Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sock Summit Sunday!

This morning I got up and did chores early, hopped in the car and headed to the Portland Convention Center, picking up a friend from church along the way. When she asked me if I'd heard of Sock Summit and wondered if I might want to ride up together, I was surprised - and thrilled! We chatted all the way there (and back), found a free parking spot (in the shade!) and headed in.

It was much more fun to go with a friend than to go solo like I did in 2009! We watched the sheep being shorn for the Fleece to Foot competition, and went back later to check the six teams' progress. We worked the Marketplace systematically from one end to another, letting our fingers and eyes feast on the fibers, yarn and other goodies. I had offered my services to Wanda and Ed should they need a break from their Jenkins Woodworking booth, but they didn't need me.

And I didn't need another Turkish spindle - so how did this ziricote Lark/Jay follow me home? I also bought some lip balm, but beyond that I was really good, keeping the yarn and fiber at home very much in mind.

Just before we left, I tracked my friend down in a booth after losing sight of her for a few minutes. She was admiring some beauteous batts, and when I walked up, she said they were half price! So after hours of restraint, we walked out with two batts each - which I didn't think was too bad at all, considering the damage we could have done there. Heh. Here are mine:
On the left is 5 oz. of Corriedale/bamboo in an unnamed limited edition colorway, and on the right is 4.2 oz. of 75/25 merino/bamboo (and some Firestar) in "Ty's Mountain Berries."

BTW, last night I found several home videos of the Sock Summit flash mob; what a hoot! Here are a couple of good ones:

That's it for today from . . .

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Divine date

Happy Sabbath from . . .

Friday, July 29, 2011

Flock Friday

I've featured all my sheep on my blog at one time or another, but occasionally I get a question from a reader on just who I have now. There have been a number of transitions here this year, so I thought I'd put all the current sheep together in one post for those of you who are curious, and for my own record-keeping. I didn't try for conformation shots; for the most part these are "just" meet-the-flock photos, from youngest to oldest. (Names or sire/dam names are hot links to NASSA pedigree pages.)

Bart, twin grey bersugget half-poll ramling (Blake x Annabelle). For sale as a ram prospect until wethered for a fiber pet - preferrably the latter as I've been giving him lots of scritches with "pet" in mind, and he likes it. Gorgeous fleece along with nice everything else.

Boulderneigh Bonny, single musket gulmoget ewe lamb. For sale; 2012 fleece reserved if she doesn't sell first. This is the first Boulderneigh lamb out of two Boulderneigh-prefix parents; she has fantastic conformation and dense, soft, long fleece (it remains to be seen how fine it is). She's a real sweetheart, too!

Kimberwood Marta, unproven yearling black gulmoget ewe. Very refined ewe with soft fleece and excellent micron test results. Will be bred this fall to Bunker.

WhitePine Sarai, unproven yearling black katmoget ewe. SO straight and square, with extremely soft fleece (not tested yet). I've wanted a katmoget ewe for a long time; Sarai was worth waiting for! Will be bred this fall to Bunker.

Kimberwood Cadbury, unproven moorit gulmoget half-poll ram. Even softer and finer than his half-sister Marta. I hope he crosses well with Annaebelle, who is very different in type.

Whistlestop Bunker, unproven yearling white half-poll ram. The buyer of his 2011 fleece has reserved his 2012 fleece; said it was "the most beautiful fleece in the world . . . the lightest, softest, most perfect fleece that I have ever felt. Sheer joy!"

Boulderneigh Blake, proven yearling musket smooth-poll ram. Will probably sit out the 2011 breeding season so I can see what the other two rams can produce. The buyer of his 2011 fleece has reserved his 2012 fleece; said it was "so fine and crimpy, sooo different from Shetland roving I have bought in the past."

Boulderneigh Bramble, unproven two-year-old fawn gulmoget ewe. Didn't settle last year. Have been planning to put her with Bunker (in order to up the odds of discovering whether he's Awt/Awt) but Blake is proven so he may be the better choice to up her odds of getting pregnant. But I think Cadbury would give me the best lambs from her. I've got to decide which goal is most important!

Browning, three-year-old moorit iset wether (Braveheart x Dinah). Brian's sheep.

Whistlestop 0338 AI (Annabelle), proven eight-year-old white half-poll ewe. Will be bred this fall to Cadbury. Buyer of her 2011 fleece has reserved her 2012 fleece. She came wild and unhandled; now she is my friend. (-:

Kaleidoscope Holly Orchid, ten-year-old black half-poll ewe. Retired - and tired.

BTW, can you name the two sheep currently in my flock who are also in my header photo?

That's the flock – for now – at . . .

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hat helper

During my MIL's visit (she left yesterday), she announced that she wanted me to teach her to knit. I thought she once knew how, but she is fairly certain that she has only crocheted. She is part of a group of ladies in her church who make baby hats for charity, and she wanted to try her hand at knitting some. So she brought yarn and a pattern, and I provided Addi Turbos and some instruction. We spent some pleasant evenings knitting together, she on her hat

and me on mine.

She made notable progress on proficiency while she was here, and I realized how far my knitting skills have come in just a few short years. Not that I am anywhere near the knitter that Laura is (she invented the formula for the hat I'm working on), but I've come a long way, baby! Last night I finished my hat, which I'm calling the "Crown Roast" -
I'm not sure how to finish the top. I could just weave in the ends, or use them to curl some of the little i-cords into circles or curliques - or what? Ideas?

