Thursday, May 29, 2008

Farm Chores

Not much knitting in the past few days. Hubby has been putting me to work helping him since Oldest Son is in heavy planting mode yet and gets home long after I am in bed. Younger Son is done with classes. He has been working at a friend's farm doing calf chores, mending fences and general gopher work. Now that he has a new working moped he doesn't need us to haul him around and again, hardly see him. Soooo... guess who gets drafted by Hubby to hold the trouble light when cutting, and the gates when moving cattle? You got it.

Final addition of early calves was born yesterday. Pure black little heifer. We turned her and Mom out into the pasture and then moved the rest around. That's all the calves until fall when we should be getting 2 more.

I did manage to organize the stash a little--major stash reorganization will be when the boys move out and Hubby and I fix up their room. Need to do some work on the ceiling and then I can start moving in tubs of yarn and roving and books and patterns. When I peeked into my sock yarn tub, I was amazed at some of what I have. I need to make it more accessible.

I also snagged a few purchases --a cone of red Zephyr, by Jaggerspun. Now I will be all set when the Maidenshawl book comes out. Also a wonderful little basket by Lantern Moon, with a silky red and gold brocade lining and drawstring top. I even bought a Forrester drop spindle that its owner didn't care for, but I love.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Thing About Barn Cats

Barn cats are unusual creatures. Even more so than ordinary house cats. Much more haughty as a rule. But there are still those who do the weaving between your legs act when you walk out the back door. Love you when you feed them. Ignore you when you don’t. Some won’t come near, no matter what, but will hover in the background, just in case you should toss a scrap of fat from a roast their way. Nothing fazes them.
Right now, the current batch of barn kitties are making their way out and about in the real world. Erect tails, fuzzy hair and those enchanting blueberry eyes.
Old Mama Cat lost two at birth, but has 2 more in the back room behind some boxes, a deep yellow “Garfield” color, and a gray tortoise color. (Keep in mind we have a drafty old farm house with nooks and crannies allowing cats access to the warm basement in winter, as well as the back room, if the door to basement is left unhooked.) They, as well as all the other kittens I’ve seen this year, have a slightly longer than normal coat. One cat, having her second batch, chose the cavity between the outer and inner barn walls to give birth to her five. The only way out was at the top of the inner wall, 8 foot up. Hubby finally took pity on that mama and lassoed them each inside the wall and brought them out for her. Another fairly wild calico chose the basement wood-box to hide her brood. They also have been venturing out through a cat sized crack in the door from the landing to the outside.
All of these cats are descendants of Highway, a yellow half grown stray I adopted when doing roadside cleanup many years ago through the “Adopt A Highway” project. (I adopted Highway---yeah, I know, lame joke.)
And even though my 12 pound poodle thinks he needs to protect me from each of them, I love them all.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Decoration Day. Memorial Day.

My community had a special event this weekend. A field of flags. One for each serviceman from Michigan who had died in Afghanistan and Iraq. Each flag had a name and a yellow ribbon. The display was very moving.

One thought remained with me, that was on the brochure they handed out.

All gave some, Some gave all.

Very moving--I don't have the words to do it justice. My prayers go with all who have lost someone who volunteered to fight for a cause they believed was just.

Project Update

Seems like even with a long weekend I didn't get a lot of knitting done this weekend.

I got about half of the Luther Burbank Rose Garden super-wash left to spin. There is a sample of that in the May SAL in Ravelry. I am also working on the Cinnamon Wave Wrap. Here is a picture of that. I'd say I am over half done. Humph. Probably won't be much of a market for that when I finish, trying to sell a 100% wool shawl when its 90 degrees out.

I finished the first sock in the blue-green Cherry Tree Hill merino. Second was immediately cast on and have about a half inch of ribbing.
AND, among other items,I started swatching for the Shapely Tee in SWTC Pure--soy silk, Haven't had time to update that on Ravelry yet. Mmmmm, soft and supple and Hot Pink--I want to wash and re-check the gauge but right now I am dead on.
My blogging time may be cut into, if I get the library job noted on my blog. It will be all day Thursdays, and can start even before my current job leaves the state. That is when I get my best blogging done. I may have to resort to blogging at home with dial-up. Once my boys get moved and we clean up/out their room I will be able to sort my stash, yarn and wool and put in the new craft room. Then I will be able to work on my wheel more at home.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Progress of Life

Last post was a quick one. I didn't have much time, what with the interview and all. The job is for only 10-15 hours, and Sandy--the friend gifted with the pink Shape-It scarf--seems to think I am a shoo-in. I sure hope so. Once my full time job leaves, I want to have something to keep me busy. And I am still hoping for the possibility of subbing for extra hours there too. Sandy is doing everything she can to keep pushing me for that as well.
Oldest Son called to ask me to look for furniture for him at yard sales. Seems he may actually be moving in next few weeks, now that corn planting is nearly done. I found some sources, including a friend who had a 3 piece bedroom set for only $100. He was just going to buy a mattress, so this will be much better. He thought so too.
Youngest Son took his final Final Exams today. YES!! I now need to design some post cards for announcements with the note that party is in July with details to follow. Better get working on that later tonight.

