Just a quick post tonight, feeling a bit rough and could do with just sitting in bed resting, listening to ‘Filthy, Rich and Catflap’ again. 

I was at A’s the past couple of days which has been nice. We didn’t do much, but it was just nice being in each others company. I was on the computer watching ‘Paranormal Witness’ and things like that, whilst crocheting. He watched YouTube videos and played the new sensation, ‘GTA V.’ 

We sorted under his bed yesterday (well, he did, I sort of stood and watched, giving the customary not-needed advice, e.g. ‘do you really need that?’ or ‘I don’t think that quite goes there.’ I must have annoyed him eventually…) and he found a small teddy that he had given to his ex. Apparently she had hated it and told him so, which is incredibly rude. Well, I saw it and fell in love because it was such a cutie, squint nose and everything. I felt sorry for it, so decided to change it a little so A wouldn’t think of bad memories when he saw it. I crocheted her a little pink and purple jacket and took the little squishy heart from her, so she looked completely different. Such a difference! I forgot to get a photo, so as soon as A sends one I’ll put it up here. Very pleased. 

I used yarn that I had taken from a cardigan. I found it in the dog charity shop and knew I had to have it. Hand-knitted from a lovely drapey yarn. Not sure what it is, but I knew it was good quality! Here is a photo of it – mostly taken apart, and half unraveled! 

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Taking a while to undo, but it’s mindless TV work, so I don’t mind. 

Umm, what else? Oh, at the same shop there was a bag of machine knitting wool, so being me, I had a good look in it. Nothing much interested me, until I got to this… 

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I’m hoping very, very much that the label on one of them is correct and that it applies to them all. It says it is made up of wool and mohair. If so, this is perfect, because I want to try out dyeing some yarns on their own, rather than just the fibre first. I will sort this out into 50g pieces, as I think there is about 500g plus here. I will then stick it in some dye then next time I’m doing some dyeing. I’ve had terrible trouble trying to find some actual white or pale wool at a good price and with no acrylic in it. And now hopefully I have! 

When I got home today I had a lovely surprise. Well, I ordered some more of the Patons Smoothie, and it was delivered only yesterday. What a lovely, lovely thing to come home too! 

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The dark pink and dark blue I’ve never had before, or that light, light blue. I’m was sure I ordered beige, but perhaps not. Oh well, I’m sure I have it somewhere. I won’t use much of it I imagine, but just nice to have it… just in case… 

I’ve been crocheting the baby bootie soles like mad the past few days. I got six pairs done today. Three or four on the train alone. They don’t take too long to do, so it’s been nice and relaxing. I find it’s better to do the soles on their own first, that way I’m not starting each one off from sole upwards, I can just grab a sole (sounds weird!) and get straight onto the shoe itself. Haven’t got any photos yet, but will have soon. 

Earlier on I managed to fold up all the papers I had printed off for my spindle kits. Took a little while as it wasn’t straight fold in half, then half again. 

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Now I need to put the spindles in, along with their wool and leader yarn. ANNNNND I also ordered some more business cards from Vistaprint. Another 500… amazing! So, I will be able to put those in with the kits which is very helpful. 

I had a little go at washing my fleece tonight. I managed to get some small wash bags to put  it in, and I’ve left it soaking in a plastic tub in the bath. I filled a wash bag with the locks of the ‘Dorset Down Shearling’ (L) and another with the ‘Dorset Poll.’ (R) 

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Not a lot of dirt came off as they still seemed so clean. I’m so lazy I may leave them into soak all night, and perhaps hang them up in the morning. 

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Looking stunning already! Looking forward to sorting this out in the afternoon tomorrow. I may give it a final rinse, then squeeze and rinse, and then dry it very gently with the hair dryer to see how it looks. We shall see. 

Right, I’m off to go finish (or start!) the winding off this wool. Have a great night all. 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

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Managed to get my wool order this morning – yay! The rather bemused postie handed my mother a large white sack with our morning mail. This contained my wool, yayayyayayay! 

I opened the sack eagerly and there was a massive pile off fluff. Amazing. 1.5KG’s of white Cheviot wool tops. I weighed it, and there was actually 2.5kg’s altogether, so even better. It took me a little while to sort half of it into mini 50g balls ready for the dyeing, but it was a simple process I enjoyed.

