Harding's Fibers
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 ~ A Mexican Restaurant ~
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Located in the heart of the Adirondack State Park!
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Route 28
Indian Lake, New York  12842
(518) 648-5832

07-10 Awning9 (2)
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For a truly unique dining experience!

Nancy keeps angora and pygora goats and alpacas as fiber animals and pets.  She shears them, spins and knits with the fibers to create wonderfully warm sweaters, vests, hats, mittens and socks.  During the Indian Lake Country Christmas Tour over Thanksgiving Weekend each year, Nancy sets up a few tables at the restaurant to sell some of her hand spun yarn and hand knitted items.

Today Nancy spins mohair on her Majacraft Rose spinning wheel while her cat, Cleo sleeps next to her.  Below are skeins of mohair for sale during the Country Christmas Tour.

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Lucy naps on a mohair fleece while Nancy skirts it.

Angora goats Taz & Sky; Pygora goats Yas, Yoki, Aziza & Andie.

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Nancy learned to knit by her good friend, Eve in 1989.  Nancy and Eve traveled to knitting conventions, took classes, loved to explore the marketplace for different and exotic yarns.  Soon the girls developed other fiber interests; Eve pursued weaving and Nancy became interested in spinning her own yarn.  Nancy’s first experience with a spinning class turned out badly and she just couldn’t get the hang of drafting, became frustrated with spinning and dropped the idea.

Nancy was always interested in goats and found them to be marvelous creatures.  Nancy and Eve visited a cousin of Eve’s and Nancy experienced nubian goats first hand.  That was it!  Nancy was hooked on goats and 10 years later when she moved from an urban area to Indian Lake, she decided she wanted her own goats.

2000 Buck

Nancy and husband, Walter visited farms, researched different breeds and learned all about goat care.  Walter rebuilt half the garage into a stable for the new goats, while Nancy purchased buckets, hoof trimmers and all the equipment needed to care for them.  The garage has since turned into all barn!
Nancy decided she wanted fiber goats and would give spinning another try.  Nancy chose Angora goats and began searching for farms with animals for sale.  Nancy and Walt ended up traveling to a farm in Massachusettes and purchased 3 yearling pet quality Angora goats - 2 does, Sky and Alphie and a wether, Buck.  Now Nancy needed to learn to spin!

Buck the wether in 2000.

2000 Alphie
2000 Sky

Alphie on the left and Sky on the right in the winter of 2000.

 For Christmas that year, Eve gave Nancy a used Ashford Traditional wheel, complete with spinning lessons.  An afternoon of one on one lesson gave Nancy the attention she needed and she was off and spinning.  Good thing, since she already had 3 bags of mohair waiting to be spun up. After her initial wool project was completed, Nancy converted to mohair and hasn’t stopped yet!

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Not the greatest picture, but a self portrait of Nancy with her Buck-man in June of 2009.  Buck is 11 years old here and such a handsome man.   Sadly Buck died on July 14, 2010 at the age of 12.

Buck at 10 years old.

1999 McHugh

Nancy so loved her goats, she decided to purchase a stud goat and another doe to increase her herd.  Her stud goat, McHugh was a very dominant guy, pushed Buck the wether around and ate everyone’s grain before they could finish.  McHugh came down with urinary calculi and was euthanized given his prospects and future quality of life.  McHugh did produce 4 beautiful kids though!

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Nancy’s first Ashford spinning wheel with Pearl, who was born in March 2000.

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McHugh with Sky in the fall of 2000.

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Cinnamon was added to the herd at the same time as McHugh.  She is snacking on Nancy’s Christmas tree.

Sky with Taz 2000

Sky gave birth to twins during a snow storm in March of 2000.  Nancy named the boy Taz, because he had so much energy, he reminded her of the cartoon character, The Tasmanian Devil.  His sister, Pearl, became a bottle baby due to Nancy’s inexperience with new borns and mom, Sky, not wanting to take her back.  Pearl was half the size of Taz, wouldn’t stand up and Nancy thought if she brought Pearl in the house until she warmed up and stood up, she would be fine.
Pearl lived in the house for the first week.  Pearl went shopping with Nancy and also to the restaurant until Pearl was old enough to stay in the stable with the rest of the goats.  Pearl would call for Nancy in the morning and followed Nancy around everywhere. Any time Pearl was not  feeling well, she high tailed it into the house and jumped up on the bed.  Unfortunately, Pearl developed some type of cancer and died at the veterinarian’s office at 6 years of age
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Pearl & Taz Pearl on bed
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Cinnamon with her son Doolin with Pearl nearby.  Cinnamon wouldn’t feed Pearl, but she protected her and watched over her.

Pearl eating weeds

In the spring of 2000, Pearl with her brother, Taz, who always knew she was his sister. Pearl on her favorite bed and walking in the yard eating tasty plants.

