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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

Well the snow has been disappearing the last few days, the flower beds are almost clear and the plants that were coming up are squashed at the moment, tulips look like they are perking up but some of the iris leaves are broken so hopefully they will shoot out new ones as the weather gets warmer. My poor rose bush is pretty crushed, I had pruned it back before the last snow fall, the largest stem is bent over against the house, have to go out and see if I can put a stake in and tie it upright a bit but the surprising thing is there are small leaves coming out on the rose bush all along the stems....good would not think that being covered with four feet of wet heavy snow would encourage it to leaf out would you. It is cooling off and the sky is becoming overcast so let us hope it is rain and not snow, the season this year is going to be so late, let us hope for a long warm fall!! This morning when I woke up the birds were they know something....that we are really getting spring....let us hope so...anyway all that tweeting was beautiful music. On the fibre front I have been knitting a pair of socks and sorting out some llama fibre that I am putting into the pet pillows and look at the pest I found in my fibre when I left it unguarded for a minute!! Am also posting pictures of the resident animals enjoying their pillows... in one picture Maxx does not look too happy as Grey Kitty is on his bed and does she care....does not look like it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

No color outside...let's have color inside!!

Well we still have snow all over the ground, the sun did peek out for a bit this morning. Am going to start some seeds today, just remembered that I had saved some seeds from a little plant that has such great pink flowers, it was gift and I do not know what it is called, it comes every year so is a perennial so should put the seeds in the freezer for a few days I think. Dyed up a few pots of yarn the other day, really needed the color in my life, I should just put them around my neck and wear them. RH is off to a meeting on Sunday so will dye up a few more pots. Have to get some socks knit up to put in the market sale stash, keep trying to discipline myself to knit up some things for the market stash and then I can do some fun stuff. Right now I better get down to the sewing room and get some sewing orders finished up, have not sewn for anyone since we moved way out here but some of my customers have hunted me down. It is supposed to be warm this weekend so am hoping I can take the fibre sorting table outside and sort through a few bags of some of this llama fibre before shearing again, most of what I have now will be going into pillows for pet beds. Made some for the animals around here and they love them. If you notice cats love to sleep on the softest place in the house so I put a pet bed for them on the couch and most of the time that is where they will go, saves having cat hair all over. The biggest problem is Maxx the Jack Russell is not allowed on the furniture in the living room so his bed is on the floor by the window and sometimes the cats take his bed to lay in a sunbeam so he is pretty sad....cats do not care how sad he looks. can't find the pictures right now but when I do I will post them.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dyed Yarn

Took some pictures of the yarn I dyed on the weekend. Notice there is no yellow in this batch....had enough yellow when I knit the "Too much Yellow scarf" now there is some green in one ball which was yellow and blue mixed together but I don't think that counts....right? All the balls are mill spun yarn except for the small ball in the front, it is a mixture of Alpaca/Mohair/Merino that I spun up. Loved the way it turned out. Might be nice in some fingerless gloves?? Will have to think about that. Had a day of baking and doing laundry so was a good start to the week. A bit of snow today but not much wind, was weird to have an overcast sky and snowing and yet the sun was shining through enough to make a sunbeam for the cats to lay in. After tomorrow it is supposed to warm up....hopefully.

Winter is Back!!

Winter is back at our house and it is so depressing.I had just cleaned out my front flowerbeds and my little plants were coming up and now they are covered with four feet of wet heavy snow. I kept wondering why they were so late coming up....I think they knew something we didn't. Now I am feeling bad that I removed their mulch protection and watered them to make them grow!!! Have I killed them?? I have to stop thinking about it. We had terrible winds and blowing snow for the last couple of days, drifts all over, could not get in our front door. We have had a lot of snow in April before but never had it so cold. They say we have a couple more days of snow and cold!! I did get some yarn dyeing accomplished so will have to take some pictures, did some knitting and ripping out, I knit a hat and right after I had finished it and worked my ends in I noticed a mistake about halfway down......halfway down!! It was knit out of a do you see where you had sewn your ends in??? I had to finally cut into the yarn and work around to find an end to finally get it ripped back. I have reknit and really checked for mistakes and it is finished. That is what happens when you leave your knitting in the middle of a row. I have to get myself involved in a project to take my mind off the weather and my little plants....right? Actually the best thing would be more yarn dyeing......the day really goes by when I am playing with painting skeins of yarn. Other thoughts on the weather we have.......were we too smug when other parts of the country were getting all that snow dumped on them......are we being punished?? I am trying to hold the thought that we really needed the moisture.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Killed the Treadmill!!

