Friday, July 3, 2015

It's Tour de Fleece Time...And I'm Already Racing To Catch Up

One of the few things I look forward to each summer is the Tour de Fleece.    I have fun figuring out who our team mascot will be, how I'll portray them on our official team "ravatar", spend hours thinking about what I want to spin, what new technique(s) I'm going to try to learn, what my friends are going to work on...

This year I thought Buddy might like to be our mascot.  You know, give one of the older kids a chance to get back in the spotlight.  Buddy's a great (and loud ;-) cheerleader and a real team player. He'd be perfect!  Until he misunderstood about the whole bike thing.  Buddy doesn't like to go fast. He's made that perfectly clear.

Even though we all tried to get him to calm down and listen, explain that he didn't have to actually ride a bike, he just covered his ears and then his eyes and then his ears and yelled "ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba"...and then 20 stepped up and said he'd be happy to cover the mascot duties this year and we all agreed that was a good plan.

Of course, 20, realizing that the Tour de Fleece begins tomorrow morning with the start of the Tour de France, decided we all needed to quit messing around posing with a bike and get ready to actually start spinning.  He pulled out Petunia's roving from two years ago, Henri's from last year and helped me snip off the sunbleached ends of Baaxter's fleece so it's ready to wash.  I'm hoping to make a run to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers next week!


The Tour de Fleece is a fun spinning challenge for all spinners, even brand new spinners.  We follow the Tour de France bike race, try to spin every day, take official rest days the same days the racers do and, well, here are the official specs from the Ravelry page:

*        *        *         *         *

Welcome to our group for participants in the annual Tour de Fleece spin-along during the Tour de France. They spin, we spin. A real spinning-themed spin-along.

The concept is simple:

Challenge Yourself.
Spin.
Have fun.


This year, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday July 4 and runs until Sunday July 26th, 2015.

Guidelines (NOT RULES):
Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 4 through Sunday July 26th. Days of rest: Monday, July 13th and Tuesday, July 21st. (Just like the actual tour.)
Spin something challenging on the challenge day (usually the toughest high mountain stage: this year, it’s Stage 18, on Thursday, July 23rd, when they will climb 5 mountains, including the 1,924m high Col du Glandon).
Wear yellow on Sunday July 26th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’) Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie).

Teams: Join one, or many, or none.
Peloton (the main group)
Rookies (first years)
Sprinters (fast and/or high mileage, like lace, sweater quantities, etc)
Climbers (conquer mountains, big personal challenges)
Breakaways (textured “art” yarns)
Lanterne Rouge (you will participate as much as possible but you may skip days here and there)
Maillot Blanc (This team is intended for our younger participants. Anyone under the age of 18 who wishes to take part in the Tour is encouraged to participate in the Maillot Blanc team. This thread will be monitored and is required to be kept at the equivalent of a G/U rating.)
Wildcards (This is for people who want to form their own team. This includes sponsored teams, like those affiliated with a specific fiber shop or people who live in the same town, etc.)

The teams are inspired by the actual Tour de France.



Doesn't this sound fun?  It is!  If you'd like to join Team MyFavoriteSheep, it's not too late.  Come join our group on Ravelry.  We are a laid back group, all very nice, very supportive, many are very knowledgeable and everyone's willing to help.  We even have prizes :-D.

Happy Spinning!



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Following The Ol' Blogging Rule...



A picture of our cats.  Well, two of them.  Claire Bear is sleeping on Liddy's table and Betsy is sleeping one off in the house.  There are (many) days when I think maybe I'd just like to be a cat ;-).


Monday, June 29, 2015

I Know It's What They Are Supposed To Do

I tried to type out a full update on how weaning was going, but a. it's late and I'm beat and b. the more I typed the sadder I got.  I miss my little Liddy.  Actually, I miss growing up Liddy, too.  She has truly been an exceptional little lamb.  Okay, I'm going to shut up now and go make one last sneaky barn check and then go to bed.  

