Saturday, March 17, 2018

Good Ole Hank

Hank doesn't care that June has been getting all the social media attention lately.  He's happier just doing his job. 

"You're a good dog, Hank.  You're doing a good job."

I started telling Hank that when he first got here and the sheep were hassling him and nobody loved him except Keebler and Graham.  I still tell him that and I know he knows exactly what I'm saying.

Those pictures would make nice St. Patrick's Day puzzles, don't you think?  Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Final Miles

While 20 and Carbear are cleaning up the last of the sourdough pancakes, I'm packing the sled for the last few miles into "Nome".  We should finish tomorrow!

I couldn't pick a favorite picture so I'm posting all three.  This last little spot of snow was tucked in some shade behind the big pine, saving itself for one last trail photo.  I waited until dark so the lantern could feature and didn't think about the poor birds nesting in the tree.  Sorry about that, birds.

My beloved Red Lantern, mushing along with me since the Keebler shawl five years ago (thanks, Alice! :-) is still going strong.  The first place musher reached Nome early this morning, but there are many Iditarod mushers and Iknitarod knitters still out on the trail.  

We'll keep the light on for you!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Camping Away From A Checkpoint

After a warm, sunny afternoon yesterday, we had our biggest snow of the season last night.  It was beautiful!  Huge, dropping flakes that piled up quickly.

I hung out in the barn and barn lot for, well, I don't even know how long.  It was late.  I'd been knitting in the Wool House with 20, Carbear, Kate and Tilly, trying to catch back up from my wrong turn during the afternoon.

Sometimes mushers will come through a checkpoint and then continue on down the trail to camp for awhile away from the noise and crowds.  20 and Carbear thought that sounded like a great idea and found the perfect spot to set up camp under a favorite pine tree.

I think Carbear was a bit confused about the whole Carbeth/Iknitarod event to begin with, but he's enjoyed hanging out with 20, listening to tales of previous years and is quickly becoming a veteran musher.

"How's it going out here, 20?"

"It's good!  This snow is amazing!  Just a beautiful morning for sure and the company's good, too!"

"This tree is a perfect camping spot, even with the big globs of snow falling off it, onto us.  Wool's good that way."

Mushing on!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Race

Because if you pay too much attention to other (real) mushers, you may not catch that you've made a mistake and lost the trail and have to rip back eight. long. rows.

Back to mushing.  And, no, I probably didn't learn any lessons ;-D.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Keeping An Eye On The [Sheep] Trail

Once again we woke to a decent snow cover this morning.  I love sheep trails through snow :-).  The snow lasted a couple hours, but as soon as the sun came out, poof!  


Spud, Murphy and Woody 


Daniel looks like he can smell spring coming :-).


Baaxter's sweater is coming along.  I've got the sleeves and body joined and am working my way up the yoke shaping trail.  The Iditarod is getting it always does.  If you are interested, does a great job sharing the race details.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Keeping An Eye On The Trail

We woke to snow this morning. Of course we did :-/. Once the sheep are shorn, I no longer wish for snow.  Sigh...  Luckily it was still pretty warm and it didn't last long.  Barely long enough to get some Iknitarod team pictures.  

June looks like she's lost the trail ;-).

Iris made this trail from the house to the barn years ago and Tilly still uses it.  

The Tilly Trail.

Kate may not use Iris Lane very often, but she does keep an eye on the traffic.

The snow melted so fast you could watch it happening.

I have both sleeves re-knit and I've started the body.  I was hoping to reach the 4" mark this evening, but I'm running out of gas and my "paws" are a little sore, so I may "take an eight".

Hank and June are happy about the cooler weather.  The sheep...are actually doing okay.  This weather is not ideal, but the barn is closed up to block the wind and they have plenty to eat to help stay warm.  Sure glad we didn't do the oldies!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring Shearing

Our favorite shearer, Bill Haudenschield, was in town for a few days last week (with his nephew Dustin :-) so we decided to go ahead and shear a week or so early this year.  It was a beautiful day, the company was excellent, the sheep all behaved (mostly ;-) and the fleeces look good.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.


Rebecca Boone



Biscuit...all those pretty curls :'-(.

The video.


Note Liddy in the background.  Just after I took this picture, she stuck her head through the gate and grabbed a packet of french fries!


Clover Belly




The Little Darlin'...

...who actually behaved quite well this year!

This is the extended version of the video I posted the other day.  Instagram has a 60 second limit.  This is 30 seconds longer...and cuter.  I just love these!

You'll notice a few sheep didn't get shorn.  They are the oldies who don't have enough fat on them (Allie, Annabelly, Billy Belly and Mrs. Pepperpot) for me to feel comfortable taking away their woolly jumpers before we are certain the cold is over for the year. 

After a couple weeks of 70s and 80s, we have now, of course, turned a bit colder, but with the barn shut up when it's windy and plenty of hay in front of them, everyone is doing okay.  The warm sunshine has been appreciated though for sure.  And look at that green grass and bright blue sky!  It matches my hat :-D.

And here's a new puzzle!  Enjoy :-).

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The 2018 Iknitarod Race Prep

After seeing the iPhone compilation of pictures and videos from knitting on the Baaxter Carbeth, 20 knew he'd lost his new sweater and that we were going to re-knit it.

I hadn't done a cast off or woven in any of the loose ends, so it was physically easy to pull the needles out and start frogging (rip it rip it).  Mentally...well, a. it wasn't right and I wasn't happy with it and b. Stella (the queen of rip it back and make it right) came down to help and support.  It wasn't so bad ;-).

We used my handy Nistock skein winder to...wind it into skeins.

One sleeve.

The body.  I'd spit splices all the original skeins together so we decided to let it wind off as one biiiig skein :-o.

We used steam to relax all the knitted curls...without setting Stella's hand on fire, but Be Careful with steam!

Back to normal.  Wool yarn is fun :-).

Just for curiosity I decided to hold out one sleeve to wet block just in case I needed to know something important about how the knitting would behave.  I don't usually wet block my swatches...and should.  

We took measurements, let it soak for 20 minutes, set it out on a towel, let it dry completely, remeasured, learned that Baaxter's wool yarn was going to respond the way wool does almost every time, steamed out the last of the curls and wound everything from skeins into balls.

It doesn't look like a sweater's worth of yarn there, but it is.  1700 yards total, but held double to knit a second attempt, smaller Carbeth sweater.

20 was okay with getting his Ford sweater back, but asked if he could participate more this year, so he will be going along as my Iknitarider :-).  The Carbear will be the knitting bag mascot :-).

The Baaxter logo from a couple years ago has been updated to include 20 and reflect Baaxter's more, um, mature color ;-).

The Iditarod's Ceremonial Start is underway, so the Iknitarod "mushers" are eligible to cast on, so I'm going to go get busy!  Hope you enjoy following along this year.  I believe this is my sixth year :-).


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