Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Leap Day Bunny (And Friends) Party!

There's a new bunny in the Wool House!  Meet Christopher Bunny and his tiny pocket friend,  Comby.  Christopher Bunny came as a kit from Barrett Wool Co.  

The pocket friend was supposed to be a tiny bunny, but since Comby helped us knit, I modified the pattern to make it a cat.  I dyed the kit's white yarn to (sort of ) match Comby.

Christopher has a darling fair isle sweater and he's also supposed to have a pair of green and white striped pants...still to come, I think, although I like him with just his sweater, too.  He (and his sweater, jacket and pocket Comby) was a fun knit.  The kit yarn was really nice and the pattern was very well written and I learned a couple of new techniques - a very nice Christmas gift :-).

 As I was posting progress pictures on IG/FB several folks chimed in that they, too, were making a Christopher Bunny, so just for fun we are going to have an online Leap Day Tea Party this Saturday!  

I don't really remember hosting tea parties as a little girl, but for some reason the first thing I think of now when I see cute rabbits (and other animals) dressed up is "They need to have a tea party!" @auntiereg and I set up a cute party for our Miss Maggie Rabbits last summer and now that I've started my Christopher Bunny and several other friends have as well...yep, we're gonna need to have another tea party! . 🐰 . Being rabbits, the obvious party date is Leap Day. Leap Day...rabbits...get it? 😆 But this party is not just for rabbits. All animals are welcome! If you are working on a new friend or have thought about trying to make a new friend, use this as a push to give it a try. Already finished yours? Perfect! Not a crafter, but you have a special stuffed friend who'd like to come to the party? He or she is of course invited too :-). . 🐰 . On February 29th, Leap Day, post a picture (Instagram or FB) of your party guest and tell us a little bit about him or her if you'd like, especially if vintage... Use the hashtag #leapdayteaparty so we can all find each other. If you've used a commercial pattern, please share what it is. If the design is your own, let us know. 😀. 🐰 . This is just a fun party and not affiliated with @susanbanderson or @barrettwoolco or @aliciapaulson or any other of the delightful designers who inspire us to knit, crochet, sew and needle felt all these sweet stuffed animals. . #leapdayteaparty #carrotcake #missmaggierabbit #christopherbunny #knittersofinstagram #crochetersofinstagram #stitchersofinstagram #needlefeltersofinstagram
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You don't have to be an IG or FB user to participate. If you'd like to just email a picture of your party guest, Christopher, Comby and I would love to meet him or her :-).  You can also just play along at home ;-).

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Internet Broke My Dog/Blog

Kate isn't really broken.  She was just happily rolling around after playing with her favorite toy on a sunny day that obviously wasn't today...again.  

As far as the blog...I don't know why it works for some people and doesn't work for others or sometimes works for everyone and sometimes doesn't work at all.  Or works on the phone, but not the desktop or with certain browsers or...  I'm assuming it's a blogger issue, but I can't find an online fix and I just keep looking off to the side whistling while I quietly sneak back to the barn hoping it will fix itself.  


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Updated - here's a possible fix.  If the page doesn't load, try doing a Ctrl plus F5 to force it to behave.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Brat Tuesday

Contrary to Comby's opinion, Big Moose is not really a brat.  He's actually a very sweet sheep.  He's just exceptionally curious...and tall ;-).  New puzzle!

Friday, February 21, 2020

A Stupid Post With Some Good Pictures

I have been working on this post for over an hour and I just can't get it to flow.  I need to get back to work, so here is just the series of pictures from the other morning. 

This is Jared and Big Moose.  I'm wanting to tell the story about why Jared is grazing in the yard and how Big Moose idolizes him and followed him out there and how Big J reacts to that and how their two personalities and even appearances are so similar even though the chances of them being actually related are pretty slim and how...blah blah blah...

"We're out of time.  We'll try to do better the next time."  Tony Kornheiser, PTI

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Good Day

I think Comby has struggled this winter without his best friend Eli.  Not only does he not have someone warm to curl up next to on super cold nights, but he's also lost his long time companion.  

He did finally agree to start spending the nights in the wash room of the Wool House, which has fixed the cold problem.  I'm in and out of there all day and frequently sit out there to work in the evenings ,which helps the loneliness a little, but I know it's not the same.

We got a nice break in the weather this afternoon and I was so happy to look out and see Comby hunting in the front field. He worked the top half, the middle and even worked his way down the creek.  He stayed out there for over an hour and it felt like old times.

Comby is old and really showing his age.  I was so glad he enjoyed a good day.

A new puzzle :-).

Saturday, February 15, 2020

How One Little Bee Saved Her Entire Hive

The greenhouse pansies are still going strong.  This is no surprise as the winter has been fairly warm other than a few odd days here and there like the last two nights when it went down into the mid teens.  The sun came out this morning, so I cracked the door open about 3/4" for some ventilation.  

