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Monday, January 28, 2008

Brrrr It is cold outside




I am so glad we took the alpaca fibre up to the mill last Tuesday, wind was blowing and the snow was blowing over the side roads but we got there and back. I also washed up some really soft alpaca fibre, I have to keep touching it as I go by. Now have to finish carding the black alpaca and clean the carder and I can start carding this fluffy soft stuff. Also finished a pair of thrum slippers for Grandson #1, just have to put the leather on the heel and wait for the weather to warm up to get them to him. Also knitted a pair of heavier wool GLOVES!!for resident husband, never got them washed and blocked or a picture taken, he wore them hot off the needles and by now they are covered in hay bits but he says they do the job, warm hands, he puts them in his heavy leather mitts. I have only knit a pair of gloves once before many years ago and he lost one so am going to knit another pair of the same color in case that happens again......why am I saying in case.....he will be losing them. I had not knit another pair because I was afraid of all those fingers to knit but with my bamboo needles it was not a problem at all, the needles are so light they do not fall out of the stitches. All my patterns are for the fine yarn so found one on the net for heavier yarn but did not really care the way they did the increases for the thumb so will make a few changes on the next pair.
It was minus thirty-four this morning with a wind so it is cold, were afraid to go out and see how the animals made out but resident husband says no one was frozen so far. He bedded them down with straw pretty good last night and sun was out for a bit so hopefully everyone makes out o.k. tonight, it is supposed to be even colder!! They say the wind chill is minus forty-eight with the wind. Think I will go get myself a cup of tea and knit a bit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dizzy from sniffing Alpaca Fibre


Here is the thrum slippers I was knitting with the grey thrums inside, don't know whether the light grey of the thrums will show up as grey but think of it as grey. It looks so great with the mulicolored wool. Have them finished but have not taken pictures. Have already started on another pair for Grandson #1.
I have been busy sorting out some of the Alpaca fibre I bought last fall (it was still on my 2007 list) It wasn't sorted very well when it was sheared so I have to pick,pick,pick. there is one animal with grey fleece that has black guard hair right through the whole fleece and I did not count how many of his fleeces there were, so put them in a separate bag with a question mark on it. So got all the light fawn color sorted and in the bag, filled a large clear garbage bag...weighted it...it only weighted five pounds. Then sorted some light grey and filled another bag....weighted it...it only weighted seven pounds. I want the alpaca mixed with wool and mohair for sock knitting so phoned the mill and she said they need twenty pounds of a color to spin it up for me. TWENTY POUNDS!!!! Do you know how much Alpaca fibre it takes to make twenty-pounds? She said if I wanted a mix with fifty percent alpaca I could get away with ten pounds but because after they wash it it will loss about two pounds of weight I would need twelve pounds.........o.k. back to the sorting table. I will have to mix the light fawn with the darker brown and will have to mix the light grey with the darker grey. so off to sort some more! In some of the fleeces the staple is too long and the mill can not process it, they must have left the Alpacas two years before they sheared them one time and I will wash and spin that myself and some of it is too coarse and the mill will not spin that. They will make the fibre that had hair in it and the fibre that is too coarse into batts so I will get that done. I want to sew some vests and will use the batts for filling or I can use them as quilt batts. So I finally have twelve pounds of two colors to take up to the mill, and will take the two or three (depends if I get more sorted) bags up to get batts made. And do you know the sad part about this.....it will not even make a dent in the bags of unprocessed fibre I have, and also.....shearing will start again in about three months. I also sorted a large bag of mohair to go to the mill. Here I had great plans to just do nothing but spin for a bit after New Years but then I haven't caught up to the new year yet.....I am still working on the old year list. It will feel good just to get these few bags to the Mill. I forgot I already have four or five bags of Alpaca fibre to send to another mill.....so that is a few more bags that will be gone. Well resident husband is off to a meeting tonight so my big decision is should I go organize the fibre or just sit down and knit for the night??hmmm.....I think the knitting is going to win out as I really do not feel like getting into the alpaca dust tonight.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another Day is Done


