy, Ox, Sanda, Kigo, Awan and Kal :)




Thursday, May 26, 2011

No babies yet

We're not sure what Star is waiting for...but no baby yet.

We have been told that alpaca moms like to wait for nice days to have their baby.
Well, news flash Star, it's nice out. Now let's have that baby!!!!

We will be sure to post baby info as soon as there is some to post :)

For now, happy Thursday and have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Ox

Happy 1st Birthday Ox


Offical Name: Abenaki Aksen

ARI#31675123

DOB May 22, 2010

Sire: Snowmass Legacy Gold's Mlikigo

Dam: Cyugastar


On our farm he goes by the name Ox. We adore his sweet and gentle personality.


Happy Birthday Big Guy


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Waiting for Babies!

This is my mom, aka The Bean Queen.
She took a break from farm chores to sit and wait for crias to be born.
Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

The girls are showing signs that labor should be soon.
Come on girls! You can do it!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Friday


Wishing you a happy weekend!
Star's due date was yesterday...so maybe we'll have a new baby here this weekend!
The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so fingers are crossed for
a new baby :)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yarn Along- Spinning Edition

I wanted to share something a little different this week.
Knitting projects are still going on, but I would like to focus on Liz and her hand spun yarn.

My sister, Liz is our amazing spinner. She works on a drop spindle as well as a spinning wheel. Frankly, she amazes me. She says it's "so easy". Well, when I tried it, I broke her spinning wheel 5 times in a matter of minutes. So she makes it look "so easy" but trust me, it's not. She has an amazing talent that I'm envious of. So while the rest of us knit like maniacs, she spins away, creating the most beautiful yarn. It's so soft and wonderful!

I stopped by her house this morning and she was working on some beautiful white 100% alpaca yarn. She started with roving from Abenaki Acre's Marlee. She spun it on her spinning wheel and then plyed it on her drop spindle.

How pretty is that? I love it.

The next step is taking the newly plyed yarn and putting it on her knitty knotty.


And then voila!!!!!!!! Gorgeous 100% hand spun alpaca yarn.


We are very excited to have a new drum carder on the farm. This will allow us to create our own roving from our alpaca's fleeces. So fun to have a new toy! I'm sure that in the upcoming days and months we will be giving that carder a good workout! This should allow us the freedom of making exactly the yarn that we like best and providing people in our area with fine alpaca yarn.

And this is super cute Finn.
He is Liz and Nick's 6 month old entlebucher puppy.
He's such a good boy and watched with such interest.

I hope you are all having a great week.

Happy Knitting!
-Leanne


Liz added this comment:
I first attempted spinning in 2006/2007ish? and i could not figure out that silly little drop spindle!! Last May at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival, Maggie Casey (a spinning expert) gave a very informal lecture on spinning with a drop spindle, and I left there with every question i had answered... and viola! I could spin :)
I still prefer the look of my drop spindle plied yarn over my spinning wheel plied... I just need a little more practice plying on the wheel, but for now, I will continue to spin on the wheel and ply on one of my drop spindles!

If you want to learn, just relax, read a few books about it, watch a ton of YouTube videos, and if you are lucky enough, watch a few spinners in person, and ask them your questions! Don't go too fast at first, and again, relax!! it shouldn't be stressful!

Happy spinning!!



Sheared Alpacas

Skinny Spicy!
This picture shows just how much fleece in on an alpaca before shearing.
I'm so excited to knit with the yarn from these pretty girls!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Before and After Videos

Shearing Day May 13th, 2011


The alpacas are sheared once a year. The shearing is done for the health and well-being of the alpacas. A ten minute hair cut will ensure happy health alpacas over the hot summer months.

