Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

As the end of the year approaches I have much to be thankful for … great friends, a wonderful family, and time well spent with all of you. Life is definitely good I would say. I wish the very best for everyone of you. And JennietheDog says Merry Christmas too!

The little sparrows
Are my only guests today
Hiding from the storm.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Let the Fun Begin

Well the Daughter has arrived home for Christmas after a horrible two day process of blizzards and flight delays … coast to coast travel and an overnight in Phoenix. So … now I am making Christmas Dinner and tomorrow we will decorate the tree and on Sunday we will open some of the Christmas presents. In October, when I was preparing to head off to Rhinebeck, I decided that I needed a hat. I make myself a fair isle hat using natural coloured wool from my sheep. So, when I decided that I would make a pair of Nordic mittens for the Daughter for Christmas I thought that this would be quick and easy. Neither turned out to be true … but I loved knitting them and am already planning a pair using my wool/silk blend with an angora lining. Here they are:

I can hardly wait to start another pair. The very small bit of blue yarn is all that was left … a cause of much concern while I was finishing up.
All the cows are gone now … Jack the Pirate King comes home tonight in his new paper and vacuum wrap. Thank goodness, because we have had an extremely cold week and I hated going out to feed and bucket water to the sheep … the cows would have been a mess. As it is, the eggs all froze in the hen house within a hour of being laid so I was able to pick up only two good ones in the last two days.
I think I’ll stay home
This snow fall is too perfect
For me to walk on.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Winter and I have a love/hate relationship. I detest the cold and love the fact that I can finally spin and knit to my hearts content because it's too cold to do much else outside. I still try to knock out a few miles a day with JennietheDog but there are days when the wind chill makes that risky so we just stay home. And we have wolves down here by us currently and a dog is a wolf magnet ... so I have to be careful when it is just the two of us out.

So, in the last month, I went to Rhinebeck, New York for their Sheep and Wool festival. I met tons of people who knit with my yarn and that was fun and exciting! I saw some Wensleydales that were cute and I met my daughter's boyfriend ... he was cute too ... and very nice. I did not take the camera as I packed the night before in a total frenzy and forgot it. I will email the Daughter and see if she has any ... I do have a gratuitous photo of some wonderful socks knit in my Rainy Day Colourway that Marty sent me. Marty also writes that : "The Ravelry group is “2-at-a-time socks”, and we work with Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ book of that title" Amazing! And maybe I would not have such a problem with knitting the second sock ... LOL. I finished my Rainy Day socks finally and will try to get some pictures taken as soon as I write up the pattern. Also in October I had the shearer come and shear the sheep so they have gone from large and fluffy to slim and slick. Check out the Feb 27,2007 entry for before and after photos. The ram is in with most of them now but the shearer thinks that at least one of them might already be pregnant (he escaped twice this summer ... the ram not the shearer LOL) so I may be having January lambs ... yuck! This is Gabriella and Walker in their new shorter coats. Now, the mountains are covered with snow but it was still decent weather back in October. I have started my Christmas knitting but most of it is still a secret so for now ... I guess that is all the news that is fit to print! No haiku today as I cannot get Blogger to make paragraphs now ... geesh!
This years maple leaves
Fall, still green, no reds to warm
The snow laden wind.
Hah! I, SO tricked it!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It Was Short But Sweet ...

Autumn that is. It lasted about a day and a half and now we are expecting snow. So, we scoured the garden today for everything that needed to be picked before a hard freeze. Carrots, squash, and the last of the eggplant. That leaves the parsnips on their own for another few weeks.

Things that have happened since the last post are:

The Western Idaho State Fair ... where Ruby took Grand Champion in her class and Walker took 3rd in his and they both took third in a combined class.

This pictures is of Walker being "set to show" by some friends of mine. It was fun and they have amazing and funny "Fair Food" like deep fried Twinkies and Snickers bars. And Tornatoes (a crispy potato swirly thing) and great Basque lamb sandwiches. There were tractor pulls and some amazing quilt exhibits (I thought of you there, Anne!)

We had several more batches of baby chicks show up and one fatality in that bunch. And I have a hen that has started crowing ... not sure what that is all about.

I am getting ready to head out in a week or so for Rhinebeck, NY for their Sheep and Wool festival. Taking some new yarn colours and a new sock pattern called "Harvest on the Palouse". And I will get to see the Daughter and meet her beau for the first time ... big excitement there.

On a lighter note ... Jennie the Dog has been having a great time keeping the leaves rounded up and keeping track of her chicken friends. I just wish they liked that part as much as she does.

