Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Dividends are Coming!

As I mentioned in my post in on Tuesday, we have begun mailing the Spring 2008 shareholders their yarn. I can't tell you how exciting it is to see all those priority mail boxes stacked up and ready to go to the post office!

One of the things we learned as we got the yarn ready to ship is that there was no possible way we could put tags on each skein of yarn. Why? Because we currently handwrite all our tags and it would have taken us until 2012 to get the yarn out. We will have the CSA tags printed next time. See below to find out what's in the box.

We also learned that giving shareholders the option of choosing one kind of yarn or another doesn't work very well. It makes the calculations of who gets what incredibly complicated. We had already stopped offering this option for Spring 09 and this shipment confirmed that it was the right decision.

We are shipping the packages out in batches based on a complicated formula that Erin came up with that has something to do with what your getting and your zip code. I know that I've dropped boxes at the Post Office that were going to New York, Massachusetts and the west coat. If you haven't received your package yet, fear not! It is will be there soon. 
The Spinner's shares are going out last because they require the most labor to get them out- all the fibers have to be weighed. Next time we will do the Spinner's shares first in the interest of fairness.

So, what are you getting? I can tell you that the majority of shareholders are sample shares- meaning they are receiving some of each yarn and will be receiving 6 skeins of kid mohair/cormo blend (4 oz /200 yard) and one skein of cormo (I don't have the weight/yardage in front of me but I'll post it here when I get it.)

The all cormo shareholders are receiving 6 skeins of cormo. (weight and yardage to come)

The kid mohair/cormo blend will soften up with handling and washing. It takes dye absolutely beautifully and really softens up amazingly in the dye pot. We will be posting a dyeing tutorial on the blog next week for those you who'd like to dye your own yarn. It is wicked easy! You can dye it with kool-aid powder in a crockpot, which is the simplest way, or using the same dyes we use on the stove. I'll send out an email when I post the tutorial.

In other news, Patrick and I left the Island last night to come down to our farm in New York for the weekend. We both need to work on the book and we have Patrick's boys this weekend. So this morning, Erin was all alone when she got to the farm and found that Salina, one of the ewes had been attacked by a dog last night. She was alive, but her face and neck were covered with blood and her right eye was hugely swollen. She also seemed to be in shock.

Erin called our vet, Dr. Dave Tuminaro, and called me while she waited for him. It seemed that when she arrived at the farm, Biscotti was sitting just outside the fence while Fettucini was sitting right next to Salina licking her face. Biscotti must have chased the attacker away while Cini stayed to protect Salina from further harm.

The vet said that Salina's wounds indicate that she was laying beside the fence with her right side facing out when she was attacked. Usually when a dog attacks a sheep the sheep's face and neck are punctured and there legs are chewed up while they are trying to escape. There were no injuries to anything but her head and neck leading the vet to believe that our dogs kept the attacker from killing her.

While Erin was waiting for the vet to arrive Salina had a seizure. Dr. Tuminaro suspects it was caused by the fact that Salina is so thin and had used up all the glucose in her body during and after the attack. The reason she is so thin is that Salina has been nursing all the lambs and goat kids when their own mamas wean them. There is own kid in particular, Cardamom, that is pretty much super-glued to Salina's side night and day, nursing from her every time she stops moving for half a second.

Salina in better days.

Salina is in a pen by herself adjacent to the paddock that the rest of the flock is in. Dr. T gave her a shot of long-lasting penicillin and advised us to keep her isolated for a few days to make sure she is getting enough to eat and to give her a molasses and vitamin supplement every morning to help her recover. He think she will be okay, but these things can always go either way. I'll keep you up to date on her recovery.

Thanks to everyone for you kind emails about the photo shoot for the book cover. I absolutely loath having my picture taken! Seriously, I'd just as soon strip naked and walking through the halls of congress singing "Working for the Weekend." I hate it that much.

But our friend Randi is an amazing photographer and she really made the whole thing very casual and easy. And the pictures! My Lord! I've never had better pictures taken of me in my life. There are one or two that I would actually consider framing and putting up in my house. Pictures that I am in, mind you!

