Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yarn Along - Progress On All Fronts

As sporadic as my knitting time is, I have still made progress on the guild KAL - the Noro Woven Stitch Shawl.

I find time mostly in meetings or in the truck if Andy and I are going somewhere together as he prefers to drive rather than ride and I'm happy to grab those extra minutes to work on this.  I have high hopes for serious progress (dare I say finishing it?) over the weekend while at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in early May.

I have seven fleeces entered in the show and sale at MD and have six of them fully skirted and the seventh on the table at the moment.  This is an improvement over past years when I was still skirting the night before leaving or having to take fewer than the allowed seven.  I've also been squeezing out some reserved fleeces for folks with 'must-have' dates for their fiber.  I'll be able to work fully on the reserved fleeces after I'm sure I'm squared away for MD.

In other fiber news I have a new 3-color roving back from the mill - Easter Egg!  For the life of me, using 3 different cameras, I can't get these colors to show up properly!  The dark "blue" is really a dark purple.  The pink is pretty accurate and the light shade is a very pale gray/blue.  Whichever way I try to correct one color it drags the other 2 off in a wrong direction.  I still have to get it listed online.  Maybe I'll try taking pics again....

At the last spinning guild meeting a friend brought in the rug she created using some of our Gosh Darn Big Yarn which we had made for the first time last year.  Brenda is a genius and SEWED the yarn on her regular machine using invisible thread. I never would have thought of this in a million years. Starting with a tiny loop she kept turning the work counterclockwise so the growth all occurred off to the left of her needle. Using a zigzag stitch she just kept laying the yarn next to the previous round (which ends up zigzag sewing each strand on two edges) and worked it till gone.  Rug measures just about 33 inches across.

The weather finally - finally! - warmed up enough to feel like spring.  Our tree bees emerged on April 17! That's late compared to the bees I know of in other people's hives, but we're guessing it just took that much longer for the warmth to penetrate the tree.  It worked out fine since our bees came out to find lots of flowers already blooming - no hunting around half starved.

Since then we've gone backwards in the temperature department and had cold rain, fog, and last night a heavy frost although the day then turned sunny and crept into the 50s.

The other fiber progress is getting the last of the flock shorn.

Drambui (mom of Count Chocula, living the life of luxury at Equinox Farm in KY) is 13 this year and looking really good!  We have several other 13 and 12 (and 11 and 10...) year olds who are having a harder time keeping weight on but we'll get them on grass soon.

Peanut was in this group to be shorn and was not intimidated in the slightest by all the commotion.

"I really don't see why everyone is so worried about this thing."

"C'mon, get the shearing boards swept before it's my turn.  I have to keep my wool clean."

The Cotswolds that we coated this year seem to have stood up well without felting.  I tried it years ago with some unhappy results. Maybe I just had a few individuals who have a greater tendency to felt anyway or maybe it was because I tried to coat all year rather than just the months of hay feeding season.  The curls are a bit flattened looking but there's no webbing between locks and I think the curl will reassert itself as the fleece is handled on the skirting table.

Next we moved up to the ram barn.   Here Brick has been done and is watching the next guy in line give up his wool.  

Two of our oldest rams are lighter than we like them to be but most are in good flesh and grass is just around the corner.  I had him leave the forelock on anybody whose dreads weren't too trashy, like Neville (white, already shorn) and Castillo, still unshorn and wearing his coat.  He's not a Cotswold but he has cool hair.  ;-)

The most recent book I listened to on tape was The Host by Stephenie Meyer.  Here's the funny part - I had no clue she also wrote the Twilight series which was wildly popular but which never worked any magic on me at all so I never paid attention to who wrote it.  The Host was a very fun sci-fi story (IMO) with engaging characters, interesting details and a satisfying ending.  The person who read it was also well suited to the task (unlike an audio version of The Hobbit which I started but turned off after 20 agonizing minutes of truly awful interpretation.  Bleah.)  

Joining in with Ginny...


  1. Gosh, your daffodils are just starting, and our late ones have just finished. It's going up to 90F this week - could you send us some of that cooler weather, please?

  2. That rug!
    Yay for MS&W and stolen moments of travel knitting.

  3. Wow! You've been busy. Who knew that lambing took up so much time ;-D.

    Try photo in greenhouse or a white box.

  4. Peanut looks like she had an incredible fleece. Your knitting looks wonderful!