Friday, September 26, 2014

Signs of Fall

It always hits me like this.  I go along, living in one season and then suddenly, I step out of the door one day and there it is--another season entirely.  Lately I was under the impression I was still having summer even though we did have one close call with frost (we held off any damage with sheet coverings over the tomatoes).  Still, I really thought it very summer like until I began to see the pots of mums creeping into the marketplace.  There are now mums everywhere, so it must be fall.  Mums being a sure sign.

Mums I have received lately

Maples changing color are another good indicator.  It seems so early to me for the leaves to be turning, although I am sure they are right on schedule.

Early morning sunshine on treetops

Not a sign of fall, but for the last two weeks I have been washing and picking a black fleece that came off of the alpaca Eboney.

Last quarter of the fleece
This was one thick fleece, let me tell you.  It took forever to dry.  Picking it was great for the first few days, but then it started to border on tedium.  It really took a great many hours to get it all picked and fluffed for Glo to take to the mill.  The fact that I get easily distracted might have contributed to the length of time.  Maybe.  I had to get it finished because it needs to be out of the dining room before I start my travels.

These begin Sunday when I take the train down to New York City with Annie to visit her cousin, Sister Gianna Marie.  She is presently down in Manhattan with her order, the Sisters of Life.  There is a visiting day on Sunday, which corresponds with a beautiful weather forecast, so we decided to take the trip down, walk the city and get to visit Sister in her present location.

After that I fly to Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday.  That trip is in order for me to visit with Jesse and Lisha for a few days.  I have been longing to go back to Madison ever since my sister and I went out last year.  It is a great city full of all sorts of interesting things to do and see.  Mostly, though, it now has family.

But before I go flying off I want to finish my second scarf.  I warped for two as I can make them very
different from each other.

Work progresses on scarf
The first was very finicky weaving as I chose to change colors every few throws in the color bands.  This second one I am treadling in a pattern called "crepe weave" and am doing larger blocks of colors, so it is not so fussy.  It is coming along very nicely.  I ordered a fringe twister from Halcyon Yarn and am excited to try it out on these scarves.  It will give me another option for finishing my fringes.

The day has turned sunny, warm and breezy.  I must get out and do lots of outdoor things before it goes away.  Hope you can get out and enjoy the day, too.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Here I Am!

When last I wrote,  Spring was valiantly trying to arrive.  Of course she did, with all her attendant wonderment.  Part of that wonder was the arrival of my new flock of chicks.

Two Rhode Island Reds and four Golden Laced Wyandottes

The Rhode Island Reds came the first week in May with the Wyandottes following two weeks later.  This was after I had chosen these two breeds as they were supposed to both arrive the same week---I had done chicks two weeks apart before, and had a lot of trouble getting them to act as one flock.  It wasn't something I wanted to do again, and TaDa!  It happened.  At least this time I was better prepared for it and they have become a nice little group.

Here are the Wyandottes at one month

They grow very quickly.  Here they are now at 16 and 18 weeks, respectively.

See how lovely the Wyandotte feathering is?

One of the Rhode Island Reds has started to lay little eggs every now and again.  I am grateful she is laying them in a nest box---lots of times new layers will leave them in odd places.  The usual age for beginning to lay is about 20 weeks, so she is slightly early.  The eggs gain size as the hen gets older.

Mama Hen, the newbie and the Buff  Orpington's eggs
The new flock hasn't been named yet as I can't tell anyone apart.  As they get their identities, the names will come.

Lest you think all I did for the spring and summer was play with chickens, let me assure you that we also had to spend June getting ready with Annie for Her Wedding.   It was a full month of grooming my father's grounds, doing last minute tasks and being happily excited.  The day dawned lovely and warm, not too hot,  and no rain.

Mr. and Mrs. make the rounds
We had a wonderful day.  As you can imagine, I could post lots and lots of photos.  I will content myself with one of the interior of the tent, which was largely decorated with hand sewn and handmade items done by Annie, and of the ceremony site with the beautiful flowers.

The beautiful decorating job

Ceremony site
We all recovered from our celebrating quite nicely.  On July 3rd we  had a vicious line of storms come through which destroyed quite a few  homes and buildings in our town.  It was so fierce that the roads were impassable in places and resulted in all our Independence Day celebrations being cancelled.  Fortunately there were no injuries.

Trees and lines down in the village
We spent the next weeks cleaning up from the mess.  And then it was August.  That was another wedding, this one the other Annie in our family and it was down in Delaware.  It also was a trip to Cape Cod with my sister in law.  
The summer also was full of weaving.  I did two baby blankets and a rug for various gift giving.  

One of the blankets
There.  I think we are all caught up!  I am at work on a pretty warp for two scarves, knitting a shawl and spinning some more yarn.  My resolve is to get into a pattern of spinning as much as possible so that I will have yarns to work with.  And also to share my life with you again, as I know it is So Fascinating!