It's true! The Howling Hill Farm Etsy Store is now officially open for business. All of our available yarns are now online.
Also, after much aggravation and frustration (Weebly, the platform this website is built upon, and the Etsy mini widget, which allows the Etsy listings to appear on an outside website, did NOT want to play nicely together, and they were BOTH getting mad at the script-blocker I have on my browser), the yarn can be viewed right here on our website! ... Clicking the yarn's picture takes you directly to its own Etsy page for checkout.
Look at all this beautiful yarn that you can now purchase right from the comfort of your own home! (Okay, okay, I know I post this picture everywhere, but ...)
... I wasn't going to make that the title of this post, until I realized that the last two posts have started with "Our first ..." -- and technically, she is that!
This post is actually a little late as she arrived a week ago -- the 'blog is becoming disjointed with the Facebook page again! Nevertheless, she deserves her own 'blog post, so here she is: Howling Hill Highway Surfer! (AML Principio's Grand Torino x Miss Silver Surfer)
This one is spectacularly awesome, because she is not only silver grey, but she is a FANTASTIC silver grey -- totally in-line with everything we are breeding for. She is arrow straight, beautifully proportioned, very typey and stocky from the get-go, and super super super super soft. We're keeping our first-ever grey cria born, Thunderstorm and Chaos, and I think this one is gonna have to stay as well. That is the whole point of a breeding program, after all!
This past weekend, Howling Hill Farm vended our first-ever festival: the 40th Annual NH Sheep and Wool Festival at the Deerfield Fairgrounds in Deerfield NH! We had an amazing time and met lots of fantastic people who are incredibly passionate about yarn. It was so wonderfully gratifying to hear such awesome feedback about our yarn. At least one person said she felt our yarn was the softest she had felt all day -- WOW, what a compliment! THAT is what we are all about here, and it was so, so wonderful to hear that we are on the right track.
Huge thanks are due to NEAOBA, the NH Sheep and Wool Grower's Association, and to every one of the fantastic people who stopped by our booth. You guys rock!
The other night witnessed a major event in our alpaca herd: the birth of our first-ever appaloosa cria!
This awesome event was made even sweeter by the fact that it very nearly turned out a lot less rosy. I found the dam, Honor, lying on her side looking very uncomfortable at about 4:30 PM (a time that's just late enough that, if you see a female alpaca going into labor then, there's a good chance that something is wrong). She got up after a little while, and made some pacing motions like she was looking for a good place to have a baby, and then proceeded to strain and make effort for a little while before lying down again and looking uncomfortable. This went on a few more times -- get up, pace, strain, lie down -- and then, at about 5 PM, we decided it was best to "go in" and make sure there was nothing obviously amiss.
It took a lot of feeling around to even find the cria -- in itself a bad sign -- but once I did, the problem was extremely obvious: the cria's head was upside-down, and was wedged behind the brim of the dam's pelvis. Fun! ... It seemed like something that might require a C-section, but with a lot of (very, very careful) manipulation, I was able to get the head over the brim of the pelvis. After a few minutes of trying, the dam still wasn't making progress on her own, so I went back in and pulled the cria's head out into the birth canal. When I saw that the little nose was spotted, I knew this kid had to come out in one piece!
Thank goodness, with a bit more help, she did. Miraculously, despite the difficult birth, she was up and into a cushed position (sitting up) within seconds of being born. We moved mom and baby into the warm garage (it was a cold, crappy day out) and baby eventually stood, with a little bit of assistance, and nursed, with even less assistance. Her mom is amazing, and not only because she answered my wish for an appaloosa female cria!
So here, without further ado, is our very first appaloosa, sired by Mr. Butterscotch.
K writes this stuff, for some reason that has yet to become apparent.