Before and After Videos

Before

Spicy, Geneva, Wdamo, Ox, Sandy, Kigo


video
After


Spicy, Geneva, Wdamo, Ox, Sandy, Kigo



video


Awan & Kal


Before



video


Awan & Kal


After



video


Melody & Star


Before



video


Melody & Star


After



video


To see more pictures please visit our website.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A little trip to the festival




Last year was my first trip to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Oh boy...I was in heaven! Last year, my sister, Liz and I lost my mom many times throughout the weekend because she would wonder off. But it was always easy to find her. She was the lady hanging out at the alpaca pen. She fell in love with those fuzzy creatures and that night she knew that she had to have some of her own. She had already done a lot of research on alpacas and was very interested in joining this wonderful community. The next month the first fence post when in. After a long, hot summer of putting up fencing, barns and everything else that needed to be done, the alpacas were here. And my mom is still the lady hanging out at the alpaca pen. Except now she gets to go IN the pen :)

I'm a lover of the alpacas. I do love these funny fuzzy animals. But I'm also a lover of the sheep. My heart melts when I see them. Maybe it's their curly hair that I am attracted to. I am in my third trimester with this baby and was a bit nervous to take the trip down this year, but I did it. I took my best friend, Tara with me. I walked very slowly, sat on the grassy hill to eat my fresh ham gyro (yum). Together we enjoyed every minute of the festival. We came home with some fabulous yarn, full bellies and tired feet. It was a good weekend.

Just wanted to share some pictures from the festival. If you have never been there, it is a wonderful place. I feel like I'm in heaven at the show.

Beautiful hand dyed yarns...

Buttons from Melissa Jean (love her stuff)

This guy made us laugh. A newly sheared sheep in his sheep sock!

Baby's First Festival


Some of the goods...


Until next year....

Tomorrow is shearing day! We'll post lots of pictures for you all to enjoy over the weekend.

Happy Knitting
Leanne

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along Part II (5/11/11)

I started working on my Little Seashell Scarf again. I have decided I am not going to work on anything else until this is finished. I am almost done.





It is made from 100% baby alpaca. It is so soft.



I had a huge scare this week when my two year old came running into the room with it in his hands. Thank goodness I had a guard on the end of my needles. That was a close one.

Happy Knitting,

Andee

Wednesday Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday!
I have officially hit my third trimester with this baby and I forgot how
exhausting it is! So....I've been doing a lot of sitting and knitting this week.
I decided that the baby has enough fall sweaters for now so on to some knitting for myself.
After a wonderful trip to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival,
I just HAD to get some new projects casted on this week. Have I mentioned that I love knitting?

Mother's Day morning...
Casted on with some chunky yarn on chunky needles for a quick and squishy cowl.
I loved doing this cowl. I need to find more of this yarn pronto and get started on some more.
It's inspired by the Gaptastic Cowl on Ravelry but I did make some modifications on it.



Finished Cowl
Button is from Melissa Jean (purchased at the sheep and wool festival) Fun!


Just casted on to make the Peasy Sweater from Ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/peasy
Working with a merino superwash I bought at the Festival
Directions are a little wonky on this, but I'm following them ok. Just need to remind myself to take my time and concentrate. (I'm not very good at doing that)


The baby blanket continues....
I have two months to complete it. I WILL! Ugh. It's getting boring.


I also want to give a shot out to my fabulous husband for buying me a new WONDERFUL camera of my own for Mother's Day/Birthday. Thanks babe! Now my pictures will look sooooo much better on here. I LOVE it.

Hope you are all having a great day. Enjoy this beautiful spring weather!

Happy Knitting
-Leanne

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to my mom!

Today is Mother's Day.
So I would like to publicly wish my mom a Happy Mother's Day and share a bit about her and what makes her the best mom in the world.

My mom has three daughters. Two of us live within walking distance to her and the other one is a few minutes away. I think this is proof that we like her :) We like her a lot.
Throughout my childhood, my mom was always upbeat, funny, caring, supportive, encouraging, strict enough to keep us all in line, loving and wonderful. She made our home the kind of house every kid would want to grow up in. The house was always filled with our friends, random animals, people stopping in to see the horses, soccer player parents hanging out around the dining room table, kids playing in the pool and running around in the big backyard.

Growing up, we had horses. I think there is a picture of me in a saddle when I was a week old.
Animals have always been a part of our lives. We had horses for many years, always a dog or two in the house, a cat, birds, fish, newts and other critters. It was always interesting!

