Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Play Quietly Amongst Yourselves

I have the ten bundles of Muffin spun.  Today is plying day.  Well, I've plied a couple little bits of it as I went along because I was having my usual issues of not keeping consistent with my swatch yarn for various reasons and have had to adjust along the way.  You know, the usual issues I have that no one wants to listen to...again ;-).

In the meantime, here is a new puzzle.  I wish the entire foreground wasn't mud, but the scene behind it is nice.  Frankie sleeps laying down more than any horse I've even had or even known.  Usually he goes up into one of his stalls (Hank gave up his stall and relocated into the Del Boca Vista shed), but if it's a nice sunny day, he likes to sleep near his friends.

Hank is okay with Frankie as long as Frankie stays away from his sheep.  He's not happy about them sharing piles of hay occasionally, but if I'm there to monitor the playground he tolerates it.  While Frankie would love to be able to live right in with the sheep, he does normal horse stuff and, especially if it's cold and windy, will rip around the field like a thunderbolt and someone would end up getting hurt, even if just by accident.  

Okay, go work the puzzle and enjoy seeing the sun temporarily.  Wish me luck on the plying.  I'll try to get back with a yarn update...maybe tomorrow.  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Don't Wake The Baba

Everyone enjoyed the sun today.  Even Blossom (aka Baba) even if she didn't enjoy the chickens bothering her ;-).

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Assembling The Team

I made this needle felted Muffin and Mrs. Pepperpot before Mrs. P was gone.  I knew I would not be able to afterwards...and I still think that's probably right.  I'm crying now as I try to type this.  

I don't think I was really that attached to Pepperpot herself.  I think I was attached to her relationship with Muffin.  Her relationship with me as she watched as we cared for her tiny lamb, continuing as her lamb grew up.  As I cared for her as she grew so feeble, while she continued to care for her little girl to the very end.

In the beginning I had big plans to knit a fancy cabled cardigan from her upcoming spring shearing.  Something very Mrs. P.  We talked about it all that first summer and into fall.  I feel she would have "got it" when it was finished and we had our picture taken "dressed alike". I truly believe some sheep know there's a connection.

In the end, I sheared her myself after Dr. Bridge left and I salvaged what I could. I carefully washed it, combed out all the mess and fiber breaks and then carded it all into batts which I piled up and set on the coffee table and just enjoyed like that all summer. 

It was a less than stellar summer all around and seeing a few of Muffin's tiny black face hairs still mixed in (click to biggify), still laying across her momma's back, was comforting.  I knew our special project was now going to be a blend of both sheep.  Muffin could help her mom still make a sweater.

I really didn't want to take on a huge Iknitarod project this year.  I miss out on a lot of the fun Iditarod coverage when I'm in a big race as well, so I planned to find an easier project for this year.  

However, once stupid spring and summer comes I have very limited time to knit.  Fall is usually a scramble as well.  If I wanted to knit this sweater yet this year...it was going to have to be during the Iknitarod, my last bit of free not quite as busy time.  

I was still hedging on taking on such a big challenge...and then a ravatar popped into my head.  I enjoy creating those badges (scroll down the right side of the blog to see the past years) as much as the final project.  Once seen, it couldn't be unseen...and Muffin, Mrs. Pepperpot and I are off to the Iknitarod.  

I have 16 days to spin a sweater's amount of yarn.  The pattern I picked has four colors, so there will be some fiber blending as well before the last 6 ounces of white and gray are spun.  I'm starting with Muffin.  Pictured here are ten two ounce bundles.  I'm going to try to spin two of those per day, although typing this blog post has probably eaten up one of the bundles for today.  

That's okay.  I'm not panicking...yet.

And it never hurts to have 20 on the team as well ;-).

*     *     *

The leaves in the basket of Mrs. Pepperpot are bay leaves, which I scatter around open wool baskets to help protect from insects..plus they smell nice :-).

I'll announce the pattern and ravatar nearer the start of the race.  Stay tuned.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

An Accidental Experiment

Most sheep and/or wool folks have heard the statistic that wool can absorb 30% of it's weight in water and still feel warm, but if you are like me, you might not fully understand what that actually means.  I accidentally conducted a very scientific study last weekend.

We'd gone to eat dinner at our local Mexican restaurant.  Without opening a can of worms, there are still places in Kentucky (historically a tobacco raising state) where people can still smoke indoors.  Yes, I hate it.  Some nights are worse than others.  This was a bad night.

When we got home, I took my shirt and sweater and hung them over the porch swing to air out over night.  The next morning I picked up the sweater and noticed it felt a little damp from the foggy night air, but I would have still felt comfortable putting it on. 

When I reached for the cotton turtleneck, I quickly pulled my hand away.  It was sopping wet and COLD.  Amazingly cold.  Cold and wet enough that I no longer have any confusion about which fiber could put you in the ground and which could save your life.

One other note - the wool sweater aired out completely with no residual smoke smell.  The cotton turtleneck headed for the washer.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my cotton turtlenecks.  I'm just going to continue to pair them up with a wool sweater :-).


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