The Friday before Christmas I, Momma, was lucky enough to experience Mother Nature’s “Winter White.” I put my barn chores on hold, grabbed my camera, and spent 30 minutes snapping photos of our ranch covered in hoar frost (a grayish-white crystalline deposit of frozen water vapor formed in clear still weather on vegetation, fences, etc).
Hoar frost sitting on our Spirea bushes in the front yard.
Our baby Ponderosa Pine on the east side of our circle drive.
As I walked in the clouds, due to a shroud of fog covering the ranch, the sounds of silence granted me a subtle peace. Our family wishes all of you a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.
The Three Musketeers stand covered in a coat of “Winter White.”
Ponderosa pine needles flocked with frost.
Aunt Geri here with the latest Magic Scarf creation. This scarf is thick and Uncle Jerry says it’s just “beefy”. It is a wonderful alpaca boucle with a variegated wool strand and a ribbon. The name came about as we were watching old Star Wars movies, and I made it thick and warm because the movie people were living on an ice planet and it was -30 degrees here?!!
I guess thoughts of spring abound because of the bitter cold wind with a triple berry Magic Scarf. It’s another “beefy” one – as Uncle Jerry says, and has pink and purple alpaca worsted yarns with a wonderfully soft nylon eyelash accent. Someone will be “plum crazy” about this one!
The magic scarves just keep rolling off my needles! This one is a lovely olive color with the contrast being created from textures. The base yarn is Joya, which is an alpaca boucle that customers love (sadly, it was discontinued). Mix this with an olive worsted alpaca yarn and some gold glitter…………….Magic, and super soft.
One sock, two socks, red socks and blue socks. Only 5 days left to shop until Christmas! Don’t forget our barn store is open, and we’re here just about all of the time. This year we are selling alpaca socks and more alpaca socks. Our close friend Cindy, tells me, Momma, the socks just seem to sell themselves.
Our work socks are made in the USA from alpacas raised locally. They come in a boot sock and a crew sock.
Actually we gave Cindy alpaca socks last year for Christmas, and she loved them so much she gave them to her students and friends, and they loved them so much they gave them to their friends and family, you get the idea.
Our dress socks are made in Peru. We obtain them through a free trade organization headquartered in Denver.
We have two kinds of socks: work socks which have microbial silver knit into them for keeping sweaty, smelly feet warm and happy, and we have dress socks which are great for keeping your toes toasty and they’re mega soft.
The microbial silver knit into our work socks fights bacteria which causes athlete’s foot. Sweaty feet don’t smell bad, and your feet stay warm.
Hi all, Kirstin here. Thanks for your concern about my shoulder. It looks like it’s going to be a slow healer, I’m afraid. Anyhoo. I’m close to driving myself nuts, since I can’t do any of the things I normally do, but I have had time to collect some reference pictures for inspiration.
I’m thinking my next project will be a large felted scene. For such a potentially long project, I want to choose a subject that I love. I went through all the pictures I have from backpacking with Dad and my brother, and hiking with my friends.
I think I’ll start with the above scene. We took this picture on a trail named “Endlich” (which means “finally” in German) in the Weminuche wilderness area, in southwestern Colorado. It was long trip and this was our last pass. We were really in the groove, our packs were light, and we beat the afternoon storms to the top. As we rested before heading down the other side, we turned around and took this shot.
I think it would really fun to play with perspective and dimension, having detailed flowers and grass in the foreground that fade to more impressionistic splotches of color in the background.
I’m less certain about the other scene. It will be some amalgamation of the pictures above, with lots of granite and snow (ideal, since we have grey and white alpacas). I’ll probably add a high alpine lake to the foreground. That one will require some sketching before I nail it down. I don’t improvise well when I’m felting.
Actually, that sentence could just say: “I don’t improvise well.” 😉
Then sometimes the wheel just falls off. Dad here with today’s blog post. Our compost pile is quite a ways from the house and barn. This means we have to use a dump wagon to haul the “goods” to the pile. This trip happens at least once a day and sometimes more, and in turn puts a lot of miles on the wagon. On Sunday’s second trip I lost my wheel. One minute it was there, the next it wasn’t. I walked back down the road and there it was.
Turns out (pun intended) that the wobble in the wheel wore out the hub. Luckily I keep all of my worn out wheels and tires for one reason or another. I have another wheel with a good hub, but a bad tire. So I’m off this morning to Big’O Tires to swap the rims and we should be back in business.
