Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Well, I finished Chloe's sweater and am not at all pleased with it. I used the weight of yarn and needles called for in the pattern but when I put it on her you could see her coat ( she's red and white ) right thru the yarn!!! This is not going to keep this pup warm when it gets cold, sooooooooooo .
I decided to make her another sweater. As I was shopping in my stash - I found some super bulky weight bright red acrylic yarn with bits of orange,yellow,green,blue and white mixed in ( will definitely have to wear my sunglasses when she's outside in the sun and snow with this sweater on ). It has a nice fuzzy halo around it and is soft. Of course, Chloe had to come and help pick it out ( and I had to grab her before she took off like a shot with some of my Shetland yarn, she wanted her sweater made out of THAT - yes, she has good taste but it ain't gonna happen in her lifetime that she gets a sweater made out of Shetland wool ). She did finally, after some discussion, settle on the above mentioned red yarn and I ( of course, WITH her help ) started knitting it.
Chloe thinks whenever I sit down to knit on her sweater that SHE has to put her head in my lap on every 2 - 3 minutes poke her nose up thru the knitting to see how it's going,. And heaven forbid should I have to leave the sweater in the basket to go answer the phone or do anything else, because she has it on the floor rolling in it with her feet up in the air ( I suppose this means she likes it, but it sure is annoying ).
Her sweater should be done next week and I'll post a picture of it on the demon dog child. She does wear the original out to play in the mud ( talk about a swamp-rat ) but it's too big for her, so I made this one smaller and it should fit better. She is learning that she has to put her sweater on before she goes outside and it has reduced the amount of mud she drags in ( in fact, the sweater, after only ONE trip outside to show the ducks what she got, could stand on it's own!!! ), so that will be her " play " sweater and the new one will be worn when she goes someplace ( shopping for dog toys and sheep feed, to the vet's, or visiting ).
Well,I don't remember where I left her sweater and she's quiet so I need to see if she has found it again - talk about a busy girl.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
So, now that all that's settled and the yarn has been cataloged and the patterns for the baby blankies have been chosen, all I have to do is knit myself silly and have ALL this done by Easter!!! Oh, well, it needs to be done, so watch the smoke fly from my needles - dogs beware, MOM's knitting tonight!!!
Friday, December 15, 2006
What I plan on doing is not buy any more yarn until my stash is almost gone ( hopefully by the end of 2007, if not before ) and then start to work on cleaning and spinning the bags of wool from the sheep into tons of wonderful Shetland yarns - natural and dyed colors. I may buy the occassional yarn that I don't have ( i.e., alpaca, camel, yak, silk ) but I'm going to restrict myself to the natural fibers unless someone requests something done in acrylic or fancy glitzy yarns. I have all this wool looking at me and I'm not doing anything with it but letting it sit and that's crazy.
So, as of January 1,2007, I will not be buying any more yarn until my stash is depleted. Good thing I can knit fairly fast. It should be an interesting year.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
This is what I woke up to this morning. It's about 1 - 2 inches of powdery snow out back and less out front with the wind howling through the trees as if it were March instead of December.
Chloe and Stylle went out and Chloe proceeded to slide off the deck - I don't think she likes the snow because she was trying to walk without it touching her feet ( nothing like some comic relief in the morning ).
The sheep aren't real happy about the snow but they can get out and graze some.
It's supposed to be in the mid to upper 40's by Saturday so this should be gone. I haven't seen or heard from the kennel dogs today - knowing Maggie and Rosie they've threatened Vinnie and Catcher NOT to move from the doghouses so they ( the girls ) don't get cold. At least I have the dog houses facing with the back of the houses to the wind. If I remember right, the girls get in the back of the doghouses and make the boys sleep across the doorway to keep the cold out. Whoever said labs aren't smart haven't talked to my girls lately. Want to guess WHO runs the doghouses?
