Thursday, December 08, 2011

December 30th Contest and City Girl's Fiber Farm

I grew up in Philadelphia.  When I was a little girl, all I wanted was a dog.  Right around the time I turned 7, my parents finally bought our family that dog.  Her name was Rainbow Princess (they wouldn't let me call her Princess Rainbow).  She was half beagle and half fox terrier.  It was a dream come true, but it ended up being not enough for me.

When I turned 12 my parents decided to send us to a new day camp.  I didn't want to go, that is, until my mom told me I could take horseback riding lessons.  Boy, did that open up a floodgate!  I used every opportunity I had for the next 9 years to be near a horse.  I'd muck stalls out for FREE!  At 14 I added in a guinea pig to my menagerie.  At 17 I volunteered at my veterinarian's office.  I left high school half a year early to start college, because I felt if I wanted to be a vet, it was going to take a lot of time and the sooner I started college, the better.

Within a few weeks of college I realized that I was not going to be up to taking all of the math classes that were required.  I changed majors and ended up with a degree in Elementary Education and graduated when I was 20.  

The following summer my husband and I were married and I moved to Arizona, the land of the cowboy!  I rode a total of one time in that first year and I did not ride again until after our son was born 9 years later.  The community college taught a course in Western Equitation.  I was able to ride for 2 nights a week for 16 weeks.  It was great.  I rode another time or 2 after that, but again, I have not been on a horse since 1989.  Bummer.  

We also had a dog in those early days, although we were not able to keep him after our son was born.  We did end up with another dog that was a rescue, but again, we were unable to keep her for more than a couple of years.  

When I was pregnant with our daughter, our son went with me to pick out a Mini Daschund puppy.  He was a winner.  My son carried him into the house as if he was bringing home Simba from the Lion King.  His name was Chauncey.  Chauncey was joined a few years later by Janie, a Jack Russell terrier.  Chauncey passed away at the age of 12 and Ranger (our Mini Australian Shepherd) joined Janie in the house.  Then came Emma, A rescued yorkie who had been abused.  Turns out Emma's original owner wanted her back and took us to court to do that.  The judge ruled that we had to give her back, which was very sad, considering her previous abuse.

What to do!  We brought in rescued Lady Bug (our Mini Pinscher mix) and Hunter (our Toy Poodle).  Lady Bug had been in 5 different homes before we rescued her, Hunter had been born in a puppy mill and was stuck in a cage for his first 4 and a half months before the mill gave the dogs to the rescue group before exterminating them all.  (The count of dogs in the house was now at 4.)

And then came Lily Bear, our Yorkshire Terrier show dog pup.  I just missed Emma so much I had to have another yorkie.  But, not just any yorkie would do.  I wanted a yorkie that would make a great therapy dog so we could visit people of ill health that could no longer have their pets with them.  Bear chose me, I didn't choose her.  But that's a story for another day.  

Now we were up to 5 dogs, but poor Janie was just shy of her 16th birthday this past spring and it was time to say goodbye.  Click here for a previous blog about the 4 dogs.

So now you know why I am writing this blog.  I love animals.  So much so, that when I was given the opportunity to be able to have a couple of fibery critters, I jumped on the chance.  Here is the previous blog about these two babies.

OK, on to the contest.  So now I have these 2 yarnie kind of animals, but, I live in the city.  They have rules here.  I can't keep a sheep and a goat in our small back yard.  You've seen it, you know what I mean.  So what is a City Girl to do? 

Enter my friend from the Arizona Desert Weavers and Spinners Guild.  She and her husband wanted to start a small flock of sheep.  She was taking home 2 more Shetland ewe lambs.  They live on a large enough space about 30 miles from me.  My babies have a home!  Down this dirt road.......

ZZ Top
"Mystery Girl" finds the shade.
Ranger needed to get a word in on this.
Hunter and Lily Bear helping me to lay out ""Mystery Girl's" fleece

Oh, forget it!
"Mystery Girl's" fresh shorn first fleece.
I locked the dogs out of the office so I could take these pictures.

Washed and dried and ready for carding!
So here is the contest.  ZZ Top came with a name that can't be changed, but "Mystery Girl" does not have one.  That's the contest, name "Mystery Girl".  Remember that her breed is originally from the Shetland Islands and that she is a girl.  Please help me name my sheep!  But what is all this about City Girl's and why is it in One Planet Yarn and Fiber?  

Well, it costs me money every month to board and feed these two lovelies.  Money that I hadn't thought about when I agreed to take them home with me.  So, I decided to set up a CSA.  

What is a CSA?  Community Shared Agriculture.  Shareholders financially support small farms and for the shareholders' investment they receive a portion of the harvest. I have signed up with Local Harvest (  The farm is named City Girl's Fiber Farm (thanks Mary Berry for the inspiration!). 

