Thursday, May 16, 2019

Baaxter's Stripe

Found it!

I've been skirting fleeces, getting ready for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival this weekend.  I've tried to post some pictures on Instagram/Facebook as I've gone along and almost forgot to look for Baby B's stripe this afternoon. 

You can't see it on the top side of his fleece, but if you turn it over to the cut side, there it is :-D.  I don't think it will significantly show when whoever buys his fleece spins it, but I think it's kind of fun to know that it was actually there, just like the picture from the other day.

(screen shot from Instagram)

I'm bringing several pretty fleeces from Tring Farm and sixteen fleeces from our farm.  Most of the fleeces are in good order, but a few have a bit more VM in them than I'd like this year.  It was a super wet muddy year and we had to feed a lot of hay...  They are marked accordingly.

There will be plenty of pretty roving and the usual Punkin's Patch "swag" and unless we don't think we can safely manage them in the hot weather, three special sheep coming.  You'll probably never guess who!*  And of course 20, and he's bringing a friend as well!

Once again the festival coincides with the Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trial, just down the hill from the festival (with free shuttles all day :-) and that's always a good time.  The dog trial is going on every day.  The fiber festival is Saturday and Sunday.

Come out and do some site seeing and shopping :-D

*Don't get too excited.  It's not Maisie ;-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fast Food

This nest is on the corner of the Wool House and was actually built last year and remodeled for this year.  Look at all the wool and yarn :-).  

I'm not sure how momma birds do it.  All those open mouths.  I guess they are able to somehow keep track of who's been fed each trip.  It looks like she might have fed half of the worm to one baby and the other half to another.  I didn't notice that until I looked at the pictures.

In and back out in a flash!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Meanwhile, Back In Nome...

If I tried to write up everything that happened during this year's Iknitarod it would probably read more like Homer's Odyssey...with some lots of "grown up words".  Most of it was documented on my Instagram/Facebook feed and sadly not here (where I really want it).  If you weren't following along, here is a Reader's Digest version.

I cast on during the Iditarod's Ceremonial Start.  I hit the patterning section...and the stitches per inch gauge went haywire. I'd swatched the stockinette section, but not the patterning, which was a "rookie mistake" a non-rookie.  Turns out it wouldn't have helped.  Things got That Crazy.

I knit and reknit the top 20 rows two or three times, changing try to "get gauge" and finally gave up and went up a pattern size and then "knit on with confidence".  I got to the body and about four inches in started knitting tighter and tighter and kept knitting on "with confidence" and around 11 inches in decided it was terrible (which I knew at, say, six inches) and ripped the whole body back to the starburst.

The second reknit of the body ended up getting looser as I went on (slow learner), so much so that the bottom flared out.  But that wasn't the only issue.  The sleeves were huge as well.  I should have stayed with the original pattern size I'd swatched for...and done a better job knitting.  The sweater was wearable, but as I said on my IG post, that was not the W I was looking for.  I frogged the entire thing.

Since I was ripping back to the start, I decided to try to do the entire top in Mrs. Pepperpot's white.  I'd had quite a bit of white left over and it measured out to the same amount of all the grays I'd used, plus I was going down a pattern size, so I should have been golden.  I knit the entire top...well, most of it.  I got to two rows left...and was out of white.  

Mathematically that should not have happened.  So why did it?  I'd knit a smaller pattern size, with the same needle as before...and slopped it out.  Gauge and tension matter.  This is not breaking news.  And even if it was, I should have already learned that lesson...the hard way...TWICE.  I ripped it all back out again.  

By now I was just knitting on with [persistence]...and much more care/attention.  I'd had questions about how the yarn was holding up (a good question for sure!) and I am happy to report that Muffin and Mrs. Pepperpot, (oh, those good longwool crosses :-) held up bravely.  

Pip hung in there until the very end as well and I think really enjoyed the whole event.  Stella of course approved all the rips back to "do it right" even though several other neighbors were starting to have thoughts of calling in the white coats.  In the end, Saint Tim said it best, "Well worth the effort."

All in all it was a fun trip.  The sweater is lovely and I finished this project a much better and more careful knitter. I'm sad I didn't get it finished in time for a winter picture, but the weather yesterday was definitely cold enough for a wool photo shoot and honestly, Mother's Day was the perfect day to celebrate this mother-daughter sweater.

Friday, May 10, 2019


...there's obviously a shortage of grass in this field.  Boys...

There is obviously plenty of grass here.  So much so that I have spent much of this week sitting on a tractor or mower, trying to get back on top of it.  I am So Excited by the thought of another inch or two of rain forecast for this weekend :-o.  The obvious answer is I need more sheep, right?  Right.

I have no idea why Daniel and Baaxter are trying to eat the same piece of grass, but I love the dark gray stripe down Baaxter's back. I haven't skirted his fleece yet to see if the stripe shows through. To be honest I haven't skirted any fleeces yet...and the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival is NEXT WEEKEND.

So guess what I'll be doing this weekend ;-).

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Who Knows...

I'm not sure what Maisie did today, but I saw three separate sheep punch her this evening while I was sitting in Easy Breezy.  My first thought was that it was my fault because I'd called to her and she was encroaching on someone's "spot" at the back of the stall, but she got punched at the back, middle and front of the outer knows...

At least she's got Hank ;-).

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Morning Staff Meeting

It rained out the overdue spring barn cleaning last weekend.  We are cleaning in the rain this weekend :-/.  The neighbor has loaned us a big four wheel drive tractor..which just pulled in.  I have a million things to share...after we get through a couple of big jobs today.

Enjoy a new puzzle :-).


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