This is the start of Chloe's sweater she asked for. It's made out of 100% acrylic ( there is NO way I'm gonna make a sweater for this girl out of wool with as dirty and muddy as she gets ). It's knit on size US 10 needles at about 3.7 sts / inch ( whatever 0.7 stitch is ) in a 3-to-1 knit rib for the bottom and the collar of the sweater and then size US 11 for the main part in stockinette. The pattern calls for sleeves all the way down to her ankles but will end up being midway between her elbow and knee ( again considering the mud factor with her ). It's a bulky weight yarn and should keep her warm and knit up fast. Now to convince Chloe to leave me alone long enough to finish the darn thing ( she thinks that she has to " help " me knit her sweater - but HER idea of helping and mine are not the same ).
This hat was knit as a surprize Christmas present for a friend of mine and , as soon as I get the pattern written, will be for sale as a kit. So watch the side bar for the kit.
She was definitely not expecting it as I did it at the last minute and mailed it last Thursday. It took about 3 hours to knit and came out pretty well, even if I do say so myself.
The picture isn't the greatest but it was dark the day I took this and had to improvise a way to light it so it could be seen.
It's made out of acrylic and can be machine washed. It has a soft fuzzy hand and is very comfortable to wear. The colorway is called " diamond " and is a very pale bluish white with flecks of red/green/yellow and blue scattered through it, so it can be worn with any color of coat and not clash ( which was a good thing since I didn't know what color her coat was and I really didn't want to ask and start an avalanch of questions ).
I designed it myself from another hat I made for me a couple years ago when I was playing around with some left over yarn I had in my stash. Actually, I needed a new hat to wear out to feed the sheep because my original wool hat was starting to look a little ratty ( yes , I do still wear it ) and had the extra yarn and found my needles and whipped up the original hat. The yarn I used for it was Lion Brand Thick and Quick in the wheat colorway on size 10.5 needles. Talk about a warm hat - it's so warm that you break out into a sweat wearing it on a cold day. May have to write up that pattern too.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I have been a good girl ( WELL, for the most part ) and I haven't chewed up anything ( unless you consider the Wal-Mart knock offs that I took the strap off for you because it looked uncomfortable ) and I was wondering if you , with ALL your knitting talent, could you please make me a sweater to wear when I go outside to play???
I went out with Stylle yesterday and came back in soooo cold that you couldn't see my beautiful spots!!! It took quite a while to warm up and then I found out Stylle ( who NEVER gets cold - she has a real nice heavy winter coat she grows every year ) was lying next to you on the sofa under the quilt, and I was freezing my spots off. Is that fair???
Please, MOM, make me a nice warn snuggly sweater to wear. I promise I'll be good and not tear up things while you sleep on the weekends. I'M SOOOOO COLD. Love, Chloe."
Now, how could anyone refuse a request like that? OK, Chloe, I'll see what I can find and make you a sweater. - MOM.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Sunrise on Thanksgiving Day 2006.
This is the first holiday, since my mom died in 2000 from breast cancer, that I feel like celebrating. Most of the time since she died, I would just work or do anything so I didn't have to think about how lonely it was without her.
Any way, I have made some of my favorite homemade bread and this morning , I've already cranked up the oven and fixed the sweet potatoes and will be fixing the bird a little later. Chloe, Stylle, and I will be feasting this afternoon in high fashion. If no one else wants our company, we have each other.
We will be watching the football game later this afternoon as I spin some wool and the girls sleep on the sofa and then we'll watch our usual Thursday night shows.
Don't know if I'll be celebrating Christmas yet or not, will have to take it one day at a time. But, I do feel better about the holidays now that I will be celebrating Thanksgiving again. I guess the mourning process is running on schedule.
It's so nice to start to feel good about things again.
Friday, November 17, 2006
This is the newest sweater on the needles. I started last night by casting on 125 stitches on a size US 6 needle and did 1.5 inches of 1x1 ribbing and then changed to a size US 8 needle and will do plain stockingette stitching until the back is done. I want to show off the yarn - it's a 70% 30% soft acrylic/ soft cotton marled yarn that has an extremely soft hand and is very nice to knit. This sweater will be a raglan shoulder affair ( that later I can make and put other elements on it ,i.e. intarsia or varied textural stitches ) . It's more like a big soft well-worn sweatshirt than a sweater - the kind you want to cuddle in when it's cold. This picture appears a little fuzzy but it's the yarn - it kinda has a very small halo but kinda doesn't. Will post more as I get it done.
