Friday, January 26, 2024

Setting the stage

The first of my mini-orchid's buds started opening today, and for some reason this prompted a very limited 'spring cleaning.' I moved everything off the top of the antique pie safe, dusted it, and shook out the doily. Then I replaced only the pots containing living plants and some of the decorative items in such a way as to leave the photo from a blogpal unobstructed. As good as this made me feel, you'd think I'd be motivated to tackle the rest of the house  in like manner! Alas, the house is a 'BIG elephant' – but I will continue to try and eat it, one bite at a time....

In other riveting news from the 'funny fiber farm,' I finished spinning the first half of the Bay Breeze top, wove rug #2 (awaiting hemstitching), fixed another escape route Bijou found, looked beyond the mud to admire my surroundings, and watched Poppy watching birds. I think she views them as flying rodents – especially the Eurasian collared doves!

That's a chickadee on the window screen!

That's it for this week at . . .

Thursday, January 18, 2024

FOs and moving on

In this case, FO stand for both Finished Object and Frozen Objects. We survived the Arctic Blast that brought snow, cold, wind, and freezing rain with nary a broken pipe, tree damage, or a sustained power outage, and for that we are thankful. In fact, the only weather-related mishap was my slipping on ice-disguised-as-snow outside the post office Tuesday. My right hip was the point of impact and is still very tender, but that's it. Good thing, too, as someone had to make frequent trips to the henhouse and barn to swap out frozen founts and buckets, bust ice in the horses' tank, fuel everyone's internal combustion engines with food, carry wood from the woodshed to keep the fire stoked, and eventually shovel all the heavy slush off the concrete walkways. (Even thought both males were home most of the week due to holiday and weather, Brian mostly holed up in his room and Rick is doing little because of a very painful shoulder.)
initial snow

keeping the overwintering hummers alive
I also fed the seed-eaters (while freezing rain accumulated)
had to borrow Rick's Snowtrax to stay upright on this!
minimizing skin exposure during the bitter cold
The horses enjoyed their snowy turnout in different ways:
eating it

rolling in it
playing on it
The dogs, on the other hand, did their outdoor business quickly and came back in to warm up, play, watch "Birdfeeder TV," and nap:

In the Finished Object category, I present my third weaving project:
I sat down Friday night and wove this in one sitting. It took me several days more to brave the cold bonus room to hemstitch and cut it off the loom, and it still needs to be fulled. But I've forged ahead with winding another full-width warp using some coarse, natural wool yarn I've had for years to weave another rug, and this time I might even venture beyond plain tabby!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, January 12, 2024

Woollies, weaving, and weather

Last weekend I kept finding Bijou running loose, trying to get in with the girls. Sunday morning he was waiting outside the Sheep Sheraton for them. It had finally stopped raining, so I prepared to put him back with the other two boys and then wait and watch to see where he was getting out. As I led him back towards the Ram-ada Inn I saw that Sanson was also out. Since Sanson is not as approachable as Bijou is, I decided to change Bijou's too-small coat for a roomier one in the barn aisle before tackling the problem – which worked out great because Sanson joined us in the barn where it was easy to slip a halter on him. (And yes, I found and fixed the 'escape route.')

I was delighted to see that Bijou is solid black under his coat; some gulmoget-patterned sheep have lighter sides which isn't as desirable. And his fleece is very crimpy and soft; the photo was taken at the standard last rib, mid-side spot. I sent those photos off to the breeder from whom I got his sire Spot, and she wants him for next winter's breeding season. We will most likely trade sheep, but what I get in return will be determined by the lambs we each get this spring/summer (she breeds later than I do). I am convinced that Bridget, Bijou's 'fall fling,' and Blaise, Bijou's dam and Bench's 'fall fling,' are pregnant; Boop and Broadway, who were with Sanson, aren't giving anything away yet.

Also on Sunday I wound the rest of the warp on my warping board, having already wrapped and removed 100 strands to lease sticks. On Wednesday my weaving mentor friend came over to help me get set up to warp my loom. By the time I fell into bed that night, the full width of my little loom was warped, tied, and ready to start weaving a rug; exciting! It's still waiting for weft, but this (and my current spinning project) will be good inclement weather projects. Like much of the country we are expecting severe weather this weekend and beyond, but what is severe for us is pretty moderate, considering. This morning I took a screenshot of our 10-day forecast, and then took a look at the weather in Lincoln, NE, which is where my sister lives. That prompted a text exchange; they got 11" of snow overnight with more expected today, and future windchills of up to -50F are predicted. BRRR!!!

That's it from already icy . . .

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Ending – or is it beginning? – as I mean to go on

Either way I'm covered as I got to ride Stella on both the last day of 2023 and the first day of 2024.

I grabbed some fresh fiber for the new year and started spinning it on the 1st. I'm trying to keep a tight twist, because with the silk content this should make a nice weaving yarn.

On December 31, my former partner in many a New Year's Day ride (who no longer rides) texted me about having some "New Years-ish" agility fun. We compared schedules and she booked us an hour on January 3 at a facility of which she is a founding member. Poppy and Bonnie romped with each other and sampled some agility obstacles; I think with Poppy's help, nine-month-old Bonnie is now thoroughly comfortable with tunnels!
riding in style

had to take advantage of their great 'photo booth'
I don't have anything on the loom yet, but am in the process of winding cotton twine for a full-width warp. I'll use more of the natural-dyed wool yarn I got through a Freecycle ad to make a rug, which may end up as a wedding present for my MIL.

On the agenda for tomorrow is taking down the Christmas tree and cleaning the fireplace and chimney. It wasn't drawing well while family was here and thoroughly smoked up the house several times after that, so we finally let the fire go out. We're using the heat pump and lap blankets, but we all (humans and dogs) miss the cozy warmth of wood heat. Oh, and the new season of All Creatures Great and Small starts tomorrow on PBS!

That's it for the first post of 2024 from . . .