Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tiny Baby Goats

The llama has some new friends...the pygora tiny baby goats!

We decided to add a few pygoras to the fiber microfarm, so we made a trip down towards Tucson last weekend to pick out the pygoras.

We named them somewhat randomly, we have from left to right Woo, Bjork, Joanie, and Trixie.

They're about 3 months old, and tiny teeny babies still, and very adorable. Full grown pygoras are only about 22-25 inches at the shoulders.

In knitting news, I’m done with the body of the Victorian Lace Today scarf, and hope to start the second border tonight. I’m also on the second Yarn Pirate Crocus sock. We finally got our order of trees, so we have 24 trees to plant tomorrow (I planted 50 tomato plants last night!).

I also have some wonderful gifts from my internet friends to blog. Life is keeping me busy, and busy is good!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Silk for Friday

Angela dyed silk! Soft, gorgeous, and pretty high on the list of "what should I spin next..." thank-you Angela, again for the lovely, lovely SP goodness!

Worked more on the Coopworth scarf last night, so far, so good. Two repeats down on the first border, one left to finish, then onto the body!

Tomorrow is the Pagosa Springs Fiber Festival, so we'll be headed up there to enjoy it, check out the animals, hang out with the women in my spinning guild, and of course, buy some fiber!

Other than that, weekend plans involve gardening, and a quick house clean, with some relaxation and maybe another project for Nate since he finished his last one...


Thank-you Nate. I love you.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Victorian Lace Today Handspun Scarf-start

Normally, I stack the handspun up on a table and let it languish, unknitted for a long time. This time, I dove right in, and began knitting with something I had just spun!

Victorian Lace Today, p.82-83 a lace scarf with a border from Weldon's 1886.

Just a start...but I forgot how much I love knitting lace!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Laceweight Coopworth Handspun-dyed

This is the Coop. from Merlinthecat that I posted the single on the bobbin and dyed locks of last week.

See how she's turned into lovely, lovely laceweight?

Now I know why Merlin called this fleece "her boyfriend"! It really does spin and comb out wonderfully.

This green blend is my idea of a colorway, semi-solid, same-tonal family, this kind of stuff usually knits up really nice.

Not quite as even as some of my other recent handspun yarns, but overall averages 20W WPI which makes it about right for a nice laceweight.


20 WPI
430 yds
2-ply, Z-spun, S-plied

Lace scarf you think?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hot Shawlcolate

Maryann crocheted this for me, to keep me warm and lift my spirits. It makes me smile, warms my heart. Thank-you.

Not to mention the pretty pretty colors of the wool-alpaca yarn!

And its just the right size too! Fits me, AND the fence!

Thank you again. Nate likes it too, thought it was pretty awesome of you!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Coopworth Locks, Mermaid Palette.

A while back, merlinthecat (who has a supercute pic of her new puppy on her blog today...go see!) sent me a bag of Coopworth wool locks from her favorite new fleece. I finally got around to dyeing it and spinning it this past weekend.

I used Wilton's icing dyes and vinegar and popped the wool in the oven for a bit in Pyrex dishes, and it worked pretty well, the "Mermaid" color palette seems to have turned out well. Above, some of the locks Flick combed, ready to spin.

A pile of the locks, ready to Flick and spin.

And....a shot of the single on the bobbin. Its hard to see the color variation when I take a shot of an evenly wound Woolee Winder bobbin...but all the colors are in there.

This is one I really can't wait to ply! The single is thing, shiny, and taking a while to spin, but hopefully I'll be there tonight or tomorrow.

And, I need to give a thank-you to Kay who sent me some lovely wool roving, and a tote bag (I always need more tote bags!) the other week when I was having a rough time. Kay, there isn't a pic of it yet...but when I dye it up like this Coopworth, and spin it....I'll take some! Thank-you.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Peep, Cheep, cheep. peep.

Nate takes better chicken pics than me!

A Maran baby....

An Ameraucana chickie...

And a White Leghorn babe...

We also have some Delawares, but no cute pics of them.

The fun thing is that they're all hens, and will all lay....but, they all lay different colored eggs! We'll have white from the Leghorns, tan from the Delawares, blue-green from the Ameraucanas, and dark chocolate brown from the Marans!


Monday, May 14, 2007

Microfarm Monday

We had a very busy, and productive weekend! Worked outside the whole time, great Spring weather made it nice.

We started out on Friday night after work digging about 50 holes for posts, trees, grapevines, and the chicken coop. An mechanized augur is a good thing!

Then, Saturday morning Nate went into town to return the augur and I get a call from him "Can I buy some chickens?". Me: "Sure, let me think of how to house them....".

