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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring is Bursting Out!

Look how green it is!  And pretty purple weed/wildflowers are coming up everywhere.  It gets greener outside by the day.  

I have had so much going on since last I posted.  I started by heading over to Dayton to do a demonstration on spinning for a group my mother belongs to.  It is a type of guild consisting of mostly retired home-economists.  My mother is a retired registered dietition/college professor and only recently became involved with this group.  When they found out I was a spinner/alpaca farmer, they requested a demo.  There were a LOT of people present, I would say at least 25 to 30 women and it was held in someone's house.  I think, judging by the responses I got, that it went very well.  I know I talked til I was hoarse, though since I was coming down with a cold, that was inevitable.

Later that night I had a very nice dinner with 3 of my high school friends at a Bonefish Grill  which incidentally happens to be located in a huge shopping plaza only about 2 miles from where I lived from 1971 until I graduated high school.  When we moved there, there was a Stuckey's (anyone remember those?) and a gas station.  That's it.  It is now unrecognizable.  I guess a lot happens in 40 years.  Can it have been that long????

Once I got home Friday, my cold really hit me and I was not too active Friday or Saturday.  Though Saturday and Sunday were alpaca moving days and I managed to get all the alpacas moved who needed moving, with Sam's help.  First, I am selling 4 females, 3 of whom have never been bred and I told the buyer I would put them all in with one of my males until he is ready to come get them in the hopes that one or more will become pregnant.  So, I moved those 4 and Eclipse into the pasture next to the garage so I can kind of monitor things.

 Next, the 3 crias born in the fall are now all over 6 months old and so their mamas are ready for a break.  So Peg, Tunita and Miracle got to move down the road to the pasture across from the guest house.  I find that there is less whining from the crias if the mamas just disappear instead of physically relocating the babies.  There was a little angst on the part of the crias for a day or so, but they seem to be fine now.  

And now I have less alpacas per acre since the garage pasture was unoccupied all winter and the green grass is growing.  And I still have hay in the barn!

On Sunday, I spent a lot of time cleaning out an old fence that was between our yard and the creek.  While my old friend Apache was alive, this fence allowed him to wander up the creek and kept him out of the yard.  It was really not much of a fence and was old barb wire and rusty and the posts were mostly falling down, so now that he is gone, there is no need for it.  In the photo, you can see where the yard ended and the weedy stuff on the other side of the fence began.  Hopefully it will eventually be lawn from the deck right to the creek.  Kind of a sad chore, but we had been planning to do it once Apache was no longer with us, so it was time.

 





One of the reasons for all the greening up is that we got some much needed rain on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, it came in the form of a torrent instead of a steady gentle day-long soaking that I would prefer, but we got rain!



The tulips and the peonies are coming up, as are the weeds.  Last year my tulips came up extremely early and got frost-killed so they never bloomed.  I think this year they will bloom.


 I think I mentioned I had knitted an infinity scarf from some of my hand-dyed alpaca as  sample for the show I went to earlier this month.  I finally had Sam take a picture of me wearing it.  It is wrapped twice around my neck here.  I am wearing it today, though probably not for long since they are forecasting 80 degree temps for today.

I have been knitting a lacey beaded shawl from some yellow wool yarn.  I started a mystery knit along last summer with this yarn and beads and just did not like the resulting shawl at all, so I "frogged" it (rip it, rip it) and am much happier with this little shawlette.  It is almost done and needs the magic of blocking to bring out its true beauty.  It is called Heaven Scent and is a pattern I purchased through Ravlery.com



 Last night I started to spin the purple gradient polworth (wool)/silk roving I purchased from Fibernymph Dyeworks at the Knitter's Fantasy.  Very nice to spin.  I plan to spin it fine, fine and then do a Navajo ply 3-plied yarn from it.  It will take time to spin.  Spinning it on my beautiful 24" Reeves Saxony wheel, which is my preferred wheel for fine spinning.



 As I said, I've been busy.  Next week, I am getting a new package of bees to install in the top bar hive, which you may remember did not survive the winter.  So this weekend, we need to get that all ready for new occupants.  We are making some changes to the hive and have relocated it into the garage pasture at the far end of the garden.  I also really need to get into the Langstroth hive and see how those girls are doing.  I'm hoping for a honey harvest in June!




Had some beautifully dramatic clouds this morning!

 

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