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Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Frigid Fiber Festival Followed by the Arrival of Summer Weather

Rowdy seems to have adjusted to his summer haircut, so he is posing for me again.  He really does much better without all that heavy coat in the summer.  It never dries out and he starts to smell like mildew after a while.

Wow, it's been quite a week.  Grover and I attended our obedience class again on Thursday night.  I have to say we are having fun with it.  I bought a treat pouch that I can wear around my waist and is easy to open and access a treat, which is important.  Plastic baggies in one's pocket are just not easy and fast to get into.  So I wear it all the time we are outside and Grover never knows when I will ask for a sit/stay or to walk next to me.  Sam was very impressed with Grover's sit/stay.  He IS getting good at it.

Friday I packed up and left with my friend Tari for the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster Ohio.  I had decided to borrow my father-n-law's very large van, which runs on natural gas/gasoline because a) it would get us all the way there and back on free natural gas   b) it is easier to load than the pick-up truck with a cap on it  and  c) it would be more comfortable to sleep in if we needed to do so.

As it worked out, a, b and c were quite true.  Tari and I packed a tent to sleep in and even set it up and then we decided that since there were frost warnings (!) it would be warmer to sleep in the van.  There are 2 bench seats in the van and we each picked one and that's where we slept.  We awoke both mornings to bright sun shining through icy windows.  While we did not sleep like we would have at home, I am sure we slept better than if we had slept in the tent.

The show was nice.  I think from what other vendors said attendance was down, which is odd since the daytime weather was perfect for this type of event, in the low to mid 60's.  Last year, it was in the mid 90's.  It was HOT last year.  My sales were ok, not great, but I had little expense in being there, and had a lot of fun with Tari and other people I know.  I was even declared a "genius" when the owner of Morning Star Fiber Mill stopped by and saw what I did dyeing the yarns he processed for me.  That was fun.

On Monday, we finished up shearing the last 5 alpacas.  At least these 5 girls were warm over the weekend.  We completed shearing in only an 8 day period this year, during which we actually sheared 4 days.  Love it!  Having less than 25 alpacas is so much easier.

So I think by Tuesday, the weather was up into the 80's and feels like summer.  All around us people are mowing hay and Sam mowed ours yesterday, so we should be baling on Saturday.  In this photo, you can see the mown hay and at the far end of the field you can see lots of heavy equipment that is being used to put in the gas pipeline.  We had to go over and take a look on our walk last night.



 There were FOUR of these big excavators sitting down there.  I'd love to play with one someday.  I think they are fracking the wells on the first pad about 2 miles from us.  It occasionally (usually about 7 am) sounds like jet engines revving up.  They are getting ready to drill even closer.  Yipee.

Tuesday I also got into both bee hives to see how things were going.  Both are healthy and active, though I don't have enough honey yet to harvest.  Maybe in a couple weeks.  Excited about that prospect.

Also on our walk last night Sam cast his line in the pond a few times as he often does.










And while he is doing that, this is what is going on on the other side of the pond

 

 I don't think any fish were caught.  Wonder why.







 

This is the one week a year when the multi-flora roses which we battle against constantly are actually pretty.  They bloom with tiny white flowers and fill the air with the fragrance of roses.  They are everywhere (you can see them behind Sam in the photo above) and are a scourge to anyone trying to keep fields and pastures clean.

 

I have not written much about fibery pursuits lately.  I am almost finished with a summer top knitted with a hemp/cotton yarn.  I had knitted a top from it 3 years ago and did not like it, so I ripped it out and re-purposed the yarn.  I am liking this one much better.

 I am spinning alpaca for the purpose of weaving a blanket.  I spun white all weekend at the fiber festival and have black on another wheel.  Of course I purchased some fiber at the festival and also a turkish drop spindle, which I will post about next week, since I forgot to photograph it.

 

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