In the past few years, all three girls have moved on (although not far away!)...gotten married and two of us have had our own children. She is now the grandmother to four little boys and one more baby boy on the way. She loves our boys and would do anything for them. I love to see her with them. Always thinking about what they would like to do and keeping them happy.

Last July, my mom lost her mom. I watched her care for her for so many years. Doing everything for her like grocery shopping, taking her to her appointments, buying her clothes, taking her food and everything in between. She is the most giving woman that I have ever met. She did it all without complaining and with a brave face. Throughout the time that my grandmother's health was really failing, the alpacas came in to our lives.

The exciting decision was made to bring these wonderful fuzzy creatures to the farm and my grandmother was so excited about this. She knew how much my mom loved animals.
I wish so much she could have met them. But she passed away just weeks before Awan and Kal got here. We know that the alpacas brought so much joy to both my mom and my grandmother in those last few weeks of her life.

The picture above just shows everything I love about my mom. She's still a little kid at heart. Smiling so silly and loving her animals...with some grandkids close by.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
We all love you very very much.
And so do your alpacas...

Love, Lee


Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday's Picture

Wishing everyone a happy weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day!
I am headed down to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival to drool over some cute animals, fabulous yarn, and to enjoy a tasty fresh ham gyro.
Mom will be home on baby cria watch. Hang in there Star!
-Leanne

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday Yarn Along



It's been a slow knitting week around here.
But Andee made a super cute headband for our
good friend, Tara's birthday. So here is her latest project!
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/AndeeKF/tara-headband





Knit for Japan Project

In other news, I read this post over on Ginny's Blog at Small Things
If you have time, please check it out and participate.
http://www.gsheller.com/2011/05/knit-for-japan.html

She has a friend that is trying to collect 400 hats for people in Japan. It gets very cold over there and a handmade hat would help. If everyone could just knit or crochet one hat, it could help someone. I am going to get knitting right away. Please see details below:

(From Ginny's Post)
So here's the deal::
I would love to help Betsy reach her goal of four hundred hats for Japan, wouldn't you? By August, when Betsy travels to Japan to deliver the hats, the tragedy there will most likely no longer be in the news. Wouldn't it be wonderful for those who receive our gifts to know that they have not been forgotten? A knitted or crocheted hat is a small gift, but it is a handmade gift, and one that can be filled with love and prayers. There are no size or pattern requirements. I plan to knit an adult sized hat, but think that children's sized hats would be welcome as well.

Hats can be mailed to:
G. Sheller
P.O. Box 9114
Fredericksburg, VA 22403
In addition to knitted and crocheted hats: scarves, mittens, and washcloths are welcome as well. I am planning to create a gift tag that will be printed and attached to each item that I receive. I will update my blog periodically with the progress being made and will be sure to share photos of many of the knitted items that are donated.
The deadline is July 15. This will give me plenty of time to tag everything, and mail it to Betsy before she leaves for Japan in August. The hats will be personally distributed in Japan by Betsy and Alex.
I hope so much that many of you will join us!!! Thank you!
Please grab this button and add it to your blog sidebar to help spread the word!


Small Things





Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

KFC

When the pastor from our church called my mother and asked her if it would be okay if she came to the farm with KFC my mother told her she was more than welcome to come to the farm, but she didn't have to bring chicken. After a good laugh by Pastor Reggie she told my mother KFC stood for "Kids for Christ". They got a very good laugh over that and I think we will be laughing about it for years to come.



The kids came to the farm today and they were such a joy.

Ox, Sandy and Kigo were delighted to have all the attention at their pen.









The children lined up along the fence and together they all said a prayer. Then they all got a chance to pet an alpaca. Also while on the farm they were able to see the baby alpacas "cria" kicking inside their expectant mothers. We all watched together to see the alpacas belly's moving. Everyone got a chance to see yarn and handmade items from alpacas' fiber. Then finished the tour with chocolate chip cookies and apple cider.


Thanks KFC and Manasquan United Methodist Church for visiting our farm we enjoyed having you.