Shearing

I finally started shearing goats today.  Only got two done, Cinnamon and Maggie. I probably should aim for three to four a day each day for the next week.

I am putting the bucks off to last, because I really need John to help me get them on the stand for me, I’m just not strong enough to convince them to walk up that ramp. Plus, if I don’t get a buck done before cold weather strikes, it’s not too worrisome.

The does, though, all need to be sheared because many of them are pregnant, and if they are too hairy, their kids can’t find their teats, and I end up with a bunch of bottle babies. Which is a lot of work, but I usually sell them within a few weeks to people who want to raise bottle babies.

Bottle-raised kids are always friendlier and easier to handle than those who stay with their mamas.  Even as adults, they will come over just to say hi and get a pat or two.

I’ll try to get a photo or two tomorrow of the goats I catch to shear.  It’s awkward trying to take photos of them because I have two kids trying to help me with everything, and they are entirely too curious about cameras.

Shearing Time

I need to get about 25 of my goats sheared in the next couple of weeks.  I shear each of my goats on a grooming stand with a good and sharp electric shears, made for shearing goats and sheep.

It has recently come to my attention that PETA is pushing the lie that shearing goats and sheep is injurious to the animals.  They somehow managed to make a video of a shearer in another country leaving bloody animals.  They advertise: Don’t Buy Wool.

Balderdash and poppy cock.

First of all, I’ve never seen any fiber animal bloodied to that extent before.  I have seen shearers make a mistake and cause some bleeding, and that is one reason why I shear my own animals. Just like hundreds of other people who raise fiber animals.

I’m not the quickest shearer in town, it takes me a good 15 to 20 minutes to completely shear a goat -sometimes longer if there is a lot of VM  (vegetative matter) to get through.

The only time one of my goats bleed is if I trim their hooves just a bit too much – just like a dog’s toenail will bleed if you cut it too short.

I’m angry that this crazy group of people with a record for killing more dogs and cats in their so-called shelters than any other shelter thinks they can demand that the human race stop using wool and mohair and all the other natural fibers that come from animals.

So, I will try to video me shearing one of my goats to show the world that no, animals are not harmed from shearing, and that natural fibers are  most definitely worth purchasing.shearing angel

Blue and Red Cobweb Felted Scarf

This one is sold, also.  Yay me!

I hand-dyed 100% Wool Roving and then cobweb felted it to create this one of a kind scarf.  It is red and blue, and a very lightweight felt.  Cobweb felting is kind of like a cobweb – there are areas with spaces between the wool.

If you are interested in purchasing this scarf, it is $75.00 with free shipping in the USA. Let me know in the comments, or you can buy it directly from my artfire.com shop – https://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/home/Castle_Argghhh.

redbluecobweb2 blueredwool cobweb scarf3

Hand-dyed, Cobweb-felted Wool Scarf

With Christmas coming faster than you can imagine, I will start posting my hand-made items here.

That was fast.  It has sold. 😉

This is a very special, hand-dyed, hand-felted wool scarf.

I created a special, decorative flower of the same wool as an accent.  I cobweb-felted the wool along with some black firestar for sparkle.  It is a very long scarf – over 80 inches in length.

The width varies a bit from 7 to 8 inches.  It is a very lightweight scarf, but will keep you quite warm.

Handwash in cool water and very mild soap, then you can drape it over your shower curtain to dry.

This is a unique piece.  There will never be another one like it.

It is $125.00, shipping included.

If you are interested, please let me know in the comments, and I will send you a PayPal invoice..

80 inches long by 7 to 8 inches wide. $125.00 includes Priority Mail Shipping within the USA.

80 inches long by 7 to 8 inches wide.
$125.00 includes Priority Mail Shipping within the USA.

Close up of decoration

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival Experience As A Vendor Sucked.

I’ll never get those three days of my life back. I paid good money to be a vendor at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival last weekend, and discovered how badly the festival is run these days.
It was a horrible experience for Russell, my artist friend, and I. We were treated badly by the people who did not realize that we were their customers, even to the point that one of the workers there thought it was okay to call me a whore in a black dress when I complained about the situation.

Anyway, there were funny things that occurred, funny things that helped to make up a tiny little itsy bitsy bit for the insults.

I’ll be sharing those stories with you.

Here is the first one.  Russell called this the Story of the Mutton Man.

A family with three children, mom, dad and grandpa came by to watch me spin. The oldest girl was maybe 11 years old, and extremely shy, almost afraid of people.
As usual, I try to talk the ones who seem to need the attention the most. I showed her some wool, had her touch it and then spun a bit of yarn to give her to tie around her wrist.

Then I did the same for her younger brother and sister.

I talked about my goats. Then Grandpa piped in. “When do you eat them?”

I said, I don’t raise my goats for food. They are fiber animals, and I can shear them every six months for their entire life and make money each time I do that. If I sent them to a butcher, I’d lose money in the long run. (this was an attempt to let him know I was in it for the business, but it failed).

The idiot says, “What do you do with them when they get old?”

Again, I said, I can still shear them every six months until they die of old age.

And grandpa says, ” But I like mutton!”.

Russell and I looked at each other. I said to the old man, “Ummmm, I raise goats”. They are fiber goats. They grow 1 inch of mohair each month. I shear their mohair off twice a year. I use the mohair in items I sell or I sell the mohair.”

And he says, “But I want mutton!”.

Finally, we informed him that mutton comes from sheep.

Right over his head.

Right over his head.

Goat Farmer Life

The goats were very naughty this evening. Fully one half of them decided to do some exploring and were nowhere to be found, including Carly, the wee little bottle baby goat.

The only goat who stays home is Willow, it seems, but she thinks she is a dog, so eh.

Instead of leisurely preparing everything to go to the Ren Fest tomorrow, I had to go hunting for my naughty, naughty goaties.

I suspected I knew where they had gone, but I did not want to have to go get them and bring them home because that entails walking through our overgrown woods to the south, getting stuck on those stupid wild roses and other sticker bushes, getting spiderwebs in my face, climbing under a barbed wire fence, over a metal gate and stalking them through a hayfield that does not belong to us, but to a neighbor who does not live on their land.

And of course, I was right.

So I yelled at them to go home, and ran behind them, and they decided to cross over to our property about 300 yards after I wanted to cross over. Ugh.

I climbed under the closer barbed wire fence with Carly, because she was hungry for her bottle and figured out that I was the only being around who was going to feed her little butt.

As Carly and I crossed over into our land, Suellen, the semi-evil little dog, Buffy, the Coyote Slayer (best dog around) and Willow, the goat who thinks she is a dog all came running, barking or making goat noises , towards me.

I told them it was time for us all to turn around because we were going home!! And I proceeded to walk 1/4 mile tripping and falling over Suellen, Buffy, Carly and Willow. They all thought they should lead the way, but they would suddenly stop right in front of me, and it was often all I could do to stay upright.

We got home, I fixed Carly’s formula and then spent 30 minutes getting all the goats into their night time pasture.

So here I sit, wool, mohair, yarn, dryer balls, scarves, all kinds of things surrounding me, and I’m thinking hecky darn. I’m going to bed now – I’ll just get up early to put this all together for the weekend.

And I feel a little sorry for my dear husband, because he is going to have to deal with the Goats of Argghhh! While I’m trying to earn some money!