|A smart dog hangs out at the pond in 90 degree heat!|
The whole eastern half of the US is experiencing an incredible heat wave this week. Our high temps are forecast in the mid-90's and our lows only in the upper 70's. We can usually count on it cooling down at night here in our "hollow", but with this heat, we are running the A/C 24 hours a day. The fans are on "high" in the alpaca barn and the 'pacas do not move around any more than necessary these days. This of course means more work for me since the barn becomes a giant toilet and I have to try to keep it clean.
On Saturday, Sam and I installed the "John Pacey Memorial Float" back in the pond. John procured this trampoline float for us last year and then he died in a tragic accident this past December. The float will always make me think of him. Anyway, it had a leak in it last year and we had to disassemble it, which involved removing the heavy nylon cover from the inner tube, inflating the tube to find the leak and patching it. That job done, into the pond it went. So, we now have the diving board, zip-line and trampoline. We would be really cool grandparents, wouldn't we?
It's kind of hard to see the zip line but it goes from the left hand corner of the pavilion across the pond between the dock and the float. We really need to do something with the hill between the pavilion and pond. It's bare of topsoil, so no weeds are even growing, but it is dry and rocky. No good for bare feet.
The chickens continue to be a source of amusement. They have dug chicken sized holes at the base of a tree next to the creek and they spend lots of time in those holes rolling around and kicking the loose dirt up over their backs and under their wings. I have to admit, I really did not know they would be so interesting. Even Rowdy finds them worth watching. Maybe he is dreaming of chicken dinners, I don't know.
They are now producing 5 to 6 eggs a day, which is really plenty. I am sure we will get to the point where we are getting closer to a dozen a day.
As this photo shows, one whole side of the barn loft is empty. In another month, it will be time to fill the lofts with second cutting. Our neighbors purchased a new hay mower, so today Sam is out looking at tractors as the new mower really requires a tractor with more horsepower than either of us have right now. Sam tried to give the guys half the cost of the mower and the hay elevator (which is the thing you see across the 2 lofts in the photo), but they agreed to just let us buy the tractor. Sam has been wanting a bigger tractor anyway. He's looking for one that is "just right", though. We do not need the type of tractor they have for working 1000 acre places. Maybe next week I will have a photo of a new-to-us tractor.
As hot as it is I have spent some time just sitting and knitting or spinning and yesterday I got a whole rug woven here at the office. Will likely do another today. I can answer phone calls and weave at the same time. Last week I went to my spinning guild and I spun up a couple ounces of the Blue-face Leicester/alpaca roving I had processed. So today when I came into the office I took a few minutes to ply it into a 2-ply yarn. Most times, I have 2 bobbins of yarn and I ply the 2 together, but since this is a small amount and is on one bobbin, I wind it into a center pull ball, which means one end is coming from the center of the ball, and I ply from each end. So I am using the end from the center and the other end which is on the outside of the ball.
I tried to get a good photo, but the yarn is in my right hand, so I have to operate the camera completely with my left hand and of course cannot use the view-finder at this angle. Very awkward! I put my thumb through the center of the ball of yarn to keep it from collapsing (the ball not my thumb) and thereby hopefully preventing a huge yarn tangle.
And here is the bobbin with the plied yarn
Since I will be selling this roving at the Wool Gathering in September, it is nice to have a sample of the roving either spun or knitted up for people to feel. Fiber festivals are very tactile.
Speaking of that, I also sent off almost 10 pounds more of prime white alpaca to be made into roving. August is going to be a dyeing month!
I have almost completed my bulky lace vest. I think maybe I said that last week as well. I am going to finish off the armholes a little more and then it will be done. I will post a photo of me wearing it when it is all done, but here it is for now.