Friday, April 29, 2011

Off the Loom

Blocked and drying
Close up of colors
Well, I did get the shawl off the loom and I still can't decide if I like the colors or not!  It is nice and snuggy warm, which was my intent on that account.  It is a good 6 feet long, so plenty to cuddle up with.  I am just not so sure about the pattern.  Regardless, I am happy to be done.  Now I want to make one the same size in all natural shades of alpaca, in a planned and definite plaid pattern.  The problem with this piece was I was in arrears with the weft and had to replace my idea of the weft with a new design to accommodate my insufficient quantity of  colors.
Some of Gloria's alpacas
Today I am going off to the north to visit Glo as I need to get her the last fleece I washed.  Soon it will be time for shearing!  Hard to believe. It is a beautiful day after the storms of yesterday.  The drive up is just lovely as I have to go by several lakes.  We will spend time spinning and visiting, then she will feed me lunch.  Glo is one of the most generous, hospitable people I know.  So, off I go to have fun!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stormy Day

Rainy yard
Raindrops on driveway
Whew!  Wild and wet weather today.  It is really bad up north--roads washed away, schools closed, bridges out.  Daughter Becca has decided if Lake Champlain rises enough to close the road to her home, she will just come down here for the night.  She works on the Vermont side and lives on the New York side.  Kevin had to stay home from work as the girls did not have school again today, so he will be able to tell her if the road gets inundated. 
Bobbins ready for the shuttle

However, this makes it a very good day for indoor work. I wound my bobbins with the newly done yarn and will spend a happy morning weaving. 


Later on in the day I am going to go to a workshop sponsored by my hospice affiliation, RAVNAH, on Reiki.  I have always been interested in it and now I will be able to find out for myself what it is all about.  And not just take Annie's word for it that it is a whole lot of hooey.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

After Easter Musings

Cooking up a storm
Well, that was such a nice Easter weekend.  It was full of family and food. Lots of food.
Not anywhere near as hectic as when the children were young.  Now it is just as enjoyable, but in a different way.  We still go to Mass on Sunday and go over to visit Nain, only the car is not full of bouncy, sugar filled darlings.  Instead of staying there for our dinner, we come back to the house where we put dinner on for the family, my folks, and usually my sister and her husband.  We were only lacking Jesse who was in Madison roasting a chicken for his and Lisha's dinner.
Daffodils were blooming
It was a mild day, not sunny, but at least we could go out without a coat on.
Everyone was in a happy, mellow state of being.  We feasted on lamb, ham, scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, green beans, asparagus, rolls and assorted wines, beers and other adult beverages.

The trifle and the cheesecake turned out quite well.

The girls
We were able to send a lot of the leftovers home with the girls and the parents, so that we won't be eating them for the next week.
And after everyone had gone, we didn't do anything at all, which was nice.  Just relaxed and enjoyed the after glow.
But yesterday, I finished spinning my weft, so I will ply today and hope to be back weaving soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Moon

Full moon at spring equinox
I was pretty sure that the date for Easter was determined by the moon, and now I have the info down pat.   Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs after the spring equinox.  So, even though the moon was full just before the spring date of March 21, it has to happen after.  That is why Easter is so late this year.  Exactly why it was decided this way I haven't found out.  Just that it is this way.
Regardless, I am going to be spending the rest of the week cleaning and baking and getting ready to enjoy Easter dinner with my family.  Trying to figure out what we will eat--my Mom will bring ham and Jeff will cook lamb, so now to figure the rest of it.  Our 'traditional' dessert is trifle with raspberries and peaches.  Yumm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All's Well

Girls in their "aprons"
Wanting to keep you up to date on the Chicken home front.  Lil' Roxie has recovered quite well and is with the rest of the flock now.  She is wearing her hen apron, as are two others in the flock.  They seem to tolerate them well. I like them as they are definitely keeping their backs covered.  I had made little shoulder protectors to velcro to the apron to cover the bald spots on their "shoulders" on the tops of their wings, but the poor little hen I tested it on hated it, and Franklin actually grabbed hold of it and ripped it off, so I didn't put them on the others. 
Lovely blue to spin
Still have not finished spinning the weft colors as I am totally distracted with life right now.  The blue is really pretty, though.  Plus I want to wind balls of yarn for a sunny, summery shawl for a friend of mine who lives in Alaska.   It is her birthday this week.  I won't actually get it done in time, but it won't be too late, either.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicken Doctor

Healthy Lil' Roxie
Or, Doctor Chicken?  This time it is Lil' Roxie, the Plymouth Barred Rock.  Her name was originally "Nefertiti", but, after the passing of the first PBR, we just gave her the same name, only adding the "Lil'".  It's not like they come to their name when you call them!  At any rate, she was standing around, acting funny, yesterday evening and after much forum reading, I thought she might have 'prolapse'.  So this morning, armed with all the info, I brought her into the house to wash her off that I might properly diagnose it.  Ha!  Don't try this at home.  When The Husband, is home.  All was going well at the cleaned kitchen sink, when MacTavish decided to find out why there was a bird in the house.  That hen screeched and flew all over the counter, knocking Jeff's full coffee cup and scattering feathers like crazy.  (It would have been funnier if we'd both had had our coffee at that point).  After getting her into the bathroom I proceeded to mop up and soothe the Husband's ruffled feathers.   Then back to washing Lil' Roxie.  It turned out she had an egg that was somehow not going down the pike the way it should.  This was a soft shelled egg that she managed to expel.  Now the treatment is the same as for prolapse.  The Critical Care Unit is the greenhouse, since the weather is much warmer, where she is isolated until all traces of the problem are gone.
She already seems much happier. 
I have not done anything fiber related for days.  Except for the sock knitting at night.  Today is shaping up to be a lovely rainy April day, which gives me hope that after this morning's running around I will be able to get my spinning done so that I can get back to weaving.  I ran out of a few colors already, which doesn't bode well for getting the shawl off in a timely manner.  Since this is my own, self imposed, timely manner, I guess I shouldn't worry about that!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weaving Retro

