Friday, July 26, 2013
I've been reminded several times from several sources lately that I made a personal vow to be a more positive person this year and a big part of that for me is remembering to be grateful. By that I mean grateful for right now, for what's happening right where I am in this moment. Since reading this post by Rona Roberts several weeks ago, I can't stop thinking about how fortunate I am to be where I am at this time in my life and how much I have to be grateful for. I'm not thinking of the quantity of things in my life, of which I believe there are quite likely too many. Rather I'm thinking more about the quality of my life. I'm fortunate to be reasonably healthy, which when considering the fact that I've already outlived both of my parents, is not something I take for granted. The abundance of this time of year, in the garden and around the farm, can sometimes incline me to complaining, rather than being grateful, so I'm trying to remember to take time every day to be thankful for all the positives in my life.
Look closely at that rather inadequate photograph above and you will see plenty of green grass, green trees and fat ewes. It's the end of July in a southern countryside and we are rarely ever this lush and enjoying these pleasant temperatures at this point in the yearly cycle of farm life. That's just one of the things I want to remember when the natural order of things brings heat, humidity, no rain and anxiousness to my days.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Tour de Fleece: Yes, I'm actually spinning some every day this time. I believe it's because there is magic in Olive's fleece. She was my dearest girl and I can finally think about her and spin her wool without feeling so sad. The stack of yarn balls is about 3600 yards of singles that will eventually become 1800 yards of two-ply. I needed a little over 1200 yards to have enough for the Antler cardigan that I'm planning to knit. Why are the balls numbered? Because I'm not a totally consistent spinner. Some days I spin thicker, some days it's thinner. When I'm spinning for a big project like this, I attempt to make up for my lack of discipline by averaging things out. The first ball will be plied together with the last one and so on, in hopes that all the skeins will end up close to the same gauge. Those darker skeins are the last of Poppy's fleece and those 500 yards will possibly be combined with the rest of Olive's yarn for something stripey - maybe - still thinking on that. I've loved participating in the Tour de Fleece this year and for some reason, it hasn't been a struggle at all. I've allowed myself to spin a little every day, but haven't felt pressure to accomplish huge amounts every day. I hope this feeling carries over to the actual knitting of my memory sweater for Olive.
Fleece preparation: Yes, I'm still washing fleeces, but I'm down to the last of the alpaca fleeces. My trip to Echoview is scheduled for week after next. I'm pretty sure I know what I want to do for the 2013 version of "Fresh from the Farm Yarn". I'm thinking of adding something special to the wool/alpaca blend. I'm excited about having something that's a little different to offer this year. Now it's on to thinking about the color palette for the dyeing that will commence when the yarn arrives back at the farm.
|(a cloud of alpaca fiber drying in the greenhouse)
More sewing: I made another Squam smock and this one fits. Yay for getting it right! I'm really happy with the way this one looks and can already see that I'll like wearing similar ones with a t-shirt and jeans for cooler weather. I bought some really cute plaid, cotton flannel a few weeks ago and just thinking about it makes me wish for fall weather, even more than I already do.
|(Lying low til darkness brings some cooling)
|(Speaking of low activity - Carson knows how to beat the heat)
Thursday, July 11, 2013
|(Won't be long now)
|(I see pesto making in my future)
|(Harvested this morning)
There's not much else quite ready. The tomatoes are still several weeks from ripening and I can hardly wait. We live for summer tomatoes around here. In the meantime, I need to buy some vanilla ice cream because we're just going to make do with blackberry cobbler! (Try this recipe for something easy and delicious.)
Monday, July 8, 2013
and so is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and even Sunday right now. I'm in the throes of washing fleeces in preparation for taking this year's clip to the mill for spinning into our 2013 Sheep Dreams yarn. I've been washing non-stop for days now and still have a pile more to do. The greenhouse has been a wonderful drying facility - no more fleeces on old window screens or in the hammock or scattered about on the floor in the studio and house. Fleeces dry quickly in the greenhouse, even without the sun, which is a good thing because we have had day after day of rain lately. Finally, yesterday the clouds parted and the sun came out. Today we've had sun all day and it has shown me just how much weeding there is waiting for me in the garden. :-(
|(Ivy was very intrigued......finally, someone about her size!)
So, it's back to washing fleeces and planning for this year's edition of "Fresh from the Farm Yarn". I'm thinking worsted weight, but maybe with some special additions to the mix that will make it different from last year's version. What's your favorite weight and fiber blend?