Tag: Griff

Why they call it Fall

Apparently we are catching the remnants of a typhoon.

This big poplar out in the pasture was our first casualty.


It took out part of our fence as it fell, so we had to do a little creative mending to close the gap for now.


The sheep are enjoying the leaves that are still somewhat green, but that’s going to be  a lot of cleanup!


Closer to the house, we lost one trunk of a big ornamental cherry.



That’s the damage so far. the second wave is supposed to hit this afternoon-evening. More rain. More high winds.

Fun fun fun.

In other news, Autumn’s End is coming along. One sleeve done.


Sleeve one was a trial run for gauge and learning the chart- made a couple mistakes along the way, but came out well in the end.

Onward to sleeve #2!

Beginning of Autumn’s End

Thanks to Michelle’s suggestion last week, I have found a Next Sweater!

And so I’ve been swatching-


And I have decided to go with the lightest weight of the yarn options- Griff singles.
So now the spinning begins.


I’ve cast on for a sleeve, but haven’t gotten very far yet.


And since it’s not exactly cruise-control knitting, so I’ve also got another hat going for keeping the hands busy during football games and such-


Here are the sheeps enjoying some of the last of the season’s apple branches in celebration of today’s Seahawks win.


Live action apple-branch munching available at https://youtu.be/sipkvaFwfJ8

I find watching sheeps peaceably munching to be very satisfying and soothing.
The world needs more of that.

My Blue Heaven

I stayed home this past week.

Didn’t have a real agenda. Just needed a little time to slow down and do homestead type stuff.

And I did.

I picked raspberries and cherries
Weeded in the garden
Trimmed sheep hooves.
Mucked out the sheep shed.
Sat around chatting with sheep and chickens
Washed fleece
Did some yoga.
Listened to a lot of sports talk radio
Baked a cherry pie
Spun some more.

Then, I dyed.
And not just some instant gratification koolaid dyeing (that happened earlier in the week).

This time I pulled out the big pot, and started an indigo vat.

Gimme an I!
Ordered more natural indigo powder from Earthues in Seattle
Gimme an N!
Selected and reskeined yarns to be dyed/overdyed


Gimme a D!
Washed up a bunch of Griff’s last fleece


Gimme another I!
Hit the internet for a refresher on the process
Gimme a G!
Assembled all the necessary tools and ingredients (lye, thiox, pH test strips, gelatin, thermometer, big washtub, etc)
Gimme an O!
Dove in and started my stock solution.


It was overcast, so I set up under cover of the breezeway



I had a little bit of a hard time conclusively determining the pH because my test strips kept turning blue, but I used gelatin (because I oculdn’t find hide glue locally) as an additive to the vat to help protect the wool fibers from the alkaline solution. It seems to have worked pretty well, as everything feels like it is still in good condition.

Indigo is a little tricky, but it has the advantage of not requiring a mordant, and the results are aMAzing!

Griff Indigo Fleece2

INdigo Skeins close


The Hardest Part of Having Animals

Is losing them.

It’s been a very rough week here on the homestead.

Last Sunday night Griff went down. He was never a sheep who would let me approach him, so as he lay on his side in the pasture and did not try to rise when I came near, I knew it was probably serious.
I called Tom and Donna and I’m so grateful to them for coming over help assess what was going on, and decide how to proceed. It seemed that the likeliest culprit was bloat, as the pasture is quite lush right now. We talked about treatments, but in the end I decided that it was probably kindest to let him go.

Griff was never a people-friendly sheep, but he was a good boy, and had a beautiful crimpy golden-taupe colored fleece.


He will be missed, both by me and his good buddies out in the pasture.
My heart is heavy, and am really anxious about the possibility of the same thing happening to one of the other sheep. I’ve put out baking soda alongside their free-choice kelp, and am watching everyone carefully for signs of bloat.

That was Sunday.
Since then, sheep have seemed ok, but Thursday evening Boo kitten came limping home, carrying her left rear leg.
It was after the vet had closed, and I didn’t think that it seemed to terribly serious, so I tried to make her comfortable and clean out the woulds I could see (though she wouldn’t let me do much). Friday morning I took her in right away to have her looked at.

Turns out it was a pretty bad scrape she got herself into. Something really chewed up her left rear lower leg, and apparently the ankle(?) joint was involved, which complicates things. But no broken bones. Seems something had a good hold on her by the achilles but she managed somehow to get away.
Vet said that it was a good thing I got her in that day or she might have lost the leg. Yeeks.
So now she’s patched up, with drains placed all around her foot and leg (5 total) and a bunch of stitches as well. Poor girl is in a cone, and I’m administering pain meds and antibiotics twice daily.

And we lost a baby chicken to ravens last Wednesday.

So I’m hoping that is my 3. I’m kinda wiped.