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What’s New? Spring Cleaning….Fleece!

Good morning!

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It’s been so long….

Spring is here and I’ve been busy 🙂 Seems spring always makes one want to DO more – and some of us have a different take on spring cleaning! I’ve had several fleeces sitting for a while — some since last summer! I don’t know if I posted about it last fall but I have some absolutely beautiful long staple alpaca…dusty dusty stuff with some burr issues as well. It’s got a staple of about 8 inches as it was a long time between shearings and it is SUPER soft – lovely lovely lovely. Irreplaceable really. Fortunately, lol, I started out with about 14 pounds and there is no end in sight yet.

Unwashed…
alpaca - prewashing

Combed out for debris, but not yet washed…
raw alpaca lock 8 - 9 inches

Final product – rovings are clean and pulled from my combs…
alpaca -- combed

There is also the ‘meat’ sheep wool which I was given last year – in black and white – waiting to get a good soak and a wash. The wool comes out nice but the dirt is incredible – sometimes free looks like an excellent price. There is a large bin full of that waiting for me on the porch.

Oh yes, and a basset hound too…
Tired Basset

Mr. Man

My baby grandson has had his first birthday – still the cutest baby in the world with the BEST smile 🙂

Happy Birthday Baby

His other grandma has sheep and lambs and has very generously given me three bags of wool (I jokingly asked for ‘three bags full’ lol) – the first is lamb (three fleeces I think), the second is yearling (two to three fleeces) and the third bag is adult (haven’t counted them but I believe it holds two fleeces).

Grandma wool - three bags full

The lamb, unwashed…
Lovely lamb

The yearling, unwashed (or possibly the adult)…MUCH dirtier than the lamb. I plan to soak this in a cold soak for a few days before washing it…
yearling?

These fleeces MUST be a mixed breed but are sooooo soft I’m pleasantly surprised! I’ve washed some of the lamb, so far, and it’s coming out lovely. Very short fibers but lovely AND it helped motivate me to learn how to spin short fibers. Happy to say that after two days of utter failure…. I CAN DO IT! 🙂

The lamb…clean…
washed lamb

Here’s some blended short fibers that I’ve successfully spun…YAY!…it’s camel, yak, silk and lambswool blended on carders and then spun for a two ply thick and thin yarn….(it truly is soft as butter)
short fiber mix - camel etc.

I’ve sold one of my spinning wheels – the Bordua that I bought last fall – to a really nice Ravelry member who will truly appreciate her. I’ve also begun selling some handspun wool yarn and some spinning fiber (the above mentioned alpaca) through my local kijiji. I definitely spin more than I knit and the wool is piling up!

Some recently spun yarns…
handspun yarn
(Left to right…lambswool, spun from the lock very finely for a four ply fingering weight yarn; alpaca, spun from combed fiber, two ply; grammalamb spun two ply; the soft as butter blended camel 2ply; a skein of laceweight, handdyed silk two ply approx 800 metres.)

Oh – Almost forgot! There IS news on the knitting front….

lamb, silk, alpaca mix for socks - three ply

I’ve spun 900 metres of silk/lambswool/alpaca (in approximate thirds, blended on carders and then spun fine for a three ply lace weight) to make a really beautiful pair of lace knitted stockings. So pretty, so impractical. Of course I had to have them 🙂 I’ve only just begun the knitting but it’s coming along well…

socks!

Lace Stockings - heel detail

As if that isn’t enough, I’ve also been working on some orifice hooks…
orifice hook - loves red

Flowers on a spiral

I am also working on the spinning wheel at the beginning of this post – she needed a few things and a bit of a facelift. I should have pictures to share very soon 🙂 I believe she is a german parlor wheel but who knows for sure…

And just because…I’ve decided it’s time to make a quilt. A really special quilt I’ve had a picture for for ages…known to me and those that know me as “THE ONE”. It begins something like this….

Tammys Quilt

A Portrait – In Crochet

Good morning 🙂

I’ve got something new to show today, and I’m really pleased with it!  Kind of addicted already, actually…

From this original picture (photograph)…

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To this portait in crochet!

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Isn’t it neat?! It’s a picture of Luke, the basset hound. I made it for my husband as Luke was his favorite dog and has since passed away. This is one of the rare things I’ve seen my husband excited by, craft-wise!

It took me some time to figure out and write the pattern but I’ve got it now 🙂

If you’d like to try this technique, check out the Crochet By Numbers web site or ravelry group, or both 🙂

I’ve got so many pictures already lined up that I want to do, this could keep my attention for as long as I let it!

Have a great day 🙂

A Hard Week

This week has been really hard for us. Our beautiful Lukie (the basset hound) passed away last friday after suffering from poisoning for over a month.

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I seriously think they ought to stop selling rat/mouse poisons to the general public. Why, with all they know about the dangers of poison, do they presume that everyone who CAN buy them WILL use them responsibly? For that matter, they have outlawed pesticides here but yet still sell the poison??

Our boy got into a box that was irresponsibly left OUTSIDE behind our home when the back neighbor moved out. This is what we assume because he was never unsupervised or off leash. The vet couldn’t confirm the type of poison but 2+2 still equals 4.

We buried him by his favorite stream at the farm, on Saturday. It’s been a very difficult time.

