Shearing is an evening with wine and good conversation. Not sure how April feels for the animals afterwards, but it is such a load off our human backs. A new beginning to run around unencumbered; everybody grow some more hair freely; exposed to come-what-may.
Where to begin, where to begin, there are so many steps? Having seen the video, one may have the idea for yourself. For us, let's say it is the fastest way to get something good, assuming one would rather make things themselves.
Depending on the particular animal, but generally speaking now, alpaca and llama are softer than sheep obviously. They are all easy to spin. When we are sheared, only the long, clean fiber is saved. We used to wash all the fiber in 50 gallon barrel, left to dry on screen outdoors. Now since the fiber is off cut off good animals, we don't bother with washing or carding, just straight to spinning the dusty stuff. It'll get washed later in the laundry.
Spinning thick yarn is softer and warmer than spinning thin yarn. Have not made a rug yet, for who would want to step on this stuff, but the thickness of the two-ply blanket shown in video renders it even heavy to carry, let alone to lay under. As a blanket, it is just great. Very soft, even silky, and keeps its shape despite fitfull slumbers.
Really so many steps, so many different looms; should make a video of shearing technique: just contact us to talk about anything. The video is for those timid and need a distant view at first about the process. Our favorite participation is spinning and living with the creatures.
In 2010 reused metal from a dilapidated barn to recover ours'. Same tar side up and re-coated the screws. Added cupola and constructed corn crib from inverted cattle panels.
Labels: Roof line
When emu egg laying winds down around March and April, it's the season for rheas then to change their behavior. All of a sudden, Carl, here, considers most creatures unfairly for a couple months and lets it be heard. Otherwise, he's excellent company.
Trying to do more with the sun, which comes out enough to make it worthwhile. The southern exposure of the house, pictured below, is a glass room (720 sq. ft by 11' ceiling) containing a seldom-used pellet fireplace. Let me start off giving some numbers pertaining to the most drastic month, and assume heating the room just gets easier from there. In the morning the temperature can be 20-degrees inside and out depending on the wind. On any clear Winter day, as the sun is positioned lower, by 10am the room temperature is 50-degrees. By noon, temperature is 75 to 80-degrees. At that point, a whole-house fan moves the heat across the attic, down into the rest of the house. To me, this makes heating a glass house not so ineffecient.
The next project is a solar panel. Insulated a 6" 4' x 8' box with an old sliding glass door on the top. Opened and layed around 250 aluminum cans in rows end-to-end. It's mounted on the side of the barn roof in an attempt to heat a guest room in hay-loft. After an uninsulated 25 feet, through a bath fan, air maintains 75-degrees.