Job Interview

I just had a job interview here at the library. I came in to spend the morning blogging and surfing the Internet (e-mail, Ravelry, etc.) and my friend in the Local History room dragged the director in to talk with me. She and I both think it went well.

I even gave her the pink Platinum Shape-It scarf as bribery. (She loves pink.) And I may not have even needed it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sunny Prospects

Closer and closer to graduation and STILL it looks like Younger Son will make it. No one can conceive what a joy and surprise and relief it is to be able to say that.

I finally got a picture of some of the sock yarn I spun. I hope I end up with enough. It is about 4 oz of roving so I am hoping the finished product will give me enough.

Hubby is still driving the big bomb truck but remains hopeful that the repairs on little red won't be too painful. I am just hoping that it works when I want to get a lawnmower lamb. (Hey Angie--are there any little ones at Chickasaw that look promising? Or a rescue sheep. I want to stay with Shetland though, they are smaller.)

I heard through the grapevine that I may be able to interview soon for the part time job at the local library, in the Local History room. I worked there before so that should help and I loved that job. As a matter of fact, while I was blogging in there Thursday, a patron came in with a question. Since the regular person was on vacation, instead of asking the substitute, he asked me. Just maybe I have a shot at that. And for now, until the other job ends, I could work there on my Thursdays off from my other job, and an evening if necessary. Maybe there is a future there yet.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lurther Burbank Rose Garden

I have been discussing the roving I have been spinning on my Forrester drop spindle. I found the label, so here is the info.
Angie, it is 4 ounces. Colorway is, as I've said before, Luther Burbank Rose Garden. I purchased it from the Royale Hare, from Santa Rosa CA, at the SOAR Marketplace. I do love the way it plied up with some tweedy areas but some plain green and plain pink.
After all the gloom and doom in my last post--some good news. The other kid who alternated milkings with Younger Son at the farm he works at just quit/was fired. And the new guy, who my son recommended LIKES to work nights. No more getting up at 2AM Sunday morning.
And maybe I can stay awake for the entire Saturday night NASCAR All Star race this week.

Some Days are Like That, Even in Australia

Has it been almost a week already? Time flies.

By the way, today's title is taken from my favorite children's book--Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Still no news on when the job will be ending. Getting more nervous, and pricing insurance for good measure. I suppose I will need to sign on for some for me at least. Best price with at least some coverage is still $167 a month. Big bite when on unemployment. And living in Michigan, not sure what will be living on when that is gone, since there are no jobs around here.

And just to make things more wonderful, Hubby's truck had a major oil leak. He discovered it after dropping Younger Son to his 2nd job. Later we found oil spills and a steady line of oil all the way down the drive, so he must have driven about 5 miles as it leaked away. Not good and sure to be very expensive. Yikes.

Happier note--Younger Son still on target for graduation. I heard rumors that John Berry MAY possibly be the speaker/musician for graduation. Haven't confirmed yet though. That may take away the pain of sitting in the broiling sun for 2 hours or so.

I finally plied my super wash last night. I have been really spinning away on this, since I figured I could use it as part of the Ravelry Spin Along for May, in one of my groups. It was finally getting to be more than my bobbin would hold. It looks very nice plied. I will post a picture. This morning, when I wanted to take a picture, it was too cold and frosty where I wanted to display it. Only got about 117 yards though, but it is a little heavier than fingering weight. I have to check my wraps per inch, but am guessing I can make socks if I use a size 2 though. Hmmm. Maybe even an after thought heel. I haven't done one and now that I can graft, I may be willing to try it. Time will tell.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Field Trip

Jane and I had a rollicking trip to Greenville the other day. The trip itself was actually quite hilarious as Jane discovered how to use the GPS directions on her blackberry. We were wowed as the little thingy knew just when the exit lane split off from the highway. It knew every slight curve and even the police turn-arounds in the expressway. I was a bit floored when it claimed we were a half mile from town, when I knew it was farther than that. However it was actually referring to the change of the road name at the county line. It was a bit confused when I blew past the house we were heading for, but by then I knew how to get where we were going. The police car behind me never knew I was a bit confused.

Then crafting fun. I dug out the drop spindle and spun quite a bit. Teresa brought in Crystal (red eyed white) and Godiva (chocolate) Angora bunnies. I fell in love. They hopped around and Jane decided she loved them so they made the trek home with us.

I decided to investigate the sheep angle Hubby was talking about. I found a farm that sells summer lawnmower sheep--Shetland wethers (castrated rams) for a reasonable price, ready in a little over a month. I love the idea. Hubby suddenly not so much. But I have time to work on him before they are ready to come home. I guess I better start pricing movable fencing and stake outs. Probably a halter too.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Two Weeks and Counting

Just over 2 weeks and counting down to the last day of school, Younger Son seems to be on track to actually graduate this time. I need to lock in the hall for a party, not till July, but the township hall is open the day I want. Price isn't bad so I just have to remember to call tomorrow.

