Caroline Ingalls with her twins Almanzo and Laura Ingalls-Wilder
Handsome Almanzo Wilder
Cashmere Family the girls named after their favorite Little House on the Prairie family. The silver-white mom is Caroline Ingalls. Her black-caramel daughter is Grace Ingalls. Her twins are a silver-white boy named Almanzo Wilder and his twin sister is Laura Ingalls-Wilder.
Who's your momma?
On May 21st, Bert went down to feed the animals and found this cute white screamin' mimi in the sheep pasture. I came down to help figure out who gave birth, but none of the ewes claimed it as their lamb.
Turns out it was a kid (goat) not a lamb (sheep). It was just born in the pasture next door to the sheep and went through the fence while it's cashmere goat momma was delivering its twin!! Huge surprise!
The previous week we got a beautiful silver cashmere doe with her black kid from our friends' farm. We thought she was just fat, turns out she was carrying twins! Check out the cute action in the kid pen.
-- SEE THEIR GROWING PIX BELOW --
'QUARK' Quark was almost as big as our mini-horse 'Puck'
'Qurly Que' and 'Rusty' are joined by 'Heidi,' a Toggenburg goat. She doesn't produce fiber, but her smile was her ticket to join us when we picked up her pal Jake from Meridian Jacobs.
Mohair comes from an Angora goat, which originate from Turkey. Angora goats produce long ringlets that are very shiny and strong. The fineness of the fiber is classified as kid, yearling or adult. Kid mohair is as fine as Merino and can come from young or adult goats. Yearling mohair is medium range and adult mohair is the sturdiest, similar to English longwools. The adult mohair is so strong it is prized by Navajo weavers for their woven rugs and blankets.
Angora goats must be shorn twice a year, whereas sheep and alpacas are only shorn once a year. Locks are about 3 to 6 inches with good curl definition. Locks are used by doll makers for hair and beards. You can spin the locks into a loose single-ply yarn that maintains the lock formation and looks like expensive art yarn. The fiber also takes dye very well.
Our angoras come from Ewe and Me Too Farm in Yuba City. Our white goat is named Qurly Que and the red wether is Rusty. We used to have a grand old golden wether, with gorgeous horns, named Quark, but he's now resting in our bury spot. When the girls were younger, we lost Quark and an angora bunny in the same week. Bert buried them behind the pasture. We went down to place flowers on top of the dirt and explain the cycle of life, to which one daughter replied "well, if you live on a farm, you have to have a bury spot."
'Quartz' and 'Qiviut' Qiviut and Quartz meeting our barn cat Toby, with Queenie & Qurly Que
looking on. Our foundation livestock were named with 'Q' names ;)
The downy and warm undercoat of a goat is called cashmere. The word cashmere comes from Kashmir in the Himalayas. There is not a particular breed of cashmere goat, but goats that produce, or are bred for their exceptional wool, are called cashmere goats. The undercoat naturally sheds from the goat once a year and it can be plucked in the spring, similar to a shedding dog. As the fleece is plucked, the coarser guard hairs must be removed. The resulting harvest is one of the softest and warmest natural fibers. The short staple is strong and insulating when spun into a fine yarn. It takes about two goats to produce a two-ply sweater.
Our two cashmere goats, pure-white 'Quartz' and carmel-colored 'Qiviut' came from our friends' Charlotte & Peter's beautiful farm in Placerville. We think oleander leaves may have blown into the pasture during a wind storm because one day Qiviut was fine and the next day she died. Oleander shrubs form the beautiful and glare-reducing median for many highways in the area, and they are also used as privacy barriers at properties throughout the area. Unfortunately, oleander leaves are very deadly to livestock - it only takes one to kill one.