I camped out in the barn with her Saturday night and we had a big time.  Last night, around 3:00 a.m., she peed on my sleeping bag :-o.  I bailed.  I'm going to check to make sure she's okay (she will be I'm quite sure, but I feel better checking one. last. time.) and then sleep in the house tonight. By myself.  With no sweet sleepy little/big lamb to cuddle up with.... :'-(




Sweet Baba is doing a great job!



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What???


"Why would you think I was eating wool?"


"I don't know what you are talking about.  I'm just standing here."


"Why look!  There IS some wool here.  Fancy that..."



"I'm nomnom not nom eating nomnom wool!!!"


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yarn Along - Very Mysterious Indeed

When we last saw our intrepid [knitter] she was bemoaning the fact that she was going to run out of dark gray yarn before she even started the bind off row.  There were a few options for how she could "fix" this including finding "a tiny bit more of that dark roving" even though she was really pretty sure she'd already found it all...

It took me a day or two to get up my nerve to go look.  As I walked into the Wool House, the very first thing I saw, sitting right on top of the big yarn basket, smack dab in the middle of the room, the basket where I know every skein of yarn...was a small skein of perfectly matching yarn.
.
.
.
.
Excuse me?  Where did that come from???
.
.
.
.
20 has bailed me out of several knitting crises...but he's up at the house watching hockey.
.
.
.
.
Sock Monkey???


I love sock monkeys.  I've wanted to make one for years, but was pretty sure knew I'd never get it done.  Guess what Auntie Reg found in her stash?  A kit that had belonged to John's mother!  She wasn't sure how old it was, but it had to be at least 25 years old and could be as old as 50.  She made him for me :-D.   He's very special and now to find out he can spin...



I love how the colors match Liddy.  I've thought of this shawl as hers because of that and the fact I've knit it with her, mostly sitting out in the yard with her as she's learned to eat big girl food (grass) and also hiding out in the house when it was too hot to go outside.  Although...sitting covered up in a wool shawl with a wool sweater growing next to me using me as a pillow...not that cool ;-).


Okay, so it seems like everything's back on track.  I know exactly where I am in the pattern.  I distinctly remember that I have one more row before I start the bind off.  All I have to do is knit that row with the remaining original dark gray yarn and then bind off with the new yarn.  
.
.
.
.
That row is already done.  I'm ready to bind off.  And I have what looks to be plenty of yarn left.
.
.
.
.
Excuse me?  Where did that come from???
.
.
.
.
This mystery knitalong has been mysterious for sure!


What I learned new with this project - the Icelandic bind off.  Loved it!


Before blocking.  Liddy is showing the proper amount of amazement and interest.  You can trust her with knitting.  You just can't trust her with the needles ;-).


As always, I love to block.  I decided to try using floral pins.  They come in a big bag, the double prongs are handy and they are easy to see if you drop one on the floor and wouldn't stick into your foot if you couldn't find it ;-).  I think they worked great!


I knew the patterning was pretty, but I didn't realize it was going to be this pretty.  A very enjoyable mystery knitalong!


The shawl turned out perfect.  All the stewing over yarns and colors and while it is all Jacob yarn, it's from three completely different fleeced Jacobs, worrying I'd knit the first couple of rows of the dark gray too tight...not to worry.  Now if it would just cool off so I could try it on!


One last picture of Monkey...because you can never have too many pictures of a sock monkey sitting out on the porch with some knitting :-).

Books...I've loved everyone's suggestions for books, especially sheep books (keep them coming!).  I'd completely forgotten about Shepherdess: Notes From The Field by Joan Jarvis Ellison.  I re-read that this week and loved it.  

In looking for a link, Amazon says I purchased that book in 2008.  I'm pretty sure I received that as a gift!?  Then, I see a book suggestion on that same screen that looks interesting.  I click on it - a book I am quite sure I've never seen before - and it says I purchased that one in 2005.  I don't see it on my book shelf...

Very mysterious indeed!

Joining in with Ginny...




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Whoops

Greetings from the land of computer woes.  I managed to "brick" my desktop computer the other day. We had a feeling that was fixin' to happen so had just purchased a new laptop - not set up yet.  I could bore you with all sorts of software issues and choices and how the heck do I get this to work, but I won't.  Instead, I'll share a Liddy woe.  Much cuter!