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I put some into soak whilst I got the dyes and all that ready. 

I got the cling film ready, along with the kool-aid dyes, microwavable plates and bowls. I found an old syringe in the cupboard for the dyes so I tried that out too. And then the fun began! 

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the actual dyeing process. But I have plenty of the results. 

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I did four random colours (those in the bowls). I did two different types of rainbows (same colours, but different ways of holding the roving). Same colours, but such different results! I adore the purples in the wool; this is the black cherry kool-aid. I also love the way the colours just merge in with one another. Well, I managed to get twelve done tonight, and it didn’t take too long at all. I managed to stain the worktops with it too, oops! 

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Once the wool had cooled down enough from the microwave, I slipped off the cling film and gently slid the wool into the sink of hot water. The colours always seem so much warmer and brighter in the water. 

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Again, I just love the way the colours merge together. When I take it out the water, I give it a quick squeeze to get most of the water out, and put it on a baking tray to rest for a moment whilst I rinse out the others. 

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The colour seems to fade quite a bit when they have had the water squeezed out, but they seem to come back once dry! 

Once I had rinsed and squeezed each one I hung them up over the clothes horse in the conservatory. I hope they dry fairly quickly, and in there they will be out of the way. Just a bummer I haven’t anywhere else to dry the fleece. I haven’t started washing it yet as I need the space to dry it! 

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12 lovely pieces of roving all ready and dyed. Lovely. 

Right, I’m off to bed now, me and Fred are going to snuggle up and listen to ‘Filthy, Rich and Catflap.’ (It’s a programme from the early eighties, late seventies starring Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson and Nigel Planer. I love ANYTHING with these guys in it, especially Rik Mayall. I love that man…). 

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Freddy and his sheepy 🙂 You can tell he is my dog, can’t you? ❤ 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

Hello everyone,

Nice to have a day off, but it never feels like it! Mum and I took Nanny to the bus station as she had to go home today. 😦 We had a bit of a wander round town and then successfully found our way to a little yarn shop neither of us had been in before. It was small and a little difficult to find, but cute. I didn’t see any acrylics! But I saw lots of beautiful wool, like mmmmmalibrigo! and silk, cashmere, etc. I also some some beautifully dyed fibers too. I thought it was a little bigger but it was only a small room. There was a spinning wheel on the floor and Mum challenged me to guess what the name of it was. And I did! It was a folding Ashford Joy – very pretty!

It was nice chatting to the woman who owns it as we had spoken a couple of times on Ravelry, so it’s nice to put a face to the name. She told me about the different type of dyes she is hoping to stock. It might be worth branching out into different dyes as she said dyeing with kool-aid was a very expensive way to dye! The thing is, I adore using it. It’s quick, simple, easy and I don’t need loads of bits and pieces to do it. Bit of cling film, an old plate and a microwave. Done! Hmm, we shall see. We had a nice chat there, and if I’m in that part of town again, we might pop in again.

We also went to the tip today (I know, how fun!) to get rid of the stuff cluttering up the garden. Sooo much better! Oh, and I’ve STILL not got my wool order yet! Grrrr! Still coming up as shipped (after I emailed AGAIN and complained) but still nothing. Yeah, they put my order as shipped half an hour after I emailed, even thought they couldn’t possibly have shipped it. (It was past 4pm). Need my wool soon!

What else? Oh yes, the best thing?! I got my fleece today, yes! And it is amazing. I ordered three fleeces from a farm in Dorset. The guy I emailed was very friendly, very accommodating, and very helpful. He managed to get three fleeces in the box he had sent. I have no idea how, it was very crammed and vacuum packed! There was no way I could have put the fleeces back in after checking them! Here is where I got them from –

http://rampishamhillfarm.co.uk/page6.htm

Please have a look, I highly recommend them. The fleece was sent on Monday, and I got it today, Wednesday, early afternoon. Couldn’t believe it!

Now, I apologise for the photo-heavy post, but I couldn’t resist.

This is the first fleece – A Dorset Down Shearling (£7.50)

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Every fleece had a laminated piece of A5 paper in it which said the name of the fleece, the address of the farm and a little bit about a competition.

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Yep, that is a chicken having a look! The fleece is lovely and thick, but it isn’t spread out completely on the plastic. It is so clean and white (I know it doesn’t look it in the photo, but it’s honestly wonderful!) and not as much grease as others I have used.

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Such a lovely crimp! The crimpiest fleece I’ve ever had!

This next one is a Poll Dorset Ewe (£5)

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It’s massive! This one was quite heavy, but still just as soft as the others.

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There were two different kinds of staple on this fleece. This is the thicker one, and this next on is a smaller, tighter type of curl.

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This is it spread out as much as possible on the plastic.

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The last fleece is an Exmoor Horn Ewe (£6)

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This one was huge and took me ages to unravel out. I sort of managed, but not quite, so it still looked like a huge pile!

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And the last photo of the fleece today. . .

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Well, I think I had better go now. I need to make a start on a few more booties I have been making. I found a simple pattern online for the soles, and everything else of it is my own design. I do love them, and have had some very good feedback about them. I make them with Patons Smoothie (as mentioned in other posts). It’s a stunning yarn and I could do with some more. Just not quite willing to pay almost £50 for the set. We shall see.

Anyway, off to go crochet. Have a great evening!

xXx Love Kais xXx

PS ( I bought the Patons Smoothie yarn almost straight after this post. I have no willpower. I sadden myself sometimes, haha).

Hello everyone, 

Oooh, its been a busy week! Two weeks ago I did five full days, in three different schools. I was SHATTERED by the end of it. Last week was far better at one and a half days, and this week I have a day and a half and an interview on the Thursday. We shall see how that goes. 

Now, onto the woolly things! I have been working my backside off trying to get my fleece prepped and finished. I carded about twenty batts worth of fleece from the last fleece I had (which is a Shetland cross I think). And there is still plenty left! Don’t say you can’t get your moneys worth from a fleece, I can tell you! 

I have one more fleece to wash at the moment – a huge Herdwick. I got it out from under the stairs yesterday to have a look at and I’m glad that I had already skirted it and got out the best bits into manageable clumps. Speaking of which, the bath is free right now, I’d better just go stick it in. (This one needs an extra good wash… for some reason Freddy has peed on this one and the last one… not nice!). Be right back! 

Well, the bath is running just now, so I believe I will just be popping back and forth to check on the fleece. I will have to do perhaps a third to a half at a time, that’s all I can cope with! 

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Well, that’s a strange thing… I’ve just put the first bit of the fleece into the water (just over a third) and the water has remained fairly clear… In my experience that isn’t normal, and I am pretty sure that I didn’t wash it before. The fleece is greasy and stinks, so I def. haven’t washed it before. Ah well, I’ll wait another ten minutes and then go rinse and repeat. 

What else have I been up to? 

I completed the spindles I worked on before – all painted and varnished. Beautiful! I bought some more spindle supports (dowelling) and some wheels. HobbyCraft claimed they didn’t have any more toy wheels in stock but I’m sure they were just too damn lazy to check, so had to get my parents to nip in when they were in town today. So, got another 30 wheels, so lots more spindles to do. If only I could find some hooks… The hassle I have had to find some hooks is horrendous! No hook is the correct size, and the ones I did get before are sold out. Mum bought me three packs the other day but can I find them?! Wilkinsons doesn’t stock any where I live which is so frustrating. Going to check on eBay in a little while. Maybe I can get some wholesale. 

What else? Mainly the carding and getting stock ready. I did some mixed batts, but I haven’t got them on camera and they are tucked away in bags, inside boxes ready! 

I am still waiting on my order of 1.2kg’s of Cheviot wool roving. I am getting annoyed and frustrated that it STILL hasn’t been sent yet. I ordered this on Monday night, the money HAS gone out of my PayPal, and it is now Monday night the week after. I emailed the company and they said that they had had a lot of orders to fill. I understand that and all that, but, I’m sorry, that isn’t my problem, and isn’t it lucky that I am not in THAT much of a hurry to use it. I will be using my other main supplier next time. I just hope that the status is changed to SHIPPED by tomorrow afternoon or I will be emailing again. Not happy! 

Anyway, better go now to finish the fleece! 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

Oh, almost forgot to mention, I got a blog award! Thank you to ‘A Yarn Good Time’ for nominating me for this lovely award.

This award comes with rules.

1.  Thank the person(s) who nominated you
2.  Post the award graphic.
3.  List seven random facts about yourself.
4.  Nominate seven other blogs & let them know that they have been nominated.