Alphie gave birth to a doeling named Ally in April of 2000.  Nancy and Walt came home from a food show and there was Alphie standing outside with her new baby.  Nancy put them in a stall by themselves, so they could bond for the first 3 days.  Ally was a sweet and very quiet girl with ears held out to the side, which reminded Nancy of airplane ears. 
Alphie became a very dominant girl after becoming a mother and decided she was queen of the herd.  She was very protective and none of the other goats would dare to touch her baby.  At 4 years of age, Alphie became ill and died.  Ally was picked on by the rest of the goats and Nancy decided to give her to friends who had just lost their Angora goat.  Ally lives in Warrensburg with an Angora wether.

Alphie and Ally
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Cinnamon, the doe purchased with McHugh, gave birth to a buckling about a week after Ally was born.  This time Nancy was able to watch his birth!  Doolin was born on a Friday night during a Mitch concert at the restaurant.  Something told Nancy to go home early and lucky she did!  Doolin had a sweet disposition like his mother and was very affectionate.
Cinnamon came down with terrible diarrhea in August and no medication helped.  Nancy took Cinnamon to the vet, but she died.  Doolin became an orphan and Nancy decided to raise him with Pearl.  The trio went for walks in the yard to eat maple leaves and other weeds and grass.  It was quite a sight for people driving on Route 30.  Doolin also died early at the age of 7, 10 months after Pearl.

Cinnamon and Doolin 2000

Ally in the winter of 2003.

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Silver, Great Pyrenees dog, came shortly after the alpacas to guard the crew from coyotes, bears, fishers and bobcats.  Silver (previously named Dartania) was born in Kansas and flew to Albany airport before driving to Indian Lake.  Poor Silver suffered from motion sickness when she was young and it took her 2 days to recuperate from her big trip.
Silver is a great dog, very friendly with most people and does her job keeping the livestock safe.  In November of 2009, she defended her charges from a hungry bobcat, who thought he might get dinner. 

Doolin in the fall of 2004.

Nancy’s newest goat additions are Pygoras (Angora and Pygmy cross).  Yasligai (Navajo for White Snow) and Yoki (Hopi for Rain) arrived in February of 2009.  Nancy decided she would like to have smaller goats, easier to handle and their fiber is useable for their entire life.  Mohair becomes coarse and straightens out as the animals age.
Yas (for short) and Yoki are brothers, but boy do they have opposite personalities as well as their fiber!  Yas has wild curly hair, blue eyes and is a light caramel color. He is very energetic, loves to play and is always on the move.  Yoki has white smooth outter coat with a soft fine undercoat.  Yoki reminds Nancy of Moe from the Three Stooges with the way his straight hair hangs down.   Yoki is very sweet, gentle and shy with new people.  Both boys are wethered, enjoy apple treats and love to be brushed, especially during shedding time!

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Yasligai in February 2009 at 8 weeks old.

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Brother,Yoki on arrival day.

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Yoki and Yas in the fall of 2010.

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In 2010, Andie, brown girl on the left arrived in July and Aziza, white girl on the right arrived in October.  Both girls are pygora goats, born on April 15, 2010 and have different mothers.

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Aziza with Andie in January 2011.  Andie is a very outgoing girl and doesn’t let the boys push her around.  Aziza is a sweet and playful girl, often engaging Andie in jumping and head butting.  Aziza loves running through the deep snow and the only one who will do that!

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Angora goat Sky at 10 years of age (left) and 12 years of age (right) in January 2011.

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Aziza marching in the snow.

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Angora goat Taz, Sky’s son at 8 years of age (left) and 11 years of age (right) in January 2011.  Taz died suddenly on February 14, 2011 of a suspected brain tumor.

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Aziza, Andie and Yas checking out the snow covered yard in January 2011.

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Aziza loves the snow and playing games such as running in the snow and high tailing it to the barn!

Yoki curiously trying to figure out the camera!

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In February 2011, Silver walks her paths through the deep snow - ever guarding her charges.

3 year old Yas with 10 month old Andie, peaking out of the door.  The barn is surrounded by snow!  February 2011.

Goats have come and gone, but Nancy enjoys their personalities and their fiber.  She spends her winters washing, carding and spinning their fleeces.  In between, she still finds time to knit clothing. The story never ends, like her yarn, but life keeps twisting and turning on an exciting journey with goats!

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09-08 Dax sleeping2

Last but not least is Dax the inside dog.  Dax is a rescue dog, part Irish Setter and Cattle Dog, although Nancy suspects some Australian Shepherd also.  Dax came to live with Nancy in 2007 and is a sweet natured and gentle dog.  She has her energy moments, but  can be quite a lump on the couch!  Dax is 4 years old.