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Bay Colony Farm
Fibers and Rabbits For Sale at Bay Colony Farm
Fibers For Sale
Rabbits for Sale
Comfort A Friend
Another Day at Bay Colony Farm
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Wool porn and bunny crack
Mood:  party time!
Now Playing: James Taylor "Up On The Roof"
Topic: Fiber

Two adults (Cassie and Winter) and two of Mia's babies were sheared yesterday. They all looked much happier without their longer coats on. Although the babies fiber wasn't over 3", it is still beautiful. I have 3 ounces of this fiber for sale right now (more available when I shear the other two down today) suitable for felting, at $3 per ounce. Can you see that crimp?

How about some Corriedale wool porn as Cate calls it?

Then I have some alpaca/angora I'll be blending. I'm making 1 ounce batts of this today. A cinnamon colored alpaca with cherry red angora.

These batts and fiber (and more!) will be at the gathering on Saturday, but if you want some now, e-mail me at Baycolonyfarm@aol.com and let me know. I can take MC/VISA, along with Paypal.

And, here is one of the bunnies for sale; two bucks from Mia's litter that will be ready to leave here mid August.

Isn't he cute? He's been living with his siblings, which is why his coat looks so scruffy.

He's naked now. :)

His brother (the one assuming the low position) discovered yesterday that shearing isn't such a bad thing. Both boys came over this morning pushing their heads under my hands wanting head pats and cheek rubs. I wish I had had my camera handy while shearing yesterday, when one of the boys decided to stretch out on my lap and just chill. It was too funny! Once they learn that shearing is something not to be feared, they become the most docile animals for shearing. This is really fantastic, especially for the new owners, as shearing a rabbit can be a stressful experience for both owner and rabbit. If the rabbit is relaxed, then the owner will be too. :)

I also have two nice pet quality bucks for sale, which will also be going to the Boston area gathering with me. I like to think of myself as an enabler. ;-)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:11 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2005 8:31 AM EDT
Friday, June 24, 2005
Nothing smaller?
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: A Flock of Seagulls "I Ran"
Topic: Fiber
I'm in an 80's kind of mood today. With Wednesday being my birthyday, and yesterday being the birthday of a friend of mine from high school, I've been going down memory lane. But it's a fun trip. :)

Anyway, I was at Webs yesterday to check out Jaggerspun Zephyr. They do stock it, in lots of colors. The only problem is that they sell it at a 1/2 pound minimum, unless I wanted to wind off a ball or two. Unfortunately, I only need 1260 yards and that yarn has over 5000 yards per pound (5040 I think). So I'd be buying an extra shawls worth at 1/2 pound. And winding off 1260 yards just isn't my thing. So I might head over to Textura Trading in Easthampton, where I have an account, and buy it there. I think I can get smaller cones of it from TT, and check out the angelina fibers that I need to stock up on.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:27 AM EDT
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Contest time!
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: The Beach Boys "California Girls"
Topic: Fiber
The time has come for me to make some decisions.

I need to start preparing for fall fiber fest season. In order to do that, I need to do some massive amounts of dyeing and fiber prep. This is where my readers come in. :)

I'm going to hold a contest. The winner gets a skein of this:

It is 85% German angora, 15% merino wool yarn. There are approximately 200 yards per skein. It has been washed and is ready to knit. This retails for $15 per ounce, and there are approximately 100 yards per ounce.

Or, if you'd like, I will make up a custom batt for you in your colorway if you are the winner.

The rules of the contest are (and I'm copying Cherry Tree Hill Yarns from when they did their colorway contest a few years ago):

Send me the colors you want to see in a carded batt, roving or yarn. It must contain at least 2 colors (and no more than 5 colors), and send me the name of your colorway. Include an explaination of your colorway (did you see these colors while on a vacation to the Cape, are they in your garden, etc.). Be as detailed as possible so that I can get the colors the way you see them. These must be original colorways, please! The winner of the contest will be announced in on July 1st. Your name and colorway will appear on the roving/batts ("Kathy's Romance" as an example).

