Goat Crafts

Macrame Goat Collars

Supplies for a 16” Collar – typical yearling size:

  • 1 - 64” length of 2mm or 4mm macrame cord
  • 1 - 200” length of macrame cord
  • A plastic buckle clip or 2 small metal rings usually found at a hardware store with a quick link to join
  1. Separate the buckle. Fold the short cord (64”) in half and push the fold through the slot of female half of the buckle (or ring). Then bring the raw ends of the cord through the cord loop to fasten it to the buckle with an overhand knot.
  2. Thread the raw ends of the fastened cord through the slot closest to the flat side on the other half of the buckle (the Male half) (or the 2nd ring). A little scotch tape wrapped around the ends may help with threading them. Pull these ends through the buckle slot until they are doubled up and match up with the other end attached to the opposite buckle, Tie a square knot with these cords near the buckle and around the other side of the cord. Tape the raw ends to the other cord to hold in place. This tape is temporary it should be removed when your knots get down close to it when you are almost done.
  3. Fold the long piece (200”) of cord in half and push the fold through the 2nd slot in the male side of the buckle. Then reach through that loop and pull through all six strands of cord through the loop (this will be 4 short strands and then the 2-100” lengths that should settle as your outside strands). This will be the second overhand knot.
  4. Bundle the long cords up to about 18” on each side and wrap with rubber bands to make them easier to work with. With these bundled long cords tie a square knot around the four strands of inner cords up close to the buckle.
  5. Now it is time for the macrame knot – on the left side make a “4” with the cord. Then with the other cord go over the tail of the “4” under the stem of the ”4” and then from underneath come up through the nose of the “4”. Some describe this knot action as over, under, under, over – but remember the first under is the whole “stem” which is 4 cords together treated as one. For the next knot start by making the “4” on the RIGHT side. It is important that you alternate the 4 from left to right to left again to keep the collar going flat. If it starts to twist it is because the sides have not been alternated. If you lose track of which side you should be doing the “4” on, it is the side that has the bump on the edge of the previous knot. Also be careful that the inner cords (the 4 strand stem) stays smooth while you are tightening knots lest a strand pulls up and “bubbles” out the back.
  6. When the macrame knots have completely covered the inner 16” four strands make a final square knot on the end. Then cut off the excess cord leaving about ¾”, melt these raw ends to prevent further fraying and with the end of the torch lighter. Press and make the melted cord adhere them flat to the collar for neatness. *The square knot: Right hand cord over left cord with the right one going under, then it is now the left hand cord and it needs to cross back over the right one and go under it to complete the knot. Right over left and under, new left over right and under.

Go Green! – Recycled Feed Bag Tote Bag by Teresa Boelens

  1. Decide on your feedbag. Figure out what portion will be useful for handles and the large remaining portion for the body of bag as each feedbag type is different.
  2. Cut two 4-inch strips from the top or bottom of bag for the handles and possibly a strip for a pocket inside of the bag if desired and the remainder will become the body of the bag, which will differ depending on how big you want your tote to be.
  3. Turn cleaned bag inside out and fold a ½” hem followed by a 1” folded hem and stitch on the sewing machine. This is the top of your tote bag.
  4. Stitch the bottom of the bag with ½” hem followed with a zigzagged stitch on the very edge for strength. Fold seam allowance to one side of stitching line.
  5. To make “square bottom” fold bag in opposite direction such that seam of bottom stitching lines up and overlaps middle side fold of bag. Measure 4 inches from point and stitch across. Repeat on opposite corner.
  6. Turn bag right side out and push corners out.
  7. At this time you can place and stitch in your pocket if desired. Make sure to do a rolled and stitched hem on the pocket top of about a ½” and then pin in place and stitch into bag on two sides and the bottom. Pocket sizes vary depending on need and can be stitched to the inside or outside of the bag. This step is completely optional.
  8. To make the handles cut loop on each bag piece to make 2 single long strips. Fold each 4-inch strip with a ½” hem on the long side and then fold each side (raw edges on the inside) together toward the center to make a 2-inch wide strap and stitch on machine. Based on your personal preference decide how long you want your tote bag straps to be and adjust and trim the size accordingly.
  9. Handles should be stitched to topsides of the bag using 3 inches of the strap approximately 4 inches from side edge of bag. Stitch with a rectangle pattern overlapping the top hem and then an “X” shaped pattern for added strength. Don’t forget to fold the strap one turn in the middle before stitching in place so it rests naturally on the shoulder when being carried.
  10. To make a bottom support for your bag you will need a strip of heavy cardboard cut slightly undersized of the bottom of your bag. This can be covered with another extra piece of the feedbag in an envelope or package fold and secured with a strip of hot glue or tacky glue (I prefer hot glue). Then slide glued side down into the bottom of your bag and your tote is complete! These bags are durable, washable and can be made and entered as a 4-H fair project (as either recycle or sewing project). They can also be made and sold to farm market customers or make a great gift!


