Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oh What A Beautiful Morning

Walking up to the barn this morning. That dead tree is there for a purpose by the way. Aria loves to scratch on it.

Waiting for the ferry in Augusta.

No river in sight. The water was so still that as we were crossing, you could not feel the ferry rocking/moving and you couldn't see anything but fog. It was like we weren't even moving until we got close to the other shore.

I'm telling you - I hit a winning lotto ticket and I'm going to be the one standing there opening the the gate. Love it.

So, if I'm crossing the Ohio River on the Ole Augusta Ferry, I must be headed to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. I needed to run Bluebell's wool and had a few left from spring and a couple I'd picked up from/for friends. Perfect excuse ;-).

Here she is, headed for the drums.

The end result. I wonder if Bluebell's ever even had her wool spun before? It's really nice. Super soft. Spinning it will be leg one of my Tour de Fleece. I'm having a ton of fun planning my tour. I think she will be for Team Footloose (the Hansen miniSpinner group)...but nothing's finalized yet ;-).

All the bags lined up ready to head down the road...and back across the ferry.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'll Scratch Your Back...

T-Bone and Gato...and a couple bird friends.

"Ai! You birds quit pooping all over the fences!"

"Gato! Keep your fat butt off there!"


"It's a good thing the fence guy stopped by last week."

Really, at the time (and all the other times) I just stood there and watched the boys scratching on each other and really enjoyed it without noticing all the disarray.

Kind of like that.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Like A Diamond

In the mulch.

Click to biggify. Hopefully you can see the spider webs.

Definitely click to biggify.

Do you see the ROCK?

I love the little flowers in the Doone Valley Thyme in the wool house steps.

So do the bees.

I think it's going to be a good honey season.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Three Little Piggies

If you look waaaaay out in the middle horse paddock, you'll see three little piggies sheepies. That would be Mia, Blizzard and B. Willard, the three sheep still short enough to belly crawl under the fence. I've given up trying to keep them out of trouble. They are Hank's problem now.

Yesterday, out of the corner of my eye, I caught him making a run at T-Bone and Gato. He hates the horses (mostly T-Bone ;-) and I thought he was just picking on them and hollered at him. As always though when I'm calling Hank out on something, I found he was just doing his job. The three piggies were out there and the horses had gotten too close. Hank chased them all the way into the next paddock.


"And lady at the barn, shut up and let me do my job!"

"Yes, sir."

I don't mind being outsmarted by a dog.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Tour de Fleece

The Tour doesn't actually start until July 2nd (just like the Tour de France), but everyone's getting SO geared up getting their teams (you can be on more than one) and challenges set (small or large) that it's just like the countdown to Christmas.

Team My Favorite Sheep had great fun last year and we all made some new friends, learned some new things, were inspired by everyone's spinning and I know that I especially appreciated the kick in the pants to get a big chunk of spinning (Jester's yarn...yeah, yeah, the Fair Isle sweater's not finished yet...) completed.

So come join the fun! You don't have to be an experienced spinner - your challenge could be to learn how to spin! You don't have to choose a huge, unattainable project like spinning 3 pounds of lace weight yarn, but it should be a true challenge for you, whatever that may be.

There are tons of fun sounding teams out there. I've joined Team Footloose, Team Ky Sheep and Fiber Festival, Team Jacob, and (obviously) Team Hopelessly Over Committed.

1. You'll need to join Ravelry (great fun on so many levels) if you haven't already.

2. Then go to the main Tour de Fleece group and "join". You probably don't have to join that group, but they have great giveaways pretty much every day ;-).

3. Scroll down to the "Teams" thread and click on that to see all the teams (so far). You can join any that sound fun or inspiring.

4. To join a group, click "Reply to thread" and leave a message saying something like "Hey, I'm in! I'm going to be spinning...." or do like me and say "I'm in, but haven't figured out what I'm doing yet."

Here's a link to Team My Favorite Sheep. Feel free to steal the above picture and make a button for your blog or website, linking it to the team page.

Keep us posted on your progress - everyone loves to see pictures :-). At the end of the Tour, let me know if you completed your goal and I'll draw for some Miss Ewenice prizes.

The grand prize will be some Miss Ewenice roving and a print of one of my all-time favorite pictures of her. If this isn't your favorite picture, I could be talked into a print of anything from the blog...but you'd run the risk of hurting Miss Ewenice's feelings ;-).

If I've gotten any of these directions/instructions wrong or confusing, jump in and set me straight. It's late and I'm beat and I'm sure I'm either not making sense or forgetting something.

Night all!

Oops - already been reminded about the Silly Sheep Song. If you are spinning something besides wool, you are going to have to sing Sheep by Zoe Lewis.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are You Ready?