Ready, set, go! :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:37 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 8:38 AM EDT
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Sewing? The Alden/Stephenie class and the latest update on VHD
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Creed "With Arms Wide Open"
Topic: Fiber

It seems I've been bitten again by the sewing bug. I had forgotten just how much I loved sewing when I was a teenager. I used to make almost all of my own clothes, and was very proud of my sewing skills. But I lost that love. I'm not sure if it was working on a sewing machine that clogged thread around the bobbin, or the fact that suddenly, patterns were WAY TOO BIG! And I hadn't gained or lost any weight; heck, I was a perfect size 6 then! But working on the felted coat last weekend reminded me just how much I loved the feel of fabric between my fingers, and creating something out of so little. I remembered the ease of sewing a pretty outfit. So this weekend, probably later today, I'm heading over to Joann's's Fabrics to look for skirt and dress patterns. Nothing overly complicated, as I'm still feeling my way back to sewing, but something that looks professional, yet is comfortable and cool. I'll try to do that later today, after work.

And speaking of work, I'm heading over to DH's place of employment to do some edgebanding. "Huh? What the heck is that?" you must be thinking. Well, edgebanding is what is done to melamine pieces that eventually become point-of-purchase displays. DH and I think we can get through a thousand of these pieces before too late today. The only bad thing is that there is NO air conditioning in the building, and it is blazingly hot in there. So maybe I'll do the fabric store thing after I've had a dip in the pool.

And I'm looking forward to meeting so many people at the Alden Amos class tomorrow. The Fiber Arts Center will be open at 9:30 for us to get into and class starts at 10 a.m. Please remember to bring the following items:

a functional spinning wheel, pocket calculator, skein winder (niddy or reel), extra bobbins.

And $15 cash for Alden and Stephenie at the class for the materials fee.

Now onto the more unpleasant task:

the VHD update:

As of 6-10-05, 10AM PST from Pam Alley:

Spoke with Drs. Hollis and Morley of KY today; they and their colleagues
have been doing site visits, phone calls and lots of investigation related
to the swap meet at which the Indiana owner procured his latest purchases.

The swap meet is held on Tuesdays, and is located in Greenville, KY--the
western part of the state, about 50 miles from the Indiana border.

If you know anyone who attends or visits this swap meet with rabbits or to
obtain rabbits, PLEASE contact Dr. Hollis at 503-337-9651, or email me at
RIC@... and I will pass the information on to him.

What they are seeking is news of mortality--losses of rabbits which are not
usual or routine, which might turn out to be due to RVHD. If you or anyone
you know has lost rabbits lately (last two weeks, last month or so), and the
deaths are not obviously attributable to 'normal' causes, PLEASE contact Dr.

The key to discovering this disease lies in good recordkeeping of both sales
and purchases; in early detection by owners; and in good diagnostic work
done on rabbits that die.

To aid in this last, those in and near the state of Indiana may use:
Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
West Lafayette, Indiana
Full necropsy $50 + lab tests beyond usual tests done
Out of state origin doubles the fee
Can submit and pay independent of veterinarian but require report to go
through the regular veterinarian.

I'm working on getting the information for Kentucky; please remember that
ALL states have State Veterinarians and USDA/APHIS veterinarians as
well--you can contact your Department of Agriculture and find their numbers
that way, or ask your veterinarian--they should have the contact information
you need.

by Pamela Alley, RVT

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:03 AM EDT
Monday, June 6, 2005
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: Byran Adams "Summer of '69"
Topic: Fiber

Still no pictures. That would require me moving. Seriously. I'm exhausted and sore. Making yardage is PHYSICAL activity, and is requiring me to use muscles that don't see all that much activity (especially in the back!). And besides, I'm afraid that if I bring my camera into the house, I'll forget it here and won't be able to record the rest of what is happening today up at the FAC.

BUT, Cathy from IBIWISI Alpacas almost completed her vest yesterday afternoon. A stunning red, with needlefelting. She had some finish handsewing to do, but it was wearable! I have pictures of it on my camera in the car.

The rest of us worked on completing yardage. Since we are all making coats, we have another day of class today to start cutting and sewing.

I am THRILLED with my yardage. The colors coming out are reminding me of Monet's Waterlilies paintings. And because I'm making a duster coat, it is long enough to take advantage of the gradual colors on it. But because it has these gradual colors, I won't be doing much embellishing. I'm going to be looking for small seed beads to sew onto it.

Pictures will follow after the close of class tonight.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:27 AM EDT
Friday, June 3, 2005
Remember this?
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Jimmy Buffett "Brown Eyed Girl"
Topic: Fiber

The two balls of roving on opposite ends*? I made this up last year just before MAS&W. It's called Creamsicle. I'm making more of it next week. I just sold the last amount this past weekend, and people love it! They adore the color combinations. Last year Pogo from Friend Folly Farm made the roving for me, but this year, I'm making the batts myself. There shouldn't be that much difference between the two, and I'll try to keep the colors separate like they were before. Last year it was an Icelandic/angora blend (the angora being the dyed wool), but this year I might try it up using some of the other wools I have. I still have Icelandic fleeces to use, so don't worry; I'll make some up using the Icelandic too. :)

*Photo courtesy of Claudia.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:13 AM EDT
Monday, May 23, 2005
The current project
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: The Fixx "Saved By Zero"
Topic: Fiber
Helen on NETA asked what our current project (WIP) is on the needles. Well, here it is:

It is a shawl of my own design made from the IAGARB co-op yarn, which I participated in (there is something unique about the shawl, which you can see at Cummington once it is finished). The yarn is a blend of 85% German angora, and 15% wool in a fingering weight. It is heaven to knit with and has a lovely bloom. The people that have felt this all get the same expression on their faces when they touch it (or the yarn I have put out for sale); it's a "Oooooh, this is SO soft" look (and usually that is what I hear them saying).

I guess I'm spoiled, because I have these lovely German angoras in my barn, I've become quite nonchalant about the feel of it. Sad, isn't it? ;-)

And for those that have asked, here is a picture of the new Hitchhiker wheel:

Tonight I'll be up in Cummington helping out for MAS&W. Five days to go! I love this fair; it is my home state fair, and the first one I vended at four years ago. I've been attending this show since 1997, and I really adore it. It is small enough so that kids can feel secure in the fairgrounds, and parents are o.k. with their kids getting a few feet a head of them, but yet large enough so that there are over 60 vendors this year (some really cool new ones at the back, by the stalls and food concessions!). And the diversity of the vendors is really branching out. I think you'll be surprised to see some of the new additions this year.
I'm looking forward to the Thriller potluck, which is always a culinary foodfest. And there are several Thrillers kind enough to bring lunch to those of us that can't be there in the middle of the food. It is ALWAYS greatly appreciated!

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:51 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2005 7:02 AM EDT
Sunday, May 22, 2005
More fleeces, and yet more fleeces
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Four Tops "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)"
Topic: Fiber

Oooooh, I can see the moon rising in the east while sitting here at my desk. It is a lovely pale yellow orb nestled in the tree branches. :)

I purchased two fleeces yesterday while up in Jamaica. Both were directly from the sheep, so skirting was minimal, but they were so pretty, that I couldn't resist. The first one is a Finn-Dorset, which had a bit of VM in it, but not as much as I expected since the sheep wasn't covered. That fleece is on it's third soaking and now enters the rinsing phase of cleaning. It is coming out beautifully, and I can hardly wait to card this up this week. It's white, and very, very soft, while having a fine crimp and a lovely handle to it.

