Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A throw

Some of the Galway sandstone crochetd into a throw - of sorts. It's essentially just a lot of TR's and some thick black single (where did that come from? I ask myself, mystified) plyd with a single of the sandstone.
It was supposed to hang on the back of a chair in the sitting room but the weather changed from the lovely Easter time sort to very cold so it's been round my shoulders more often. I expected it to be too scratchy to wear - but it's not really though it's very springy and rustic.
The red alpaca is still in the works - the short fibers are being carded and spun using long draw then Navajo plyd , the longer combed fibers are being stored - for what I know not yet.
Now must go and reduce my stash details for the Galway sandstone by the amount of the throw - how to do that?? Weighing scales I suppose.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April nearly over!

Wow!April is nearing it's end and I've only put one blog on this month. That's because there's been a lot of April type stuff going on - lambs appearing, visitors, planting things along with sneaking in fleece/yarn business.

The Alpaca/Wool yarn has become, in part, a cowl for OH to wear beneath his motorbike helmet. It's soft enough but a bit wide so I put a few elastic thread darts in the center part of it.

Thank you Sarah Fama who put the pattern on the net and wyvernfriend who put her much nicer verion on the Ravelry linked Irish knitters group and that made me give it a try. That's me looking dark, not OH. When I make one for myself, I'll cast on 8 sts less for sure - if not 16 less.

The red alpaca is washed and dried. Didn't do the same with the grey - it seemed clean enough but when I retrieved the short fibers from the combs to make into rolags after combing the grey tops, the short fibers were really dirty - i.e full of clay and grit. So I've washed it and it didn't felt - phew...

Here are four Doggie Down balls spun and plied on the CD drop spindle then dyed with KoolAid.
This little project is great fun - collie undercoat spun and dyed in small lots. I'm hoping to do something like this with some beginners spinners (if I get any) in May.
It's what I call recession spinning - the cost is the cost of the dye alone really - the rest is available free - even if you don't have a double-coated dog, someone you know has one and would love you to brush it! The colors are much nicer to my mind on the greyish fibers then the really bright colors on the white fibers.

On the hunt now for Alum - aluminium pot. oh. - to act as a mordant for the maroon dye that's matured from some avocado pips (pits?) Lindy saved and gave me (much appreciated Lindy). I initially thought it was a dead loss as I got just a brownish sludge after soaking the ground-up pips but with straining and re-boiling and letting it set for a couple of weeks, the color has appeared. There's Alum on Ebay all right but needs some special delivery so I'll hunt around some more before ordering any from the UK (as usual, it can be got of a minute fraction of the cost in the US).
Just to remind me what the beginning of April was like:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Frag fest

Knit the sandstone colored Galway into the beginnings of a throw/rub. Crochet edges and twisted cable center. I knew I didn't like it soon after it bagan to emerge but I had to continue to see if I could complete the twisted cable in the center. I completed it (painstakingly writing the instruction from a chart), admired the twisty cables then fragged the lot. The reason is the wool is too tight looking and is not thick enough to make a rug nor soft enough to be a delicate wrap. Experimentation with various needle sizes and patterns suggests I should use two strands at a time on large needles to make it more of a rug and perhaps include another color too.

The odd thing is that I don't mind fragging it despite the effort made to make it. Years ago, if I knit something, I couldn't bear to rip it (sometimes wearing lobsided jumpers rather than go back and start again).
I think this indicates a more advanced stage of the yarn work addiction .

Another Easy Care ewe had twins this morning - a ram and, at last! - an ewe lamb.
This ewe is very resistant to being confined in any way - just would not go into the jug even when her lambs were in there (Minnie on the other hand would have knocked me down to get in with them) - so I left her out once the lambs were iodined and she got her post-partum supplement - not that she really needed it - but it's only fair as the others got some - and she has supplied my first pure bred Easy Care ewe lamb.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Almost unbearable cuteness and manure!

Yesterday (Tuesday) was one of major cuteness - the day itself was peerless in regards to weather, Oisin danced on his walk like a puppy, we talked with neighbours and their dogs. Oisin spotted an impertinent tabbly cat - who refused to be moved from the road ahead and she stared him down with such assurance that he was the first to give way (she is very experienced with dogs - and regualrly winns standoffs). We are joined by an extremely cute dog who walks us home them returns to hi own abode by himself (will not enter our garden for fear of the red menace).

The new lambs (2 singles) look massively cute in their ID collers - one red for EC sheep, one blue for woolie sheep - then to cap it all, Minnie, my smallest (and cutest) ewe (aka a runt) had twins unaided and with major competence - as she did last year. Two more ram lambs! Is this ram shooting mainly Y's??

Minnie and her twins.

That was yesterday - today - April1 - the actual EDD for the lambs - no more appear (so far - the day's not over). This, despite the groaning, gnashing and lying around on their sides with worried faces that the, as yet, undelivered ewes went on with last night.

But then, that's sheep for ya.

Oisin keeps watch - no foxes allowed!
Decided to knit a throw out of the sandstone Galway yarn - have actually managed to sit down and write it's dimensions and the pattern (crochet edges and cable center). Not as hard to do as I feared - but I think there's be some fragging before it's finished.
Oh yes! the manure. Wearing a fair amount of it during the day - anyway, been occupied scooping it from the lambing paddock to add to a compost heap - definitely not so cute - but valuable none the less.