Mohair is the fiber or wool of the Angora Goat. The fleece on an Angora grows approximately 1 inch per month. Angoras are shorn every 6 months. Fleece weights vary from 2 - 10 pounds, averaging 6 pounds for a mature adult doe. A goat's age, sex, genetics and the environment, all effect the quality of the fleece. Healthy animals raised on pasture, hay and a little grain will produce better quality fleeces than livestock that are stressed and managed poorly. Angora goats thrive in a variety of climates. They originated in the Ankara region of Turkey.

Mohair is renowned for its strength, warmth, durability and its ability to resist shrinking and wrinkling. It is most noted, however, for its beautiful luster and ability to be dyed into brilliant colors. It can be blended with almost any other fiber to create interesting textures, colors or feelings or simply to increase bulk and elasticity. Mohair can also be used on its own, which accents it halo effect. All animal hairs (fibers from all animals other than sheep) have similar properties of elasticity, crimp, grease content and epidermal scale structure. The epidermal scales have little overlap, are smooth and lie closely along the fiber. The smooth scales account for mohair's ability to resist felting and shrinkage.

Mohair is a slippery fiber to spin compared to wool. It will require a tighter twist with less tension on the brake band. You can spin with a worsted method to produce firm sleek yarns that will stand up to heavy wear. or with a woolen method to produce softer fluffier yarns. Worsted spinning is best used on finer gauge yarns. If used on bulkier yarns it tends to make for a heavy yarn. Even a woolen spun yarn will be heavy for a bulky yarn. It is best to odd at least 30% wool to your blend if you want a bulky yarn. Mohair lends itself well for use in many textured yarns. Try your hand at producing a boucle, using the mohair for the loops and a fine wool as the core and binder. To make it really special use a fine silk singles as the binder. You can also produce a brushed type yarn by inserting tufts of mohair as you ply. Brush the finished article (whether knit or woven) with a soft bristled hairbrush, to produce a soft halo. This technique works especially well with kid mohair yarns knitted into soft hats. sweaters and stoles. With practice it is possible to produce mohair yarns that rival anything available on the commercial yarn market.

    Mohair is graded into six main categories with several subcategories available within those. The six main categories are based on the fiber's diameter or micron count. The micron count (or fineness) of mohair ranges from about 18 to 40 microns. The lower the micron count the finer the fiber. Kid mohair is the finest and some of the finer grades of kid mohair can compete with the fineness of cashmere. Kid mohair is best suited to fine knit or woven fabrics, where a soft handle is important, such as sweaters worn next to the skin. Yearling mohair has many of the same qualities of kid mohair, yet is more durable or hardwearing. It is a great choice for luxurious cardigans, shawls, throws or woven suits. Young adult or young goat grades are slightly coarser than the first two categories, but is still an excellent choice for durable knit or woven fabrics where good wear is important. It is well suited to socks, mittens, outwear jackets and blankets. Adult mohair is also great for outerwear, upholstery fabrics and other fabrics that are not intended to be worn next to the skin. The coarsest mohair is from mature bucks. This hair is great for doll wigs, Santa Claus beards, carpets and rugs. The lost grade of mohair is stain, which is not generally used by the handspinner.

    The coarser grades of mohair are most often used for making doll wig locks. This mohair has often got more character than the finer grades and is easier to work with. Many people ask us why we don't use the curly kid locks for doll wigs, and the answer is that kid mohair is just too fine to use in this manner. The locks often don't stay together, putting some of the yarn into 1 jar and the rest in the other. Then you can use Navajo-­plying to produce a yarn with distinct color changes.


    Complaints about Mohair

    The two biggest complaints about mohair are that it's scratchy and that people are allergic to it. Scratchy garments can be caused from the following:

    1. Using too coarse a grade of mohair for garments worn next to the skin
    2. Kemp
    3. Overprocessing can strip away mohair's natural oils and leave it feeling harsh & brittle. When commercial processors wash Mohair, they use chemicals, which can cause the finished fiber or garment to feel coarse and scratchy.
    4. Blending with a coarse wool or other fiber.
    5. True allergies to mohair are extremely rare. Studies hove shown that the majority of people who believe they are allergic to natural fibers are not. Reactions con occur from the dirt and grease in the fiber and-from nickel, copper, tin and other chemicals used in dyeing and processing the yarn.