As I headed to the house for lunch I stopped in to see how the blooms had weathered the cold snap and check to see is anyone needed some water.  I was completely surprised to see one of Stella's honey bees in there working!  It was 40 degrees and pretty breezy.  Way too cold in my mind for a bee to be out and that far from home.  

It's not unusual for bees to break their cluster on warm winter days and fly out to do some house cleaning and early foraging.  I worried though, as the winter weather has been so crazy, that maybe they had used up their winter stores and decided to run up and check.

While you should never open a hive under 50 degrees, you can lift up the intact hive and check the weight.  I knew heading into winter that I could barely lift it.  It should still be pretty heavy.  If not, they might be running low on honey and appreciate some sugar syrup.

As I approached the hive though I found an even bigger problem.  The over saturated ground had given way under one of the concrete blocks it sits on and the hive was in immediate danger of toppling over.  Even with a ratchet strap around the hive bodies, a fall would surely have cracked open the hive bodies, exposing the bees to cold, wet weather, surely killing them.

It took some doing, but Stella's son and grandson helped me get it reset on two new stable blocks.  By the time we got that accomplished I decided not to disturb them any further by checking their weight.  Stella's going to cook some syrup to set out in the morning and if they don't actually need it, they might just appreciate a little treat.  

I'm not sure if the greenhouse bee made it back up the hill.  I sure hope she did.  I wish I'd thought to capture her in a cup and carry her home just to make sure.  She's a pretty clever bee though and while she was most likely just down here looking for flowers, there's a little part of me that believes she came down to tell me I needed to go fix her hive.  

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Glamour Shot

While this looks like a fancy shot, it's actually a very simple photo trick I learned by accident a few years ago.  Biscuit is just standing right at the end of the barn with the sun (even though it's cloudy) is lighting his face.  

The camera meters on his brightly lit face which then underexposes the shadowed barn behind him.  You can see his face is a little overexposed in this bottom picture because the camera was trying to pick up some of light behind him.  For the upper shot I zoomed in with my telephoto lens, made sure the camera was metering his face correctly and bingo, his face looks good and the background disappears.  

Handsome Bikkit ;-D.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Another Colorful Hat

After making the Forest for the Trees hat using the white Lamb Camp Legacy yarn, I started looking for a pattern to highlight the medium gray yarn.  This Agate Cove Hat popped up on my Instagram feed and I knew I had my next project. I could feature the medium gray, but also have fun with all three colors :-).  

The designer says "This hat was inspired by the variety of beautiful agates that can be found in some of the pebbly coves here in downeast Maine."  Hmmm, I don't have an agate, but I do have a rock from a beach in Maine...and it happens to look almost exactly like the colorwork!  

Actually, in looking at this picture, I think the hat also matches the now perpetually damp stone at the Wool House.  What a muddy wet winter.

The pattern called for worsted weight yarn and the LCL yarn is DK weight (and the dark gray/black might actually be closer to sport weight now that I've knit a little with it) so I did a gauge swatch and then did an easy calculation to determine how to adjust the pattern for the thinner yarn.

The colorwork looks complicated, but it's not.  It's done with slipped stitches so you are only using one color per row ever though it looks like two.  I learned this trick with the Voe Hat a couple years ago and it might be my favorite way to work colors now.  Definitely beginner friendly!

I knit the hat to the full suggested height, but thought it looked a little too "slouchy" for me, so I took out a few rounds and shortened it just a bit.  I also added some tassels to the top.  I don't know what possessed me to think of that, but I like it.  I wrapped each tassel with a different color just for fun.  

See!  I can do colors ;-).

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There is plenty of all three colors of yarn available in the Farm Shop.  Even though I probably can't resist making something small with the dark gray yarn, I promise I won't knit it up all myself :-).

Monday, February 10, 2020

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Our 15 Minutes Of [Snow]

We enjoyed it while it lasted :-).

Mini Moose and Chocula

Big J aka Jared

Mini Moose and the little darlin' ;-).  

Big Moose.  He's just so fun to photograph.  What expression.  

Chocula, Tessa and Tabitha.  Chocula was picking hay of Tessa's back.  I'll have to up his pay :-).


Petunia and Tessa

Friday, February 7, 2020

We Haven't Had A Good Hank Post In Awhile

As I was sorting through the 'sheep in the snow pictures' I took this morning, I found a couple of Hank and had to think back to the last good Hank picture I've taken.  He's like an anti-virus program for the computer, seamlessly running in the background, keeping all your files (and sheep) safe from harm.  

I took one picture with him looking at the camera, but he was making a funny and not ferocious face and he wouldn't want that posted online ;-).  Before I could take another, he went back on duty looking out towards the ponds where I think the fox has been hunting lately.  

So Hank gets his own post today.  There will be sheep pictures tomorrow.  If you'd like to see a short video walking through the flock while they ate breakfast this morning, it's posted on my "Stories" on Instagram and will stay there until about 9:00 tomorrow (Saturday) morning.  

