Open House and Cold Weather

The open house was a hoot.  Cora returned the Bosworth charkha she borrowed from us but it went home with Abby who has learned to spin cotton on a takli support spindle and wants to try out the charkha.  We also sent Abby home with cotton hand cards to play with and some of our own hand picked raw cotton to card and spin.  Cora was fascinated with the hand woven towel and washcloth that live in the bathroom out here so we figured out what yarn was used and what the weave structure is so she could copy them in her own way at home.  We also looked at and measured and talked about the linen face cloths we sell that I wove on the 10" Cricket loom.  She wants to try making some herself as Christmas gifts.  Kim brought a fabulous tray of home made cookies and she and I tried to solve the world's problems while everyone else was out checking on the animals.  Mark and Emily, who don't spin or weave, especially enjoyed the animals.  I think a good time was had by all.

I started weaving on the triangle loom after a hiatus of several months.  I love the tri and it's nice to be back weaving on it again.  I had a request for something in red/black/grey/white so I rounded up some great hand spun yarn, some spun by Peggy and some by me.  It's starting to take shape and I hope the person who asked for it will be happy with the result.

Peggy finally finished up spinning the pink/orange fiber she has been working so diligently on.  By the time you get to the end of a large pile of fiber you usually hate the colors and that's exactly where Peggy is.  The yarn is stunning, of course, and she will love it again once it's plied and washed.

Sunday of the open house was hot and humid.  It was over 80 degrees and incredibly sticky.  We put the shawls out on the porch for the afternoon and were worried they were too damp to put away.  We moved the rack inside so they could all dry out.  I think I'll leave the rack up for a while.  The only time we see the shawls hung up is at a show and it's really nice to gaze at them across the room while I'm weaving.

Sunday night the front moved through.  We were hoping for lots of rain but got only a few sprinkles.  No thunder, no lightning, no rain.   Houston and points north and east got all three.  What we did get was the cold.  Yea for the cold!  It was down into the 40's Sunday night and below freezing this morning.  It's predicted to be even colder tonight.  It never stays cold here for long so by next weekend we will be back above freezing even at night.

Up until recently, I haven't worried about my animals in the cold.  I always worry about rain when the temperature is under 40 degrees but not the cold.  Even down in the teens, the Angora goats, llamas and alpacas have nice woolly coats that protect them.  They all have shelters, too, that are bedded with a couple bales of hay so they can get out of the wind and bed down in comfort.  The horses are fine too.  Just give them lots of hay to eat and they are happy as little clams down into the teens as well.  But what about Fitz and Fly?  This is the first time I've ever had goats that don't come with winter coats.  Of course, my first call was to Nancy at Piper Farm Goat Milk Soap.  Yes, I need to protect my short haired goats.  Yes, they need shelter but more important than that, they need shelter they can get into without being pushed around by the long haired goats.  This could be an issue.  Fitz and Fly have made a good job of getting to know all the other goats but all the other goats are not necessarily kind to them.  Based on my time watching the herd, Fitz and Fly get butted more than anyone else.  So they spend last night in the barn in a nice cozy stall with lots of hay.  I'll do this again tonight and every night that is really cold.