I got so far behind this spring that I never shared any pictures from shearing at Kathy's.  It went fine. The weather was nice.  We had good help.  Kate worked in the pens.  There was a movie crew there and a reporter from the Lexington newspaper.  Interesting stuff.  I think I got some fun pictures. What can I say...it was a long, kind of tough spring.

I'd been thinking about doing a run of yarn from those ewes.  Those ewes that I've helped take care of for several years now.  Many I recognize as they come through the shearing chute or deliver their lambs.  Some are lambs I've played with and photographed who are now mommas themselves.  I would enjoy yarn from them as much as from our flock.  Karen and I brought home a big bag of wool.

Flash forward about three months and I'm finally getting a chance to sort through the fleeces...and one of those ewes' lambs has just discovered the wool bag jungle gym.  She jumped on and off, pawed the bag, grabbed wool from the holes, would lay down, jump back up, jump around some more...




And then the inevitable happened ;-).


"Uh oh..."




"I meant to do that!" 


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Construction Foreman





The sun set so deep burning red (picture is not even close) the other evening and came up the next morning just as red. Ugh.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Sorry, Bees

Some of my fall buckwheat re-seeded itself this spring.  I left it because it quickly was ready to bloom and I figured the bees might like it.  I've been told buckwheat flowers are very good for bees, especially heading into cold weather. We try to plant some every summer. 

Liddy left it alone for weeks, but got a taste of it the other night and started chowing down. Since she's still a bit behind in the grazing game, I let her go.  Some additions to her food list - ice cubes, pizza crust, cinnamon raisin bread, carrots (if I cut them into small pieces ;-).  

Her favorite food remains bamboo knitting needles.  Yeah, she got me again.   The shawl is almost done.  I ran out of dark gray yarn though so am stewing on what to use for the bind off.  Maybe I'll find a tiny bit more of that dark roving somewhere.  It could happen!




Teefers!



Seems like there'd be an easier way to eat grass...which might be why she still prefers to be hand fed ;-).


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Evening


I love this picture.  When I took it the other night, my first thought was that I would crop it down and have a nice Hank portrait.  When I saw it on the computer this morning, rather than the small view screen on the back of my camera, I could see the rest of the story.  Even better.

I've been taking Liddy out to the big field in the evenings so she can start spending some time with the main flock.  The nice Nistock boys treat her pretty well, as does Ewen, Petunia, Blossom and Renny.  The Jacobs are being their normal punching selves.  Baaxter's a bit jealous and Maisie...well, Maisie's Maisie ;-).

Sometimes Liddy races over to hang out with the big kids.  Sometimes she just wants to go down to the tall grass in the creek with her dogs and cats.  All the lambs love the creek.  You can just see Comby's ears peeking over the grass next to her.  Hank watches.  He loves his lambs.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Yarn Along...But Mostly Lavender...And A Little Liddy

I've been wanting to take some pictures of the lavender garden and needed a Yarn Along shot so decided to try to combine the two.  


The shawl is coming along nicely, but is big enough now that there's no way to really spread it out to see.  I'm almost finished with Clue 3 (some marathon knitting over the last couple of days while Tim is having some work done up at the barn) and today is the big reveal for Clue 4, which I think will be the edging.  Can't wait!

I switched to the medium gray...and wish I'd had enough of the white to do the whole thing in one solid, boring, oh so predictably me color.  I was a bit afraid of that, but I'm "knitting on with confidence" because I do like both grays and I'm thinking hoping that when I add in the third gray it's going to miraculously all come together.  





The bees are light this year :-/.  Stella and I are talking about setting up a hive "down in the valley" where maybe they'd be (a little) more protected from pesticides and other farm chemicals than they maybe are "up on the hill".  


My loyal gardening companions.

Books this week...I've been on a big Bill Bryson kick lately.  He does such a fun job reading his stories and I've listened to The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid and am re-listening to A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.  Both are classics for sure and quite knittable :-D.

Joining in with Ginny...


LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin