Monday, June 25, 2007

All of the rest, or Estes Park Wool Market pt. 2

It would seem that I took about 200 pictures of llamas and alpacas and only 100 hundred of the various other animals. This is fine, as I am now under the impression that the goats and some of the sheep know how to work the camera. One might chalk this up to a lack of dignity on the part of the animals, but I think that the llamas and alpacas are, at heart, working animals, and find pride in completing tasks, wheras the animals pictured here are mainly used for fiber and sometimes their milk. They're not often saddled up and told to pull a carriage or carry things. So, they have time to practice their vogueing, sometimes even visiting the clubs.

This girl clearly knows how to accessorize. Barrette in hair, goat on lap. I wish we were friends. And then we have the parade of fantastic horns. I really love when they curl around the ears. This goat and I became dear friends after he twisted his neck and horns through the bars to eat my shirt while I was looking in the pen next to his. Nice fella.
This one was very austere and stand off-ish. Who needs friends, after all, when you've got a set of horns with such amazing symmetry.
And this lovely sheep had a nice set up being inside and not being tied up waiting to be judged. It was sunny outside and much too hot for such a dark pretty thing. Again with the crazy twist around the ears.
Among the goats it was very popular to use their horns for scratching. I have several photos of this. I kept running from pen to pen saying, "Oh, that one's doing it, too!" Mike found this to be worth giggling over.

These goats were being fed a potato chip by a nice little girl. I'm not sure how this fits into their normal diet, but they were really excited. I imagine if your normal diet consists of hay, a greasy potato chip is a nice change of pace.And here is the yak that tried to eat Mike. That's Mike's hand. He was going in to pet it, and it opened its mouth lovingly and gently chewed on it. Mike's hand was clearly without taste, as the yak quickly moved on to somebody else. Other than the chewing, the yaks were quite nice. I would invite them to tea. Especially if they needed a combing.And last, but not least, a photo of my puppies. I love them, although they do not bear me any fiber. They shed everywhere and I can't fathom using their hair for anything. I'm just not like that. Now, the rabbits ... that's a story for another time. Charlotte is the black and white one and Kyrsten is the brownish one. They're nice and terrible, like all things one loves.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Estes Park Wool Market pt. 1

On Saturday Mike and I woke up early, readied several large cups of iced coffee and headed for Estes Park, which is not only the most picaresque drive I've ever been on, it lead to a fantastically gorgeous setting for the Wool Market.
Because I took about a thousand pictures, I'll break up the post into pieces. In this installment we'll be touring the camelids.
We started with some carriage races. When I am king, I will have one of these and the alpacas or llamas to go with it.Mine will have spots, though. Lots and lots of spots. Like this one. I kind of like the blue merle color. I'd love to spin some of that and then knit it up. I imagine the outcome would blow your minds. Alas, my dreams of having a spotted alpaca drawn carriage are a long way off. Sometimes life just isn't fair.These are paco-vicunas. They are cute and wee and oh so unbelievably soft. I would have run off with one, but they're not exactly easy to hide.
I learned a bit about them when Mike and I went to the lecture on ancient South American highlands culture. There's a vicuna on the Peruvian flag (that's a close up of the crest). Their numbers are low because they've spent most of their history being killed for their soft bits. I think that's terribly rude, and I'm sure you do, too.
These ones were just babies and mostly sleepy. I was dumbfounded at every turn by how long all of their necks were. It's otherworldly and magnificent.
This one I named Old Blue Eyes for obvious reasons. The owner told us about how they don't generally breed for blue eyes because there is a propensity for deafness. I was reminded of small gene pools and royal families. I giggled out loud and when everybody turned toward me I sobered up and said, "I'm sorry. She's beautiful." And she is. Beautiful and really wicked cool. Wicked ... cool.
This one wore a bandana in order to indicate that it was a cowboy ... or cowgirl? In any case it was pretty damn cute.
This one had no eyes and no legs, but look at that hair. This one was my favorite. It made faces at me. At no point did I see any eyes, but I did see lots and lots of teeth and a big smile. I named it Charlie. I figure that way we keep some gender neutrality and I like the idea of a llama named Chewy Charlie.
In this photo you can see the mountains in the background. It doesn't do the scenery justice, but it might give you an idea. It was just beautiful. The most important part of the photo though, is the little girl leading her llama up to the pole for the llama limbo they had. She made it really far, although she didn't win. Her llama followed her under and over this pole. It was cuter than cucumber sandwhiches and tea.
And here you see a slightly older girl, but still young, who had limited success with her llama. He would not jump, despite the pole not being of any great height at all. This was after the limbo, in which he was very cooperative, so I suspect he was just tired of following his little girl around. She should have given him a treat. Do llamas respond to treats? Surely they do.
And these two ... well, they were just too cute. I think they're getting ready to grow up and be working pack animals. Their little baby packs are pretty ridiculous. I wanted to put my chapstick in them. Can you imagine?
Stranger: "What's that?"
Me: "Oh, that? That's just my chapstick alpaca or llama." (I promise I would find out exactly which animal I was allowing to tote around my chapstick.)
Stranger: "What?"
Me: "You know, I take him around with me so I have a place to put my chapstick. I mean, where do you keep your chapstick? In your pocket?" (followed by a loud snort and me walking off in a hauty manner."