I missed the "save it" option and I can't figure out how to share it anywhere else.  Also, I think it's only going to show up on your phone/tablet maybe.  I just tried to find it on my desktop version and I don't see it.  Why is this stuff so complicated...

Rebecca Boone is doing better!  She felt well enough to eat some Cheerios this morning :-D.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Two Birds...

I posted five pictures to Instagram and tried to just embed the post here, but I don't think all the pictures were going to come through so I've copied and pasted it over here mostly to let you know Rebecca Boone is still fighting and maybe showing a little improvement and also a little Liddy and Woody to make you smile.  Those bad Mooses though... ;-).

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First an update on Rebecca Boone- she’s still fighting and maybe a little better this morning. Thank you for all the prayers and concern. I love how we take care of each other. It matters. 

If I’d read forward on the Fiberuary list I would have held off on my pictures from the other day because I actually nailed several challenges that day . So I’m not just sharing the same pictures for days, I’m going to combine a few challenges with this post, which also gives me a little more room to keep my focus on sheep care.

Days 4, 5, 6 and 7 - Close Up, WIP, Outside, Technique. 

The close up of my work in progress that I was knitting outside looks complicated, but it’s not! Only one color per row and the patterning comes from a simple slipped stitches technique 

I included a picture of Liddy because... Liddy . The two Moose thugs pillaging my knitting bag while I was rescuing the short dog who was on the wrong side of the gate. And the muddy hoof print at the top of the super close up . Oh, and that’s Woody, the king of close ups.

#fiberuary #fiberuarychallenge #agatecovehat #farmyarn #lambcamplegacy #lambcamplegacyyarn #knittersofinstagram #barnyardknits 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Fiberuary Day Three - Knit In 2019

I'm trying to do I am doing the February fiber challenge Fiberuary again this year.  I enjoy these month long challenges because a. I like a fun challenge and b. I frequently think about things I wouldn't normally and sometimes learn something new either about myself or my craft.  I've also made some great friends following other posts.

Yesterday's challenge was "Knit in 2019".  The obvious first thought was the epic Muffin and Pepperpot sweater. I've used that for a several posts already though, but the only other thing I could think of was a teddy bear sweater I knit over the Christmas season.  I stewed on it off and on all day while caring for a sick sheep and just couldn't get enthused.  

And then it hit me.  I did have another 2019 knit that I hadn't already over-shared.  The Rebecca Boone cape.  The cape I really enjoyed dyeing the yarn for and knitting. The cape I sent off to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival and won a blue ribbon with.  The cape I...had still never even tried on. 

I don't know why I hadn't.  Maybe because I was afraid it wouldn't fit or I'd look stupid in a cape and I would no longer love it the way I did.  I know I'd hoped to wear it during the Kentucky Wool Festival or for the Rhinebeck Blues party, but both events were too warm.  I didn't worry about it though because I knew I had plenty of time...until I didn't.

The sick sheep I'm caring for is Rebecca Boone and she is very sick.  I had hoped it was "just" pneumonia due to the crazy weather, but is most likely a heart problem that has now developed into pneumonia.  The vet was back out this morning and we are trying one more thing, but I don't have a lot of hope.  One thing I can say about Cotswolds though is they don't go down without a fight and she is still fighting. 

So as I sat in the truck where I could watch her without bothering her (she is quite over being doctored) I beat myself up for forgetting to do a "dressed alike" photo shoot with her.  Then I added in never making the Ewen mittens and the PPPP sweater or Renny's steeked flower sweater and...

The only one of those I could maybe fix was Rebecca Boone.  I decided to try and called my neighbor to see if she could come over and take a couple quick pictures while I sat down with her in the barn...and I went in to get the cape...that fit perfectly and I now loved even more.

I had hoped she'd just keep laying down and I could crouch down next to her without bothering her too much, but she saw both of us coming and made a run for the door.  I quickly grabbed a bag of cookies in hopes that would stop her and it did and she even ate two for me while Jennifer quickly snapped a few pictures.  We then hightailed it out and let her go back to bed.

Jennifer got several pictures that most people would think looked fine, but as I know the sheep (and the shepherd) I look at them and mostly see a sick sheep and a sad shepherd...who is wearing a lovely cape she made from the wool of one of her very favorite sheep.  I hope we get another chance to re-take these pictures.

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Most Interesting Sheep In The World

It was in the 60s this afternoon so I grabbed my knitting bag and headed out to the barn lot.  I took my camera as well, but mostly didn't get anything worth sharing.  I did kind of like this picture of Big Moose though.  Then, in the background I noticed Maisie watching intently out the back door.  Always on guard.  I find her endlessly fascinating.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Drizzly Day(s)

This group was the last to run in during the latest shower.  I always think it's interesting to see who pairs up with who.  The Jacobs always stay together and I love that old Clover Belly is welcomed into their "clique".  Rocky and Jared, Woody and the Mooses are mixed in this time.  The Adventure Sheep ain't scared of no rain...or much rain ;-).

Two new puzzles for everyone who's not as adventurous :-).


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