Thursday, January 24, 2013

Deep Freeze

This would be a cold bath!
We went from  50 degree weather last weekend to single digit lows and highs in the teens during the day this week.  It's January in Ohio.

Our visit with our son has ended.  He flew to Portland OR yesterday and is spending a week with our other son, Ian, and his girlfriend, Michelle.  It was hard to drop him off at the airport in the pre-dawn cold yesterday, but he has his life now and we are only a part of it.  I think it means you have been successful at raising your children when they are independent and happy with what they are doing.  That doesn't mean I don't miss having them closer, though.

I don't mind the cold weather too much since I usually am dressed for it.  Below 20 degrees, though, it is pretty darn cold.  I have a thermometer in my bathroom that has the outdoor temperature on it so I can determine how many layers I will need before I get dressed each morning.  Anything below 30 requires 2 shirts and either wool or alpaca socks.  I can usually get by with 1 pair of socks, but 1 day this week I had wool AND alpaca on at the same time.  To venture outside for chores I then usually don a fleece neck gaiter, insulated bib coveralls, a quilted flannel zip-up hoodie, an alpaca earflap hat, thinsulate lined flip top mittens and my muck boots.  This is for barn chores.  For my daily dog walks, I prefer not to wear the coveralls since they are bulky and restrict movement somewhat.  Yesterday, though, I wore those.

The dogs still expect their walks despite the cold and in truth it is good for me to have them to make me get outside and get exercise every day as well.

The chickens seem to prefer not to spend as much time outside when it is so cold.  But they do venture out when it is nice and sunny.

Our egg production has not increased a lot yet, but it is January and the chickens' don't have as varied and good a diet.  We are getting 4 to 5 eggs a day right now.  These chickens are into their second year of laying and I think they start to taper off after that.  Time will tell.

Timmy the barn cat obviously has no fear of heights.  That board he is sitting on is a good 15' up.

This is pretty standard dog play as we make our way back to the house after morning chores.  GroverCarter is sometimes very annoying to Rowdy.  It is a good thing Rowdy is the larger and heavier of the two.  He is not as fast however.  But his teeth are bigger.

Here I am in the sweater I finished last week using Berocco Ultra Alpaca yarn which is 50/50 wool/ alpaca.  I have already worn the sweater twice.  I just love it.  It fits well and is nice and warm.  And I love the color.  

I am still working on the gradient fiber spin-along.  I am almost done spinning 2 bobbins of singles and hope to ply them into a 2-ply yarn this weekend.  Below is bobbin #2.  The blue is the last of it. 

Not much progress has been made on the beaded neck-warmer since I was busy with other things while my son was here, but here is a photo.  I need to finish it up and get to work on my next project for which I have been dyeing some hand-spun alpaca/wool yarn, but more on that later.

Stay warm!


  1. I love your new sweater!! Beautiful!

    I do the same thing with layers and the cold, each temp has it's own layering system.


  2. Thanks Cara. The yarn was nice even if it isn't US alpaca :P
    Stay warm!