Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Means Lots of Activity on the Farm

Just what the Aussie ordered 3 miles into a 3 1/2 mile hike on a warm day
This week has brought warm but not hot weather and a couple days of much needed rain.  The grass is growing and Sam has had to break out the lawn mower.  He also spent a day spreading a year's worth of alpaca poop on the hayfield.  Not nearly so many spreader loads as last year since we have half the number of poop makers.

On Sunday, I spent some time up on my walking trail on Wayne National forest cutting dead trees off the path.  There were a lot that came down in the derecho storm on June 29th that we have just been climbing over or going around, but now the path is mostly clear.  There is still one good sized tree across the path, but it is easy to go over and I am not sure enough of my chainsaw skills to try to cut it up.  This makes Sam happy because it is about time to start looking for morels.

On Monday, I picked up my new package of bees and installed them in the relocated top bar hive.  This being the third time I have installed bees, everything went really well and quickly, but Sam was not around to take pictures.  I have posted pictures and video on this blog of my past installations, just check April of 2011 and 2012 if you are interested.  On Tuesday, I got into the Langstroth hive for the first time in too long and did some moving around of boxes and definite pissing off of bees.  The hive is quite crowded and so today I will be going back and giving them another box or "super" full of frames that they will hopefully fill with honey for me to harvest in another month or so.  

I have also weeded out the asparagus patch and there are lots of asparagus spears coming up.  Unfortunately, we are still getting down into the low 30's overnight frequently and the asparagus does not handle that well.  Really looking forward to enjoying some of that soon.

I finished up the shawl I was knitting and got it blocked.  It is very pretty and I had lots of yarn leftover, which makes me think I could have made it a little larger, but I hate worrying about running out of yarn!  I also wish I had used beads that  had more contrast with the yarn.  They are so hard to see.

I have dyed up some of the white alpaca I washed a week or so ago.  I dyed it in 2 colors and am going to make layered spinning batts with the alpaca and some silk I also dyed.

 The alpaca is the blue and red and the silk is variegated purples.  it will be interesting to see how this comes out.  I made similar batts last year with the dyed alpaca and bamboo that I made my Spanish Armada shawl out of.  The colors were very different, though.

I am also thinking of spinning 100% natural colored alpaca to weave a throw.  Ok, so I have a fleece washing right now, but this will not be a short term project.

I have also heard from the mill that my yarn is ready.  I e-mailed and asked them to ship it, so hopefully it will arrive soon. It is a heavier yarn than I usually get and I am anxious to see it.  Thinking about dyeing.......

The days are so pretty.  The redbuds  and the tulips are in bloom and the woods are carpeted with wildflowers.  I have even gotten my deck furniture out of the barn and dusted it off.  It really IS spring!


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