Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick sip of the State Fair

We spent all day there yesterday, and will go back again tomorrow. Today is feverishly full of client jobs, homeschooling duties, a sick dog and clinic payroll. But without a quick post I'll get too far behind, so I'm popping in to show you the results of my first knitted entries in anything:
Yep, two red ribbons. I had to look through the display cases twice before I found them, as both were in cases without lights and therefore on the dark side.

The cases were also in a different location. There seems to be less of many things entered this year, from quilts to veggies to livestock. One thing there was more of was the display by Far West Hatchery, the source of our Speckled Sussex and latest two Easter Eggers. Last year was their first year at the State Fair and they were very popular. This year the display was doubled to include not only young chicks but hatching eggs, and three big Robbins incubators. Terry (the owner) said fair management wants to double their display space again for next year, because it draws a lot of people to the Jackman-Long building who otherwise wouldn't venture in. Interest in home flocks is booming - a sign of our times, I think.

Brian's main interest was the BMX track, free for those who bring their own bikes and helmets. He visited two or three times yesterday, and plans to ride there more tomorrow. Biggify the first two photos below; a grandpa was there with his grandson, giving the young dogs a run for their money!

I'll share more when I can!

That's it for today from . . .

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guess where we went yesterday

Here's a hint:

Yesterday was the opening of Swan Island Dahlias' annual Dahlia Festival, so after church and potluck a small group of us drove over to oooh and ahhh over all the lovelies. We always feel like we get a tiny hint of what the Garden of Eden must have looked like when we visit a place like this - and there is an embarrassment of such riches in the Willamette Valley!
The photos above were taken outside in the display gardens and fields. The ones below were taken inside the display barn, all but the first one with available light.

I can't think of another flower that has the variety of colors, sizes and forms of the dahlia. At least when it comes to colors, they are the Shetland sheep of the flower world! (-;

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, August 26, 2011



That's it (for the tomatoes) for now from . . .

Spinning and knitting (no arachnophobes!)

I am busily knitting on my current WIP (work in progress), but each day, the urge to spin grows stronger. I have no shortage of fiber to play with, so why don't I "just do it"? I think it's because the "process spinner" in me is fighting with the "project spinner" in me. I used to just spin, spellbound by the process. Then I started thinking how fun it would be to knit with my homespun, but couldn't find projects that worked well with the yarn I'd spun so far. So fairly recently I have been spinning with projects in mind, and have several projects I want to spin for. But which fiber; which colorway to use? Romi is about to release the first pattern in her new ebook, so I mostly want to spin fingering weight (more or less) to use in those. (I'm going to have to outlive this current hot-flash stage in my life to have ANY urge to knit something bigger or heavier than a shawlette!)

This large installation has been hanging in the sheep fold for some time.
She's definitely a product spinner, using her homespun to fashion (spin? weave?) her "grocery store."
Here she is on a "support wire," for lack of a better term.

If you are an arachnophobe who made it this far, here is a more comfortable image to close with:

That's it for today from . . .

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Those eyes

Yesterday afternoon I took some time and sat in the shade of the wooded lot where the ewes spend their days. The first to approach was my sweet Bonny baby:
Sarai soon joined us. She has established her place in the flock and told Bonny to move along.
Bramble, the "boss ewe," came up next, but she was fine with sharing the shepherd. Timid Marta hung back a little...
(Inky and Annabelle busied themselves with hay in the background while all this was going on)
...but couldn't hold back for long. I just love friendly sheep! (-:

Of course, my sheep are more than just soft eyes and pretty faces. They grow wonderful wool which I harvest and use or sell, and I rarely resist a chance to admire the current "crop." I took a peek at Sarai's neck wool; oh my, look at that tiny crimp!
Since the neck wool of Shetlands is often the crimpiest, I peeked under her coat at low mid-side to compare:
Doesn't look much different there! Sarai is definitely the crimpiest sheep I've ever had (and soft-soft-soft), followed closely by Bunker. I have several different types of crimp in my little flock, and enjoy them all.

Shetland fleeces are supposed to be "wavy," according our 1927 breed standard. I misunderstood the meaning of that term at first, but it became plain when I saw photographs from the early 1900s. Check out the captions for this period photo, which shows locks from three different breeds, including a merino "with fine waves." Then check out this historic photo showing a Shetland lock with others. Yep, "wavy" in 1927 is what WE call crimpy today!

That's it for today from . . .