Thursday, April 5, 2012
So Much To Do!!
Yes, spring is surely here. There is so much to do now. I am still working on getting the new bee hive ready. Sam has built the boxes and I need to paint them. I ordered a wrong tool with which to finish up my frames, so I am waiting for the correct one to come in the mail so I can get that done. I think tomorrow will be painting and frame finishing day. Hopefully. I want to be able to do the painting outside, so no rain.
Tuesday I spent some time over at the Humane Society Shelter (I have probably mentioned that I am a volunteer there) building a handrail up to the kennels. Some genius put the kennels at the top of a hill making them all but inaccessible by two-leggers in the winter time. So we put in some steps and then a hand rail.
I am also working on preparing products for the Upper Valley Fiber Festival in a little over a month. The really good news is that my yarn is done and should be on its way to me! I sent it to a mill I have not used before as the one I normally use was too busy to get it to me in time. The mill tells me the yarn is beautiful. I sure hope so. I will give them a plug next week if they are right.
So, I will have yarn to start dyeing very soon. I dyed up another batch of my 50/50 alpaca/ wool roving this week. Dyeing is not an exact science, at least for me. And in this case I underestimated the power of green. I was doing a combination pour on/kettle dye and I used TOO MUCH green with the first batch (my pot does not handle an entire pound of roving) and it came out a very intense green. It was supposed to be more yellow with green areas. So for the second batch, I really cut back on the green and it was still somewhat overpowering. In the photo, the first batch is on the bottom of the dryer and the second is on the top.
This roving holds together very nicely so once it is fluffed up (the dyeing process compacts it), I am putting it into 2 oz braids that look nice and don't need to be bagged so potential buyers can feel the softness. Here is last week's batch braided up.
I am also carding up batts of rose grey alpaca on my drum carder. It is the same fiber I made my alpaca/bamboo yarn from, but it will not be dyed. I will offer it in 1 oz batts.
Sam has been working on getting things ready to do some planting. I think today he is putting in some potatoes and lettuce. He is also planning to put in some sorghum. He got some seeds from some local people who squeeze it and cook it down into molasses. They told him if he grows it and brings it over after harvesting when they are doing theirs we can run it through their evaporator. So, why not? We also have asparagus spears coming up. This should be our first year for a good crop.
Here are our 2 fall crias that we weaned a couple weeks ago. The black one is Inigo Montoya, a little male and the female is Glacienne, or Laci for short. She has been sold and is going to a new home in Georgia later this month. They are doing well with weaning.
Apache is enjoying the spring grass. He lost some weight over the winter and actually looks great. He is still on a joint supplement and I have not seen him having difficulty getting back on his feet when he lays down, so that is really good. He is 27 now and has been with me 19 years! Hard to believe.
There are wild flowers springing up everywhere. Last year I learned that the fragile-looking white flowers that were blooming back in the woods along the creek among the fallen trees are Trilliums. I understand they are fairly rare, but there are many of them in one area where we walk almost daily. So delicate and pretty.
I named one of our crias from last spring after them. I will have to post her picture next week if I remember to get one.
Here are some wild turkeys in the hayfield. They had to make a hasty exit once Rowdy saw them. He loves to chase large birds, and yet he walks amongst our chickens and hardly gives them a second look.
Speaking of chickens, the hawk has been back, but last time I saw him he was being chased off by a crow. YES! Go Crows!
I finished up and blocked the shawl I was working on last week. It came out very pretty I think. I plan to re-block it though. Many people have blocked it with much more curvature on the top and I like the photos of how it drapes better that way. Aren't the colors great? LOVE that purple on the lace edging!
This weekend is Easter and we will be going to Sam's parents' house on Sunday. None of the kids are coming. They are all grown up and have their own lives. Our younger son, Sam, has left the Grand Canyon and is back at Yosemite at the lodge where he has worked before
he seems to really love it there (Yosemite) and I can't blame him, it's beautiful. Older son, Ian, is still at the Grand Canyon for another 7 weeks or so and then he and his girlfriend are off to Portland Oregon. Younger son's plan is to move there as well in the fall. We'll see how things go. That's all Sam and I can do. And plan to visit!