I’ve been knitting the shetland, some more. The sweater is coming out beautifully with my mods and I should have something to show soon.

Oh, yes, and still washing the rambouillet fleece. That’s about halfway done. I have the second half soaking and a BUNCH to comb and process. I like to get it to the combed top in little nests stage and that way it’ll be ready for me when I want to spin it.

I’ve become fascinated with the idea of weaving. I have no idea how really, unless it was the ‘Wild Fibres’ article about the weaving in Morocco – yes, that was likely it! I highly recommend that magazine. I bought it for the first time and read it cover to cover the same day. Really really well done and informative. I may have to find space and pull out the weaving loom from Seneca College that I have!

Take care. Hopefully by tomorrow or so I’ll have a lacy sylphish cardigan to show you 🙂

Beautiful Sun!

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The sun is shining and the rain is gone…for now 🙂 I love a sunny day…it revives me.

I’m going to do a ton of laundry, I love hanging it out to dry. It began because I don’t have my dryer yet – still in ‘storage’ – I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see it again! – but I really like it. I know I’m not wasting power and I like the way the laundry feels and smells 🙂 Even the jeans and towels!

Baked some beautiful muffins yesterday…raspberry lemon…

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They are fantastic…the recipe was originally for a cranberry muffin but I had frozen raspberries and I thought the lemon and raspberry would go well together, which they DID! The icing is just a glaze of icing sugar and lemon juice.

I’m almost done spinning the yarn for my son…I am so pleased too! I am sure I’ll get at least another 350 metres out of this last bit, maybe even 400 🙂 That should give me enough to make him a nice cabled sweater…

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I’m hoping to finish spinning it while the kids are at school today. I’d like to clean up our deck and get outside for a while. It’s definitely a spin-friendly deck – covered concrete front porch that spans the front of the house, actually. An excellent place to shelter the baby plants now that I’ve moved them outside. I forgot about them last night!!! Thank goodness there wasn’t frost here like they said might happen.

My husband is broken…well, slightly damaged – we’re going with that – he tore his main muscle in his right arm (is a construction foreman in the concrete business) and now can hardly move his arm at all. He’s gotten a sling to wear and spent yesterday sleeping because he got so little rest the night before. They say he needs to keep from using the arm for about a week…he’s going to have to actually supervise instead of jumping in and doing the work for a while.

The dogs spent yesterday comforting him 🙂 They like to keep him company…

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Have an excellent day!

Grow Babies, Grow

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My baby plants are growing really well! 🙂 I can’t wait for summer….

I’ve finished Ice Queen and I LOVE it! I used an assortment of beads — didn’t have enough of any one colour and I reclaimed them from kids bracelets so I couldn’t change plans and buy more of the same.

Check it out!

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I used 1.23 oz for this and have .49 oz left for another day!

Though I CAN wait for winter…had enough already!…I’m looking forward to wearing this when the weather turns cold again 🙂 I think the colours suit the pattern and the yarn worked out so well I have a yearning to spin some more lace…wouldn’t it be beautiful in a sweater!

Fantastic Day!

Spent the day outside yesterday…it was so nice out! I raked and bagged the leaves in our new yard and wow! what a job!!

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Although the prior tenants SAY they kept up with it, I got 26 lawn and leaf bags full of leaves and rotten leaves. That is so far…without getting the last bit off the lawn. It is so bad that most of the grass we could see before raking was the grass that was there…everything under them was dead. Not sure how long but grass doesn’t die that fast…I’ve killed a lot of grass in my time 😉 Quite a coincidence I’m sure but the dead sections are all under large trees…hmmmm…how odd – considering it was ‘kept up with’ as the little girl came over to offer me this info yesterday, ashamed I’m sure at the state of things.

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The good thing is…Our lawn looks GREAT now…the grass can grow and I’m about to uncover the gardens. They have great potential but have also been let go. The landlord mentioned the poor state of the lawn and gardens when we rented and told me I can do whatever I wish with the garden! I plan to place my veggies in amongst the flowers and shrubs around the house. I think the soil looks really good – unlike our house in the city where it was all back filled and not very good for growing stuff.

The kids, yesterday, suggested that I take a ‘before’ picture and now I wish I had but since I didn’t….here’s a bit of a picture of the side yard (taken from the front porch this morning lol)

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and the boys..taking out the dogs…

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Visit To The Vet!

Ok, because we are SICK of waiting and getting worried about the wait – we took Miss Daisy to the vet yesterday. 

LOL

He thinks she is pregnant (to think I paid money to hear ‘I think’ lol)– cannot tell for sure by feeling her belly as she is a daschund and so we’ve gotten her a pregnancy blood test and I should hear back today.

I don’t feel so bad knowing even the vet cannot tell more than I can!   He seems quite sure that the symptoms are pregnancy but (strange) he thinks she is LESS far along than we think.   I can’t see how but Mother Nature does whatever she likes…

He suggested that if she comes back positive today we can do an x-ray to see how many and if she will be able to give birth herself.  He didn’t bat an eye about the father being a basset hound so I’m guessing stranger things have happened! 🙂  He suggested the x-ray in a week or so…lol…I really think the puppies will be born before we go to the appointment ASSUMING she is pregnant.  The only alternative is false pregnancy and if this is false it’s incredibly persistant.

I’ll be the lady waiting by the phone!