My technique for washing is very simple; I fill my washer with the hottest water I can, stop the water, pour in some cheap laundry detergent until the water feels a bit slick. Today I added a bit of washing soda, which cut down on the suds during the draining phase. I soaked the fleece for about 20 minutes, then drained and spun out the water. I always turn off the water behind the washer as soon as I stop the water on the washer. By doing this immediately, I don't risk water pouring down on the fleece during the spin cycle, thus felting it. I will soak the fleece one or two more times the same way (using detergent) until it no longer feels greasy to my hands. Then I'll soak in plain hot water again, until there are no soap suds left. Sometimes, on a particularly greasy fleece, I'll add some Simple Green to the soap water. But, this also promotes LOTS of suds, which then increases the plain water soaks I have to do. But Simple Green cuts the grease quickly, and is worth it on the heavy grease fleeces. After the fleece has been soaked several times, I spin it out (again) and place on special drying racks that Deanna has made (these are a god-send, especially since they stack on each other and I can dry a lot of wool at once, yet maintaining a good air flow through the wool). Usually on hot days, the fleeces will require one or two turnings, and they are all set to card. The real secret to washing fleece is to make sure that you get all the grease out, because sometimes you will be fooled, and find that a fleece that you washed earlier is still a bit tacky and requires a few more soakings with detergent.

The second fleece is a white Shetland fleece. While I haven't taken this out of the bag, it shows great promise, especially for what I'm thinking of as carding with some angora.

Tomorrow I will contact a local college and see what they have for their fleeces, which they tell me are "dirty". But for the price, we'll see. It might be worth my time to pick through and remove the VM, or it might not. That is the chance you take when you buy fleeces from people not raising sheep for the handspinning community.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:53 PM EDT
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Actual Knitting Content? No way! WAY!
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Bryan Adams
Topic: Fiber
Last week this arrived:

Five pounds of millspun 85% angora/15% wool in a fingering weight yarn. This is from the IAGARB yarn co-op that has been set up for members.

So I grabbed a skein on Friday and set out to wash it to see what it would look like. And here is what I started working on last night:

Yes, I confess to going through two of my three Barbara Walker treasuries looking for lace patterns. Even picked a few out, but right now I just can't handling doing something that requires more than easy knitting, as I'm currently working three jobs, and I'm exhausted at the end of the day. Anyway, I want this to be finished in time for NHS&W so that I can wear it there (hey, I'll have washed skeins with me to sell, and people like to see exactly what you can do with the yarn). I might even dye it after I'm done knitting.

So, that is my goal; one finished triangular shawl in two weeks. I think I can do it.

AND (Drum roll please!), WEBS will be selling Bobbin Trees! So now they are carrying Bay Colony Farm's angora/wool blend batts, and the Original Bobbin Trees. (Helen doing the Happy Dance here!)

Today is finish the newsletter day, and prepare for a meeting later tonight, if I can't get my co-chair to move it to next week. If we move it, then I go to work tonight with DH and get more of those pieces ready to send out. I must get that done quickly, as I have 14 fleeces coming, and I have to process those before NHS&W too. :)

Oh yes, on the house front. I've finally picked out my flooring for the bathroom. This is my fifth attempt to find something (floors one and two were going to run me $1,200 and $1,900 respectively; for a 30 sq.ft. space? I think not. Floor three was only sold in 12 foot widths, and floor four was discontinued). It is a commercial grade flooring, currently made, and it looks nice with my "Colonial Cream" colored walls, and my Berber carpeting in the hallway. Once I get that ordered, it's 2 weeks until installation! Do I actually see a finished bathroom on the horizon?

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:10 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 8:04 AM EDT
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: America "You Can Do Magic"
Topic: Fiber
I just love this song. I reminds me of sitting on the beach, in late August of 1982, with the warmth of the sun baking into my shoulders, little portable radio next to me, in my sandchair. Can you tell that I love the beach? :)

The latest picture of the babies; they are now 13 days old. Aren't they cute? And they have VERY sharp teeth too. I got nipped on the hand between two fingers on Wednesday. Not enough to draw blood, but enough to leave a dent in the skin for a few hours. I can't begin to imagine how it feels to Mia when they latch on to nurse, which will continue for another 3 weeks.

They have figured out that rubbing behind the ears feels really good, and their little heads will just relax and drop down while they nash their teeth in sheer pleasure.

And here is the yarn purchased over at Webs. I'm making the shell on the far right.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 5:24 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 15, 2005 5:21 AM EDT

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