Category: Blog

Out Like a Lamb?

Here we are, saying goodbye to March already.

It’s been a crazy month, what with the virus concerns and social distancing and all. Thankfully there is lots to do here in the spring, and being busy helps keep anxiety away.

This morning when I went out to do my sheep and chicken routine, I found that the sheeps had gotten themselves shut in the shed overnight. The gate must have blown shut in the wind or something.

But what a lucky start to the day! They were all collected up for me to do CDT shots and deworming. I also got a start on shearing Felix and Dottie. 🙂 So here is the current crazy hairdo status out in the pasture.

Partially Shorn

Business in the front, party in the back!

In knitting news, I am finally making headway on the Teo scarf for my friend The Shepherd. He wanted a really simple scarf, stockinette with a garter stitch border. Once I started and got a few inches in though I realized that it was’t going to be quite as straightforward as I thought.

Grrr. Row Gauge.

So I ripped back and started again, this time working the stockinette on a size smaller needles. So I’m doing the center part on size 2s, and the garter edges on size 3s. It’s a little fiddly, but I’m getting the hang of it.

Shepherds Scarf

It’s looking good so far- though I might do a quick in-progress steam block to make sure it lays flat. Feels good to finally be making progress on this-

Knit on, and stay well!

Beauty Shop is Open

Made a start on shearing today!

First up was Ether, as she looked like she really needed to be freed from her heavy coat

But she really wasn’t into it, and I was only able to get to just past her armpits before she decided she’d had enough. Wouldn’t even let me circle back to clean up her left cheek, so she’s looking kind of silly right now.

Then I moved on to little Daphne. She was really nervous at the start, as she’d not been through this before (first haircut!) but she actually settled down pretty nicely and we got through it with minimal drama 🙂

She doesn’t look half bad! but I still need to clean up her undercarriage later. Her fleece is crazy long- about 10″, and I’m not sure how much of it I’ll be able to use, as she had some felting going on-

It’s interesting- at about middle of the staple length she’s got some sort of cotting thing going on, but both above and below that point the fleece is ok.

It’s pretty locked up in the middle, but it does come free with a fair bit of picking and pulling. Doesn’t appear to be a break of weak staple.

Hmmm.

But with such a long total length, I might just end up cutting them and using each half separately. But I’m thinking that going forward I might need to shear her twice a year. Little girl grows a lot of wool!

Starting Fresh

I haven’t been getting much knitting done lately.

Some of it might be because everything just feels kind of unsettled with the virus developments and such.

But normally in that kind of circumstance knitting and/or spinning would be something that I would turn to as a stress reliever.

And I finally realized why it wasn’t doing that form me recently.

I’d spent a lot of time planning and measuring and doing math to figure out how I was going to knit Layton out of the Dottie yarn that I already had in my stash. I think I still had misgivings about it, but was still pressing on. Forcing it.

Just a couple days ago I gave in and decided to listen to the yarn.

Dottie’s yarn, as much as I love it, is not the right yarn for this project. And if I pushed on I know I would not be pleased with the resulting sweater.

So I’m beginning again. This time with Chone wool from probably 2017 or so.

With his sunbleached tips blended in it’s a beautiful warm charcoal gray. And I can make it into exactly the yarn I need for this project. It will just shift the timeline out a couple/few months.

I’ve also finally cast on for The Shepherd’s Teo scarf. Have had the yarn spun for a while now, and it’s lovely light and lofty stuff. Will be a pleasure to knit it up into a simple stockinette and garter sample.

Teo on size 3 needles

So, I think I’m back on track at last.

Having my wool works back in balance will hopefully help me find some calm amidst the current crisis.

Stay healthy- and knit on! 🙂

Apple Warp, Apple Weft

I haven’t been getting much spinning or knitting done lately, but I did manage to get our big King apple tree pruned last weekend

He still looks a little wild and crazy, but at least I got all the new upright growth out- which is a lot!

And it occurred to me as the whips piled up that it might be fun to try my hand at using them to create a wattle fence panel. Something I could use as an afternoon sun-shade for the chickens in the summer.

So I sorted the cuttings, and kept out the ones that seemed most suitable.

I probably should have taken some instruction from tutorials online, but I just dove in and got started, stabilizing the “warp” branches in a raised garden bed and then weaving lighter whips back and forth across them.

I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turning out. I think it’s about as big as I need, but before I pull it out of the ground I’m going to need to stabilize it.

So I guess it’s back to the internet. I’m sure someone’s got a handy YouTube video that will be of help!