Tog And Thel And Farm Life

<a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1068/1374306370_2bfdd36f0a.jpg?v=0
” target=”_blank”>It’s been chilly and rainy here in west-central Wisconsin, so we’ve had the fireplace going again.

<a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1120/1374798556_a37f242fc2.jpg?v=0
” target=”_blank”>Our abandoned, bottle-fed kitten, Annie, has been re-named Yoda (because she resembled him when she was a big-eared baby). She is over 4 lbs. now and doing great.

<a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1045/1374798010_946ba76e27.jpg?v=0
” target=”_blank”>Molly is at that leggy just-under-a-year stage, but still all smiles and kisses!

<a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1336/1374802292_1855bf05a6.jpg?v=0
” target=”_blank”>Molly still sleeps in that ultra-relaxed way puppies have.

<a href="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1322/1373893389_f14662a714.jpg?v=0
” target=”_blank”>The rescued pups, Dobie Emma and Heinzer Molly, can usually be found cuddling on the futon. We had Molly’s DNA tested; she is not anything she appears to be. The only recognizable breeds that show up in her profile – and these are WAY down in terms of percentage of her makeup – are Bulldog, Akita, and Chow Chow. We call her a ChowKita Banana(tail).

I’ve spent the last week separating tog (outer) and thel (inner) fibers of a single Icelandic fleece. These fibers are from Annie, mother of some of our new Icelandic ewe lambs. Annie is owned by Craig and Jill Johnson of Riverwinds Farm in Boyd, WI.

I plan to spin the two types of fibers into separate yarns, and then combine them in knitted slippers from a pattern from a recent issue of Ashford’s “The Wheel” magazine. The coarser fibers will give durability to the outside while the cushy fibers will be comfortable against bare feet.

And here are our new Icelandic lambs: Asta, Aqvavit, Birta and Bjork!

Don’t ask me who is who yet; they’re still very shy.

While we wait for our own Icelandic “homegrown” as the lambs grow up, we look forward to shearing some other “fiberstock” next month – Angora kid Petunia‘s first fleece promises to be fabulous, as do Penelope’s, Indigo’s, and Manya’s. Got kid mohair? We will!

In other farm news, our first 2007 “free rare breed chick” turned out to be a Silver Spangled Hamburg(er) whom we named “Keach” when we found out he was a rooster. He had started life as “Kary”.

Jeff continues to make friends with Nellie, the 50s-era Ford 8N. She’s quite a beast but a hard worker.

The Angora kids have found their places in the herd. The highest-ranking goats get to hang out on the “deck” – that would be our herd queen, Alpine Ingrid and her kids. The next best places are the black rubber buckets – perfect for curling up and napping in because they soak up the warmth of the sun.

Mini-Nubian Frodo and Mini-LaMancha Delilah have claimed the buckets for the afternoon. BoerSaanenNubian cross Frieda – on the left; Frodo’s best friend – whose sire weighed over 400 lbs.., seems to have outgrown them now that she’s a year old. Pregnant Nigerian dwarf Hermione and the Angora kids mill about, hoping for a chance to sneak in.

The Angora kids and Hermione have given up their quest, and Frodo falls asleep. The black and white Nigerian dwarf is Magic. She has a voice like a helium baloon that is having the air let out of it. We can tell each of our 18 goats’ voices and calls apart.

Nigerian dwarf Flower claims a bucket – even if she is too large to fit inside it. She and Magic are my current milk goats, providing us with an ample supply for soap and homemade cheese. Flower’s voice is about two octaves lower than Magic’s – the lowest in the herd. It’s really funny, because she’s fully grown and still doesn’t come up to my knees, but has this deep basso bleat!

Angora kid Manya, on the right, has just recovered from pneumonia and is full of mischief again. Oberhasli Ada and Toggenburg Pippin snuggle up together in the background – they are best pals. I hope to train Pippin to pull our goat cart – eventually.

I finally made cheese with our goats’ milk – Indian paneer. All you need to make it are milk, a lemon, and a pot!

A couple of hours later, and you’re all set.

Jeff used the paneer in an Indian dish with eggplants, potatoes, onions, and garlic. It was fantastic.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the KnitPicks Podcast while I milk the goats or find a rare moment to knit a couple of rows on a Noro two-color scarf, and I’m trying not to get completely distracted by the new Knitty and the lovely Muir

Oh – and where’ve I been, you ask? Let’s just say…

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8 Comments

Filed under farm, farm animals, fiberarts, food

8 responses to “Tog And Thel And Farm Life

  1. quiltparalegal

    mmmmmmm-the cheese sure looks yummy! Anxious to meet the ever expanding menagerie some day.Sue from Eau Claire

  2. Kary

    WOW – Stas! Glad you are back!! While I do love all the pix … I must say, the last one is a HOOT & a HALF!

  3. Dianne in Altoona

    Glad to see you’re back!! Luv the news and the pix. Do join us at the Clearwater Fiber Guild Meeting this Sunday, Sep 16 at the Chippewa valley Museum in Carson Park in Eau Claire from 2 to 4 pm. Still waiting to meet you in person after a whole year!!!

  4. Denise in Kent, WA

    I still want to cat-nap Yoda! She is becoming even more beautiful as she grows up. Love that calico tail. 🙂Kudos on the cheese. I’m happy that Flower and Magic are providing enough milk for you. Hug my little shoelace-eating buddy Ada for me, would you? She’s such a doll.P.S. The Hugh’s pic is a hoot! I nearly choked on my coffee, I was laughing so hard…

  5. Pamela

    Yoda is such a prettywigs isn’t she?Those goaties really have personality. I love the way they grab the buckets. It is so typical of them.Congratulations on your successful cheese-making enterprise – it must be wonderful to eat truly fresh paneer.Love the last pic 😉

  6. Nanette

    I have no idea how you manage to get so much done! The cheese sounds wonderful and all the animals are adorable as well.

  7. claudia

    Goodness, it looks to me like you are working pretty hard. Cute critters.

  8. keri

    Oy – you’ve been busy! Wow I can’t wait to see what you spin up!

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