    Important Attributes of Mohair

    • Luster - The sheen of a quality Mohair fleece adds tremendous appeal to its beauty.
    • Strength - Mohair has incredible strength compared to other animal fibers. Rugs made from Mohair are very durable and can lost forever.
    • Dyeing -Mohair accepts dyes more readily than other wool. Dyed Mohair will be deeper in color and more lustrous than most dyed wool fleeces.
    • Durability - Mohair resists shrinking, wrinkling and felting.
    • Various Grades - Mohair comes in varying grades. A fleece should be selected according to its intended use.
    • Versatility - Mohair is used in weaving the fabric cushions of theatre seats. It is also fine enough for making a baby blanket.
    • Renewable resource - Every 6 months there is another crop of Mohair to be harvested. Mohair is a fiber. which is not man-made or dependent on oil processing.
    • Angora Goats - The treasured producers of one of the most luxurious fibers in the world. We wouldn't have Mohair without them.

    Making Soap with Ingredients you can get at Walmart - Patty Forbes

    Important Principles and Information:

    • Always put any recipe you get from any source through the lye calculator at thesage.com. When you print out your recipe on thesage.com always read and comply with the dangers of lye and making soap on the site. Always wear goggles or a face shield, always wear long sleeves, do not breath in the fumes when combining lye and liquid.
    • You can change up the oil in this if your store does not carry Sunflower,just put in 16.5 ounces of olive, salfllower or even peanut or com, just put it into the lye calculator so you will see if you need to change the amount of lye you put into this recipe.
    • Until you have made several batches of soap use the higher end up to 34 ounces of liquid, as you get more experienced you can go lower, and even much lower than 28 ounces, but it is not for the faint of heart!
    • This 7 pound batch of butters and oils fills a Martha Stewart Utility tray all the way up, and it's what I use.
    • I use between 3 and 7 ounces of Fragrance oils or essential oils for this whole batch, depending upon the quality of the scent.
    • Liquid is liquid, be it all milk, all water, a combination of both, or fruit or vegetable purees or juices. The more liquid in your recipe the longer it takes for your soap to harden (cure).
    • Always add your lye slowly to your liquid, adding liquid to your lye can blow it up into your face.
    • Using recipes that involve measurements and not weights is fine for soap for your family, do not even think about letting someone else use or buy this soap.


    • 64 ounce bucket of lard (Wal Mart)
    • 31.5 container of LouAnn coconut Oil (WalMart) 16.5 ounces of Sunflower Oil (WalMart)
    • 28 to 34 ounces of liquid
    • 16 ounces of lye


