Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesdays are for...something or other.

Mostly for random updates, I think.

The yaks are settling in well.

Grunt is full of The Frolic (TM), which is funny as hell to watch. He's so bold and friendly, until Snort beats him down a little to keep him in line. He always comes over to investigate when we go into their paddock, in hope of treats or a bit of a skritch.

Snort may have been misnamed (even though he really does snort a lot)...we're thinking we should have called him Cookie Monster. *grin* This boy is totally addicted to his wookie cookie/yak snacks. It has been a while since I've been around livestock that were this clever. He knows what the bucket that we keep the cookies in looks like, and when we tried to use an identical one to distribute the calves' feed, he came lookin' for treats. There are a lot of meaningful glances towards the cookie bucket then back to us whenever we're outside, and some disappointed snorts when he does not get a tasty treat.

He does not approve of the creep feeder-type setup we've got in place to keep him out from the calf food. The post setup we had was insufficient, so it got reinforced with some spare wood pallets we had laying about. Snort has managed to get his horns and upper body between the setup, but couldn't reach the food, and then got a little stuck on his exit, so he is grumpy about the whole thing. He's got a bit of green on his horns now from trying to outsmart it. Distracting him with cookies/COB whilst the other person goes to distribute the very anise-scented calf manna works pretty well.

Maria and Millie are both pretty shy. They'll eat cookies that are tossed in front of them, but they aren't bold enough to get past the cookie hog boys. Hopefully everyone will get more used to us and friendlier as we get to know each other.

I love the inevitable question of "So, how did you end up with yaks?" from people. Our insurance guy sounded really entertained by our purchase. They are enjoyable critters. I'll get more picture of them soon; I always seem to see the most adorable antics when the camera is safely in the house.

On the fibre front, I've been spinning up a bunch of dyed alpaca lately. I'm trying to decide what I want to do with it...I have two bumps of a dark teal, and a bump of light teal that compliments the dark very well. I'm spinning it relatively finely (not laceweight, but not bulky, either), and debating between a couple of options.
- I could do a two ply of the darks against each other and try to figure something out for the light to achieve an equal amount of singles to get a 2 ply out of.
- I could do my favourite navajo plying for a slightly thicker, but shorter length of yarn, leaving me with two yarns that I could work in contrast to each other.
- I could spin all three at about the same thickness and get a three-ply yarn going with the single contrast of the light teal. I'm not sure if I like this as much, as I tend to prefer more solid colours when working, but it could work.

Once I get the singles spun up, I'll take a picture and ask for opinions.

I've also been churning out hats like they are going out of style. There should be a few photos for my end of the month wrap-up, you lucky people.

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