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tour de Fleece, 2011

This photo represents my first Tour de Fleece efforts. The front skein is 150 yards of two-ply, spun and plied on the three Turkish spindles shown from Inky's roving for Teams Spindlers, My Favorite Sheep, and Shetlands (51 grams). The middle skein and the back skein were both spun and plied on my Hansen miniSpinner from fiber purchased from Corgi Hill Farm for Teams Footloose and Corgi. The middle skein is 231 yards of two-ply 50/50 camel/silk (two ounces), and the back skein is 560 yards of two-ply 70/30 merino/silk (four ounces). I'm very satisfied with my results, even though I think I'll run the back skein through the miniSpinner again to add more twist, and need to spin coordinating fibers for the front two skeins for the knitting projects I have planned for them. The middle skein was a bonus; I wasn't planning to spin that fiber for the Tour but added it at the last minute when I finished the back skein ahead of schedule. Yeah me! Now, back to knitting my two WIPs - which werenot totally neglected during the Tour.

And here is a photo of the donor of wool for that black yarn:
Inky, aptly named for her color, still coal black at ten years of age. She gets to wander around and nibble at what pleases her for awhile in the mornings, since she is easy to catch and put in with the other ewes when I'm done with chores.

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The barn swallows have fledged! This morning the nest was empty but these two stragglers were still hanging out in the barn. Daddy kept swooping in and out, no doubt saying, "You don't get breakfast unless you leave the nursery!" I was worried about the one on the right; it's smaller and has more of a baby "clown-mouth;" I'm afraid it might not survive without more parental feeding to strengthen it. Nevertheless, both were gone by the time I was done with chores and messing with sheep. I'll give them the day to "get their wings" and hopefully join the natural-pesticide crew, then let Oreo out of the (very stinky) tackroom.

Rick's mom likes to time her visits during a fruit or flower season, since what we enjoy here varies vastly from what grows in Phoenix. She has not been disappointed; Friday and today we've all been busy picking, eating and preserving cherries and raspberries.
These are Bings (back) and Rainiers (front) from very young trees Rick planted. We'll probably enjoy all these fresh.

These are Royal Anns, also good eating but used commercially for maraschinos and canning. I have a dehydrator full of them, 20 pints in the freezer already, and many more to pit and preserve! Since I already have plenty of these canned, I will dry or freeze the rest of them.

I think we've caught up with the raspberries. I don't know how many containers we've put in the freezer already, and we're eating our fill.

Before my MIL leaves, we plan to pick blueberries at a you-pick farm. Ours aren't ready yet, nor are the bushes producing much.

This morning I was also looking ahead to next year's fleece harvest. It is time that the sheep go in the "sacrifice paddock" (the horses are already in theirs) so our pastures don't get overgrazed. Since the sheep's sacrifice lot is full of trees and shrubs, I wanted to get Bonny covered so she didn't fill her valuable lamb fleece with bits of bark, moss and twigs. First I tried to pick out most of the VM she had already collected. Her fleece has beautiful length, density, luster, and color change; I was glad to finally see some wave (technically "crimp" in fleece-speak) showing up as well, which a Shetland's fleece is supposed to have and makes for a yarn with "memory" (click to biggify the fleecy goodness):
Here is Bonny in front of the "old" ewes, Bramble, Inky and Annabelle. They didn't pay her any mind, but the new ewes, Sarai and especially Marta, were very interested in Bonny's new clothes!

Tomorrow, photos of my Tour de Fleece "harvest"!

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot music on a cool day

Brian and I picked up my MIL at the airport this morning, then drove straight back to McMinnville to catch what we could of the Brown Bag concert. The Pan Gypsies played "lively steel drum rhythms of the Caribbean," and didn't have to work up a sweat doing it this cool, breezy day. They solicited some new band members from the audience, and applauded the impromptu "dance troupe." What fun! I haven't been able to attend many of these concerts this summer, so it was a real treat.

Oh, a funny aside. At one point Brian said something like, "There sure are a lot of Mercedes lovers." What?
Then he pointed out the "Mercedes logos" - the one on the girl's shirt, and the one on a steel drum (click photos to biggify). When I realized what he was talking about, I had a hearty laugh over him thinking the peace symbol of my childhood was a Mercedes logo!

Brian and his grandma rode with Rick for the rest of the afternoon, so I came home and actually took a short nap. This is a rare event for me; I must have been tired. I know I've been going to bed too late, and sometimes wake up earlier than I'd like to.

When I woke up, I noticed Inky flat out in the pasture. She does this often, but it always makes my heart lurch. I kept an eye on her through various windows until I saw her flick an ear. Whew. She looked pretty stove up again upon rising, though; I think another dose of Banamine is in order tonight.

Enjoying the weather and flowers at . . .

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We are family...

...I got all my sisters with me!

Yep, all the ewes went out on pasture together today for the first time. Sarai and Marta flocked right up, in spite of "mean girl" Bramble (she's the primary reason Marta and Sarai get the corner suite at night).

None of the sheep seem to notice Marta's extra appendage, created in an effort to make her too-big coat fit better. I could paint it white and call her Marta Cottontail!

Inky is doing better. She looked so tough yesterday morning that I gave her a dose of Banamine paste along with a bit of GastroGard to protect her tummy (both left over from Russell's injury). Last night at chore time she acted almost spry, and this morning she was still looking better than usual. Hurray for better living through modern pharmacology!

The Tour de France/Fleece ends Sunday. I'm still plying my spindle-spun Inky singles, but I've already finished my goal for Teams Footloose and Corgi by spinning and plying the purple 70/30 merino/silk (lovely stuff!). So I decided to challenge myself and tackle one of the two colors of 50/50 camel/silk I got from Corgi Hill Farm with the miniSpinner. I'll either feel very victorious by the finish line, or crash and burn!

That's it for today from . . .