Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Winter 2008 Newsletter

Vancalcar Acres - Winter 2008 Newsletter

It’s March now, and I like to imagine that winter is almost over, but when last week started out with a foot of new snow, and ended with another 8… well, it’s hard to imagine anything but snow. On the positive side of things, 3 lambs were born last Monday just before the storms – a set of twins and a single. The fact that all were born in the daytime, on dry hay bedding, in the sunshine with no wind means that 2 sheep have finally gotten their acts together on this farm, and we’re just hoping the rest follow suit. Or better yet, wait until spring like they’re supposed to, because we’re not supposed to be lambing in February. I say this every year, and every year we have at least one lamb born in February just so the fates can laugh at me.

On the fiber front, I wonder have you ever heard of the Yarn Harlot? Yes, I’m sure you have. In January, 3 days after I finally snuck my loom into the house and out of the freezing garage with big weav-ish plans… she blogged the Vintage sock kit. And by blog, I mean convince eleventy billion other knitters that they also needed to share in leaf-knitting. Life as we knew it around here ended. I called the mill to order more yarn, just in case. I mean, there wasn’t really a chance of running out of yarn, it was in the triple digits here in poundage but there were the new club kits coming up and it’s best to be prepared. And then in February, I realized, the poundage was now in the double digits and dwindling FAST. The Yarn Harlot officially broke the stash here, and we’ve run out of yarn. Oh, there are skeins here and I’m finishing off as many pending orders as possible, but for all intents & purposes, the cupboards are bare. I’ve called the mill, and begged and pleaded. They do not know who the Harlot is, and were not nearly as impressed with it all as I was. Barring my calling other companies and begging them to cancel their orders to move mine ahead in line, there is nothing to do but wait. I should have yarn the 2nd week in March and I’ll probably be heavily sedated by then with anxiety and frustration.
Besides that, there are several wonderful new things planned for when the yarn DOES arrive. Obviously, filling all the pending orders if the first priority. After that, the first club kit Firebird gets prettied up and sent out the door, and then Cleopatra is released on the world. She is the first club kit from last year, and a beauty. A pattern called ‘Afterthought’ is all but printed, Swan Lake is being tested out (felted boot – how cool), and there are several new colorways I’m dyeing to release (get it? Dyeing?). End of March for the new colors is the goal, we’ll see how it goes what with sleeping and eating interrupting me now & then.
On the family front, don’t tell anyone but we seem to have gotten a complete month’s worth free of colds. Husband is the one who broke the record by bringing home the flu the last Friday in February, and he was sequestered in his room, hibernating for a week. There is not enough hand sanitizer in the world to make me feel completely safe, it’s as if he’s got bubonic or something.
I think that sums things up for now. There are a couple of farm & family related issues that I’m not ready mentally to let loose on the world, some changes around here that have left me wondering a lot about priorities and choices. With everything else going on and as busy as I’ve been, I haven’t been able to concentrate on those things right now and so, we’ll let things ruminate in my mind as I come to grips with a new reality. A good one, to be sure, but different from what I had come to expect.

Thanks for sharing time with us,

Eric, Jennifer and Nora Vancalcar

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