Posted in business
Tagged ranch life
Happy Friday everybody! If you’re like me you still have some Christmas shopping to do. We’re finished with our holiday craft shows, and I finally have our barn store set up for any Christmas shopping you might have left to do. I know, I ‘m running a little late, but Thanksgiving came late this year, and I can’t think about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over.
Getting started with setting up the store
If you have a certain someone who is difficult to buy for, there’s nothing more unique than something made from alpaca. As you can see from the pictures, we have something for everyone. We don’t have set hours, but I’m rarely off the ranch. Please just give me a call before you get on your way. My phone number is: 303-842-0173.
Hand knit scarves for one and all
Reasonably priced free trade items from Peru
We still have some of our alpaca rugs in inventory
An alpaca blanket will keep you warm and toasty
We have a wide selection of hats and hat and scarf sets
Posted in business, Fashion, fiber art
Tagged barn store, Blankets, Christmas, Christmas and holiday season, hats, holiday, rugs, scarves, yarn
Aunt Geri here with my latest hat design which is an ear-flap Chullo hat. It is made with a super bulky, hand painted baby alpaca yarn that is yummy soft. Our friend that helps us take care of our foster horses always wears this style of hat, so I thought I would attempt to make one for her for Christmas made with alpaca. It turned out pretty good so I will make some for Cliff House too. One more gift completed.
Yes, I know, we’ve all been talking about the cold. Dad here, and the cold affects more than just us. Not only does it take longer to do everything from cleaning, feeding and watering the Alpacas, but we also have to make sure that everyone is comfortable and that they can get to their food and water.
The heater in the stock tank “Trying” to stay ahead of the cold.
Marseille looking over Brittany’s frost covered shoulder. Brittany’s fiber coat keeps her warm!
The barn door wreath – Happy Holidays!
Aunt Geri here, plying yarn and watching the snow – feeling sorry for the creatures living outdoors dealing with these bitter temps and strong winds. Selfishly, I’m glad our few morning chores for our foster horses are complete – knowing Momma and Dad are behind on their chores because of the storm, and the holiday craft shows they’ve been participating in. I never take these things for granted though – they work hard caring for the animals and owning/managing 3 businesses and the ranch!
Plying is pretty mindless, my thoughts wander – I think of how much our small tribe has learned and accomplished in a few short years. I’m honored by Momma and Dad’s friendship, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with them in the fiber arts. We all share a passion for the animals and for creating beautiful things. We also share a strong work ethic, and I wish Uncle Jerry and I were closer to help with some of the daily tasks – which are endless. Those of you who know them understand they’re constantly working, but they always find time to open their home and their hearts to share time with family and friends. This caring, sharing and giving is just who they are, and the work will still get done!
This yarn is a dream to work with – a super soft 80/20 alpaca/silk blend from a small alpaca ranch outside of Laramie, WY. It is a lovely dark taupe/brown color with a great sheen-I ‘m determined to weave a scarf with it (after I learn how!). I have no idea how much yarn I will need but I have 394 yards of this fingering weight 2-ply………….. I’ll keep you posted!
p.s. Momma here, I posted this blog out of chronological order. Frankly, I felt unworthy to post it, but I talked to Aunt Geri on the phone yesterday, and she asked me to get it up on the blog today. We consider ourselves to be very blessed to have Aunt Geri and Uncle Jerry in our lives.
Last Saturday, Uncle Jerry went to the last Wyoming football game of the season. I, Aunt Geri, couldn’t go because I had my first weaving class. Since it was at my house and I’m the student as well as the instructor, missing it would have been double trouble!
This is my little Beka rigid heddle lap loom. The instructor knows I’m a “kin-esthetic” (hands on) learner, so she wasted no time in making my first assignment – a belt. We used cotton yarn for learning and went with all the primary colors plus green for the warp (vertical) strings. This teaches how the weft yarn (horizontal threads) blends into the warp to create secondary and tertiary colors.
Once you get into a “rhythm” you can almost weave in a continuous motion. Being fairly ambidextrous, I moved right along, which is a good thing since I must say my instructor is a little short on patience!
The belt will be a Christmas gift for a friend who is a waitress at the local cafe. Now I have “warped” the loom to start my next project using a yarn that was hand-spun by Kirstin.