Thursday, July 12, 2018

So much for succinct!

 On Tuesday I planned to do a short and sweet post yesterday titled "Red Wednesday" with those photos, but so much has been going on that I had to stop and catch my breath, then regroup.

The trackhoe has been hard at work since Tuesday piling all the boulders and all the brush and blackberry vines into separate piles. Part of piling the latter includes shaking each "bite" to dislodge as much dirt as possible, which a steady north breeze/wind (an unusual direction for wind here) is blowing right at us. Even though I'm keeping the windows closed, there is a heavy layer of dust on all surfaces inside as well as out. That north wind also blew the clouds away and a heat wave in by yesterday, so at least the A/C (heat pump) is on during the day now to make up for the closed windows.
several piles on Tuesday
consolidating piles

the dirt-breathing monster

Hope the wind isn't blowing our way when they light those brush piles!

With the heat blasting us, keeping the garden watered and the berries picked is critical. Yesterday we put 10 or 11 containers of marionberries, boysenberries and raspberries in the freezer. I had already picked most of the red currants; I'm afraid the white currants may shrivel on the bush before they fully ripen. The vegetable garden all looks happy, though; maybe those tomatoes will actually turn red! The grass, however, has almost all turned brown, a seasonal phenomenon that always surprises those who think the Pacific Northwest is always rainy and green.
Jackson's way to beat the heat

Yesterday was also busy on the fleece and fleece producers front. I got a call out of the blue from an acquaintance I haven't talked to in ages, asking if I had any available sheep. She's looking for a wether and two ewes; before she comes out Sunday, I've got to make the difficult decision of who I'm willing to sell, besides the obvious choice of Bogie. Problem is, I'm pretty happy with all my ewes as proven or prospective fine-fleeced Shetland breeding stock! But I can't breed when I have this many sheep, so.... The ewes that would be easier to part with aren't as friendly, but she wants friendly sheep to join her one remaining, very friendly, wether. I've also been thinking that I should let Blaise go to the breeder who has wanted her for the last two years. Selling five sheep (counting Butler) might give me the option of breeding Sarai and Vienna to Blake again this fall....

Then yesterday evening I got a message on Ravelry from the person who bought Bittersweet's fleece. She (and her co-workers at the fiber mill where she works part-time) just love his fleece, so she wanted to know what else I had. Waiting to hear if the last of my fleeces will be flying out the door together!

So far I've kept up with spinning every day on the Tour de Fleece. I'm making lots of progress on Braveheart's roving with the miniSpinner, mostly at night, although that's not the best time of day to monkey-pick out debris (this fleece came from the days before sheep suits).

I'm doing less spinning and more photo ops with my horn spindle because of the Jenkins team challenge to try and spin in a different, distinct place each day. Five days in; so far, so good. Tomorrow I may have to walk down to the neighboring winery for a new location, as I've already used up the options of my house (inside and outside).

Seeing what others are doing for TdF is inspiring. Sara turned the trashy neck wool from one of her sheep into gorgeousness. Makes me want a set of wool combs to salvage something from my flock's trashy neck fleeces. I'm seriously considering these; what do you think? Would I use them? Would I hurt myself with them?

That's it for now from . . .


Michelle said...

Back to commenting first so I get your comments in my inbox!

Theresa said...

I have a pair of Louet combs, but I'm not sure they would be what you want. We are hot here too. UGH!

Claire MW said...

Wow, what a busy post! Our blackberries have just begun to flower this past week, but my red currants are almost turning red. The bush is new so it's not a real "harvest" - just a handful! Tough decision about selling your sheep!

Retired Knitter said...

Love those pictures of spinning in different areas. Cute and great fun!

Mama Pea said...

What a busy, busy lady you are! When do you have the time to think?

Ugh, all that dirt and dust from the clearing next door. I would go mad trying to keep it out of the house. Plus, your garden harvests have got to be getting covered with it, too. Arrrrgh! Really too bad the construction couldn't have happened during a rainy period so you wouldn't be receiving all the flack in the form of dirt wafting through the air.

Good luck with your thinning of the flock! The upside is that you will be free to breed again!

Mokihana said...

I sure wouldn't want that monster next door, especially in this heat. Oh my gosh, it's hot. And all that dust you're dealing with... no fun at all.

Your spinning looks wonderful, and so do your flowers and garden.

Combs? I guess for me it'd depend how much other spinning I have to do. The yarn from the neck fleece is lovely for sure, but with so much really nice fleece from your sheep you have, I'm not sure I'd want to go to the effort. Of course, there is that matter of using up all your fleece, too, being thrifty and all that. I would probably have puncture wounds all over my hands if I had combs, but they sure do make for a lovely spinning experience!

Susan said...

I think I would trot next door and ask them to NOT start brush fires when the wind is blowing in your direction - or at all, since it's hot and dry. I find the fact that they disregard you while flinging dirt in your direction appalling! Sounds like you have a great chance to create more beautiful lambs! I know it's hard to part with your ewes (or wethers/rams) because they are so much a part of your life. You will make the best decision possible.

Susan said...

P.S. After facing the copious amounts of VM in my fleeces, I am contemplating getting a pair of combs, too. I just hope I don't turn skirting and cleaning fleeces into Nightmare on Elm Street VIII...