Monday, March 28, 2022

Clean Up Crew

 Ah, life with a puppy...


Luckily I caught her before she did any further damage.  Luckily I still had a bit of that "dye lot" left.  Unluckily I didn't have enough to just ravel out past the damage and re-knit the entire bottom of the brim.

I stewed on how best to mend this without turning it into "visible mending" and finally decided to get back to solid stitches, knit down to the bottom edge and then stitch back up each side, tucking the loose ends to the inside where they wouldn't show with the brim turned up.

I've been told I can knit and pick up the side stitches as I go, but that appears, once again, to be magic well past my abilities.  The side seams worked pretty well...if you don't look too closely...and on the back side I tacked each side down with a felting needle for a little extra tidiness and security.

This is my favorite night check hat, with the stars shining bright overhead.  I will be grateful to have it on tonight!  


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Haircut Day

First up, Short Round.  She marched into the chute from Easy Breezy like she knew exactly what was coming.  I just love this old ewe. I wasn't expecting much from her fleece, but I salvaged quite a bit and tossed it in the washer and it's actually quite nice :-).

The Ellie Monster.  I was afraid she might be sassy, but she did just fine.  

She and her momma, Short Round, have something sweet planned for their fleeces :-).


Still very black!

Jared aka Big J

After you get your hair cut you get to go eat grass in the yard. It was a bit drizzly, but no one seemed to mind.  Yard grass is a good treat!

Mini Moose, now being called Macro Moose :-o

It was actually mostly wool...mostly.

Amos helped push sheep from the big pen into the catch pen.

Lots of Pinto pictures because his family wasn't able to come watch...and we all love Pinto pictures ;-).  Here he's listening carefully to a discussion on catch pen/chute set up.  Big Moose (looking on) is not paying any attention and is only thinking about ways he can get in trouble once he hits the chute. 

I love how intently he's watching :-).

Tabitha on deck

Maisie on the board.  She behaved best she could :-D.

And Amos has the last sheep penned.

Great catch, Rusty Ewe!

Another shearing in the books.  It is always a huge relief to have this out of the way.  We had yet another great crew this year and I'm so thankful for everyone's good help! 

Under The Burled Arch

Chocula Chip and I had a great Iknitarod!  Not only did I finally learn the basics of punch needle rug making, but we also made a bonus rug with our leftover time and material :-). 

I didn't have enough Cotswold yarn left so I pulled out a skein of the original Lamb Camp yarn and picked out my colors and pulled out the dye pots.

I was curious to try that yarn as it is a different type of wool.  Cotswold is long, curly, smooth and shiny.  Wool from Texel crosses is a little shorter and the crimp is tighter and more fuzzy than smooth.  It has some luster/shine, but definitely more matte.

I really liked both yarns, but, as a beginner, found the Texel cross yarn to be a bit easier to work with, from the dye pots to the punching.  

I wanted to draw the second rug (left) with similar sized sheep and shepherd and I love the pattern I came up with.  I am going to draw this again, but for a larger rug so I can practice adding more detail...and also more sheep ;-).  If it works out okay, I may add the pattern to the farm shop in case anyone else would like to give it a try with their own sheep.

Overall, I found this project to be much easier than I thought it might be and just as much fun as I'd hoped.  I can't wait to start my next one!  Big thanks to Robin for all her help and encouragement along the way.  She and Andy have all the basic supplies if you are interested.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Scenes From The Iknitarod Trail

Chocula Chip and I are having a great race so far!  It's been a little warm, both here and in Alaska, but there's rumor of good snow in our forecast heading into this weekend. 20 and I have our fingers crossed :-).  

Yesterday I finally got to the point where I was ready to start punching.  Leading up to this we were dividing up yarn amounts, securing the edges of our fabric, dyeing our colors, making a punch frame cozy (after adding some bandaids to our sled kit :-o), drawing out our pattern and setting up our work space/camping spot.

This is what it looks like on the "working" side...which is actually the back.  You are punching through this side to make your loops show on the front.

I added in some light purple to the Northern Lights which wasn't originally on the design, but the lights are always changing so I think that's legal :-).

Mushing on!

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Are You Ready To Race?

"This doesn't look like knitting to me."

"Yeah, that is definitely Not Knitting."

"What exactly is she doing this year, Chocula Chip?"

I bought a punch needle set up back in 2020 and have never gotten brave enough to even take it out of the box.  I did read the book, which is very good and also charmingly written, but the two different size needles are still in their boxes and the monk's cloth is still suffocating in it's plastic bag.  

I love hooked rugs and enjoyed making a kit I bought years ago, but I didn't enjoy acquiring and storing wool fabric for future projects so I handed it all off to Auntie Reg.  Robin and Andy started making punch needle frames a few years ago and I watched Robin working on a rug using yarn during a zoom call and thought, hmmm, I'm already good at acquiring and storing yarn...

For the Iknitarod this year I am going to unpack all the boxes and bags, learn how to use the tools, draw a pattern, dye the yarn and make a rug.  In Iknitarod spirit my pattern will be my 2019 ravatar with Biscuit and Muffin looking up at Mrs. Pepperpot (and all our other friends) in the stars.  

The Iknitarod starts today with the ceremonial start for the Iditarod.  This is my ninth year.  I can't wait!

"Sounds interesting, but I bet it would be more fun if there were some chickens on that pattern!"


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