Familiar to anyone?
This shawl I am working on reminds me of the sofas in the homes of my friends when I was but a young girl.  I think it is the tweedy look combined with the plaid factor.   Now, I don't think that it is a bad thing, just an observation on my part. At least it isn't in the colors of that time--orange, brown and tan! The overall effect is sort of gentle, if that is the right word.   I actually like this softer appearance.  It is not something that I expected.    For me, that is so much the fun and adventure of working with fiber---what will it look like when I am done? 
Hen aprons
The chickens are all dong well right now.  The other day I had an egg from every single hen.  That was nice!  The only  thing is, the rooster, in his amorous attentions, has made 4 of the hens very bald, right down to the skin, on their backs.  So, I have ordered, And Don't Laugh, 4 little hen "aprons" that will cover their bald spots until the feathers grow back. (Hen Saver) The thing is, if left bare, when he is, um, you-know-whating, he will inadvertently tear their skin at this point.  Then there is the chance of infection and if there is blood, the other hens will peck at the place.  Not Good.  I got them in brown as I thought that they would blend in with their coloring better.  If they work, then I will be able to make more as I will have a pattern to copy. I am toughening myself up for all the hilarity that I will have to endure because of this.  I think Some People will look askance at this venture.
The things I do for my chickens!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sunny Day!

Well, I guess I am tied to the sky after all--today is a lovely sunshiney day, and I am So Happy!  First of all, because my very smart and helpful daughter showed me how to do live links in my post ( of course, right there in front of me all the time, but needed her to point it out).  Secondly, I have started sleying the reed, so I am that much closer to being able to sit down and weave.  I am just so curious as to what this shawl is going to look like!  And lastly, I have the whole day ahead of me with no outside commitments, which leaves me free to work on the loom, put some of the seedlings into 6 pack containers, and take time to walk about the yard looking at the crocus that have come up.  Maybe go on a walk with the dog across the road to see if the ice is out on the beaver pond.

Beaver pond last fall
Yes, it is a lovely day, thank you God, and I am going to enjoy every bit of it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Out of Sorts

Old Jelly Cupboard
I feel very Out of Sorts, today.  It is gray and rainy, and I am still tired.  But!!! Why I am tired, you should know, is because of a good thing.  Remember the photos on the Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches day?  Well, all that disarray got me to thinking about how I wanted a big cupboard with a door (or two) on it to put in the dining room so that I would have a place to put everything fiber related.  That way, it would be handy yet out of sight.  As I fantasized about going furniture shopping at all the second hand places around, I realized that I could do this without spending anything at all!
There is, in our bedroom, a Very Old jelly cupboard that came from the farmhouse I grew up in, in New Hampshire.  It has been used as a linen closet for us the last 30 years, as we have always lived in houses that are extremely skimpy on closets.
The Baby at 25
In the tiny bedroom is a dresser I used for the babies.  Since this is our baby and she is now 25, it hasn't been used for anything but storing stuff I don't want to deal with!  So, with my loving husband's help, I took all the linens out of the jelly cupboard, all the junk out of the "baby" dresser,  and moved the honking huge and heavy cupboard down to the dining room.

Nearly cleared table

Neatly put away
Then I sorted through the linens and put them in the little dresser.  And then happily filled the jelly cupboard with all the stuff on the dining room table. It was a brilliant move, I think!  The only thing left is the junk I don't want to deal with, but it turned out to be mostly things that belong to Becca, the married daughter, so I can pawn them off on her.  And maybe 40 magazines that are old Spin Off and Threads (before Threads went to mostly sewing).  These I like to give to people who can use the info in them.  I thought they would be great references, (most are from the late 90's and early 2000) however, I never look at them, so off they go to other places.
Balls of weft
And if you look closely, on the other side of the table you can see that I am washing and sorting another fleece.  That is my task for the week.  I got the weft spun, and after I stop writing I am going to try to get the loom threaded so I can start on my weaving.
  Busy day, Mrs. Premise! Especially since all afternoon I will be out and about.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Your Knitting and Crochet Time 2KCBWDAY7

When is it that I knit?  Knitting time is almost always in the evening while Jeff watches TV. Sometimes it happens in the day if there is a project that needs wide awake attention.  And also, when there is a ride in the car.  I tend to sit at the spinning wheel during the day.  The loom is a daytime event.  Mostly I like to listen to audio books while spinning or weaving.  Once in a while I will watch a movie while I spin, but mostly I don't.  If I haven't a book to listen to I will have music on.  Classical, folk, Celtic, or sometimes soothing music from Soundings of the Planet.  In the summer, when the weather is fine, I like to spin outside.
And there we have it, folks!  A whole week's worth of a blog challenge.  It was fun.  Now I will have to get back to telling you what I have been doing in the meantime. Til then....enjoy the day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something to Aspire to-2KCBWDAY6

To what do I aspire? I am always open to learning new knitting techniques that pop up in patterns that I have chosen. It is helpful to me to learn a previously unknown thing in the context of a pattern as that forces me to use it. Just learning something for the sake of being able to say I can do it, doesn't fill me with any sort of desire. I really would like to learn how to weave overshot some day. It has always sounded so exciting, I don't know why! My dream is to some day be able to go to knitting camp and learn lots of things. I know someone who went on a knitting cruise on a sailboat around the waters in Maine. Sigh. This dream ranks right up there with a weaving camp. Both!! However, circumstances and finances combine to rule against me. But, maybe, some day.......