Sunday, February 28, 2010


(Like my "gold medal"?)

Yes, I am a proud, first-time knitting Olympian! I even finished my vest BEFORE the closing ceremonies. Since I know what you're most interested in, here it is – my completed Olympic event:(I'll work on getting a un-overexposed photo of me wearing it.)

Overall I'm pleased, although I would prefer it a little longer. But even if I was a good enough knitter to have figured that out along the way, I wouldn't have had enough yarn for a longer vest. See that teeny-tiny ball of yarn over on the right? That's what's left. Whew!

I had the perfect buttons for this vest in my little button stash, too, thanks to a sale at a local merchant's some time ago.

It IS an exhilarating feeling, standing up here on the podium. Even though I had a lot of other things on my plate (yes, friends, even more than usual) during the Olympics, I persevered. Victory is sweet!

That's it for now from . . .

I THINK I can, I THINK I can....

Stay tuned!

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Lean on me..."

My favorite dogs, reminding me of one of my favorite songs. I sure wish I had their time to relax. Right now, when I'd like to be able to just sit and knit, I am juggling several clients' jobs along with my homeschooling, housewiving and animal caretaking duties. Meanwhile, my husband's work is so slow that he's spending much of his time at home. Helpful? Not.

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Down to the wire

Last night I finished the left front vest panel, and then with baited breath, weighed both it and the remaining yarn. The finished vest panel weighed 110 grams, and the yarn - 130 grams. WooHoo! Mama's going to have a vest without ripping out the back! I promptly cast on the right front vest panel. I still don't think there's any chance of my finishing this by closing ceremonies, but I will be wearing this vest sooner rather than later all because I strived for Olympic gold.

And just because I like it, here's a close-up of our birch tree:
That's it for now at . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Action shots!

Courtesy of the extra help we had!

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Looking under the covers

Shetland sheep are in their glory fully fleeced, but it IS nice to get the coats and wool off them once a year to see what they really look like. How are the ewes' "baby bumps" growing? How are the yearlings developing? Are the boys in good condition? Yesterday was the day to find out!

The people who bought two fiber pets from me last year wanted to see what shearing was all about before they take the plunge with their own flock of eight (Beau and Boo were just the beginning!). They were willing to lend a hand, too, so I put them to work cleaning off the worst of the debris before shearing and helping stuff fleece into pre-labeled bags. At my request, my shearer again used goat combs, but he still nicked Dinah's ear for some dramatic blood-letting. Fortunately Rick and his truck were on hand so we got it under control with some blood-stopping agent on gauze. Braveheart was in the rise and didn't shear off nicely this year; I'll have to trim a layer of old fleece off once the new fleece grows a bit. Hopefully his clip isn't too butchered! Both gully girls, Bramble and Bronwen, were "sticky," so we made the decision to hold off on them and not risk ruining those lovely lamb fleeces. Blackberry had rooed everything that is normally skirted off but the main clip was still holding tight. My shearer told me not to look and pulled out the nine-tooth comb; the fleece came off nicely with that. Should have used the nine-tooth on Braveheart! Katie, Brava, and Browning sheared easily, revealing good condition underneath lovely fleeces. It's kind of like getting a beautifully wrapped present; you enjoy the outside and what's inside!

Below are my "quick and dirty" shearing-day photos. Don't look at toes; pedicures are on my list! At least I got Rick to get out the OB wire so we could trim back Blackberry's tight little scurs. (If you hold your cursor over the photos, I think the name of the sheep will show up.)
Rain moved in overnight; almost a day earlier than forecast. That makes for milder nights but cooler days than the clear days with sunshine we've been enjoying; this morning Brava and Katie were shivering in their coats.
That's it for now at . . .

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weather forecast:

Overnight frost with afternoon fleece.

But first, a word from our sponsor.

That would be me, aspiring Olympic knitter. I'm trying to convince myself that it is an honor just to compete, since I am not likely to medal, but I'm afraid I'm a tough sell. :-)

Here is the progress to date. The back:
The first (left) vest panel I started and set aside:
The second (also left) vest panel I am working on, one cable pattern repeat done:I was going to try to create a mirror-image of the first, which didn't match the pattern. Might have worked if I had followed the directions for the right vest point! Oh well, I figured out not only the mistake in the pattern that threw me off on the first attempt, I figured out why I was having such a wrestling match following the instructions for turning (shaping the point) and did them correctly the second time - SO much easier!

I'm already into my second ball of yarn on the left front vest, so I don't see much chance I'll be able to do both with 4 1/2 balls of yarn. If I can't, I'll have to rip out the back and figure out a way to incorporate the two skeins of lighter grey in reconstructing it.

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Do you see what I see?

