Hay Tasting Party!

Yesterday I put on a little taste-test party in the pasture to get input on this year’s hay options.

Three varieties were presented to our experts- 2019 second cut, 2018 third cut, and 2018 second cut.

A sweet, almost fruity nose led our tasters first to the 2018 second cut, where they lingered quite a while, noting the structured tannin profile-

Dottie was the first to get beyond pile number one, passing 2018 third cut with hardly a sniff (a bit musty/earthy), to enthusiastically partake of the 2019 second cut.

It took a little while for Frank and Felix to get into the action, but they eventually wandered over to offer their input.

In the end, the gang favored the rich herbal notes, smooth mouthfeel and long finish of the 2019 second cut Teff/local grass blend. Hopefully we’ll have it delivered and put up in the woodshed next weekend!

And the final accounting on my “Best of Frank and Felix” yarn is in-

Total of 840 yards, 13.6 oz.

The grist varies a bit more than expected over the five skeins, but I’ll just have to account for that in planning whatever garment they end up being.

So nice to have another almost-sweater quantity of yarn ready to go. I might be able to put together something really neat with this F&F lot and Chone yardage left after I finish my Forest project, as they are about the same weight.

To Hatch, or Not To Hatch

That is the question.

The girls are still sitting. I didn’t mark the calendar, but I’m pretty sure that 21 days should be this weekend……

They haven’t given up yet, so I’ll let them be for now. And keep the hope alive for a few more little peeps.

The “First Five” are all doing well. Now just over 4 weeks old, and very cute and perky, but not quite ready for the big leagues quite yet (and I have to figure out how to reinforce the shed in order to keep them penned in with the grownups (would be easy for them to pop through the current fencing).

In knitting news, I’m making slow but steady progress on Forest. Now about 8 inches into the back.

And over the last couple of days my roses have all burst into bloom! A few of my “English Rose” friends. Lady Emma Hamilton-

Jude the Obscure

And St. Cecilia

This time of year I can’t help but take time to stop and smell the roses! These guys are amazingly fragrant.

As the Compost Turns

Today’s big accomplishment

That’s about 2 yards of finished compost. Black gold. Many thanks to chickens and sheep who make most of the ingredients 🙂

Then we turned the next batch to aerate it so it will keep on cooking.

Thankfully I got some tractor help from The Man to make this happen.

Feels good to have the compost managed and back under control. It had been taken over by weeds and hadn’t been turned probably since last fall sometime, so it was definitely due.

In other news, it feels like I’ve got a broody chicken epidemic.

These three girls are all trying to sit on the same bunch of eggs

Pretty sure that these eggs have been set upon continuously for about two weeks now by one, two or three of these girls, so we might be in for another hatch next weekend.

Welsie’s brood of five babies are getting bigger by the day- but it might be a bit before they are ready to get transitioned into the shed with the gen pop.

And I’m still spinning up the best of Frank and Felix- about another 300 yards this week- pictured drying out by the raspberries this afternoon.

Looks like maybe I didn’t get quite as much ply twist into this batch, but it’s hard to tell for sure until it’s completely dry. Hmmm.

And I’m afraid I might have spoken too soon about knitting up “Forest” without any mods. I read ahead in the pattern , and realized that as written, the sweater has armholes that are only about 5.75″ deep. That’s not going to work for these thick, compost shoveling shoulders, but hopefully won’t be too big a deal to alter. 🙂

I’ll sign off with a picture of today’s peony harvest- I’ll be taking these in to work tomorrow to share with friends and coworkers.

The Next Sweater (Vest)

This week I finally settled on what I’m going to make with the yarn I spun from Chone’s last fleece. What a relief!

I’ve swatched, (amazingly) got gauge, and (even more amazingly) am planning on knitting it up without really modifying anything. 🙂

Doesn’t look like much yet,

But I’m really enjoying working with my Chone yarn, and doing a little cabling- seems like a long time since I’ve done any cabling- so I think it will go pretty fast

And- I’m really pleased with how my “best of Frank and Felix” yarn is coming along. approximately 300 yards so far.

The boys cleaned up pretty nicely- And it’s so springy!

Think I can probably get another 450 yards out of the rest of the Grade A F&F. The rest of it will likely get dyed later on this summer. Would really like to try my hand at some madder dyeing….

And in the garden- peonys

And roses

Ahhhh- June.