So, yes, Thank You to ‘A Yarn Good Time!’

one_lovely_blog_award

– My room no longer looks like a bedroom, but the back room of a fibre shop.

– My dog sleeps on my bed with me every night. I freak out when he isn’t near me.

– I love dyeing with Kool-Aid but have never tried it.

– I love having the chickens in the kitchen with me.

– I enjoy spinning wool, rather than knitting with my hand-spun.

– I only learned to crochet in the past couple of years.

– My favourite food is curry.

The other blogs I nominate are –

http://notyouraveragecrochet.com/

http://sweatyknitter.com/

http://ontheneedles.com/

http://thegrangerange.wordpress.com/

http://stitchesnscraps.wordpress.com/

http://run1knit1spin.wordpress.com/

http://soknitsome.wordpress.com/

I love reading everyone’s blogs on here, always interesting with a fascinating source of information, inspiration and ideas. I just hope people like reading mine as much as I love reading theirs. Thank you to the people I have nominated for the award, and thanks to everyone whom I haven’t. You are all amazing and you all deserve awards. Thank you!

PS (I don’t know how to link the names of people into this blog, so I’ve literally just had to copy and paste the web addresses, sorry!).

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone, 

Going to have a few photos in this post – I’ve been working hard to try and get stuff ready for my stall. I haven’t done as many batts as I should yet, but I have been working on other things. 

I managed to get out a couple of the fleeces underneath the stairs, and decided on the spot to wash them. I grabbed one of the ‘free’ ones I got (it was supposed to be Hebridean, but it certainly wasn’t) and spread it outside to have a good look at. 

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It was a lot better than the Hebridean fleece which I was really pleased about. It seemed to be huge, and the chickens were enthralled by it. I don’t know what it is though!

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Very crimpy! 

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I quickly skirted off all the bad bits, and made it into good hand-sized pieces. I then ran the bath with hot water and a little bit of shampoo (the good stuff!) and left it to soak for a little while. 

This is the water I was left with after the FIRST rinse… 

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Looks like manky hot chocolate! Well, I managed to get the fleece cleaned (after four rinses) and it is still hanging up over the clothes horse in the hall. I then quickly did some Jacobs today, and the other half of the fleece. The Jacobs is nice and soft, and the mystery fleece is beautiful! So soft and silky. I think it’s going to be stunning when it is finished and carded. 

Right, for my Ashford spinning I have started on camel tops – lovely! 

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It is quite nice to spin with, but very itchy on bare skin! 

I have also had a bit of an experiment with more dyeing with kool-aid! I LOVE using these beautiful colours and can’t believe the UK do not have this type of thing here! Why on Earth they are not in the UK supermarkets I do not know (as it would make it so much easier for me, haha). Shocked to see them for sale in Americandy in Glasgow for £1.29 a packet! Anyway, I set everything up for the dyeing – warm soaked wool, kool-aid packets, warm water, teaspoons and mini-jars for the dyes. 

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Isn’t that such a lovely sight? I got out eight of the packets and was stunned with the brightness of the colours. 

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The three at the back are single shot packets, but the colours are just beautiful. My Mother and I got straight into the dyeing. 

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We did the colours of the rainbow! I never imagined the beautiful way these colours would merge when the roving was opened out again. We also did this… 

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And this is what has just come out of the microwave (one at a time!) and is cooling down waiting for us to rinse. 

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In between this cooling down, Mum and I pressure-washed the yard. It always looks so much bigger when it has been cleaned, and we need to clean every couple of weeks due to the chickens being there. They adore their big yard/garden space, but make so much mess! They got put into their house with the door closed so we could pressure-wash the run, but when I let them out again, I let them out the door at the side, rather than opening the door at the top of the ramp (this is how they get to bed at night). I was very surprised and a little upset that when I went out at night to close the doors properly (the main run door had been shut so they couldn’t get out the run and in the garden) only Donna was in the nest box. I was panicking about where Rose and Sarah-Jane had gone, when I noticed they were both huddling underneath the nest box, in the cold, rather than going to bed. They seemed scared of something, but I don’t know what! I pulled both of them out from under the box, and put Rose beside me whilst I got out Sarah-Jane too. Rose just stood and shivered next to me. I bolted the door so Donna stayed in bed, and picked up the girls, who were both freezing! I bought them into the kitchen and sat them on my lap cuddling them them to warm them up. They loved it, and Sarah-Jane went as far as falling asleep on my lap, with her head tucked under her feathers. I eventually put them back in their nest boxes where they went straight to bed. Beautiful girls. 