Slowing our passage
Chestnuts, that the wind knocked down,
Litter the pathway.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

As Summer Draws Down

First the camera has been found and so without further ado here are Jennie and Blanche:

They have been pretty good buddies till yesterday. Jennie likes to pull on Blanche's ears as a way to get her to go where she wants her to go ... but a lamb has delicate ears. Last night while tugging on Blanche's ears Jennie managed to nick a vein ... and there was blood everywhere. On the lamb ... on the dog ... on one of the other sheep. Everyone survived but now when Blanche sees Jennie coming she runs in the shed and shoves her head in the straw. Not all friendships are made to last I guess.
Resting on the porch
A morning glory has bloomed
Brilliant in the shade.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

We have a new addition to the sheep flock. A tiny late born lamb from a friend of mine. She is white and smaller than JennietheDog and her name is Blanche. Blanche DuBois. She was alone for about 3 weeks before she came here to live and is a bit neurotic because of that. But I think she will be fine in the long run. No pictures however as I cannot find the camera since my return from Sock Summit.

And WOW! was that fun. I don't get off of the ranch much. And Portland was overwhelming and the Summit was exhausting. I met quite a few people who buy my yarn which was nice One of them even knit me a little tiny sock to wear on my neck thingy that they give you to keep your name tag etc. in. A very sweet gesture I thought. No picture ... camera still missing.

I did however receive an e-mail just before my frenzy of preparations began from a lovely woman who must knit like the wind because she sent me pictures of two sets of socks that she knit from my yarn.

Aren't they gorgeous? I feel a bit like a slacker since I am a slow (but steady) knitter. I will have to try this pattern out for myself.
Well I have to find the camera as I do have some pictures to share ... catch up with you later!
Blue-eyed prairie grass
Waving in the wind ... rippling
I can see the wind.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Pet of Her Very Own

I know, I know, I am SO bad about writing. I think about it every day and then think of something that is coming up that I will want to add and then nothing ever gets done. And I know better. Every morning I check my favorite blogs to see what folks are up too. One friend, Anne, (http://frayedattheedge.typepad.co.uk/) writes daily ... and when she does not I truly fear that she is ill. She sent me a lovely package with several British magazines, one of which I am considering subscribing to since there were four items in it that I am prepared to knit right away. The name of the magazine is Yarn Forward and I highly recommend it. I have been knitting socks ... working on a design for Sock Summit and am now dyeing a yarn for the Sock Summit dying contest "Dye For Glory". Catchy name eh? No pics since things are not settled upon.

Big news here is that the Daughter graduated from University with 2 Bachelor degrees and a minor and her Global Certification in Mandarin Chinese. All in four years and I am SO proud of her. The above photo shows her in her regalia along with her brother who attends a different university 10 miles away.

And on the home front JennietheDog has a new pet of her very very own. A baby chick. It hatched in the hen house which is a very dangerous place for a baby and so had to be removed immediately. I believe it is a Japanese bantam due to it's amazingly small stature and very short legs but only time will tell. JennietheDog loves her will all of her heart and the baby follows her everywhere. I will have to keep you posted on this. I have lots more to tell but will have to write again tomorrow. My son had his wisdom teeth out as an emergency this morning and I need to care for him. Later ...
The bee emerges
Drunk with nectar. Then stumbles
Off to drink again

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Busy Times ...

We have been so busy here of late that I have been slow to get back with photos of the new lambs. They are growing at a rapid rate but are all still cute as buttons. This is Alice. She had a slight accident yesterday when someone stepped on her tail and it came off. But she has already moved on and is her happy-go-lucky self again.

She and her brothers run amok and have discovered the new baby chicks whom they love to try to sniff. The new mother hens are not so pleased and spend most of their time running around the babies with their wings held out trying to look as big and scary as possible. Hard to do when you are only about 6 inches tall.

The new calves are settling in nicely and the two older cows are eating me out of house and home. Bob stepped in a badger hole and wrenched a knee and now has developed quite the peg-legged walk so we have started call him Jack the Pirate. I think the name will stick.

I spent all of yesterday dyeing wool and getting technical help from my own personal tech goddess Dawn over at crochetcompulsive so by this afternoon all of the yarns will be up on the etsy site. Here is a group photo of the sock yarns.
Sometimes it seems like I dye the same 3 or 4 colours all the time but apparently I dye the same 26 colours all the time. LOL.
I love it though ... this is almost too much fun most days. And I keep having more and more ideas of colours to try.
Today we are going to try to get some of the garden in even though this morning it was only 36 degrees. So I am off to pitch in on that project now so I can dye the wooly silk later ...
Every blade of grass
Under it's burden of dew
In time - springs free.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

And Then There Were Four

No sooner did I blog about poor Isabella than the next morning she went into labor. Which continued on for a while. I place a frantic call to the vet about the apparent size of the first lamb. He explained how I would have to check to make sure the lamb wasn't stuck due to a bad presentation and I went out to explain this to Izzy who looked at me with that "you plan to put your hand where?!" look and then proceeded to produce her giant sized lamb just to show me that the hand thing was never going to happen. He is aptly named "Andre" after the giant. A few minutes later he was followed by his very little sister who I named "Alice" after the Alice in the Twilight series. She is beautiful and very tiny and dances everywhere she goes. Andre is every bit as big as the lambs who were born a week earlier and they both are true daredevils when it comes to straw bale jumping and head butting ... no fear for any of them. The weather has been terrible but when I can I will try to get some good lamb pics up.

