Tuesday, June 15, 2010

fun and games!

I am an Echinacea

"You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you."

I am an

What Flower
Are You?

For some reason, the code isn't working right - check it out at (what flower are you?)
I saw this on Mim's blog, and thought I'd try it out.  I'm surprised, but glad I didn't turn out to be a flower that I'm allergic to!!
I have a new equine resident - "Uncle" Stryder.  He's 19, 17 h tall (that's 5'8") at the withers, and a really lovely guy.  He's already made Merlin more accepting of my presence.  Best of all, I can ride him, and with knee surgery just under 7 weeks away (OMG!), he's helping me exercise in a manner that I like so I can get my leg strength up beforehand.  In this picture, he's standing next to a 4" fence...
Mim and Becky are arriving at my house tomorrow for the BSG festivities, and Linda and Sharon (and their mates) will be as well, but staying elsewhere.  It occured to Sharon (or was it Linda?) that we will be 2 people short of the full compliment of Wool Hussies - our team at the first annual fiber to shawl competition at CNCH.  We're missing Allison and Amy...
I have supervisory duties over Correy's sheep while they're at the pasture near my house.  Sunday, when I went over to move them to a new paddock, I heard a very strange sound - a high-pitched baaa...  And there was a little gray badger ram lamb following his mom around.  What a surprise!  She had a ram breakout in January (the same ram that's currently in with these ewes), and he caught this yearling.  She's being a good mom, and the lamb is following her very well in the crowd of 20-some ewes, so all is well.  They have been invited to be on display at BSG - it's not often that there are newborn lambs at this time of year for the public to see!  Not a day later, Correy called me - she has a lamb, too - one of her Border Leicesters lambed on pasture over there (Prineville area).  I suggested that we call them Pete and Re-Pete...
The turkeys are doing well, and have stopped dying.  Something was getting into the Auburns and trying to take them out, but couldn't so left the little carcasses for me to find - ugh...  So they got moved into the house.  No more losses!  The Bronzes are getting big - they're a week + older than the Auburns, so they're separate.  I hope to get the Auburns out of the house before Mim and Becky get here! I have an almost complete poultry tractor that I will put at least the bronzes in soon.  If you're interested in the design, shoot me an email, and I can send it to you.
As usual, life is busy, but full! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Of Fiberish things and life changes...

I've been knitting quite a bit, and spinning some.  After spinning for 37 years (yikes), I finally found the wheel of my dreams - a Country Craftsman.  It spins fast, and now that I have 4 bobbins and a lazy kate for it, the possibilities are endless.

I've been playing with and dyeing fiber that I've gotten from Mim (here) with some really nice results.  I really like dyeing the Corriedale top, and had some really nice color combos, one of which I actually spun and navajo plied:

The Merino/Bamboo/Tussah (MBT) is really lovely, and takes the dye really well.  Here's a skein that I did right after I got my lazy kate.  I split the roving  (also shown) and spun half onto separate bobbins in the same order, and then plied them:

One of my favorite things to design and knit are hats.  Over the years, they've evolved, from the Nepalese ear-flap hats to my current "yurts for your head."  Years ago, Allison Judge, her SIL Patty and I participated in a "Bunny to Beret" competition.  I designed the hat, and then we spun the angora fiber (it was at an angora rabbit show), knit the hat and sewed it together.  It used inserted I-cord, which has been lurking around in my brain ever since.  So, when it came time to knit a appreciation gift for the gentlemen where my sheep have been pastured, I came up with this:

Then, I thought, what if... there were 6 "rafters" instead of 4?  I had some more of the black yarn (corriedale x) and some white (dorset x from Becky [here]) and produced this:


So, three years ago, Mim gave me Booger's fleece with the deal that I would make her something out of it.  It's not done yet, but will be by the time she gets here for BSG:

I told her that if she didn't like it, I'd keep it - I really like the colors, and the soft gray of Booger's fleece really sets off the dyed corriedale.

In the life changing section, on August 2, I'm having both my knees replaced - YAY!!  I know it will hurt, but it hurts all the time now, and once it's done, hopefully, I won't hurt anymore!!  My doctor thinks I can be back at work (sitting at my desk) in about 3-4 weeks.  I asked him about riding, and he said probably 8-12 weeks.   I can live with that.

On the farm front, I have butchered 31 cornish x chickens at 10.5 weeks of age, and some of the roosters weighed 10 lbs.  My friend Belinda introduced me to the joys of pressure canning, and we got 14 chickens cooked, 10 into jars, and 6 of those actually caned. They are still very tender, but they look like turkeys!!  Speaking of turkeys...  I have 14 standard bronze (not broadbreasted) and 14 Auburn turkey poults, from which I will have some for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners (for others, too), and the rest will become a breeding flock.  If you put an Auburn Tom on Bronze hens, the resulting chicks have sex-linked colors so you can tell them apart at hatching - bonus!!

Sometimes I wonder how I do it all...