November 25, 2008

Belated Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We finally got through our leftovers last night and enjoyed a quiet weekend at home. Saturday was our busiest day as Trav had his soccer game at 7:10 AM and then we had a 4H ride meeting from 10-12 PM. That turned out to be a long day.
I have started on the garage trying to clear up clutter. It is pretty scary to think we have lived here almost 9 years and there has never been a car in the garage. Oh well, you cant have everything and I am sure there are others in the same boat. Eventually I would like to use part of the garage for wool prep as there are some nice benches and plug ins already set up along one side. I already know where I want to put the carder, picker and crock pot. My old washing machine is already out there and that is where I wash my fleeces and the washed ones are already stored out there.
My hubby the craigslist addict found some roving last week and I picked up almost 6 pounds of nice roving for $50. There is some natural gray and some space dyed in about 10 colors. Did I really need this? No, but I thought this would be great to use for my 4H spinners to learn with without a lot of expense. The gal also had some landscape dyes in both the large and small containers with most unused or almost full. I picked them up for $15 so I guess now I will have to step out of my Wilton and Kool Aid comfort zone and try some "real" dye. Now if I can just find some instructions on how to use Landscape dyes I will be in good shape. Craigslist can be a definate asset, especially for broke fiber addicts.
On the knitting front I have finished Travis's sweater. I just need to get it blocked and sewn together. I have almost finished one of a pair of Rapunzel socks for a dear friend out of the same NC Romney cross wool I used for Travis's sweater and I have a dickie about halfway done for my FIL out of some NC Romney/alpaca bulky yarn I spun up last week. Pictures will be forthcoming as I get them finished. Christmas is coming up fast and time grows shorter every day to get things done.

November 20, 2008

Sheep Slippers Revisited

I have had some requests on how I made these slippers. The pattern is from the Winter 2002 Spin-Off magazine article "Sheep's Head Slippers and Hobbit Feet". It is a crochet pattern, easy to make, and a great way to use a fleece with a good lock structure. After the slippers are finished the locks are folded in half, pulled through the side of the stitches and through the loop end of the lock to hold it, and then they are all trimmed down some when finished. I think you could probably use any crochet slipper pattern you want and just pull the locks through. It is a fun project. The most time consuming part is pulling the locks through. For these slippers I used locks from a romney/border leister hoggett fleece my husband bought for me at the Puyallup Spring Fair this year. It has awesome locks. It think it would be fun to dye some locks different colors and make some really wild looking ones.

On a different note considering our current political climate and economic turmoil I found an interesting quote that is worth pondering.........

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."
Mohandas K Gandi

Now off I go outside to slog through the mud in the rain and get some chores done. You just have to love the pacific northwest in late fall!

November 18, 2008

The Autumn Test & Fall Craziness

Your Autumn Test Results

You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.

When you're happiest, you are outgoing and expressive . You love celebrations, and you enjoy showing off a little.

You tend to be afraid of change. You are never ready for things to be different.

You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.

You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.

I have had a crazy last 3 weeks around here. We sheared our new romneys and I have 5 nice white Romney fleeces to wash.

I have been trying Mim's (Desert Peach Farm), cold water fleece wash method and the first one has turned out awesome. I think I will use some of it for the wool swap in the raw wool lovers group on Ravelry. It has a shorter staple length of 2 1/2 to 3 inches but it is a really nice natural color fleece with a lot of luster.

Soccer season is finally winding down for the boys and only one is going to play for one session of indoor. That is better as it is just on Saturdays with no practices. I really love watching them play.
4H has been crazy trying to get all of my club enrollments done, working on year end club awards and I have started a spinning project group. I only have 3 kids so far but there are so many fun things to go to in our area and I have access to most of the equipment we need so why not add some more craziness to my life! I was recently elected to our county 4H leaders association board and I am also on a county 4H committee that has spent the last year working on revising our record books to make them more user friendly for kids and parents. We have been putting on workshops and training sessions so spare time has been precious. One of my 4H parents has started a blog for our 4H horse group so that will make information access much better to manage for me at least.
Lambing should start in January so we are getting ready to go through our bred ewes and get them wormed and vaccinated and we are bringing the ewe lambs home from pasture this weekend to get them on feed for the winter.
One thing that has been really cool this week is watching the NAILE (North American International Livestock Exposition) sheep shows on the internet. They have a camera in each of the two show rings and you can watch the show in real time. The site is if the link thingy doesnt work.
We have friends showing Corriedales and Columbias and it has been fun watching them show and to see what the judges are looking for with the Hampshires. The Romney show is on Friday so that will be fun and interesting to see what the judge uses.
Spinning has been slow lately. I did break down for a couple of days last week when it was raining to card up the rest of one of my N/C Romney fleeces with some alpaca into some batts and spin up some of that and some of the superwash seconds I got from Carol Lee at the Sheepshed Studio. The gray is some the natural colored Romney/Alpaca and the blue the superwash spun up.

I also spun up some Border Leister/Romney lamb locks for some slippers for my niece for Xmas.

I am slowly finishing a knitted sweater for my son and have some more socks to do before Xmas. Why is it the older you get the less time you have and the faster it goes by?