Today we had a conference call with the team working on our book (publisher, editor and marketing director) and decided to put the book on the Fall list rather than the Spring list. Practically, this only means that the book will go on sale about one month later, but it gives the production team a whole lot more time to get the cover just right. There are lots of good reasons for putting the book on the fall list but I was initially resistant to making the move, primarily because I was afraid they would change their minds about publishing it. (The team though this was hilarious, BTW.)

Anyway, it's looking like the book will be an oversized hardback with lots and lots of farm pics. We are also working on including at least one pattern, but possibly three- one beginner, one intermediate and one advanced. So be sure and get your pattern entries for the contest in by October 31st so we have plenty of time to have them test knit before the book is printed. 

Thanks for all the emails about the calendar. It is being printed now and should be done in time for the shearing next week. I'll have it up in the etsy shop as soon as I have one in my hot little hands. Promise. 

Also coming soon to the etsy shop BULKY WEIGHT YARN! I am so excited about this, mostly cause I get emails darn near every day from people who want it. And I hear you. There are times when I want yarn that knits up quick, quick, quick, especially when it comes to baby sweaters and scarves. Bulky will be available in all of our beautiful fall colors starting Monday. 


JSchwa said...

Sweet little lamb, Salina. I hope she recovers soon. Traumatic for her. Lambs have feelings, too.

P.S. I cannot stand my pic being taken either. Maybe if Annie L would do it...but that would be spendy?

jenibug said...

Poor Salina, A quick and full recovery to her! And Biscotti and Cini deserve extra treats for being such fantastic protectors!

I second jschwa and you on the picture deal. I am absolutely phobic about it. But I also understand your wonderful surprise at having a good picture taken, I had my first since I was a small kid this year with my kids and grandkids and yes it is up on the wall here at home!

I so look forward to the book! Patience will out and Fall will be here soon!

Jenny said...

Oh, my heart goes out to poor Salina! And GOD LOVE Cini and Biscotti for protecting her so well! Best dogs that ever were. I love that they protected her so well, it makes me feel really good.

Susan, I can't wait for this book! I really can't! I am SO HAPPY for you and so excited. I also can't wait for the calendar, even though I'm not a calendar person I'll be displaying it PROUDLY in my cubicle, and perhaps one at home as well. :) And um, BULKY MVFF?!? YES!!!

Ooh, that just reminded me of that sweet Pitchpine sock yarn I got from you... where did that go, I need to cast on!

I'll miss you next weekend, but I hope you guys have a GREAT WEEKEND! Please give my love to the flock and Patrick and especially those two pupsters.

Maggie said...

I'll be thinking of Salina (poor sweet thing) and sending her healing thoughts. Thank heavens for two wonderful dogs!

--Deb said...

Poor Salina! And I bet Erin did everything just right, too...

So cool about the shares being mailed--I know I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

when i was a kid i thought the prayer was... now i lamby down to sleep, i pray.... being that i had my stuffed lamb - named lamby there it seemed to make sense. I will pray that Lamby is looking over your girl. hugs sent your way.

am very excited about the book for you. hope we all get a shot at pre-purchasing autographed or hoof printed copies.

keep the adrenaline flowing - you'll get it all done and be stunningly marvelous.

ewe go girl.
hugs from farmer sue & the artbarn crew here in atlanta ga
cant get my password right - hope this pubs.

Ellen said...

I got my share today!!
It's absolutely gorgeous!
I have to say it's quite an amazing and emotional experience to get this yarn, knowing all of the love and hard work you and Patrick have put into your flock.
I am so happy to be a shareholder and support your work and reap the benefits, too.
I might even plunge into giving dyeing a try. Can't wait.
Right now I am just going to ogle and fondle my lovely yarn for a while.
Thanks so much!!

Jenna S said...

Sending healing thoughts and hugs to Salina! And virtual extra special hero dog treats for Cini and Biscotti! Well done!

