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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer is going too fast!!

Well I am still doing a little bit of everything, running in circles. I dyed a pot of wool fleece, it was quite dirty and matted even after I had washed it so put it in a pot on the stove and sprinkled some dye colors on it and poked it around a bit. When it was finished I rinsed it and spun the water out of it and put it to dry on my drying rack, as it dried I teased it apart and then when it was almost dry I took it out on the deck and teased it apart some more, the matts came apart and most of the debris fell out, now to decide what to do with it!! I finished knitting the feather and fan scarf out of the llama yarn, now just have to wash and block it. The llama club was gifted with some cones of llama yarn for a fund raiser, there were two cones of a light tan color so I bought them and skeined off a skein from each cone, one was a darker shade of tan and thought I would paint them and see how they came out. Well first of all.....100% llama does not grab the dye like wool does and I ended up with toooo much dye on the skein so there was a lot of blotting of extra dye and the dye ran together which concerned me a bit but in the end it turned out not too bad, the colors are dark as when I thought the yarn was not going to be dark enough to cover the natural color I added more concentrated color. I am wondered if I should have used a thickener in my dye so that it would not have ran together so much before it had a chance to absorb into the yarn??? Have never used it before so do not know....will have to investigate.. Now what to make with the yarn, I have not knit that much lace weight and this yarn is really lace weight so have been knitting a few patterns of different lace patterns. Might just do the feather and fan pattern and make a scarf to get used to knitting with it, are there lace needles?? I find I am having a hard time not splitting the stitches, knitting with the needles I have it is a slow process. That is another thing I will have to investigate. The fleece sorting is an on going thing, so far I have all the alpaca fleece sorted and am working on the llama fleeces, had stop the sorting for a bit and get my two oz of llama fibre dehaired and pick out the debris for the entry for Handspinners Choice Competition in the fibre and fleece section at the Llama Conference the end of Sept. I have to have it in by the end of July as they have a spinner spin one oz and it is displayed with the unspun oz of fibre. You do not realize how much two oz of llama fibre is until you start weighing it. But it is done and ready to go!! I could not wash it so for the competition but as soon as I got my two oz sorted I washed the rest of the fleece and it is so much easier to work with, just had to spin up a tiny skein this morning to see how it will spin and it is so nice, now to get it carded and spun. Now before the conference we have the local fair so have to decide what I am going to enter in that as the deadline for entry's is the first of Aug. might have a few things already made that I can enter, better go check. I had ordered a Pat Green supercard carder early in the spring, they were so backed up on orders and said it would probably be later in the fall before I would get it.....guess what??...Paula phoned me yesterday and they will be sending my carder out on Wed.(picture happy dance here) I have had one of their smaller carders for years and love it but this one is electric (another happy dance)the best thing is I can take my carded fleece off in rovings if I want to(another happy dance) Then of course I have been taking many pictures of my flowers, everyday someone else is popping a flower out that needs it's picture taken and I am still battling with the gophers in my vegetable garden, will not have any peas this year because of the mice and the gophers but am guarding my carrots and lettuce and beans so far o.k. Well am off to wash the lettuce I just picked from the garden and then decide whether I should sort more fleece or spin the llama fleece I just washed. Hope everyone is having a great summer!! For me it is going tooo fast!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where has the time gone?

I don't know whether it is because of the late start with our spring but time is going fast and all I am doing is trying to catch-up. Was out working in the front flower beds but a rain and a bit of hail storm blew through, it looked pretty bad but moving fast so we only got the edge of it so no damage thank-goodness. I could not believe how well I did at the fleece show at fibre week at Old's College. I had to enter the fleeces before we sheared the animals so just had to wing it and when we sheared the fleeces were so full of trash I did not have time to pick it all out so I entered fleeces that were easy to clean up. The fleece from our girl Ginger-Spice was not that long, barely making the three inch minimum, in fact I thought it would be too short but surprise!! she got first in her class and then took the grand champion. I should have got a picture of her. The shearer came and finished shearing the Alpacas as we were having trouble with our clipper and I have got all the alpaca fibre sorted and ready to go except for baby Blackberry, because his fibre is so fine it has some debris that needs to be picked out. Now have to get at the llama fibre and get it sorted but have gotten carried away sorting things and cleaning up downstairs. RH was at the stampede grounds in the Llama section for most of last week so on Monday I had him back the stock trailer up to the doors downstairs and load up the dead treadmill etc. etc. and do a dump run so today I vacuumed and tidied up as we want to finish up the flooring down there, which is a job for rainy days. I finally took the sweater hat out of time out and took it's picture, then I have been knitting a pair of socks out of the grey alpaca mix skein I had overdyed red, I love the red color, because of the dark and grey mix of the alpaca yarn there is dark and light red in the yarn. Then I have been knitting a scarf to put in the show at the Llama Conference in Sept. I am knitting it in a fine yarn made of 100% llama, I bought the skeins off a friend that had her fibre processed at the mill, the yarn did not have enough twist in it so I put replyed it and it came out great. Could not decide what pattern to use, finally decided on the feather and fan pattern, I added another pattern across as I thought it would not be wide enough and I really did not have to but it will make a wider scarf...but it is more knitting!! Have not decided what else I will enter. The llama club was given some cone's of llama yarn for a fund raiser and I bought two cone's of a fawn color and skeined off some of it and am going to overdye it and see how it comes out, it is a lace weight so is very fine....have to look for some patterns. Well I am on chore duty tonight and I hear my kids in the barn calling me, I am watering down their noon bottle as I will eliminate it pretty soon and get them down to two bottles a day, they are growing fast and eating grain and grass so do not really need it (but they think they do) I am still waiting on my three pygmy girls to kid, they look like any day, just hope they only have twins as I do not want to be tied down to bottle duty all summer and fall although pygmies are very portable, a few years ago I had two of them on the bottle and we had to go into the city so we tucked them in the dog carrier and took them in the back of the car with Maxx the Jack Russel to keep them company along with their bottles, had to find a shady car parkade to park while we did our business and then on our way home find a grass area for them to get out a bit and give them their bottles. Off to feed the kids!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Rain Day

We are having a few rain days and we needed them as we had a couple weeks of heat and things were starting to dry out, the rain gives me a break from watering. Iris's have been blooming and some of my lilies are starting to bloom and it is going to be quite a show as I counted over sixty blooms on the one bunch of plants. We had hail a couple of nights ago but ended up with just white spots on the leaves thank-goodness. I thought for sure after all that wet snow on my plants this spring I would not have any flowers at all. Not much on the knitting front, I did finish a scarf and hat set I was working on, it was a no-mind knit as it was just garter stitch, just have to put the fringe on the scarf. Also finished the sweater hat (headache hat), haven't taken any pictures yet as it is in time out until I feel more kindly to it. The Llama Conference is coming up so am thinking about what I should enter in the knitting etc. classes, took some skeins out and looked at them the other day but should decide on some patterns pretty soon. They also have the class where you send two oz of llama fibre picked free of guard hair and debris. I won the class last year with one of our young males fibre, but we sold him last year, have to look at the fibre of the three young animals we sheared this year, it was so trashy I could not send their fibre to the fleece show but will look and see if I can clean up two oz. As it is going to be cool today I have bread going in the breadmaker, baked bread yesterday too but we were having trouble with the power going off and on and did not know if it would get baked but it held in there and bread turned out great. As we can not work outside we I am getting some flooring put down in my work area downstairs, it will be a treat not to standing on concrete!! Hope everyone is enjoying the is going by fast!!