    1. Get your soaping equipment together. I soap in buckets, so get a 2 gallon bucket from Walmart in the paint section. You will also need a scale, a cheap postal scale that will weight your 3 to 8 ounces of scent, your 16.5 ounces of oils, your lye and your water and up to your 7 pounds of soap in a bucket.. .. is all that you need. A big stainless spoon, I like the professional ones with the long handles so I can stand back when I mix my lye into my liquid. Assorted measuring cups and spoons. A small stainless bucket (mine is actually a ice bucket from Walmart). Goggles, and apron 10 protect your clothes or a long sleeved big shirt and gloves (the playtex yellow ones for washing dishes are perfect). Your first batch will be water, no GM.
    2. Weigh out your liquid into your stainless steel lye pot, put it into one side of your cleaned out sink with the stopper in the bottom. Weight out your 16 ounces of lye in a clean dry container (a disposable drink cup works great for this, or even a rubber maid bowl). Put your stainless steel spoon into the water, and slowly start pouring in your lye, stir well to dissolve, hold your breath or look away, do not breath in the fumes. Once stirred in and you can't feel any lye crunching on the bottom of the container, start running cold water into the sink to cover about 1/2 of the lye container, to cool it, not so much water that the container starts to float and tip over. Leave this to cool.
    3. Open your lard bucket, peel off the top and place in the microwave until it is almost melted. Overheated lard smells like bacon, and nobody wants bacon soap, so take it slowly, you are wanting it all soft an gushy not cooked. Pour and scrape the lard into your soaping bucket that is in the bottom of your sink. Now nuke your coconut oil, it only takes about 3 minutes during the warm summer, and about 5 mintues during the cold winter. Pour this into your soap bucket on top of the lard. Now use the coconut oil container to weigh out your sunflower oil on your scale, you need 16.5 ounces. Pour this into your soap bucket.
    4. Weigh out your scent. I set in a row the things I am going to add to this batch of soap, in order of usage so I don't forget anything.
    5. Now prepare your mold. If you are using wood, line it with freezer paper, if you are using plastic or Martha molds, spray them with PAM or Walmarts fake spray. Using plastic bags over your molds works also, the soap simply settles the plastic bag into the mold, it does leave wrinkles in your soap though, but the ease of this is perfect for folks making home soap.
    6. You have everything ready and your lye/liquid is cool. You are now ready to soap:
    7. Using your lye stirring spoon, slowly pour your now cool lye water into your butters and oils, you can stir this soap together for the whole time or you can use a stick (immersion blender) blender also. Start with stirring, then move to your stick blender. The first thing you will notice when stirring the soap is that it turns from white to more clear looking, this is emulsion (this is when you would add oatmeal, or goat milk or clays or colorings or whatever you want, this means the lye is completely coated with butters and oils and can't burn anything you add to the soap. After a few more minutes, you will notice the soap thickening up, like gravy does. And if you tum off your stick blender and lift it up, you can make little trails of soap over the top of the soap in the bucket that take a few seconds to settle into the rest of the soap. This is trace, and what you are looking for. When it's cold out trace comes quickly, when hot out it takes a little longer to get to trace ... to much liquid and you never hit really good trace. Now it's time to tum your stick blender off and stir in your fragrance oil, I use a rubber spatula, because I also use this to help me scrape all my soap into the molds (I pour 14 and 21 pound batches so it's more dumping than pouring Get the soap in the mold after putting in your fragrance oils, do not play with it, just get it in ... fragrance oils and essential oils can cause all sorts of problems when adding it to the soap, it can accelerate trace so fast that you have oatmeal or worse cement in your bucket! It can cause lumps or little pieces of rice ... so move fast, safely but don't dawdle!
    8. I start cleaning up immediately so I don't have soap to soak or scrape out of my buckets and off my stickblender and spoons. Let the soap sit out on the counter for 24 to 48 hours than unmold and cut, it is ready to use after you cut it, but most of us let our soap cure, we set it out on racks for 3 to 6 weeks, where liquid is evaporated out of the soap, it makes the soap harder, and last longer. I use a dehumidifier to hasten this process.
    9. Congrats, you have made soap!

    Goat Leather Crafts (Caprine Outing 2006)



    What Is Leather?

    Leather is animal skin that has been preserved by tanning. The tanning process alters the collagen (microscopic proteins that give skin its structure & elasticity) in the bide so that it doesn't decay or rot. It removes the micro-fibers holding the collagen together so that they separate and toughen. This also creates leather's characteristic softness and flexibility.

    What Is Goat Leather Good For?

    Goat hides make a thin, fine-grained leather that's excellent for garments and other lightweight projects. Goat leather typically weighs 2-3 ounces per square foot of material - equivalent to a thickness of 1/32"4 of an inch or slightly more.

    Leather vs. Rawhide

    Rawhjde is a hide that has undergone the initial preparations, but isn't yet tanned. lt's stronger and stiffer than leather, good for lacing, thongs, saddles, dog toys, and anything else that should hold its shape or dry stiff. Leather lasts longer because of the preservative effects of tanning, and also is softer and more pliable. It's better for projects like shoes, clothes, wallets, purses, etc.

    How Do You Make Leather?

    After skinning, the hide undergoes the following steps to become leather. The time and ingredients involved in each steps vary depending on which formulas are used for certain processes. Sample recipes for some steps are included in the next section. Between skinning, fleshing, and other steps, the hide can be preserved for several months by salting it with a pound of salt per pound of hide. Store it in a cool place where excess moisture can drain away. The bide can also be kept safe in the freezer. For most steps, soak the hide first and then let it partially dry so that it's damp enough to work with instead of being stiff as a board.


    Make sure the hide cools quickly by hanging it stretched out. Once all the body heat has dissipated, spread the hide over a flat surface or fleshing beam - a smooth log 10" set up at an angle like a sawhorse with only one set of legs. Scrape off all the excess fat and tissue from the underside of the hide using a dull knife so as not to nick the bide or dig so deeply that the roots of the hairs are exposed. This takes some time and elbow grease. More flesh will loosen from the hide throughout the tanning process and can be removed later, but taking off as much as possible now will improve the results.