Calendar, book and bulky yarn!!! Bring it on!!!
Fall cannot come fast enough!


poor salina and poor erin who had to find her when everyone else was away! bless her heart. yeah bulky weight and worsted too maybe? some of us just hate little needles! oooh, fall!

puddle duck

Anonymous said...

Poor Salina - I hope she recovers soon. Your dogs are heroes!!!! I can't wait to see the book.

themamajama said...

I wish I could take over some of the nursing duties to give Erin a break. Since Salina has already demonstrated a generous, kind nature by accepting other lambs, I'm sure she has the patience to wait for healing.
I'm sure thr book will be better than anything our collective dreams can imagine.

Writer Bug said...

First of all let me say how sorry I am that this happened to Salina! Thank god for Fet and Bisc! They def deserve some extra treats.

On a happier note, I got my yarn! And it is BEAUTIFUL!! So soft and lovely. And knowing how much work went into it--it makes it by far the best yarn I have ever touched. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this!

And I cracked up at the idea of anyone singing Working for the Weekend in the nude in Congress.

Ellen said...

Gosh, I was so excited about my yarn, I left out sending healing vibes to sweet Salina.
Have a great weekend!

Susan said...

Thank you so much for your kindness about the yarn. I was incredibly nervous about it because I want so desperately for you to love it. Every step along the way I was thinking of you all and how much trust and faith you put in me.
And, since I am a total kittenhead, I have tears streaming down my cheeks as I write this.
You all are the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

Joanb said...

Susan - so much to comment on. How horrible that Salina was attacked but how wonderful that Biscotti & Cini looked after her. They are, like others already said, heroes. Hope Salina recovers quickly.

I'm looking forward to Deb getting her yarn shipment :)

Like you, and many others, I hate having my picture taken too. You have absolutely NO reason to feel that way, you're a gorgeous shepherd and your fans and friends can't wait for your book.

Hope you and Patrick had a great weekend in NY.

DataGoddess said...

I just got my share! It's gorgeous! The cormo/kid mohair blend looks worsted weight - is it? The cormo is so soft! I can't wait to play with it :-D

Poor Salina! Good thing you have an excellent pair of guards to look after her until human help got there, and rock on Erin for caring for her from there.

SeDress said...

Poor Salina. Please keep us updated on her recovery.
Since you couldn't make up hand written tags for all the Share Yarn: how about if you were to make up one tag: hand written: 'Spring Share 2008,
from the flock at Martha's Vineyard,
& shear date',
or whatever, scan it, post the picture on the web site. Then Spring shareholders could down load, and make up their own 'almost' handwritten label?

Turtle said...

healing vibes to salina!

Susan said...

Keep sending your warm wishes Salina's way. She is still having seizures and seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Good Lord, I do not want to lose her.

Quirkles said...

Oh my god Salina! I want to snuggle her back to health! I pray the sweet girl recovers quickly and painlessly. I will kiss Biscotti and Fettucini when I see them next for being the best sheep dogs ever. I'm bummed I didn't get a spring 2008 share, but can't wait for my fall 2008 share! Oh, and also, I don't think you can take a bad picture. You're gorgeous girlfriend! Oh, and I'll see you at the shearing! Yayyyyyy.

Terry said...

I was so sorry to hear about Salina and I hope she heals up soon. On a brighter note, I was pleasantly surprised when I went home for lunch and found a box of beautiful yarn at my front door. It is so lovely that I don't think I have the heart to add any color. It has been such a pleasure to see this whole process develop from purchasing the share to getting updates on babies, activities and even the hard times. I am so happy to support such a wonderful initiative and I look forward to buying another share when they become available.

Thank you for all that you do!


Elena said...

My yarn arrived today!! I'm so excited to try it but also a little nervous. Could you give some suggestions or patterns that have worked with the different types? I usually pick my patterns first so this is a switch for me. I'm also interested in learning about dyeing some.

Allisone B. said...

Is it weird that I laid my dividend yarn down and rolled in it?

Love it!

quinn said...

Good thoughts to Salina...and Good Dogs!