First daffodil:
First flowering tree:
Promise of more blooms to come:
It's so nice to have a camera in hand again - and just in time for shearing tomorrow! Say good-bye to woolly sheep:
That's it for now at . . .

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hijinks and head-banging

You would have loved the photos I could have taken today. All the sheepies got to go play in the green grass and warm sunshine while I worked Russell, even the rams. There were "lamb" races and bucking "broncos," and rub-a-dub-dub, two "lambs" in a tub, just like they did when they were little. (Click on that link for a lamb fix from last year.)

I put Braveheart and Blackberry in the long, narrow pocket pasture between the horse paddocks and arena, where they could eat green grass and see the girls - and I could keep a close eye on them. I almost turned both loose, but then thought better of it and looped Braveheart's leash over a t-post. It was the perfect solution; they could spar some, but Blackberry could back off and wander away to eat grass or butt at Browning through the fence instead of getting chased and pummeled by a mature ram who is probably twice his weight. I was going to finish rooing Blackberry today but ran out of time; that has been moved to Sunday's to-do list.

Our weather has been unbelievably beautiful - definitely spring-like. I hope it doesn't turn dramatically colder after the sheep are sheared on Monday, but that would be par for the course, wouldn't it?

Olympic knitting progress: one front vest point shaped, and cable pattern started. But somewhere along the way I got off track, and don't have the correct number of stitches on either side of the cable panel. Probably because I was knitting in the truck on the way to look at the car we ended up buying and then afterwards last night while I had a panic attack over buying the car. I think I'll start the right front vest and see if I can make it a mirror image of the started left side; if not, I'll keep knitting the right side and rip back the left side.

Camera update: I should be able to pick it up Sunday afternoon. I'm in photography withdrawal!

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Camera, come home!

I have learned that my trusty little Fujifilm is locked in the supply closet at the church where we hold the homeschooling co-op; I'm hoping I can free it before next Wednesday. After all, I have Olympic progress to show you, and shearing is next Monday, and there's a bright blue patch of sunshine sitting in my garage, and - what? Did you say something?

That's it for now at . . .

No-photo finish

Last night I pushed through the weariness and pain to successfully complete the first leg of my Olympic event; I finished and cast off the back of my vest. It took four and a half skeins of yarn, fully half of the nine skeins it calls for (and all I have). Before going to bed I pored over the instructions for the vest fronts to see if my vague ideas for incorporating the two lighter grey skeins would work. Not only could I not figure out how to do that, I wasn't at all sure I understood all the instructions, period! So I'm as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof, needing to cast on the complicated left front today if I have any hope of medaling but not at all sure I won't end up with one front shoulder in a different color of yarn - if I can figure out the instructions at all.

And no, I haven't heard a word about my camera. :-(

Last night's sunset was breathtaking. You'll have to take my word for it.

That's it for now at . . .

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Sara over at Punkin's Patch mentioned that she re-knit most of what she'd had to frog of her Olympic "event" while watching the biathalon yesterday. Yeah, well, now I know why carrying a gun while knitting could come in handy, Sara. All the better to SHOOT oneself with should you lose your CAMERA!

Today I took it all with me to our weekly homeschooling cooperative - laptop (to meet a client's deadline), knitting (I'm an Olympian, remember?), and my camera, in case all of the knitters and crocheters showed up during my free period today with their projects. (This is as close as I've come to any sort of "knitting group," and I wanted to document it.) They didn't, so I never took out my camera to my knowledge, but it's not in my knitting bag now. ARGGGGG!

I just hope someone picked it up so I can claim it from lost and found next week - like they did last week when I left my reading glasses there. (If you sense a trend, keep it to yourself.)

That's it for now from . . .

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My day

"Meadow rats" along the lane leading to our house this afternoon.

I need to clean the leaves out of my flowerbeds!

My sister and her husband flew home today; Oregon gave them a sunshiny good-bye kiss to make them want the job Kristine interviewed for that much more. She might know by the end of the week!

I received this lovely gift today in addition to the purple croci near my front door. Awhile back I won a drawing on Tina's blog, and for that she sent me a personal tea party! Not only is the Earl Grey decaffeinated, the cookies are my favorite from childhood when my grandma used to make them, and since I didn't make any last Christmas, it feels like forever since I've enjoyed any. The chocolates are from a shop near Tina, and were (yes, I said "were;" wanna make something of it? :-) heavenly. Thank-you so much, Tina!

I haven't had much time to knit in the last 24 hours, but did finally reach the underarm shaping on the back of my vest. I'll take another photo after whatever I can add to it tonight. Since I do have two skeins of a lighter grey in the same yarn, I'm sure I can attractively incorporate those somehow to finish it should I run out of the dye lot I started with. Knit on!

That's it for now from . . .