I will be offering 5 shares for sale to help support me with this small endeavor.  More shares will be available as this small herd of 2 grows over the years.  The cost of the shares are $50.00 for the first year plus shipping and when the critters are shorn, shareholders will receive 8 ounces of "Mystery Girl" Shetland and 4 ounces of ZZ Top mohair for the shareholders part in supporting the farm.  I will also be sending out shareholder certificates to each shareholder.  Little, extra gifts will go out with the fiber when it is ready to ship.  For everyone who purchases a share I will also send out a little of "Mystery Girl's" first fleece.  I'm planning to use my little drum carder to make up some batts for you.  Your 2012 share will be delivered in Fall of 2012.  Contributions towards the upkeep of the farm are also gratefully accepted. If you wish to make a contribution please send it through the Paypal account at and include in the comments that this is for City Girl's Fiber Farm support, or you can email mail with the amount that you would like to contribute and I will send you a Paypal request.

City Girl's Fiber Farm is where you will now find all of the spinning and dyeing products on the website.  I'll add details as I build up that part of the website.  I am also waiting to figure out new graphics for this part of the site.  Anyone have any ideas they want to share about the look and feel of that part of the website can email me suggestions at

I know this is a long blog, so here is the contest info again - December 30th Blog Contest -name "Mystery Girl".  Remember that her breed is originally from the Shetland Islands and that she is a girl.  Please help me name my sheep! What is the prize?  Your choice of either 4 ounces of any City Girl undyed fiber in the shop or a skein of 4 ounces of my own hand spun yarn, which you will need to give me a little time to spin up for you.  We'll go over the details once the contest winner has been chosen on December 30th.  You have until midnight December 29th to enter this contest.  Please make sure that you leave me your contact information or I will be unable to send out this prize to you.  One winner will be drawn on the morning of December 30th by the online random number generator.  Good Luck, and remember, if you don't win this time, there will be plenty of other opportunities to win something coming up this winter. 



sock2girl said...

I looked up Scottish girl names and their meanings and I thought Aileana would be a wonderful  name as it means From the Meadow....which would be perfect for a little lamb.

Michele Bouchier said...

How about MARILYN?

Many of the islands in the Shetlands are tidal islands, called Marilyns. They are only accessible at low tide, then are surrounded by water at high tide. Symbolically, this reminded me of your situation with the lamb - you aren't with her all the time because you can't be,...but you do have access to her at other times.

Debbie said...

I like Kaitlyn.
debbie4 on Rav

mcsix at embarqmail dot com

Margery said...

Rowan, for a beautiful tree that grows in the Shetland Isles.

Treadles on Ravelry or

Sue Smith said...

How about Elspett - a good, Shetland Isles name that is a variant on Elizabeth. And since you're a Philly girl (and so am I!) you can nickname her "Betsy" after that other famous fiber/seamstress person from Philly - Betsy Ross.

Melinda said...

St Clair or Sinclair(e) is my suggestion (I had a couple others but I couldn't pronouce them).


Karen said...

I looked at her picture and "Cocoa" is who I saw there. What a sweetie.

(karen dot KVL at verizon dot net)

Good luck with your CSA!

Michelle Lewis said...

My pick is Madeleine....a re-spelling of the Shetland name Maidlaine.....

Diana C said...

I couldn't find anything specifically on Shetland names, but Ishbel is a lovely Scottish name!

(dianac on Rav)

Sue Smith said...

Forgot to leave my contact info for comment #5 - suggested name is Elspett (Shetladn version of Elizabeth/Betsy)!

Susan D. Smith

Michelle Lewis said...

don't know if this will post a 2nd time..... :( giving my contact information or knittersdream on ravelry

One Planet said...

I love all of your suggestions! Any newbies wanting to participate, the name does not have to be from the Shetland Isles. It can be whatever you think suits her. I've been calling her Mystery Girl. My husband's pick is Mystique. My daughter's is Sheep. My son has not said a word yet.

I think we will put all these names up for a vote once we have all the suggestions in.

Sharon said...

I think her name should be Ewephoria, because I think what you have figuered out for these animals is wonderful and I'm looking forward to being a stock owner.


Sharon said...

I think her name should be Ewephoria, because I think what you have figuered out for these animals is wonderful and I'm looking forward to being a stock owner.


Gudrun said...

I will suggest 'Unah' or 'Una', a gaelic name meaning "lamb".
Whatever her name ends up being, it has been delightful to contemplate. Enjoy!

Alibeee said...

How about Rùine (I believe it's pronounced like "spoon")? It's a Scottish Gaelic word roughly meaning mystery.

(Alibeee on Ravelry)

Unknown said...

I haven't had time to research a meaningful Scottish name as I would have liked to. And I think the other entries are really good. But I think this little lamb seems unique. I think her name should be Ewe-nique. She's a one of a kind, at least where she lives as well as her story, so Ewe-nique sounds like a natural name for her.

Ronnie said...

I like Fluffernutter for her softness and color.

Heidi Woods said...

I have to say...SKYE - when I was in college and studied in Austria, my most favorite trip was to the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland - it is where sheep live unencumbered and rule the world..It is the most serene place I have ever been -

BMS said...

I think the names you have gotten are wonderful and why bother compete, but Scottish Belle (or Belle) comes to me when I look at her picture.

One Planet said...

And the winner is...Number 8, Michelle Lewis! Congratulations Michelle!