Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alice joins the flock

Ken and I left the house at 7:05 a.m. yesterday and drove out to Fort Defiance and picked up the newest member of our little flock.

She is the twin sister of Tom.

She was not officially named by her Shepherdess, Alice but was generally called "Little Girl" or "the other little girl", as her mother's name is "Lil' Girl" Her fiber is very similar to Tom's in texture, but she is a bit more grey. She does have that classic fluked Shetland tail.

In honor of her original Shepherdess, Ken and I decided to call her Alice.

Fearful of admitting that he sort of likes these animals, Ken has slowly started offering to do more for them. I just smile and accept. Now, he wants to put a real roof and wooden sides on their little shelter, as the tarp is starting to bow a bit and collect water which then gently "rains" inside the house. One thing for summer, it will quite another for cold winter rains. MY solution would have been to remove the tarp that this there, throw a piece of plywood across and then put the tarp back on... but I have a feeling they might get that currogated plastic stuff on top.

The issue of the sides has come about because these silly guys like to play hide and seek and have figured out that if they stick their heads into the flap formed where the tarp is pulled and staked down, they can come out the sides of the house. It's hilarious to watch, but pulls the stakes up and lets the wind and rain into their house which is slowly melting their mineral block and salt block and letting their bedding get wet.

They like the game of hide and seek, so much, however, I think I'm going to hang a piece of this tarp from another section of the greenhouse frame (like a windbreak) so they can run around it and play.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sheep Shots

Haven't put pictures up lately. Thought an updated pictures of the babies would be a good thing: Tom has started to show his spots. See his freckles? It looks like the fiber on his shoulders is going to be a light grey while the rest of him is white.

Jerry saying "Hi! Mom! Give me a cookie!" He has definitely gotten friendlier.

Jerry one step back. Hoping his horns are going to be wide enough to clear his head. We might be okay .

Jerry's fiber is going to be yummy to spin. Beautiful array of color here.

I'm out of cookies, so they are off to find other nibbles.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Much... too much

There has been a lot going on. More than I am comfortable with handling but I guess we all muddle through regardless. So let's see what has happened:

  1. Our house was hit by lightening (again) about the last time I made an entry here. I finally got my own PC back yesterday evening.
  2. My dad had an episode about 3 weeks ago that started out looking like a stroke and ending up as a mystery illness. He spent two weeks at MCV hospital getting sicker from advantageous bacterial infections and spent most of that time in ICU. Finally, on Thursday evening of last week, he was released from the hospital and is now at a local nursing home until he is strong enough to come home.
  3. We had the Hoot-n-Any again. This was the ninth year. Not nearly as hot, a bit buggier, but still tons of fun.
  4. We continue to fight the good fight at work with a steadily growing caseload, a whole new computer program that is suppose to make us paperless (though the thing has a huge learning curve that is enough to make you want to quit your job) and a budget that just keeps shrinking. We are finally fully staffed and that should help once our new officer is trained to the point he can get through 6 or 7 hours without a million questions. But I do remember what it feels like and don't mind helping him.
  5. Ken has one more full day and one half day to work before he retires. He is both excited to be leaving a job from which he has burned out and nervous about how he is going to make ends meet. As we fell into bed last night (his first night off after working three 12 hours shifts through the night over the weekend), I asked him if he would be looking to take on a part-time job at night. He said he would look for a part-time job at some point, but he never wants to work nights again. He said he is really tired of being tired.
  6. Tom, the sheep, cannot seem to shake this upper respiratory problem. We are now on our fourth round of anti-biotics. He really hates these shots and I hate giving them... Once in a while is not bad (like for worming), but this daily grind is really making him hate me I think. Sounds weird, but I'm almost hoping it's an allergy to something and it will clear up this winter. I fear it's something else, however, and he will eventually succumb. What that means is that I will be short a sheep but Ken has already told me to start looking for sheep #3. I figure I might as well go for the full complement of four, in that case.
  7. I have started a routine of walking the sheep in the evenings. And they love it! Especially Jerry who gallops and bounces like a pogo stick all over the yard just as fast as his little legs will take him. He is totally fearless of the dogs, the shed and the road (so I really have to watch him). He wants Tom to run with him, but since Tom doesn't feel well, he keeps trying to get Macha to play. It's funny and I will work on doing a video clip soon.
  8. I am still knitting and spinning and have started a blog for the Guild.
On the wheel:
  1. A wonderful white wool blend (silk and alpaca cria and bfl) to make three ply sock yarn for Deb who will then knit the yarn into two pairs of socks -- one for her hubby and one for mine.
  2. The grey merino that I started working on two Springs ago. Yes, I have about 2 pounds of this left and half a shawl yet to knit.
  3. Brown lamb's wool purchased at MSW for the Guild to use for the binding wool on our collective blanket.
  4. White shetland. I think I need to pick a project and spin for it. The hat noted below, has inspired me with the colors so I might have to divvy up this fleece and dye it different colors then spin it. Hmmmm.
  5. Grey shetland. Another huge basket. This is nice stuff and I've only done some samples, but it would be a wonderful sweater.
  6. The oatmeal fleece. I cannot remember the breed. I talked about it in an earlier post... but this stuff is just awesome and begs to be spun at worsted weight.
On the needles:
  1. The grey merino shawl. This is just under halfway done. It languished for the summer, but I need to get back to it now.
  2. A taffy colored baby sweater. I am about halfway down one sleeve. So I think I'm about 3/4s done. I have already sewn on the buttons just so I could see what they will look like. My button band is a little off kilter but with a baby inside, it should straighten. Love this pattern and will make it again.
  3. A hat. Probably a Yule gift for a step daughter or daughter in law or grand daughter. This is from a pattern in Interweave Knits. It is my first real fair isle project and it's not really using fair isle patterns, but the concept is the similar. Love the colors I picked out. I'm using Louet Gems that I picked up at the Yarn Lounge in Richmond when I went to see Dad at MCV.
  4. The green sweater. Honestly, I feel a day coming when this is going to come off the needles and even though I'm onto the sleeves, I'm going to frog it. I've learned from it, but I'm not happy with it. The yarn could be used for other projects and it needs to knit WAY looser than I knit it.
  5. A pouch for my girlfriend who spun the yarn. She didn't like the yarn (very thick and thin singles) so I took it back from her and am knitting a simple little 3 by 4 pouch for her. I will probably make a cord for it with the lucet. It's going to be cute and very earthy.
  6. A purple (VERY purple) fuzzy scarf in Mohair. Mindless knit but very soft. Yarn was seriously on sale at the Bay Window and I purchased 9 skeins in purple and another 9 in brown. Again, probably a gift or a donation to the Guild.
  7. Purple socks ... still going nowhere.
  8. Grey socks .... still stuck in the sand.
  9. White lace shoulder shawl. I screwed this up somewhere in the last row knit and can't figure it out. Someday I will learn to insert lifelines or just keep working until I'm finished. If I put down a lace project, I inevitably forget where I was and screw it up. Frustrated with this. Won't frog but may tink one day when I'm alone and the house is quiet.
  10. Bathroom rug (this is crocheted and not knitted) but I decided to use up some of the stash from the loom purchase. This rug will last for centuries!