Other Big News! here is that a yarn store in Kenosha Wisconsin has begun carrying my yarn. Huge news for me!! The store is named Fiddlehead Yarns and if you should ever be in the neighborhood please drop in and see them. I may try to do that myself in my migration to Rhinebeck in October.

On my needles this week is a pair of socks in the Fields of Barley colourway in a wheat ear pattern. I am hoping I will get the first one done soon but I keep having to go out and pet the new lambs. Go figure.

Cold rain -
From the pond in my head
The sound of Basho's frog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What do you think ...

do these babies make my butt look big?

Poor Isabella still has not had her lambs. And she is miserable. Every night I go to bed thinking that in the morning they will have been born ... but not yet. Still, I can hardly imagine it will be much longer. In the mean time, though, these twin rams arrived just a few days ago.
Meet Gizmo and Widget. Too cute huh?

Hopefully more to come tomorrow ...

Tossed among the pines
The little sparrows
Overtaken by the wind.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In Which the Fates Are Not Amused

It didn't work. No lambs yet. And so I admit defeat. Instead I will post on my current knitting which has been a bit challenging of late. First up is my second Sock Madness sock. It was my first foray into stranded colour work and I turned it inside out to show how nice that part turned out. I have to say that I am rather pleased with it myself. I knit it in a wool silk blend. The purple is the Victoria's Ballgown colourway and the salmon was a one time dye job. I actually love the purple and will be knittin gmuch more in that colour in the future. But competetive sock knitting wears me out and when I came to the toe this is what happened. I am so discouraged that I will not be knitting the second one ... but will send the first "on the road" with my yarn. Here is the picture. Laugh softly please as I am still a bit sensitive. And yes I kitchnered the toe crosswise from the decreases. Why? Because I SO wanted to be done and I was SO tired and I chose not to pay attention. There you have it. No one to blame but myself.

I did finish a cute tiny baby hat and then tried 6 times to do the same lace pattern in a small throw for the baby's carseat. I have now ripped it back to the point where I would prefere to burn it but instead will start it this afternoon in a Feather and Fan pattern which I could normally do in my sleep. But here is the hat in the Cherry Blossom festival colour. Blogger is being weird so I think I will go. More to follow I am sure.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Texas Has Nothing On Us...

Here in Idaho sturgeon fishing is a big sport. You cannot kill or keep them but that doesn't stop anyone for going out to see how big a one they can bring in. My neighbor caught this one on Monday ... 8'1" long. Biggest one I have seen. They completely creep me out and these (and the leaches) are the reason I never swim in the Snake River.

Another pastime here in the Spring is the burning of tumbleweeds. I am always sure that we will start a range fire that will consume millions of acres and we never do. Everyone goes out to roll them into the middle of the road and then someone else comes behind and rolls the burning tumbleweeds along into the dry ones ... and great fun is had by all.

I kept thinking that I would wait to blog till I had lambs ... but since they still have not arrived I thought that perhaps I could tempt fate by blogging like I just don't care. If I am back in a few days we will know that it worked. Till then ....

The sound of the wind

In the forest behind me

A raven flies off.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Iceman Cometh ...

and apparently intends to stay. Ahh, the winter months here ... snow, ice, rain, snow, rain (to create a slicker ice) snow. And did I mention cold? The news would have you think that the world has ended but in reality this is how winter is supposed to be. I remember winters from when I was a kid involved lots of sledding, a concussion or two (the ice) and freezing cold which caused much hot cocoa to be consumed. And there is a beauty to it ...

This is the result of ice fog ... which is a big part of the winter landscape here abouts. Pretty no?

One of the big projects at this time of year is the planning of the garden. And this is sparked by the happy arrival of the garden seed catalogs. After hours of pouring over them my selections have been made, the seeds ordered, and their arrival is eminent.

I have been dyeing sock wool non-stop in preparation for my dear friends, Jennie and Dawn, taking it to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year. I am nervous .... but hopeful that it will be well received. As a bribe, I am sending them with several boxes of Idaho Spud Bars ... so if you see them stop by and try one.

On the knitting front ... I am. I have finished several pairs of socks and am currently knitting two different scarves that I am working in a nice 70/30 wool/silk blend. Pictures to follow at a later date.

I am preparing for the arrival of this years lambs in approximately 6 weeks ... assuming that the new ram, Walker, did his part. I only bred three ewes this year as feed is so high but that still means that I could end up with at least 5 or 6 lambs ... maybe more.

Jennie (the puppy) is growing up and is at that gangly teenager stage. but cute as always and sharp as a tack. She has started trying to get the sheep to move about on her own.

And last, but not least, my friend Franklin has bemoaned his lack of orderliness and organization in his creative space. I hold that creativity occurs only where there is fuel to fire it ... and I know my desk/table looks like it could catch fire at any moment ... LOL!

So poor, my poems

But good company tonight

Reading them over.