What a fun weekend we had! We headed out to my sister-in-law, Wenda's farm to spend the night before heading to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival in the morning. She had a bit of a surprise for us when we got there. She and my niece, Heather, were going to pick up two kids and a goat from a farm another town over. This is a big step in fulfilling Wenda's dream of a productive farm that will allow them to eat what they raise, or in this case, knit (Wen) and weave (Heather) the fibers from these lovely angora goats.
So, how do you get goats from farm to farm? We thought that the idea of dog crates was a little bold, but no. The mama rode right in the back and those sweet-faced little kids rode in laps! I wonder what the cars passing by thought...
I got a little emotional a couple of times thinking what a big step this is for this two-woman run farm. Like every animal they raise, they've done extensive research on raising goats. It's exciting to see that all of that study has finally brought them to some "maaing" out in the barn! You can see they're already making Heather quite happy!
Wenda got busy right away making them a comfortable home to spend the night. She's already plotting ideas for building a loft of sorts that they can jump up onto for sleeping. I think these goats will keep them busy for awhile! But it was early to bed because there was more excitement in the morning when we headed out to the Wool and Sheep Festival.
Despite the rain showers I learned some Collie commands:
Come by - move clockwise around the flock
Away (away from the clcok) - move counter clockwise around the flock
Lie Down - The dog can see better in this position.
That'll do! - Thanks, you can stop now.
Eleanor played the part of the collie and practiced following the commands as we walked from vendor to vendor. It was a great way to get her running around and learning clockwise and counter-clockwise.
I had a wonderful time looking at all of the fibers: wool from every kind of sheep, angora from both sheep and rabbit, alpaca, and llama. But really, it's more fun to play with it! Happily, we found the local Waldorf school's children's arts and crafts. She whipped up a God's Eye in minutes, and after watching the other children wet felting pumpkins, she wanted to join in. She wrapped up a golf ball with some saffron roving and felted it. Then, she added some brighter orange. After the golf ball was cut out, I sewed on a stem and leaves. The colors looked just like a pumpkin. I would have taken a picture, but she is actually sleeping with her little pouch right now! We're going to have to do some more felting soon. There's a damp chill in the air, and there's nothing like some wool to warm up things. Well, short of having a sheep in your lap.