Have been having trouble with the treadmill smelling like it was getting hot when I used it so complained to RH and he said it probably needs grease and he would pick some up....well that is easier said than done!! Had to go to the city to get it so that took a few weeks. So he got it greased last week and said it was working great now. The beginning of the week I went down to use it as there was slippery snow on the ground and as we live on a hill it has been known for me to take a tumble, one time resulting in cracked ribs. I had been walking on the treadmill for a bit and all of a sudden I had all this smoke around me!! Total Panic.....unplugged it fast and debated whether I should get the fire extinguisher but finally the smoke cleared and things looked under control....dead treadmill!! RH took it apart and he said the motor is toast. They are saying we have a storm on it's way that is going to last a few days so decided to take Maxx and walk down the pasture to the dugout and see if the ducks are back to nest. Now my complaint around this place (or any place we have lived!!) is there are never gates for me to get from here to there and when I was younger it wasn't a problem to go over fences but in my advanced age and arthritis problems climbing over fences is a chore. So a walk through gate was put in the fence behind the house, now that is great but I can not get it open!!! Why would a gate be built that can not be opened!! I have to say here that the main problem with gates is RH can not close a gate and animals are always out, that is why there are no gates. So after much pounding with a rock etc.(and there could have been a couple of words spoken) I got the gate open but then could not close animals in that field right now so not a big problem. Off I went for my walk, now as we live on a hill it is great walking down but your workout starts when you come back. I debated whether to take the camera and decided not to as there are no animals in that pasture and it was so cloudy and everything is so dry and brown but....but ...I found a crocus.....a crocus!! and I did not have the camera!! But I did do the happy dance...and hoped no one else had a camera. What is it about the first crocus that is so exciting? I think it is because of the dry conditions the last few years that it has been rare to see one. It is hope!! hope that spring is going to come. Well with the help of a rock or two I managed to get the gate closed again. Note to time you go for a walk....take a hammer and a screw driver. I am hoping to get some fibre dyeing happening today, no exciting knitting has been going on, but have been knitting, thought I better get some things knit up and put in the bin for the fall markets, knit up three scarves and four hats for the market bin out of Bernat's soft boucle, they are such great sellers. Also have one large spool spun from the mohair/merino roving I had processed. Now I can do some fun stuff like dyeing,I just got the book in the mail Complex Color by Susan Rex which I have been reading and she has a lot of dye recipes on mixing different shades using your primary colors so will be trying them out. So am off to get the dye pots out and ignore the darkening sky outside. Will post a picture of last years crocus....although it can not do justice to the one I seen this morning!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another Scarf Finished

Well I finally finished the "too much yellow scarf", it seemed that I knit and I knit on that scarf, wanted it to be around sixty inches long but did not seem to be getting anywhere, did not know how tight to stretch it to measure it, finally I said I am not going to bed until I am done with this, it was close to sixty inches so I said that is it and cast off. I washed and blocked it.............oh was long....almost seventy inches!! Note to can really stretch the knitting to measure when you have a mixture of knit and purl stitches like this one was. So that is finished and I should really get the dye pots out but have been sorting sheep and llama fleece and getting it washed up and ready to card. Am so excited as I finally ordered a new carding machine.....electric....three drum....and you can take the carded fleece off in roving if you want to. I have been saving for a few years to buy it. It is a Patrick Green Supercard. I bought my first carder off them years ago and loved it, I had two drums I could use on it, one drum with fine teeth for the finer fibre's. But you had to turn the drum by hand and when the Grandson's were small they enjoyed sitting there turn it for me (there might have been cookie bribery involved) but now it is just me and it takes forever, now if I had three arms it would be faster but I don't. Patrick Green can not make the carders fast enough, they always have a list of people on a waiting list, so I have my name on the list and if everything goes o.k. I could get mine in the fall. Meanwhile I will get all my fibre ready for carding and this winter I will be the carding fool!! When I spoke to a processing mill that has a dehairer they said that they would wash and dehair my llama fibre for me and then I can card it myself, I can add what ever other fibre I want to it. Today we had sun this morning but now a few clouds have moved in north of us they are having a real snowstorm, we need the moisture but.....could we just have a nice rain?? It is supposed to be nice this weekend so it will be outside work, getting all the trash out of the flower beds and I guess I better take the evergreen branches off the front railing, will miss them......where will I take pictures of my knitting????

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Yummy Fleece

This is what I have been up lately. Last summer I brought two bags of sheeps wool home from the guild to wash up for them and I am just getting at it. It is what was left over from a sheep to Shawl a couple years ago so the grease had set into it so was really stuck together. Washed the white one first and it is so beautiful, could not keep myself away while it was drying on the screen, just had to pick and fluff!! Yesterday I washed the grey fleece and it is so nice too. Now here is my problem.....I covet the fleece....could I say that it went bad???........could I say that the fleecefairy took it?? I don't think there is a group called Fiberpig Anonymous is there? Please let me know if there is as I really need to belong!! I am still knitting on the "too much yellow scarf" and have been spinning the merino/mohair roving, wanted to have two large spools full and then ply it, I am spinning it very thin as I was thinking of knitting something lacy.....but this is taking a long might end up being a large spool navaho plyed, I will force myself along the ordinal plan...but I might cave. This morning we woke up to wet snow covering the ground and cloudy sky but the sun has come out and the snow has disappeared. Better go enjoy it, will go out and check how fast my little plants are coming up.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another scarf

Well the sun was shining today, it wasn't that warm but as long as the sun shines you seem to have more energy......except the dog and the cats, they just lay in the sunbeams soaking it up. I potted up a few more plants and others got a haircut, now have to get a few more pots before anymore potting, have to cut down the geraniums and get some cuttings rooted, they are in the windows downstairs and at the moment they look like trees with big beautiful blooms. Got a bit of spinning accomplished, had some roving made up at the mill with my mohair and their merino so have been trying to get some spun up to see how it turns out, it is such a delicate thin roving I hesitate to try to dye it first so will dye it after I spin it up. Maybe if I painted the roving and steamed it, it would be o.k. should try a bit and see. Took a picture of the short row scarf I started knitting from the pattern in the new Creative Knitting Magazine, they also have a pattern for the cutest little rabbits I am itching to knit. Would make cute baby gifts!!