Well I did get the articles finished and e-mailed but have not heard whether she could open them up. the problem of one computer communicating with another one.....in fact the problem with my computer was it could not even communicate with itself. It was not easy, nothing is ever easy around here. The program I had written the articles in would not open up if I sent them via e-mail as an attachment and they would not be copy and pasted into the e-mail either so o.k. I copy and pasted them into another program but that program will not accept pictures so I copy and pasted the articles and then I attached the picture as an attachment and then sent them to my other e-mail address, then I could open them up there and I also could open them up in my sent mail and yahoo!! everything looks o.k. it opens up like I want it to.........but the question is.....can she open them up in her computer.....right? so here is hoping that can be crossed off my list and on to sorting fibre for the mill. I got some sorted and bagged but my sorting table is tooo low, my back is breaking so will have to figure out how to get it up higher tomorrow. I really need a larger one but have not had the time to construct one.
What I am excited about is I started a thrum slipper last night, grandson #1 needs another pair of thrum slippers as he has worn his out, I gave them to him for Christmas last year and forgot to sew a piece of suede on the heel to make the heel last longer, so they really did do well. I picked a ball of wool that I had dyed a crazy red-burgundy, bits of yellow etc. and started to knit but after I knit a bit it was not as red-burgundy etc. that I thought it was going to be.....it is quite pink and while I know he would wear them proudly I will knit his in a different color, meanwhile when I got to the first thrum row I noticed that there were bits of grey in the yarn and I remembered I had some grey roving that I thought would look better than the white I was going to use and I love it!! I am so glad I decided to use the grey instead of the white. I knit some more on it tonight but did not take pictures, will get some tomorrow. Tomorrow I will figure out how to set the sorting table up higher and get a good portion of fibre sorted, the brown I am sorting right now is from Mommy alpaca and she is brown with a couple blond patches and the blond patches are quite coarse so have to pull it all out....time consuming, when we shear them this year I will remember to take that out right away. also want to get some grey sorted. This fibre when sorted will go to the mill to be made into sock yarn, the Alpaca will be mixed with some merino wool and a bit of mohair and a touch of nylon. Better remember to sort some of my mohair to take up too.So that was my day and I feel I am gaining on my list to do a bit. Well am off to bed, will post a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Santa, I can not believe I made them twenty-three years ago!! no wonder they are complaining they need new clothes....I really need to smarten them up a bit for next year.........I will put it on my list.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Belated Happy New Year


Hope everyone had a great Christmas and wishing a great year "2008" to everyone. I am trying to get my self organized and back into a routine, think I will make it before the year is over?? I have been trying to clean up things that I did not finish in 2007.......not everything!!.....just the last of the of knitting orders, the articles I promised I would write after Christmas when I had "more time" for the book being put together by the fair committee "Going to the Fair" (my problem being for this is how to condense it down so I am not writing a book in its self)and finishing the sorting of llama and alpaca fibre to get to the mills. It should have already been there for the local mills exotic run.....have to gear myself up for "The Lecture" and "Nasty Looks" when I come in late. Now I have told myself that the articles have to sent before I go to bed tonight......no excuses!!...although.....no!..no excuses. I can not finish my knitting order until I get to the mill to get the color of wool she wants, so I have to put that on hold, so it will be finish the articles and get back to fibre sorting. I have to admit that three pairs of socks....one scarf...and a hat have been knit since Christmas.....does that sound like putting things off?? ...I am calling it winding down.......you can not stop knitting cold turkey you know....who knows what dire affects that would cause a person!!
I did get all the Christmas stuff put away although it seemed like I just got it out and I put it away, next year I better be prepared for a Christmas decoration strike and when we come to the table to bargain what I will be offering in compensation for my thoughtless actions in the Christmas 2007 season is for the 2008 Christmas season they can come out of their boxes right after Thanks-giving and stay out until after New Years but I will have to tack on a clause that I will not be responsible for the accumulation of dust on said party's or the random attack of the two feline members of this family when they find said party's sitting where they want to sit. Now I have to go get this document printed up and have it witnessed by the resident dog Maxx, he will be in from the barnyard in a bit and I am sure he would not object to leaving his paw print on the document as a witness to the agreement.
Now the problem with the tree and the resident cats that has existed for the last few years, because I did not need the stress of worrying that the cats were trashing the tree I did not put any decorations on the tree until Christmas eve, as I was putting decorations on the tree my thought was always....better put this up high so Sheba does not get it, so you know what happened.....all the decorations were at the top of the tree, then I found a box of ornaments made over the years that were made of felt or other funny little things that had not seen the light of day for years and I thought....I could put these on the bottom of the tree and the cats wouldn't know that it did not matter if they took them....O.k. that is what I did. I know....the tree did not look that great.....but I did not need the stress. When we got up Christmas morning there was a trail of ornaments that the cats did not know were for them all the way from the tree in the living room to the kitchen and those cats were sooo happy and so was I. But I think they will suspect something if I try the same thing again next year, so have to keep thinking of something new to keep them from the tree next year. Grey Kitty loves laying under the Christmas tree on the tree skirt in a sunbeam, am posting a picture of her doing just that......notice that the gifts under there were not a problem.....she just pushed them aside to make herself a spot.
Well I am off to finish writing my article and getting it sent......