Saturday, August 25, 2007

We've had visitors!

So yesterday, our friend Katherine came over for a visit. She's here for the summer in the area working with the Glimmerglass Opera down the road here (we're hoping some culture will rub off on us ). I was thrilled when she agreed to bring along her instument of choice to play a ditty or 2 for Nora. She's never heard a violin in person before, and for a few minutes was overwhelmed by the volume it produced in our humble abode.

Later in the day, she played again and Nora decided it was definately good. Dance music, even.

Katherine knits as well (can it get any better?) and is working on a pair of single repeat 'Afterthought' colorway. Just for Lisa, we got pics. I have also been promised pics of the completed pair.

Some friends of hers came with, and we toured the farm. Ann-Marie, also in the orchestra, and her boys Eric and Christophe. They saw the sheep, the piggers, baby chicks, the works. Christophe the younger brother has the makings of a great spinner, and scored a skein of the slightly heavier SuperStrong sock yarn for a scarf.

It was a great afternoon and I'm SOOO glad they all came!

On another note, check out what Nora drew and then TAPED to her door:

Please note that if you read it from right to left, it says "No mom dad" below a circle with drawings of mom and dad and an X over the circle (note how sad we look), with Nora at the bottom corner (note the smile on her face). Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't this type of signage supposed to start when she was well, a little older??

And thanks, the hand is doing better. Still hen-pecking it, but recovering.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'll get right on that.

Have you ever noticed that when you have to endure some periods of forced inactivity, that you find yourself wanting to be the most productive? You suddenly seem to be inspired to even clean something, and procrastination is a thing of the past.
That would be me. Well, actually, (to quote some good '80's slang) that would be me on drugs. Antibiotcs & pain pills, really. You see, I was 1/2 way through butchering some chickens yesterday... and I'll bet you can see where this is going. In one masterful stroke, I managed to NOT remove the neck bone I had decided needed to be removed, while simultaneously slicing open an inch gash across my knuckle bone. With a boning knife no less. Excellent emergency skills, and a babysitter already on site made the afternoon as painless as it could be, all things being what they were. Thankfully, while she said I could see tendon, I didn't do any damage to anything except soft tissue. And, as it was a very thin knife, she used this wicked cool skin glue called dura-blast (I think) so no stitches. Did get the tetnus shot though. The skin glue doesn't hurt at all, while the alcohol/jet fuel based commercially available product 'nu skin' stings like (insert very bad word here). Go figure. Anyways, I'm hen-pecking for typing and it's stoopidly slow for me & my usual 45wpm so don't expect gobs of email from me. Any typing done here is likely via dictation to my handy farm-help Kacey.
The yarn for the next club kit is skeined & ready to go, but as I can't get the bandages wet for 7 days, I don't have many dye-slaves of my own here, and while Nora dyes some beautiful stuff, she's just not up for club projects just yet.
In the meantime, I'm mulling over names for the new/wrong yarn here. We're keeping it (EZ says you never know when a mistake may be a design feature). It's 75% wool/25% nylon, sock-yarn weight 4 ply and it does felt. A couple of suggestions so far:
Car-Cozy Yarn
Versitae (pronounced versit-i) because it's...well, versitile.
I know there were a couple of others but I've misplaced those brain cells right now.
So, if you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments. If you like one of the couple here, leave it in the comments.

Comment Responses:

Lynne, Pat & others:
Several have suggested the car cozy yarn for lace shawls - I like this idea immensely, and I've got a 600 yard skein and a 1200 yard skein right here waiting for 'the hand' to recover to see how those quantities work in the dye pot and what needs to be adjusted to handle that size to cater to that market.

Trainlady, re postscript. No lambs were harmed this time. Tragedy has touched us in this manner in the past with no respect to age (lambs and ewes have bit the fence, so to speak). Most times, they survive the ordeal.

Food for Thought:
Do you know where your food comes from?

(taken from news page)

Corn Prices Too High? Feed the Animals Candy Instead

The growing use of corn for fuel has doubled the price of corn for animal feed. Typically, corn comprises about 70 percent of the diet of animals raised in confinement. To offset the spiking cost of corn, many feedlot managers are replacing some of the corn with candy and other “junk food” that has been declared unfit for human consumption.
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, this sugary, fatty fare includes banana chips, yogurt-covered raisin, cookies, licorice, cheese curls, frosted wheat cereal, Tater Tots, Kit Kat bars, uncooked French fries, pretzels and chocolate bars. One feedlot operator from Idaho confesses that he feeds his cattle a 100 percent “by-product” meal.
Grass, the native diet of grazing animals, is a rich source of protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Has anyone measured the nutritional value of meat from junk-food-fed cows? Candy may be cheap, but it’s cheating consumers out of meat’s natural nutrition. Consider grass-fed, instead.
(“With Corn Prices Rising, Pigs Switch to Fatty Snacks” Lauren Etter, Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2007.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Knitting Goddess is Cruel.

You know, here I thought that because I wasn't really working on a knitting project, that the knitting goddess couldn't 'mess' with me, ya know?
I mean, what was she going to do to me? Dust my knitting needles? Move the pink yarn over to the box with the orange yarn? Not much going on in the knitting front around here, just a couple of rolled-brim hats for upcoming fall craft shows. I was safe from mischief, or so I thought.
Enter the next order of base yarn for me to dye for OTHER knitters.

Ordered: Serious poundage (in the triple digits) of our FlockSock base yarn 75%superwash/25% nylon blend pristine in it's undye-ed-ness.

Delivered to my door: Serious poundage (now mocking me with it's triple digits) of a 75% wool/25% nylon NOT superwash yarn. Which definately felts.

"What's that?" Says the Knitting Goddess. "I can't mess with you?" She giggles madly while waving her magic needles in my direction. "Hang on."

I may as well cast on for that Harlot Bohus now, cause what could go wrong?

So, if you'll excuse me, I must go make some lemon-ade. And a pattern/kit for a felted car cozy...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Post Script

Dear Sheep:

Please consider this a post-script addition to our little chat earlier this year.

I'm sure I mentioned the 'don't drop dead' part as being very important, even critical to all our survival so to speak.
Please if you would be so kind, pass on to your offspring, and feel free to remind each other while out grazing 'round the ol' water hole.... electricity kills. Let's avoid sticking our heads THROUGH the electric fence for that one little bite of grass, shall we?
You know the fence is on, you know it's going to hurt when you get zapped, it shouldn't be very difficult to figure out what's going to happen when you begin dancing wildly because you're getting zapped and you've wrapped the fence round your wee little hoof, neck or entire body for goodness sake.
And, if your plan is to sacrifice yourself and 'bring down' the entire fence so the flock can run free across 2 counties.... stop now. Your flock mates seem a bit smarter than you, because if you succeed in bringing down a portion of the fence, they usually do not take advantage of this BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO CROSS THE ELECTRIC FENCE LAYING ON THE GROUND and your twitching self. And, to add insult to your injury and possible death, the few who brave the zap & head for greener pastures STOP TO GRAZE the nearest green pasture. That's right, no one runs free, or escapes the farm. They stop right next door in the very pasture I would have moved you tomorrow.

Thank you for your attention, feel free to go back to grazing. Away from the fences.

All our love,

The Shepherds