Friday, November 10, 2006
The new business will be called " Knits 4 Ewe " and will include hand-knits for the family and home along with hand-dyed / hand-painted roving ( Shetland mainly, but maybe some other breeds, also ) and some hand-spun yarns. There may be some other fibers other than wool ( i.e., alpaca, camel, silk, cotton, acrylic, etc. ) to go along with the rest of the articles offered. I will be formulating a brochure to be sent out to those interested in the items offered. So, stay tuned and check us out frequently to see what's up. Look at the side bar to find out what's going on at Knits 4 Ewe.
A look out the back door to the pasture. It was in the upper 60's yesterday and is supposed to be in the upper 60's to low 70's today but drop about 20 degrees tomorrow. If this ain't the weirdest weather for November, I don't know what it is. Makes you wonder what this winter will be like - I've already told them at work that if I can get out of the driveway, I'll be in but if I can't then I'll see them in the spring after the thaw. They think I'm kidding - if the roads are bad there is no way I'm going to try to drive the interstate to work - did that last year to another hospital - and almost got killed after taking 2 1/2 hours to make a 50 minute drive. No job is worth that.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Well, it ain't pretty but it runs. I got the new truck - it's new to me - this morning. It's a 1985 Ford F-150 pickup with a new engine, starter, tires, and A/C. It runs a little rough at slower speeds but does fine on highway speeds. It also has a hitch and " holes " along the top rail of the bed so poles can be put in them and an enclosure can be made to haul ... oh, I don't know ... sheep!!! Now I don't have to hire someone to haul things for me, I can do it myself. It may be an old truck, but IT'S A TRUCK!!! We will be learning each other during the next few days so everyone watch out. I'm a happy camper now.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
And, now, for some of the " older " woolies at the farm.
This is Lacie,( in the middle pic ) an unregistered Shetland ewe. She didn't have any babies last year but has been visiting with Ditto already. Her first baby was a grey/ white yuglet/ flecket ewe ( grey and white spotted ) named Bandit. And last year, Bandit made her a grandmother of a nice little moorit wether with a white cap. Lacie will help you feed by putting her head on the back of your thigh and gently push you along - she DOES like her food.
In this picture is Mollie ( left center ) a musket katmollet ewe who carries spots ( she's the mother of Snowy - the BIG white spot ),a black ram lamb ( to her left ) and a spotted ram lamb ( to her right ). The spotted ram lamb is out of Wen and is the most colorful baby Wen has produced to date. The black ram lamb is Pekin's boy and has Peke's voice ( for some reason at least one of Peke's babies will sound like her ). And that's Pekin herself on the right upper corner of this picture. She has produced some of the loudest colored babies for me since she's been here and she's a VERY protective mom.
Thought you might like to see some of the old and " new " woolies here on the farm and what better time to do this than at feeding time .... so,
IT'S FEEDING TIME AT THE ZOO
This handsome fellow ( in the center of the above picture ) is the new flock sire and he hails from west central IN and his name is Underhill Bandito ( aka Ditto, as I already have a " Bandit " ). He is a fawn katmogut that carries the modifyer gene and Gail says I shoud get some interesting babies from him and my girls.
Next we have Sheltering Pines June Bug modeling the feed of the day. June is a black ewe that has a sweet tooth and likes to have her chin and entire neck scratched. I'm hoping for some solid black babies from her.
This little girl Stephen let me name and here it is: this is Sheltering Pines Moonlight Serenade ( aka Sara ). She has started to talk to me at feeding time and does have a fairly nice voice ( for a sheep ).