And last but not least, a resting dark hairy llama. This one was very nice and didn't mind all of us strangers just walking up and poking at it. The poking wasn't malicious. It was more as a result of our reluctance to get too friendly with the llama, who didn't seem to have a person anywhere in sight.
The end .. for now. Next there will be photos of Mike being chased down, trampled and eaten by adorable yaks as well as Mike being gored by pointy horned goats.
p.s. I'm sure that I've butchered any and all information about these animals. Rest assured there will be even more butchering and a great showing of the less than little knowledge that I have about fiber bearing animals. I promise next year, I'll be far more informed.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


So, after having a moth-related heart attack last night, I'm glad to say that all of the yarn and roving that I had laying about exposed has been properly stowed. Granted, Mike thought me a bit wacked when he saw me running around smacking all stacks of fiber that I had. It's just, maybe there was a moth hiding inside. You know? I don't want to go trapping the moths inside a plastic container with a lifetime's buffet. So, if you happen to be over at our place, don't mind me if I start hitting our jackets, laundry or exposed fiber. You'll thank me later when you don't have to deal with my complete nervous breakdown.

To help calm me down after the Mothra experience, I knitted. Of course. Here is a sock. This sock is for Kelly. I hope they fit. That's what I always say, though.

And then there was a sweater. This sweater has been suffocating inside this bag for nearly a year now. It's high time it gets out for some fresh air. So, I'm setting a goal date. This lovely thing for the lovely and clever Cara will be done on or before Sunday, July 1st. You'll all hold me accountable, I hope. After all, I need to get moving on finishing things other than socks. Y'all are probably under the impression at this point that I can't even knit and that I'm just borrowing unfinished objects from other people to put up here. You're wrong, and I'll prove it.

These are Mike's new pants. They are purple and tight and stretchy and totally hipster and emo and skater and anything ridiculous that you can think of. I love these pants. I'm not sure if Mike feels comfortable in them. I think he might feel a bit exposed. It's because they put his junk on display.

When he wears them I like to say, "Can't you put your junk away? Everybody can see it." Then he laughs. These pants might not seem blog worthy, but if you've ever met Mike, you'll find the pants development to be of utmost interest. Mike, in general, wears loose and comfortable clothing and certainly not anything with any sort of elasticity. I'm still trying to get him to wear them to work.
And last, but not least, we have a new addition to the family. Her name is Giselle. She is a Jetta TDI. She eats Diesel as TDIs are wont to do. She is clean inside and free of dog hair. She gets amazing mileage and many other lovely things. Unfortunatley, last night she was struck upon the head by a tree branch. The Boulder/Denver area experienced some pretty ridiculous winds that came rolling down from the mountains. This caused the breakage and flight of many a heavy branch. Alas, Giselle has been dinged up a tiny bit, but she has insurance and her insides are still clean and she still gets about 600 miles on one tank of gas. I'll take that any day.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Oh my god ...

Hide the yarn. They are coming for it. Not a single skein is safe.