Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crochet Dachshund or Small Dog Coat PDF Pattern

 Basic Skills Necessary:
  • single crochet, double crochet

Pattern Description:

Need a project that uses up all your left overs?
Have a dog that needs a new coat?
Here you go.
Easy Pattern that gives you a stained glass look when you use several different colors.
Pattern can be done with just two colors.
Sizes include 12 to 20 inch chest


9 rows = 4 inches
15 dc's = 4 inches

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • small, medium and large up to 20 inch chest


  • Size G Hook and all your left over yarns

You Will Also Need:

  • one or more doggies

Suggested yarn:

7 ounces of Worsted weight

Preferred Brand/Yarn:

Any Brand of Worsted Weight #4 Yarn 

 Measure widest part of chest to see if this pattern will fit your:
Chihuahua, Chi, Dachshund, Doxie, Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Boston Terrier, Chinese Crested, Cairn Terrier, Terrier, French Bulldog, Havanese, Jack Russell Terrier, Kyi-Leo, Maltese, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese,Pug, Rat Terrier, Miniature Poodle, Pomeranian, Scottish Terrier, Silky Terrier, Shih Tzu

crochet dog sweater, crochet dog clothes, dog pattern, dog clothes pattern, dog sweater pattern, easy to follow instructions.


I made a Turkish Spindle

After searching the web last night for a small Turkish Spindle and not finding one, I went out to my husbands work shop and looked around.

He has lots of small pieces of wood left over from other projects and I found a piece of redwood from a salvaged deck to play with.  I chose the redwood because it was already in cut into a circle and about the thickness I was looking for.  All I had to do was draw my arches and cut it out with the scroll saw.

This is what I came up with:

It measures just over 6 inches long and 3 inches wide

It's far from perfect, but it works !

I even shaped the dowel down to fit into the holes!  My craftsmanship needs lots of improving, but I think after consulting with my husband, I know what tools might do the job better.

I used the scroll saw to cut out the shape and a drill press to carve the openings. The drill press was not the best choice of tools to use for cutting out the center.  Next time I am going to use the scroll saw to cut out the center opening.  I used the belt sander to shape the dowel.

I don't know much on balancing spindles, but that didn't stop me
I was very surprised how well it does spin and how balanced it came out !

I like a bit more weight to my spindles and I think the redwood is too light to keep a good spinning rotation going, I added a metal washer and now it is more like the weight I like.  I don't have a scale to tell you the exact weight, but I think it is close to 1/4 of an ounce and 1/2 an ounce with the metal washer.

 I am going back out to the shed to find some hard rock maple and try it again.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What to do with those Bad Apples, Make Apple Cider Vinegar

It's Fall and if you have some extra apples that are just beyond eating, it's time to make Apple Cider Vinegar

When Fall comes around I start asking locals for their "not so good" apples left in the trees or on the ground.  Apples that no one would eat because of bruises and worm holes, but they are still good for livestock.  I feed them to my Chickens, Alpaca's and Mini Donkey as treats, but there is always enough left over to make some Apple Cider Vinegar.  There are still plenty of folks around here that don't use any pesticides on their apple trees and let nature take care of their trees, so they are very organic even without the "Organic" label.

To make Apple Cider Vinegar you don't need perfect apples, in fact, the older the apple the better vinegar it will make.  You don't want to use apples that have turned to mush, you want to use the ones that are just past the eating stage.  A bit soft is ok, but not mushy.  Fall apples make the best vinegar because they are higher in natural sugars than one's you get from your local supermarket any other time of the year. 

Here's what you need:

Apples -  ANY KIND  Today I am using a combination on Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious.  Use any apples you have, but the sweeter varieties will work the best. You can use the whole apple or just the peels and cores of apples you have eaten.
Glass Container - mason jars, glass bowls or any other glass container you can secure a mesh fabric around. Sterilize your glass containers in boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes.
Mesh Cover - You will need cheese cloth or any other material that will allow air to flow in and out, but keep bugs out.  I am using some left over pre-cut tulle I found in the wedding section in a craft store that I used for another project.
Starter - TOTALLY OPTIONAL. You do not need any starter, but if you have some left over mother from an earlier batch you can add a tablespoon or two to your new batch.  You can also use a tablespoon or two of sugar if you think your apples are sweet enough.  All the starter does is speed up the process. Here's a picture of some Mother from a previous batch.
Water -  Any water will do. 
A Dark Cabinet -  You will need to store your Apple Cider Vinegar in a cool dark place for at least 6 - 8 weeks while it is fermenting.

Cut up your apples any way you wish, I like to chop mine up into chunks so I can fit more into my jars.  Allow the apples to sit out in the air until they start to brown.
Stuff as many apples into your container as you can leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch of space above the apples so that the water will cover the apples.
Fill container with water
Add starter if you are using it
Cover with mesh fabric
Place in a dry, dark space
If you notice you are losing a lot of liquid during fermentation you can top off each container with some fresh water or apple juice. Unfiltered organic apple juice is the best choice.

That's it !

In a few days you will start to see some bubbling and foaming, don't panic, that is what it is supposed to do.  Fermenting has begun.  Leave your Apple Cider Vinegar to ferment for at least 6 weeks, you can ferment as long as you want, but it usually will take 6 - 8 weeks to get a good layer of "Mother".  You can start testing it around 4 weeks if you are looking for a weaker vinegar.  I like to ferment mine for at least 6 weeks.

After fermenting you can strain your vinegar through some fresh cheese cloth or any kind of mesh fabric and replace the fabric you used during fermentation with the mason jar lids.  If you used a glass container that doesn't have a lid, you should transfer to a glass container that can be sealed now.  I do not strain my vinegar, I like to keep the Mother in each jar.  Before I use it I shake it up real good to mix up the Mother and use as needed.

