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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Holy Wah!

Holy Wah! = Yooper Expletive meaning, "Holy S_ _ t!"  Click HERE for a Yooper dictionary to interpret the natives.

Ya Hey- it was 18 below Zero this morning when we woke up!  Not much warmer when we did chores either exchanging popsicles for water bottles so the bunnies could drink.  Cold days like this you can almost see the ice forming a skim on the surface of the water before it even hits the bowl....this means bunnies get a bit more attention having their water changed more often.  Grups and kids alike haven't spent much quality time outside other than chores.  Fortunately the sun has decided to shine on us the past couple of days which helps a bit.  The furnace is going full bore, and this drafty log house only warms up to 63 degrees.  Thank goodness for the wood furnace- we'd never be able to afford to heat this beast with propane.  Weather forecast is for up to a foot of Lake Effect snow tonight.  Did I do my timekeeping before I left work on Friday??? No.

Spent part of yesterday carding and spinning some white Shetland/mohair  mix.  Lovely stuff.  Also boxed up the last of the gray Shetland and Angora roving- happy to have sold every ounce but a little sad it isn't in my stash anymore!  I had planned to spin some up for myself and weave a triangle shawl but alas...not to be this spring!  This year after shearing I think I'll commit both Fancy and Chunk's fleece to be combined with angora- that will give me about ten pounds of roving instead of five.  If I ever get back my llama from Zeilengers (Three months to dehair?) I think I'll make some spinning batts of Shetland brown (Liz and Beltane) and Igraine's lovely soft fiber.  Her fiber feels as soft as alpaca, just longer and with less crimp.  What to do with white this year?  I could have roving made with angora, pygora or Pikachu's lovely llama many decisions!  :) Happy ones...Yoo Betcha.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shetland Combed Top!

Another exciting happening around the Holidays was that while we were downstate we passed by Frankenmuth....and Zeilenger's had finished the Shetland Combed Top!!!!  I delivered them 18 pounds of VM contaminated wool and received back 8 pounds of top, and a bag of noils in batt form.  I don't know how much the bag of noils weighs as I had to leave it there since there wasn't room in the car for two big bags of wool, three dogs, three kids, Christmas gifts, etc...  It will get picked up when our llama is done being dehaired.

The wool was from all of our sheep- neck bits, patches with too much VM in them to be practical to use, and whole fleeces in some cases.  I primarily did this to save my sanity...that much VM would have driven anyone insane!  It was expensive, but worth it in the long run.  I won't probably be doing this every year as most of the sheep with open fleeces have been coated and I plan to keep them that way, but I'll save up the icky bits to send down when I have enough.

Close up- you can see some individual fibers.  The sheep ranged in color from white, grey, three different shades of brown, shaela (silvery black) and black.

It ended up being a beautiful silvery dark brown and it is REALLY soft.

I was particularly excited by the way it this big beehive of overlapping coils that was hollow in the middle.  It was really neat!

I put a listing for some on my Etsy site.   I hope to get a chance soon to spin some myself!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Assorted December Bits

Since I was so slack in posting these past two weeks here are the highlights of our Holiday Vacation.

Christmas at Grandma's-
My brother and two of my neices...dressed to the nine's as usual!
I had a hard time getting all three of them together for a picture.  Their attention was diverted elsewhere.
Lila got a cool hat and socks with toes from Grandma and Granpa.  That is my Dad's nose and arm in the picture.
There was sledding....

...with dogs.

Lila, Olivia and Uncle Tommy

Sam and cousin Blake wiped out under spruce trees.
Most just wiped out at the bottom of the hill or the fence at the bottom of the hill.
They wore us out and we had to go home.

Then Lila turned TEN.  She celebrated with Christmas Crunch.

She has lots of new, good reading to do!

And a new friend to love.

The traditional birthday nightgown.

Then it was Christmas Eve!  After Christmas Eve dinner at Dougettes (where Rachel read aloud her short story that included us) we traipsed home rather late and rather tired.  We put out cookies and milk for the Old Guy and Will read a "Cajun Night Before Christmas" as he does every year.  Uncle Dan gave Lila that book a few days after she was born and it has been read ever since.

We kept them out too late.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...under the supervision of Hedwig.  (* note- for the more sensitive home decor readers I realize that the ugly green chair does not match our decor.  However, it belonged to my Grandmother and I have photos of myself as a baby sitting in that same chair (with different, albeit still ugly upholstery). It is still somewhat comfortable, with some broken springs, and perhaps someday we will have it re-upholstered.  It is still my favorite piece of furniture.)

Santa overloaded the Beautiful Fir tree.

Duncan was up at 5:00 am.  I gave him a blanket and he fell asleep next to the tree on the warm heat register.

Ghost Pirates!
A fiddle bow!

A box!!!

A family computer!

From then on it was all about trying to re-organize the house to accomodate all the new goodies.  They don't call the day after Christmas boxing day for no reason!  I managed to rearrange our bedroom/studio space so there is more space for spinning and weaving (and using the bedroom) and my sewing and doll making equipment went into the finished basement where I carved out a corner to call my own.  It looks quite homey.  Will rearranged space down there to set up a train table for the, ahem, kids.  He has spent a bit of time cleaning up track and trains.  They have been having lots of fun.

I was able to spend some quality time with the woolies and cleaning rabbit hutches and plucking bunnies.  I also made a hard cheese for the first time (Farmhouse Cheddar) and attempted to weave a shawl on the triangle loom.  It didn't happen.  It was a good learning session though (after I got over the swearing bit) and I will start anew with thicker yarn spun with more twist (when I get around to spinning it).  I did get some spinning in as well and figured out how to use the Ashford Scholar I have.