I really look forward to the Tour de Fleece every summer. Not as much as maybe the Knitting Olympics, but that's only because I'm a Winter Olympics junkie and that only happens every four years ;-).

I've spent so much time sitting on the mower, painting the porch or various other necessary farm chores that I thought maybe I should do a little "training" this year. I've been wanting to spin some of Buddy's wool. I haven't since the Trinity many years ago???

Buddy is one of my all-time favorite sheep. I like to refer to him as The Kindest Sheep in the World. He really is. Not only does he look after everyone in the flock, especially Miss Ewenice, but he also has to "assist" with any medical treatment anyone requires. He'll come stand by their side, offering support and frequently his back is commandeered as a spot to set a shot or extra paper towels...

Cotswold is a beautiful fiber. Curly, lustrous, strong, with a nice halo, sometimes called Poor Man's Mohair. I wanted to spin a lace weight yarn, knit a sample from Knitted Lace of Estonia (one of my favorite go-to books when I want to be inspired by some gorgeous knitting) and see how it would feel. Buddy's not a super soft lamb anymore ;-).

Even carded out you can see how it wants to curl up in ringlets.

The fuzz factor.

Freshly washed two ply yarn, maybe just a tiny hair over true lace weight. But not much.

I picked the Madli's Shawl pattern. I've not done nupps (the little "beads") before and wanted to give that a try.

Not a problem - actually a quick knit! But it sure doesn't look like much here.

My favorite part - blocking :-).

I thought the pattern was completely do-able and I now have the confidence to try anything in that book. I think the yarn worked well too. It was easy to knit and strong enough that I didn't have to worry about any breakage. While not as soft as say merino or silk, I wouldn't hesitate to take it out in public. A lace shawl would involve many, many hours of work. I worry about these things. I'm a worrier. Kind of like Buddy.

And it's pretty to boot.

SO, I'm ready to start spinning for the 2011 Tour de Fleece!

Team My Favorite Sheep is once again being chaired by the ever lovely Miss Ewenice. The prize this year will be a print of her 2011 calendar photograph and a bag of her roving - I need to weigh it, but it fills a paper grocery bag.

Here are the "rules". (I'll post more specifics on how to sign up tomorrow. It's late and I need to go do my chores.)

This TDF group is open to anyone who has a favorite sheep, wishes they had a favorite sheep or didn’t even know you could have a favorite sheep. While we’d prefer your Tour de Fleece challenge is spinning wool, we’ll still let you join in if your challenge involves spinning other fibers…but might make you sing a silly sheep song to prove you are worthy of ‘sociating with Miss Ewenice and her Punkin’s Patch friends at Equinox Farm ;-).

Your challenge should be a true personal challenge of any level and anyone completing their challenge will be entered in a drawing for a beautiful photograph of lovely Miss Ewenice and a big bag of special Miss Ewenice roving at the end of the tour.

Enjoy the ride!

Are you ready?

Monday, June 20, 2011

On Patrol

Feeling nostalgic for the good ole days...of a week or so ago.

I sure miss lil' Lila following me around, taking naps on the porch. Weaning is hard on everyone.

"Especially ME! I can't believe I'm having to raise another bottle baby."

What would we do without Miss Ewenice.

Of course, having spent her formative [weeks] living with The Police, Lila's really not so sure about this sheep thing and would much rather go out on patrol with Hank.

"Look kid, I really don't need a partner."

"But I'm really good at this stuff. I even caught a bad guy once!"

"Okay, but here's what we'll do. We head out together and then you cut over to the right hand side and I'll take the road fence."

"You just make sure she's back in time for dinner 'cause when she gets hungry, she'll make your ears bleed with all that screaming!"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Yep! Just like I thought. We'll need to watch these neighbor dogs. I'm on it, Hank!"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

As Long As The Cat Is Happy...


Eli is sleeping in the greenhouse.

He doesn't like change.

Or maybe it's too red ;-).

Friday, June 17, 2011

There's Still A Sheep On The Porch

Sadly it's not Lila. She's doing fine though, away at Miss Ewenice's Finishing School.

As you can see, I completely missed painting under the stairs and have already trashed the place. I'm going with the flowers and sheep planter are so pretty that no one would ever notice...except for the fact that I just pointed it out.

Another sheep on the porch - some Clun Forest I'm spinning for one of our neighbors. Fun sproingy yarn.

This picture is included not to give Hansen Crafts a plug (although I can fully recommend the miniSpinner for sure :-), but to show the freshly painted swing that I love to use (especially in the afternoon light) to photograph yarns, felted sheep, lazy cats...but has been so grungy looking lately that I just. couldn't. do. it.


