Tuesday, September 19, 2006

See a video of me spinning with my Kromski Polinaise.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The baby goats are so sweet to handle for shearing, they are not like the big goats at all, they are so soft and lightweight- they just go limp and lay still for the most part, even when not being held in a shearing hold. After shearing Jesse in a shearing hold (you can see him nekked and peeking out from the side of the proch) my back was already complaining- so I put April on the table (yes- there is a goat in there) and she just laid there like a kitty getting her belly rubbed. Look maaaaa.... no hands!

If you don't rememebr who April is, you can check back in the April 2006 archive and see pictures of her then. She was May's girl twin and could not stand up after being born. She could not nurse because of this and I worked very hard to get that baby up to her mom regularly. She wore little braces on her legs made out of yarn and duct tape and within a few days she was able to rise and walk unassisted. Look at her now! Jesse was Nana's boy twin, and her is the newborn Nana is cuddling in that touching birth photo.

I tried washing fleece with Orvus paste for the first time- that stuff works really well. It cost about $20 for 120 oz at the farm supply store. I have heard it also does wonders to get Clydesdale feathers white. The first batch of fleece I washed bits that I considered grade B, dirtier and a little matted, but not bad enough to toss. After washing I thought I may as well dye it right then since it was already wet and hot.

I dyed a pink and blue cotton candy combo- and it combs out into a really soft lilac. If I can figure out how to spin it- I might use it on a hat for my daughter. It's not really grade B after all!

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's a crisp cool September morning and my left foot is snug and warm in my new sock. I won a contest over at http://curlyknitter.blogspot.com/ and my prize arrived this week- totally making my day. I was headed out to an afternoon of dance classes with the kids and was lamenting the fact that I didn't have any knitting to bring with- and there on the mailbox was a package containing two beautiful balls of Sisu fantasy from Norway. I dashed in the house to grab my sock needles and we were off.

I made the pattern up as I went and decided to try a few elements offered by Elizabeth Zimmerman in "Knitting Without Tears" The four stitch garter border on the heel flaps and a German heel. I don't like the German heel- it's too square and baggy, not fitted- and since these were going to be clog socks- the baggy heel is a downer. The sides of the heel flaps on the other hand- are as streamlined as can be- a benefit lost when wearing shoes that don't touch the sides of your feet.

The top stripe of the sock is green and it worked out that the toe was green too- bonus! The green ran out about 5 rows too soon- so I borrowed some green from the other end of the ball to finish. The remaining yarn has no green left- yeeeowch- that was close! The other ball of Sisu does not start with a green repeat- which makes me think that I may not luck out being able to start and finish the same way. This other ball may be asking for yellow or aqua- which may leave my heels looking like nautical flags. I'm going to try to not stress about this. Knitting without anxiety!

I got my baby a pair of Robeez booties last week and as a big bonus for me- they came in this cute little bag- perfect for a sock project- it even has a little handle and a zipper and it fits two balls of yarn and a set of DPN's perfectly.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I think that there is a very big clue as to who my secret pal is in the above photo- that yarn has got to be a clue... it's very beautiful varying from aqua to periwinkel tones. I'm pretty sure the fiber is silk- it's as soft and shiny as can be. At first glance I thought it was a machine made yarn- but as I untied the bow I saw that it's got some thick and thin and is navajo plyed- and no mill does that!

Another clue about my secret pal is that she is the princess of packaging. I think she might have experience in retail, industrial design, or guest industries- her packages are so beautifully crafted and chic. Major pampering!

Inside the package is a Procion adventure! I have never tried these dyes- and just yesterday I was talking to a friend who is a master of tye dye and batik and she told me that she gets all her supplies from Dharma Trading. I had just visited their website and was amazed and overwhelmed by the various offerings- and then today- as if by perfect intuition- Here is this beautiful package from my SP- it's Manos cotton and four colors of procionMX dye and the soda ash and urea! I am so excited to try this new dye process- I hope I don't mess it up.

When I took photos of this gift for the blog- I forgot that I had a sunset picture from the other day still on the disc- 3 of the the colors of the dye- *I think* are very close to the colors found in this scene! ( the black cherry is missing ) Nice huh?