So, he returned home with groceries, supplies for the weekend, and 12 of these little guys:

Month old baby chickens. Four varities, and big enough that we don't have to brood them, just provide shelter, a safe place, food and water for a month or so while we build the big chicken coop.

Wilco and Dory seriously think this is Pet TV.

After the chicken housing, we worked on the garden area. Rototilling, mowing, weeding, and prepping for planting. This little area above is about 1/6th of the garden space, and the only area that I actually prepped enough to plant yesterday. The rest will get worked on after work this week.

Above is the fencing for the orchard...the little pin flags mark the holes we dug for the trees we ordered which still haven't shipped yet (must call and check...). Nate built the fence yesterday so we can keep the critters out til the trees are big enough.

Whew! Busy weekend. I think I knit one heel flap and turned one heel, and spun about a handful of Coopworth. The rest was all outside!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

CA Red for Laura

Laura asked if I had any experience with CA Red sheep or wool, and while I have some friends down the road who run this ranch I hadn't actually spun up the small sample of wool I had.

The Sheep (From Shear Perfection Ranch down the road):

The Roving:

Funny, I was actually at that ranch this morning on the way to work and watched a sheep get sheared....

So, I pulled out the roving over the weekend and spun it for Laura to see! This roving is not from Lyn and Jerry's CA Red flock, but from Moab, I bought it at the Farmington Fiber Festival last fall.

You can see that the sheep are red-faced, and red-legged, but overall a nice creamy color. Then, up close, the wool has darker cinnamon colored hairs in with the wool.

Not really red, but a nice pleasing creamy color with reddish hairs. Soft? About as soft as a coarse Shetland, a medium wool. Of course, this is just my sample, I'm sure there are softer samples, redder samples.

And....Thank you String!

These came a while ago, but I'm bad at putting up pics sometimes. Socks! For me! And for a little one. The little green ones I put away for now, but one day....


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Batt Making, from wool to spinable!

Llanwenog wool; traded with Kristen for a couple more interesting wools. It came washed, but jumbled. A short stapled, more downy type wool, this was not going to work with the Flick carder or combs. So. What to do?

Step 1, dye! Wilton's icing dyes and white vinegar, a little time in the oven, and pink-purples-blues and pretty.

Step 2, borrow a drum carder from my friend Pam up the road.

Step 3, card the wool like a maniac into lovely, spinable batts!

I didn't weight these yet, I should. But I have 5 batts, all slightly different, but enough similarities that when I spin them up, they'll be coordinated.

Too bad pink isn't my favorite color...but I'm in it for the fiber experience. If I end up not loving the end yarn in its pinkness, I know people who do!

Now....time to spin!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Purple Trekking (78) Socks!

Thanks to Susann, who sent me this sock yarn, I now have a new favorite pair of handknit socks.

Knit on 2.5 mm needles, Garter Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Cuff down, slip stitch heel. They fit me perfect.

I knit these socks while I was worried to death, while I cried, when I needed something to do with my hands to calm my head. It worked.


Friday, May 04, 2007

More Spinny goodness!

The RED red RED is from Spinndiva too! I'm not sure what it is...all I know, is it's red, and maybe has some mohair in it...and it's mostly wool, and I love it.

The single, all wound and ready to ply.

Plied and tied.

A light fingering weight or heavy lace yarn. About the same as the Jamieson and Smith 2-ply lace weight.

Enough I think for a lace scarf, one of the ones in Victorian Lace today I think!

And....THANK YOU ANGELA! Last week this amazing box came from Fair Isle, land of the slow mail.

Three kinds of lovely spinning fibers, all handpainted by Angela, I'm sure! 2 sock patterns, and some LL yarn to knit a pair with, a beautiful baby shawl pattern and the Shetland laceweight to knit it with, and a wonderful little book of the traditional Shetland spinning and knitting. Thank-you!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Two more for the blanket

The brown is Manx Loaghtan wool, Navajo plied. The ivory is Norfolk Horn wool, 2-plied. Both are part of the Brit rare breed wools that will go into the eventual blanket project.

I have 4 more Brit wool to sample for the blanket, but I think I'll throw in all my interesting breed wools and make a bigger blanket, so I might be spinning them a while yet.

I carded these wools into batts with a Louet hand drumcarder that I borrowed from my friend Pam. I love it. I really want a carder now. I love flicking locks and handcombing, but some of the short stapled downier wools, or parts of the fleece that didn't wash and retain lock structure really benefit from carding. should see how cool dyed locks look carded up! I'm working on that now...

Thank-you. You know who you are. Hugs.

See how gorgeous?