An old friend.

And some BRIGHT RED (leftover paint from the wool house doors). The jury's still out on this, well sort of. Saint Tim likes the look. I'm just going to go back to my white chair and spin some white or light gray or medium gray or dark gray wool ;-).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Winner

Well, besides the animals at Wolf Run, is Marcy from California.

A huge thank you to everyone! I believe we raised around $350. That surely puts a good dent in the hay bill for Bluebell and her barnyard buddies :-).

I used RANDOM.ORG for the drawing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Even the "old" porch had beauty. And this particular beauty is tired of sitting out in the middle of the yard like a bunch of shiftless hobos live here. I think Hank might have even peed on it last night as he made his "rounds" :-o.

Anyway, the porch is almost done!

Some things I've learned:

Don't ever try this yourself. Whatever it costs to have a professional painting CREW come in will be worth every penny.

If you DO have to do something like this, steal Saint Tim's iPod. He's got some classic tunes...and a few real stinkers. Sylvia's Mother? Seriously?

If you play Robert Earl Keen loud enough, the cats stay clear away (from the wet paint).

If a bluegrass band covers a vulgar rap song, you will laugh. Every time it rolls back around.

Mary Gauthier. Some beautiful songs there. Some are so sad though that you sort of feel like Snoopy listening to Schroeder playing the piano. Here's a link to a new (to me) favorite.

Blue masking tape isn't infallible. Sigh.

Oil based paints are a real PITA and will ruin perfectly good, brand new (Renny tossing) Crocs.

But Zappos will ship a new pair within 24 hours.

I deserve them.

And maybe a little mercy.

Surely by noon EST tomorrow I'll be able to move all the furniture and plants back on the porch (see oil based paints above) and out of the yard. How about we draw for Bluebell's fleece to celebrate!

If you donated to Wolf Run, sent me an email and did not hear anything back, send it again so I don't miss anyone for the drawing. If you donated and forgot to send an email, the address is thecrazysheeplady AT gmail DOT com. If you'd still like to donate (or at any time in the future) you can follow this link.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Holding Down The Fort

I was going to title this "Holding Down The Porch", but in the grand scheme of things, the only one around here actually helping out is Hank...who is, as always, even when things are chaotic, holding down the fort. Top billing.

We are in the middle of a massive (at least to us) porch remodel. The porch was actually in dire need of repainting at least three years ago, but I think we knew how awful it would be and kept letting it slide.

Iris, Comby and Weaslie were helpful as always.

Eli has two "offices". One on the porch roof and the other over the septic tank. Porch roof when intruders come around and the septic tank for when he wants to flaunt his leisurely lifestyle in the face of extremely hard work.

Let's zoom in a little shall we?

"Seems to me like you should go back to scraping old paint off my porch."

Don't let the sorrowful look fool you. Really.

And yet in the midst of all the torture (and trust me, this is not a job for the faint of heart...or me ever again), a little beauty.

Glad the paint was dry.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lamb Camp

Poor lil' Lila.

"What do you mean I'm a sheep???"

"I was born a [Border Collie]! I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family..." **

"Wait. We didn't have one of these on the porch."

Good ole' Miss Ewenice, looking on.

Renny tried to be nice (only because when she wasn't, I'd throw a Croc at her ;-).

But in the end was just a big butt. A really big butt. But with not a scar to be seen :-).

I set my cot up in this makeshift stall (the little lamb pen shed was just too hot) and spent much of the first day up there, making sure Lila wasn't too stressed...or punched on. Sometimes things went along just fine, but I'm not sure if it was the heat or being jealous of having to share Ewenice, but Renny got voted off the island around midnight the first night.

Not only for being snarky to Lila, but YOU'RE BLOCKING ALL THE AIR FROM THE FAN, RENNY!!!

Miss Ewenice wasn't super jazzed about being put back into work, but really, there's no one better. When I explained to her that she was obviously irreplaceable, she sighed a couple times and buckled down. And took a nap.

They did make it outside a couple times. Renny and Ewenice would head out to graze. I would try to stay in the shade (still 90 degrees). Lila would just want to stay with me (sleeping by my cot - sniffle sniffle) so I'd have to go out and "graze" so she'd learn that's what sheep do.

I could see the pool. It was a rough, hot afternoon.

But the bees were out working the clover. Which seems like a no brainer except for the fact that a bunch of us have been watching the clover and never seen a bee and were starting to wonder...

I've been blown away by the response to the Wolf Run Animal Sanctuary fundraiser. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Updated: If someone local wins and wants to learn how to spin Bluebell's wool themselves, I'd be happy to teach you.

Spread the word!

** This is a line from what movie?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin