Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

If you're a knitter, my favorite designer is hosting a special Easter Egg Hunt. Check it out!

Off to enjoy a beautiful day at . . .

Friday, March 29, 2013

Roo, roo, roo your sheep...

...not so gently it would seem. :-/

Yesterday Brian had an outing with a friend so I ambitiously thought I could roo a couple sheep and take my horse for a lovely ride over the hillside. Five hours later I had ONE sheep de-fleeced. Period.

I didn't notice a rise in Sarai's fleece last year, but this year she started to get loose around the edges and I was able to roo her mid-side sample for micron testing. Hoping that she would be easier to do than Cadbury (rooing his neck took me quite awhile), yesterday I started with her. Her neck wool was pretty tight, so I decided to pull her coat up (I thought covering her head would keep her calmer, and contain the VM in her neck wool) and start with the clean fleece.
Mid-side, last rib; such gorgeous fleece!
The wool on her shoulders was pretty tight. Rooed wool comes off much fluffier than sheared wool; a little area yields a big 'cloud' (which made me want to start spinning immediately)!

When I got to her topline, there was a visible rise, and the wool released more easily there, giving both of us a bit of a break.

I plowed a 'furrow,'

and proceeded from there.

By the time I finished her body, neither of us were up to me trying to roo her neck, so I just scissor-sheared it – which allows me to show you the difference in appearance between a rooed sheep (on the left) and a sheared sheep (on the right):

It may have been a rather miserable marathon of a job, but what a lovely result!
Of course, WhitePine Sarai is a lovely ewe, an outstanding example of what a Shetland should be and representative of what Garrett produces. Now if only she will produce some ewe lambs for me!

One rooed, more to go at . . .

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Puffy clouds

and below...
Those puffy sheep-clouds should be de-puffed by this time next week. Sarai got de-puffed today, and I hope to finish de-puffing Cadbury on Sunday, along with scissor-shearing Bramble and testing a couple others for roo-ability before the shearer comes on Tuesday. We'll see; my fingers are sore after today's marathon session with Sarai! (I'll post photos of that tomorrow.)

That's it for today from . . .

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trip knitting report

Only one FO (finished object), but I made good progress on the other two WIP (works in progress) during my trip:
All done but the ends to weave in; one gift checked off the Christmas list!
Got the headband done on this hat but for joining in kitchener stitch
Almost done with the gusset on the slooow socks!

I haven't knit since I got home. Yesterday, as I said, was a long slog with Brian. Today is going better; we spent most of the morning doing chores and then cleaning up the island bed, raking leaves, weeding, and spreading out the load of compost Rick dumped in one spot last fall. Brian was a good helper, and things look much better out there now. We'll see how schoolwork goes....

Here are some glimpses of new beauty from around the place:
Happy Spring, from . . .

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A bumpy landing

Oh, not yesterday. Yesterday's flights were great from beginning to end!

I was on the same plane from Dallas to Portland, but it made a stop in Kansas City, MO. What a difference a week made! When I flew through KCI last Tuesday, the landscape was a typical winter tan. Yesterday it looked like a Currier and Ives print! (Sorry for the poor photo quality; I was shooting through the plane windows.)
From the runway
After take-off
From KCI I had a window seat and my camera in my carry-on. I never take a window seat anymore; I'm just not willing to make two other people get up if I need to use the restroom, and if Brian is with me, he always wants the window seat. But after most of the passengers deplaned at KCI, those of us continuing on to Portland were allowed to choose new seats, and I decided to grab the available bulkhead window seat, stashing my knitting bag above and sitting down with just one project and my needles for take-off (oh, and my camera, which I tucked down between my seat and the wall). A man took the aisle seat, practically giddy with getting a seat with extra legroom. Then a LARGE man – 6'5" and probably 350 pounds – wedged himself into the middle seat, apologizing for his size but also grateful to have the extra legroom. The man in the aisle seat made some noises and then left, finding himself one of the 25 available seats on that flight, which allowed the big man to move over and giving him and me space aplenty. We chatted pleasantly and both enjoyed the often-snowy scenery out the windows.
Crop circles give way to more rugged terrain
Wooded ravines look like fern fronds
Lakes in liquid, semi-liquid and frozen states
Pointy peaks
Snowy bluffs
The Tetons aren't called "Grand" for nothing!
More "grand"eur

As we approached Portland, we had a soul-soaring view of its glorious landmark, Mt. Hood.

My guys picked me up and whisked me home to an excited pair of doggies. The house was as is to be expected with two guys batching it; no big surprise there. The bumpy part came when I picked up the reins as homeschooling mother today. After getting to slack off for a week, Brian was none too cooperative. He balked and complained and argued, making every subject take longer than usual and trying my patience every which way from Sunday. But I survived it, and tomorrow should go a little smoother. I hope.

That's it from my first day home at . . .

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The last; the best

This house is just two short blocks from Faith House. The first time I saw it was at dusk; a bad time to take photos but a lovely time to admire the light glowing from within, especially through the faceted glass of the front door and transoms. In fact, I was so captivated by the beauty of the house that I didn't really notice the amazing live oak trees in the front yard!

I went back this morning to take pictures. I love everything about this house from the outside. Doesn't that room above the covered drive-through look like it would be full of light and perfect for a studio? If I could pick up this corner lot, with its house and amazing trees, and plop it on 20 acres set up for horses, I would be in heaven! (Which is probably a good reason not to have it – I don't want to get too comfortable on this ol' earth!)

On the short walk back to Faith House this morning after photographing my favorite house, I focused on a white-winged dove. I was hoping to catch bursting into flight, flashing its white-barred wings and tail, but am pretty pleased with the detail these show; such subtle but beautiful colors.

We left Houston this afternoon and are staying in Corsicana tonight. I fly home tomorrow from Dallas and will probably be in frantic catch-up mode for several days. The spring term of our homeschool co-op starts on Wednesday and I am teaching Textiles 101 again!

Next post will be from . . .

Saturday, March 23, 2013

More localized sightseeing

We didn't venture far from Faith House yesterday after all; it was a bit of a rough patch on the road to recovery. BUT! The good news is that today my dad is feeling markedly better! He didn't go to church with Mom and me this morning, but wants to go back to the church with us this evening for a Jaime Jorge concert. (Brian will be jealous; he had Jaime sign his violin case a few years back when Jaime gave a concert at our church.)

Yesterday I did walk through more of the local neighborhoods (this is technically Bellaire), though, once with my mom and once by myself. Here are some more lovely homes and flowers I've enjoyed.

There was a dove on a nest in this bottlebrush tree

Tomorrow we plan to leave Houston and head northward. More later!