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
This is the third sample of dyeing I did that day . In person, this looks kind of like the sky looks at dusk with all the deep purples,reds,oranges, and blues mixed together.
these 2 rovings haven't been spun into yarn yet but they are next to go onto the wheel. They should look great when done.
Well, it's 27 degrees outside and when I let the girls out this is what it looked like, so I ran back in and put on some warm clothes and went out to take some pictures of the " frost on the woolies ".
This picture is looking down towards the woods with the sun starting to shine throughthe tree tops. To the left of the picture, under the dark tree ,are some woolies.
This is Baron up close and personal. Ain't he a cutie?!!! Here, he's showing you the frost on his back ( he's in the bottom picture ).
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The orthopod took my history of what had happened and said he thought I had carpal tunnel in my left hand ( whew! ) and went to turn my hands palm side up and they didn't turn too far - he didn't like this and asked if I'd had any type of injury to my wrists ( my left wrist will only turn parallel to my upper arm while my right wrist will turn my hand almost completely palm up ), so I had another set of xrays done ( the 1st set was of my left forearm and elbow ). He looked at the xrays and said I had carpal tunnel but nothing bad enough for surgery, just wear a cockup splint for a while - he said the nerve was irritated but it didn't know where so it was tingling from my elbow to my fingertips. At least, I didn't do much damage - he said I had sprained my back earlier this year when I carried a 50 lb block of salt to the sheep and had used my left arm differently and so, when I turned my head that day it pulled part of the injured muscle and cause the nerve to act up in my hand.
So, now I get to wear this lovely cream colord splint til my hands gets better - around 3-4 weeks. Oh well, it could have been a lot worse.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Now, I know this pup is smart but come on ... this is just toooo much, even for her. I'm afraid to see what she's going to do next.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The sheep are content with the cooler weather, actually when it gets cooler they have a tendency to get " cold and stupid " and bounce ( literally ) allover the place - from my youngest babies to my oldest ewes. They are hilarious to watch when it starts to get colder - you wouldn't think that sheep could have soo much fun, but they do.
Am planning on doing some dying of roving this afternoon. I found a new way to dye on the 'Net yesterday by using the oven. I have some generic roving that I bought quite a while ago and am going to experiment with it ( after I get back from buynig sheep feed ) before I try it out on my Shetland roving ( if I'm going to screw it up then I want to do it on generic wool and not my Shetland - which I use to make things to sell ). Will take pix of the whole process and post it later.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Well, my baby puppy, Chloe, is a year old today. Ain't she cute?! ( Ok, in this picture she's 10 months old, but you get the idea. ) Looks real sweet and innocent, doesn't she?! Well, looks can be deceiving
This monster is too smart for her own good. Usually, I only have to tell her something about 2-3 times and she knows it ( either that or she got me twisted around enough to believe she knows things ). If I really want to get on Stylle"s nerves ( my beautiful very pale yellow Lab girl ), I will tell Chloe to go tell Stylle that she wants to talk to Chloe and I'll be damned if that pup doesn't go up to Stylle and stare into her face like she's repeating what I just told her to do. This pup is scary. Now I've raised several breeds of dogs and 1 other breed of hound ( Dachshund, to be exact ) and this coonhound pup is as intelligent as or more so than any Dachshund I've ever met.
She will sit and look so sweet and innocent and then the next minute it's Katie bar the door because Chloe is off and running.
Her latest thing is to give puppy hugs. What she does is to get up on the sofa next to me ( as close as possible - forget about breathing for a while ) and then she will put her head ACROSS my chest and lean into me. She does this at least once a day, but what really got me was she started doing this when DeeDee was so sick and even more after DeeDee passed. It's almost like it's her way of making me understand that she loves me. Of course, after she gives puppy hugs she's off like a light and into something.
