June 19, 2015

Spinning My Wheels


June is half over and I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels.  I finished a new pattern test knit, The Market Shawl, but I can't seem to get the time to photograph it so that I can post the pattern.  I have a new lace sweater design (it's fabulous in ever sense of the word!) but I'm just not making as much progress as I'd like there, either.  Those Jaywalkers have me in a tizzy, too.  At some point toward the beginning of the sock, I neglected to work 3 stitches together.  I have tinked back on that section 3 times now, repaired it, and worked it back to the current round, and it still looks wonky.  (Sigh.)  I had gotten halfway through my Pi Shawl for this year, and then the 2nd skein turned out to be in a different dye lot than the first--like they ran out of dye on the assembly line!--so I had to help Malabrigo out and re-dye it to sort of match--at least that's finally ready to go.  I've knit the back panel for a 2nd test knit for a fall/winter cardi that I've designed, but then it's gotten WAY TOO HOT to be working up a wool sweater, so that's just sitting there, taunting me.

I'm blaming my lack of progress on Mother Nature.  She can't seem to get her act together this year, and it's creating a phenomenally large amount of work for me.  Phenomenally large.

The garden is threatening to just flat out die on me.  What the heck?!  May was a drought. Hot, dry, ground cracked like we hadn't had water in 7 years. Then 2 weeks of reasonable weather with rain. Then, out of the blue, we get 3 weeks of no rain and 100 degree F. temperatures?! I've run the well dry nearly every day trying to keep the broccoli, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and garlic from burning up.  I think the corn, potatoes, and the garlic are going to lose the fight. Even those 1/2 dollar-sized blackberries are beginning to get scorch marks.  On top of that, we have the lambs.  I have always wanted lambs. It's a quaint bit of whimsy until you have them.

(Puck--front--& Pippi at 1 week)
3 have been no trouble at all, but the rejected one has been all kinds of a mess.  It's like having someone drop a newborn on your doorstep when you are in your 40s, and I have determined that this is not a scenario that suits me well.  Fortunately, we've moved past the 3 a.m. feedings; but now that Puck's 2 weeks old, we've moved into the toddler phase and he has a difficult time staying still. There's and awful lot of chewing on things, jumping, running, and leaping. His mother, Blanche, is the worst mother in the history of sheep. The absolute worst.  Not only does she still try to kill him, even through the fence, when I put him in the makeshift pasture pen that we have for him, which is next to hers so he can play with his sister, but now his sister Pippi has started acting like the bully that her mother is. This is nothing compared to the fact that he's had scours since day 3 and spent 48 hours in the vet emergency hospital (large animal emergency hospitals are NOT cheap, by the way) because his immune system didn't develop like it should have (because his mother is an embarrassment to nature and wouldn't feed him or cooperate on the milking front), so he almost died.  Now we are having to give him injections twice daily to build his immune system.  Meanwhile, he still has scours a bit, and he's eating me out of house and home!  The other twins, our unexpectedly grey and black twins, Bonnie & Clyde, are doing well, though the girl is a bit small and I have some concerns about that.  This lamb business has become a full-time job.

Bonnie--back--& Clyde at 3 days old
I've also been busy in the yarn realm.  I am SOOOOOOO excited that I finally got the bags of fleece out of the laundry room and on their way to Echoview Fiber Mill where, come September, they will be coming back to me in single ply, fingering weight skeins (think Tosh Merino Light) to be dyed and sold in the shop.  I decided to blend Oliver (Finn) with Stella and Blanche (Corriedale/Finn) for some super squishy yarn that works well for all sorts of projects. Cha-ching! Check that life goal off the bucket list!  From field to dye pot, I've "grown" my own yarn! Of course, I'm not waiting until September to add new yarn to the shop, so if you haven't been by the online shop, today would be a great day to do so.  I've added new colorways of Velvet as sort of an early fall preview (Badlands, Burlesque, and Davy Jones). They are quite stunning, if I do say so myself.

Badlands

Burlesque

Davy Jones
And there's the summer only line of Calliope, which is a fingering weight 100% unscoured/unbleached raw silk in some very pretty colors. I'll be putting just one or two more colors into the shop next week, but then that will be it for that line for the summer because it's getting difficult for me to get it from my supplier already to restock the colorways that have been selling out. So, you will want to get some of that before it's gone, too.

Cardinal

Cove

Flamingo

French Lilac

Jave

And while we are on the subject of yarn and spinning wheels, I had a request from a friend to post some pictures of my two spinning wheels, so here they are:

circa 1810 flax wheel

Kromski Sonata

Single Ply Silk/Wool Handspun
Of course, I haven't had any time AT ALL this year to spin on either wheel except to work up and dye 500 yards of llama/alpaca/merino for my mom for Mother's Day.  My wheels give me those sad puppy eyes every time I walk into my studio.





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