Ooh, here is the finished wool dyed, just after being rinsed. 

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The top colours are sort of sea colours, the next is a gorgeous rainbow colour which was interesting to do. The one on the bottom right is a very interesting one indeed. First we put some dye at the bottom of the bowl, and put the first part of the wool in it, then poured another colour on top, put the wool in, etc, and pushed it down. I thought that eventually that this would just result in a big murky mess of colour. But the effect is stunning. The colours had blended beautifully and had such bright colours in between the darker ones.

And this… 

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The one on the top is a sign coloured wool, e.g. orange at top, red in middle and yellow at bottom (I know what I mean!) and the bottom one was my attempt at Hallowe’en colours. I’m very pleased with these. I also managed to quickly make another effect wool roving set, and was very pleased with the results. 

Here it is all drying. I did put it on the clothes horse, and then when I needed the space, I put it over my curtain rail. 

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You can see some of the spindles at the side of the curtains… .

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with these. Can’t wait for them to dry so I can braid them and put them into bags ready to sell, all with my beautiful business cards. 

What else have I been doing? 

I have been making some more spindles today. Managed to get some wood for the supports, some toy wheels, and some little hooks. Wasn’t long before I had this lovely pile sitting on my bed… 

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It took me a little while to choose my colours and paint them all. I coloured in two of each in one of the colours. They were then hung up on my curtain rail above my bed (hanging on some yarn I sort of blanket stitched onto the curtain rail) ready to dry. Also put some on Isa’s cage to dry, and on the other curtain rail. 

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Tomorrow I will get them down, varnish them and put them up again. They will take ages to dry once varnished. 

Oh, a sad thing happened this week. My beautiful, beautiful Isa died. I hadn’t heard her the previous night (sometimes she doesn’t come out until after you are asleep) so the next day I opened up her cage to see her. I found her in her bed, looking like she had died in her sleep. I miss her very much and I buried her in the front garden, next to Jack, Victor and Rik. I’ll always remember the day I got her, and how special she is. Image

Anyway, I must go to bed now, I have work in the morning. Sorry for the photo heavy post! 

Good night all, 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

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I’ll see you again one day Isa Maggs. I love you xXx 

Hello again,

Another very quick, short blog post, just to show I haven’t forgotten all about my blog.

Work has been going great, and I’ve been enjoying it very much. The children all know me, and I’m slowly getting to know them. (I mean, over 100 children in the school!). I’m even getting used to the nursery, and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. I love my classroom, I love the work, and dare I even say it, I love the kids too! Haha. Wonder if I will be saying that at the end of the term…?

I’ve been busy making up stuff for my stall.

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Jacobs fleece, and Scottish Blackface (the white ones).

I have also had a good go at carding some alpaca fleece. This was fleece I got at Woolfest and unfortunately isn’t the greatest quality in the world, but it is still spinnable. Well, I will be very disappointed if it isn’t and will be testing it when I have time. Using my own spindles of course! Here is Freddy checking out the quality for me. 😀

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Which reminds me, I now only need to get the hooks and I will be able to make up some more spindles. Ooh, and plastic bags for the kits. I’ve sold three or four more kits on eBay, so they are selling. I’m hoping people will buy them at this Woolgathering, I really do.

Anyway, going to be busy again tomorrow. Got my kool-aid dyes the other day – don’t know why I haven’t taken a photo of them yet – will do that tomorrow. Also got some mini jars from ASDA, they are so cute! This is what the dyes will be in. Again, photos tomorrow!

  • Kool-Aid dye some more wool – 50g each.
  • Prepare some more fleece – lock by lock.
  • Sort out fleeces under stairs.
  • Wash some more fleece.

Right, off to beddy byes not, going to talk to A on the phone until I fall asleep. Here’s a funny photo. Freddy took all his toys out of his toy-box, and put them in a NEAT pile on the floor! I cracked up seeing it.

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Yep, that is a Halloween hand! He loves it, and I love it when he gets it out when we have visitors :p

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Mmmmmm, alpaca!

Night night everyone, have a great night and a fantastic tomorrow!

xXx Love Kais xXx