She has kept things jumping around here since she walked, or rather was carried, in the door last November and she took control and hasn't given it up yet. She got the labs up and moving and got me to chase her ( namely when she has some of my knitting in her mouth ) !!! She has been a joy and a pain in the ass but I wouldn't trade her for any other dog on the face of the Earth. She's a definite mamma's girl and, believe it or not, Chloe loves to be dressed up in hats and coats and sweaters and such. She just amazes me every day as to what she'll do next ( just don't tell her I said so - she already thinks she's the greatest thing on 4 feet ).
But, that's my girl!!!
Monday, October 09, 2006
This is what I saw out the back door when I let Stylle and Chloe back in from their morning visit to the great outdoors. This is looking towards the east though the fog that 30 minutes before was just coming up over the hill - here it is about 125 feet from the backdoor. Thought it looked neat.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Labor Day weekend, I went to the big coonhound dog show up in Richmond,IN, and had a great time. Saw lots of coonhounds and the breeders I want to buy from next spring ( I plan on having a coonhound kennel along with my lab kennel ).
Came home after the show to find out my oldest lab - DeeDee - was very sick. She wasn't able to get up on her feet and was having trouble keeping food and water down. This went on for about 4 days and then suddenly on the Thursday after Labor Day, she was up walking around and wanting to go outside. This didn't last long because she went downhill the next day. By 9/19, she wasn't able to eat or drink and could barely scoot around to change position. I had to make the hard decision to have her put down. The vet came out after office hours and, with Stylle, Chloe, and the rest of the kennel dogs close by, DeeDee was put down very peacefully. The dogs barked and howled during this time and while I took her to her last resting place. After I had finished burying her, Chloe placed a tennis ball on the edge of her grave. It was a nice tribute ( even tho Chloe picked the ball up after I left DeeDee's grave ).
The girls ( Stylle and Chloe ) have finally started to eat and play again - I didn't even realize that they weren't doing this as much during DeeDee's last days but now they seem like they are almost back to normal. They have also put tributes to DeeDee on their own websites.
Maybe things will start to get better. I finally got off orientation from Deaconess after 3 weeks of being treated like a brand new grad ( somewhat insulting after 20 years of work ), and will be starting on night shift next weekend.
Will try to post more often since it looks lie things have started to settle down. Do need to post new pics of the new sheep that came after DeeDee died.
Need to go see what Chloe is into as she's really quiet.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
This is a close up of the scarf that I knitted for the AGM in Indy next week. There was a small ripple in the border after it was blocked, but it's not noticeable if it's worn. It's hand-spun from 100% Shetland lambswool and hand-knit from a pattern I found on a calendar about knit items a year ago. It is soft to the touch and doesn't itch at all. The color is natural, which is a sort of cream color - even though the ewe who gave this wool was white, her fleece turned out to be this color after it was cleaned and spun into yarn. This wool and yarn was a joy to work with.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
This unlikely looking piece of knitting is a bias knit scarf made out of 100% Shetland lamb's wool from one of my ewes. The pattern came from one of the 365 knitting pattern calendars ( don't remember the exact name of the calendar ) that was published for 2005. I knit this scarf as a door prize for the NASSA AGM to be held at the Indiana State Fair next month. It won't look like this - it needs to be blocked first, which I will be doing later today and it will look a lot better than it does now. The color is sort of a cream / white and is the natural color of this ewe's fleece ( it wasn't nor will it be dyed - I want it to be in it's natural color ). Will post this scarf again AFTER it's blocked to be able to show the difference in before and after.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
This is my blog about things that are going on on the farm, what the sheep are doing, and what I'm doing with their wool - spinning it into yarn and what I'm knitting with it. There may be some ramblings from time to time but I will try to keep it to a minimum.
I have been raising Shetland sheep for the last 5 years and have 12 Shetlands, 2 border Leicesters and 1 Perendale that I have sheared every spring , around lambing time, and , after having it processed at a fiber mill, spin it into beautiful soft wool yarn and knit it into sweaters, shawls, mittens, afghans, coats, and whatever someone may want to wear. Most people who say they are allergic to wool have been able to wear my Shetland wool items because it doesn't cause them to itch.
Don't forget to drop by frequently to see what might be going on with the Shetlands.