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...


Michelle said...

Here I was thinking you've been MIA for awhile and look what jam-packed post you've come up with! Those hats are amazing; would love to learn how to make them except I don't wear hats. I just finished the singles for my first spin-to-knit project; must ply and dye it next. I must say it is rather exciting for this prior process-only spinner!

Wish I were closer to help with chores after surgery. How are you going to manage?

Mim said...

I love my "yurt for your head" hat! Can't wait to see it in person. Worth the wait.

Sharon said...

To say you have busy would be an understatement. I cannot WAIT to see you next week. I just realized that it's going to almost be a Wool Hussy fullhouse!