Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Checking in - finally!

*(Won't be long till shearing time-I'm trying to ignore the vegetable matter)
Apparently, I decided to take a break from blogging, though it was not a conscious decision, as such.  I've considered coming to this space at least once a day and then somehow never made it. It's not that I've been particularly busy, though life on the farm never seems to be really slow. I've been thinking a lot and that takes a fair amount of energy!

The holidays are behind me and right now, it seems that they barely happened. No more shortened work weeks for Mike and I can feel what is left of January and February stretching out before me.  At the moment I have a to-do list that needs to be accomplished before mid-March. It's a long list, to be sure, but there is plenty of motivation to get things done. I'm currently scheduled for knee surgery on March 16 and will be physically out of commission from my regular life for at least a few months (no driving for 6 weeks! Is that even possible?). I don't have an accurate picture of what those months will look like, except that there will be plenty of physical therapy.

I am one of those (among many thousands) who recently read a little book titled 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up'. (Ha-evidently, I'm not alone. Amazon is currently out-of-stock!) I'll admit to some skeptical eye-rolling while reading it, but something about it has lit a fire under me. I've been on a mission to clean out, sort, purge, donate, organize and dispose of an untold amount of stuff.  It started with the decision to move my dye room out of the studio and into a storage room in the barn.  I didn't feel free to make a mess with dyeing in the studio. I was afraid of spilling dye on the tile floors (for the record, I hate tile floors-they are deadly to glass bottles and my back). In order for the move to take place, I first had to empty the storage room. If I'd known how bad that would be, I might not have suggested it in the first place! Now that it's mostly done, I can say it was a good thing. I've been forced to sort through pictures, much ephemera from both mine and Mike's past lives, thousands of photos and stuff that should have been never put in there in the first place. I told friends before the holidays that what I truly wanted for Christmas was a dumpster! (That didn't happen.) Mike moved the big commercial stainless steel sink from the studio and installed it in the barn dye room.  I've repainted the walls, scrubbed the floor, brought in shelving, moved all my dye-stuffs, undyed yarn and brought in last year's fleeces (which are also on the list to be taken to the mill before March 16). As I told my friend, Diane, I can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear because it is, after all, a room in the barn and so I'm going to feel free to make many messes in it!

Another activity that has been occupying me is sewing. Just before the holidays, I bought a new Bernina and have taken a few classes at Q-Quilt First Kentucky. It's been fun to get back into sewing.  I haven't felt a great deal of confidence and the new machine has been slightly intimidating, but I'm starting to feel more comfortable with her and ready to get started making myself some clothes. I'm a terrible clothes shopper, hate going to the mall, never know what size to order on-line, so this seems like a totally reasonable pursuit!

*(Aslan is on the job!)
Animal-wise there is nothing new around the farm. Well, except for Mike declaring all-out-war on the starlings that are determined to nest in our barn and all the farm equipment. He's gone from boarding up every opening possible, to covering the tractors and bobcat with bird netting, trying to shoot them (they are much too clever) to now having a recording of starling distress calls and hawks screaming that plays 24/7 in the barn. I worried that the other animals would be as disturbed as I am by hearing it, but they seem to pay absolutely no attention to it. Even the chickens and peacock seem oblivious (though to be fair, chickens are often oblivious). I'll let you know how this plan plays out!

*(Carson loves napping in the studio bathroom sink)
 Instagram is my new best friend. I nearly always have my phone with me while I'm feeding and I take pictures all the time. They are not beautiful pictures, but do depict every day happenings here. It's a little dose of instant gratification to post something and see what other folks are up to in their daily lives. You can follow me by clicking on the link on the sidebar and see what the animals are doing nearly every day.

*(Carson is also on the job-when he's not napping!)
On the knitting front, I have a few things that I need to take photos of before I can post. Post-surgery should allow me plenty of knitting time, so am thinking of something big I can work on start-to-finish, maybe an aran sweater. I've been enjoying keeping up with Karen Templer of Fringe Supply Co, working on the KAL for her Amanda sweater. Her sweater is gorgeous and is just the kind of sweater I know I would wear forever. Often, I have difficulty staying faithful to a big project, so we'll see how that unfolds.

So, that's a bit of a catch-up.You see, you haven't missed much by my not being here for a while! I'll try to make things a little more interesting before I'm back here again.

*Just in cast you were wondering, none of these photos have anything to do with this post.  I just thought you all might like to see a few of the usual suspects. 


  1. Dianne,
    Your animals are so healthy and handsome!
    I've been tidying up here, too. The house feels like it can breathe freely now that it is rid of so much excess.
    I am curious. What mill will you be using. Ohio Valley is closing their doors and I need to find a replacement.
    And thank you for posting the link to the Amanda sweater. I've seen peaks at other projects on Instagram but couldn't find the pattern. It looks like the classic cabled cardigan I've been looking for.
    Good luck with your knee!

  2. Hi, Dianne,
    I'm so happy to hear that you are better and moving on with stuff!! Must be the season for tidying up!! Last night I'm took a large bag of yarn to our Knitters' Guild to pass on to other knitters and I'm sure there is still more + weaving yarn too. Maybe it's just a winter thing.
    The sweater is quite lovely and I'm sure Carson would love to lay in a beautiful basket of yarn while you knit!! He and Aslan are so fluffy!!
    A new knee sounds great--the faster to run with the sheep!!

  3. I just might look into getting that book, maybe on my kindle. I feel like I'm ALWAYS trying to clean up. I'm the type of person that if I can't get EVERYTHING perfect, I'll just give up. I guess I've gave up a long time ago by the looks of my house. lol.

  4. I just found your blog and, having lived on a farm in Wis and my father raising sheep, I really enjoyed it. I would like to subscribe by email and don't see where I can.

  5. Good you are "back", and glad you are doing good. Best of luck with the knee! I love the Amanda sweater, too. Go for it! Look forward to seeing it :-)