Tonight I and a friend are heading out of town about 1 1/2 hours away for another groups knit/spin/weave night. I am taking my Luther Burbank Rose Garden to spin, as I am trying to follow the Ravelry spin along. I thought that would put the pressure on to finish so I can start on socks out of it. Plus...they have bunnies. Angora's. How can I get one of those home?
But along the line of fiber animals--Hubby was talking about the cost of gas (way high, up 30 cents this week!) and said he wasn't going to mow the lawn very often this year. Which left me musing on the image, seeing as how he doesn't mow until it is at least 6 inches ore more anyway. (Luckily we don't live in town.) Then my half listening ear caught the phrase, maybe we will need to get a sheep. "I'll look into that." I said quickly. Don't want him bringing home some straggly coarse-coated beastie. Hmmmm--I'm thinking Shetland. I have to investigate, and fast.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Turn That Crank

I spent part of the day at the former Spinning Wheel Yarn Shop (now LaGuilde) learning how to use a drum carder. Now I can appreciate why batts and blended roving cost so much if handcrafted. After 2 or 3 hours of work blending natural white Falkland with turquoise bamboo roving I and a beautiful bat of light turquoise with a love sheen that weighed...just under half an ounce. And now my shoulder is sore from cranking. Fun to see it change color and even out. I think it will spin up wonderfully. But maybe I will use my hand carders for a little while to see if I can bet better production out of that.
I left just in time to get soaked as I did my shopping--dog and cat food at the farm store, and then groceries. And after I got home and the car unloaded--dry. Naturally.
I need to get my knitting sorted out. I want to take the Cinnamon Wave Wrap tomorrow to work on at the retreat for Daughters of the King. I have emptied a sizable bag, so I can include my handbook and Bible, as well as note paper. And of course the shawl with some spare yarn.
Well I got to go, Nationwide race at Richmond and I want to catch the rest.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Home for Oldest Son?

We finally got to see Oldest Son's new home--assuming we can ever get him to actually move. Hubby was at an auction and he got stuck, I mean snatched up a used couch. Actually a fairly nice one, clean and only a little thread bare on the back of one cushion. But--off white for a farmer? Not my first choice.

Any way, we offered to deliver it. He couldn't leave the field he was in, but told us how to get in and we gave ourselves the grand tour. Not bad, fair sized rooms, 2 big upstairs bedrooms and 2 small downstairs one. Big eat in kitchen and decent living room. Even a laundry room. All he needs is furniture. I told him he could use one room to set up all his Ertl tractors up in. Spread out a couple sheets of plywood on a couple saw horses and make it all fancy. He has done this for a friend's son and I am sure he has plenty of tractors and implements to make a sizable farm.

Life on the Farm

Another new calf last night. A vigorous, health, frolicking heifer. Black with white face, feet and a white tip on the tail. Hubby got her tagged before she had time to dry off. And a good thing. She is too lively to get a picture, and too far away. Carmel had her on the far side of the remnants of Lake Hagen in the pasture. Hubby was worried she would not be able to make it through the deep mud to get to the dry side of the pasture. SOOOOO--we took the hay spear off and put on the two wheeled trailer on the back of the trusty old tractor. I asked Hubby if he wanted me to come along and laugh or wait by the gate and laugh. He said to come along. Good thing. I had to drive back while he sat in the trailer with the afore mentioned frisky calf. Mama Carmel ran circles around tractor and trailer, all the other cows came to sympathize with her. We made it back to the gate, and he unloaded the calf. Mama sniffed her over and headed for the far corner of the dry side of the pasture. Before we were out the gate, they were farther away than when we started. Awww. Life on a farm.

I spent a little time spinning on my drop spindle. I took it Tuesday to the Knit/Spin Night. The super-wash roving is gradually vanishing but the yarn around the spindle doesn't seem to be getting any bigger. But I do love the colors and I know plying will "fluff" it out some. I can't wait to make socks out of them. I ordered another pair of the knitpicks harmony double pointed needles, so I can have a couple pairs going at once. I really love those needles.

Pictures promised

I have been lax lately in posting with pictures. I finally remembered the camera, so this will be a picture heavy posting today.

To do catch up--my current sock project, the blue green cherry hill merino. Still on first sock but past the heel. It is still my traveling project, for the most part.

Then when my great nephew brought his parents up/over here a few weeks ago, I got this great picture. Its the one I call: Crapping on Grampy. I think it is a classic. Look close and you can see the smirk on the baby's face.

I also purchased some yarn for my cousin's prayer shawl, as I think I mentioned. The yarn is Lions Brand Homespun, alas not my own homespun. Since she is in isolation yet I can't give it to her yet so that project is on hold until the shawl I am donating for the church kitchen fund is finished. I really like the color, what do you think?

I think that catches up most of the pictures I promised. Maybe more next time.