    Once the hide is cleaned of excess material, the hair needs to be removed. Soak the hide in a de-hairing solution made.from lye (concentrated or hardwood ashes extract) or lime for several days, depending on the formula. The hide is ready when the hair can be slipped - pulled out of the hide by hand.

    Caution! These solutions are strong bases - they are very caustic.
    Always wear gloves, work in a well ventilated area, and dispose of properly. Do not use metal implements, containers, etc. - only wood, glass, pottery or plastic ones. Once the hair is loose, drain the hide of excess solution by hanging it up for a short period. Then drape it back on the fleshing surface to shave or scrape off all the hair.



    After the hair is removed, the de-hairing solution left in the hide needs to be neutralized with a mild acid formula called bate or drench. Vinegar (acetic acid) is a common ingredient. Rinse the hide repeatedly in several changes of clean water, then soak it in the bate for at least twenty-four hours (follow the recipe instructions). Rinse the hide several times afterwards to make sure it is free of excess chemicals that could interfere with the tanning process.

    Rawhide: For rawhide, stop at this step. Stretch the hide over a frame or a series of nails pounded into a plank. To mold the rawhide, soak it and then shape it into its finaJ form. Let dry in a cool, dark area. If necessary, the rawhide can be given some flexibility and softness by finishing as in the last step for leather.


    Hides can be tanned using vegetable (extract tannic acid from bark or galls, not actual vegetables!) oil (only use animal-based fats and oils), or mineral (alum and chrome salts) solutions. Buckskin is a type of leather made by tanning with the animal's brains and then smoking the hide.

    Caution! Many of these solutions include ingredients that can be very dangerous if mishandled. Always wear gloves, work in a well ventilated area, and dispose of properly. Do not use metal implements, containers, etc. - only wood, glass, pottery or plastic ones. A medium-sized hide like a goat's requires at least 10 gallons of tanning solution, enough to completely submerge the bide in and allow for stirring. Soak the hide in the tanning formula according the recipe's instructions - anywhere from two days to two weeks, usually with some stirring and changing the solution every so often. To check the hide's progress, cut a small slice into it and look to see if the color change from tanning has penetrated evenly all the way through the hide. A lightweight hide like a goat's will tan quicker than a thicker cow or horse hide. Once the hide is completely tanned, rinse it repeatedly in several changes of clean water to get out all the chemicals.



    To complete the hide's transformation into leather, it needs to be staked and then oiled while it's stilI slightly damp. Coat the hide with an oil like castor oil or neats foot oil, or with a grease like tallow or lard (remember, only animal-based fats!) or a combination of both and let it soak in. Staking the hide essentially involves beating it up to break up the micro-fibers that are binding the collagen. A common way to stake is by draping the bide over a wooden stake or the narrow end of a board and then working it back and forth over and over and over until it's soft enough for whatever project it's going to become. Other ways of staking include beating the leather with axe handles or even chewing it - the most important part is to work and work and work and work the hide until it no longer dries stiff. Once it has the characteristic softness and flexibility of leather even when dry, it is done!

    Sample Recipes

    De-hairing Formula:
    "Liming Solution #3," from Tan Your Hide!, pg 51

    • 2.5 pounds of slaked, caustic lime for every 10 gallons of water
    • Add the lime to water and stir with a paddle until completely dissolved. Soak the hide in this solution 36-48 hours, or until the hair comes off easily.

    Bate {De-liming Solution):
    "Bate Solution Recipe #1," from Home Tanning & Leathercraft Simplified, pg. 72

    • 1 part sharp cider vinegar
    • 3 parts water
    • Mix enough to cover the hide. Stir well. Stir the skin frequently in the solution. Soak for at least 24-36 hours to neutralize any alkaline chemicals remaining in the hide.

    Tanning Formula:
    ''The Easiest Method," from Home Tan11ing & Leathercraft Simplified, pg. 75

    • 15 pounds of chrome crystals
    • 6 pounds of common non-iodized salt, any grade
    • 12 gallons of water
    • Heat the water to easily dissolve in tl1e chrome crystals and salt. Once they are thoroughly dissolved, cool the solution to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the hide in to soak. Tanning will require nine to tend days for a medium hide and about two weeks for a large one. Stirring frequently will cut the tanning time considerably and will also insure that the hide tans evenly.



    These two books provide more detailed information on making leather, alternate recipes for tanning and other steps in the process, and a few leather project ideas.

    • Home Tanning & Leathercraft Simplified. Kathy Kellogg. Williamson Publishing Co.: Charlotte, VT. 19R4.
    • Tan Your Hide! Phyllis Hobson. Garden Way Publishing: Pownal, VT. 1977.