Remember to save the Mother !  It will speed up fermenting in your next batch.  When using the Mother as a starter, vinegar usually only takes 4 weeks to process.

Enjoying some sweet Fall Apples

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Knit Jumper Dress ... by Copper Llama | Knitting Pattern

Knit Jumper Dress ... by Copper Llama | Knitting Pattern

Knit Jumper Dress or Top Easy Pattern Pattern






Petite, Infant/Baby, Plus-sized, Girls, Tall



Skill Level:

small skill level requirement Beginner

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • K - knit P - purl K 2 tog - knit 2 stitches together CO - cast on BO - bind off Dec - decrease single crochet

Pattern Description:

Looks more difficult than it really is. Very limited shaping and easy smocking technique is done after the knitting !
Makes a cute little jumper or top for any occasion.
Pattern includes photo instructions

Baby Infant Toddler knitting, knitting patterns, knitting ideas, knitting shops, yarn knitting, beginners knitting patterns, knitting materials, easy knitting patterns, knitting instructions, knit dress pattern, toddler knit dress pattern,


17 x 22 stitches = 4 inches

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • 12 months to 8 years


  • 6 to 10 oz of #4 Worsted Weight Yarn of your choice. Red Heart, Bernat, Caron and Herrschners worsted weight will work great. Size 9 circular knitting needles (or size that matches gauge), 16 inch for smaller sizes, 20 inch for larger sizes 3 Stitch holders or 1 stitch holder and a set of matching straight needles. Size G Crochet Hook Tapestry Needle Row marker

You Will Also Need:

  • One Cute Little Girl

Preferred Brand/Yarn:

Red Heart, Bernat, Caron and Herrschners worsted weight will work great.


Girls Crochet Bolero Shrug PDF Pattern

Girls Crochet ... by Copper Llama | Crocheting Pattern 

Skill Level:

small skill level requirement Beginner

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Sc - single crochet Dc - double crochet Sl St - slip stitch Ch - chain stitch

Pattern Description:

Listing is for a PDF File Pattern ONLY
Easy and quick crochet shrug pattern
Tops off any outfit

1-2 yrs Fits 21 - 22 inch chest
3-4 yrs 22 - 23
5-6 yrs 24 - 25
7-8 yrs 26 - 27
10-12 yrs 28 - 30

4 to 6 oz of #4 Worsted Weight Yarn
Size G Crochet Hook
Tapestry Needle for weaving in loose ends

16 stitches x 11 rows = 4 inches

Stitches used:
Sc - single crochet
Dc - double crochet
Sl St - slip stitch
Ch - chain stitch

Listing is for PDF Pattern Only
I do not have a problem with you selling finished items, please do not copy, share or duplicate my original patterns in any matter. Please link your finished projects back to me.

No refund on pattern purchases due to the nature of the product. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Crochet Sweater Victorian Look Pattern

Crochet Sweater ... by Copper Llama | Crocheting Pattern

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Trimming Alpaca Teeth

Today we trimmed the boys teeth
 We have raised Llama's for years in the past and never had to trim teeth, allowing Llamas and Alpacas to graze helps wear down their teeth naturally, but these boys we just rescued were held in a small pen and only fed cut hay so their teeth didn't have a chance to wear down and the owner neglected to have anything done about it.  Trimming Alpaca teeth isn't very difficult and can be done by a veterinarian or by yourself with some help.

Here's the BEFORE picture

Look at those teeth !  I've been calling the white and black Suri "Austin Powers" because of his teeth. 

Because their teeth were never taken care of they were having trouble grazing and were unable to grind their food up properly causing them to lose weight and of course it slowed down their fiber growth because they were unable to get all the benefits of the food they had access to. 

Since this was our first time dealing with overgrown teeth, I did a lot of searching on the web to find out just how to proceed with this and asked other Alpaca owners in my area for advice.  I found a lot of great instructions, tips and video's already on the web and SO MUCH HELP from other Alpaca owners.  Usually a good shearer will trim teeth when they do the yearly shearing, the previous owners sheared themselves and just didn't bother with teeth and foot trimming.

Here's what we rigged up to do the job since we don't own a chute and I needed to be in a standing position to complete the job because of my back.  Everyone uses different methods of restraining their Alpacas and I am in no way claiming to be an expert,  but this is what worked for us.

For the chute we used 2 metal panels, 2 kids swings, some 2 x 4's we had laying around and lots of rope.  We set up the panels into a V shape which we secured to a deep planted pole so it wouldn't move on us and used the 2 x 4's to hold their head in place.  The swings were place behind the front and back legs and we lifted him just high enough to cause him to get unbalanced if he tried to move.  That was the hardest part, lifting a Alpaca isn't the easiest thing to do, they are much heavier than they look.
For the actual cutting of the teeth we used a high speed Dremel with a Diamond Wheel cutting blade and a grinding drum to file them smooth after the cut.  We used a small bit of black plastic pipe to keep their mouths open and their tongue out of the way while we did the cutting.  We used a spray bottle filled with water to keep the blade cool while it cut.  I also used dog nail clippers to trim their fighting teeth.
We were able to take care of their feet and de-worm them at the same time.

Not too happy with us, but Look at them now !  They can close their mouths now !

There are several really great video's posted on youtube that show different methods to deal with overgrown teeth. Some use OB Wire, Dremels and there is even a special tool made just for trimming Alpaca teeth.  We didn't have enough people to have someone hold a video camera while we did this, I wish we had !