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Saturday, July 13, 2013

New Fiber Animals Here at Split Rock Ranch!

I love working with mohair in my fiber art. Mohair is the name for the fiber that you get from fiber goats, usually Angora goats. It is silky soft, yet strong, with incredible luster (shine) and slurps up dye like nobody's business. Mohair has gorgeous crimp and curl to it. Below is how mohair looks after being washed, rinsed and dried.

And to show you how beautifully it takes up dye, here are some dyed mohair locks - see that amazing shine?!

I wasn't sure if I could handle goats or not, so two years ago I got two young Nigerian Dwarf wethers (that means they've been "neutered"). Nigerian Dwarf goats are dairy goats, not fiber animals, but I didn't want to deal with the fiber aspects of goats just yet. Well, Darrel and Gladiator have proven themselves to be easy-to-care-for and a lot of fun. So, I recently added two young fiber goats to my little herd.

On the left are Gladiator (front) and Darrel (back) and on the right are Rosemary (front) and Sage (back).

Rosemary is a Pygora goat. Her mother is a Pygora goat (Pygmy/Angora cross) and her father is an angora goat. Rosemary is a gorgeous light variegated silver color.

Sage is a full Angora wether. Both his mother and father are Angora goats. He is a much darker color. His color pattern is called "reverse badger" - he has a dark body with lighter points. He was black and tan when he was first born and has gradually lightened up to the color he is now.

I can't wait to shear these little goats so I can use their fiber in something special. I'm not sure if I'll shear them this year or not. I don't have a barn to keep them in during the winter. They have a shelter but not a barn that I can keep them in if it gets really cold and snowy. So, I will probably wait until next spring and then do their first clip.