Thursday, October 17, 2013

Readying for Winter

I got this gorgeous shot of the boys in wonderful sunset light the other evening.  At the end of this post, you will see what was behind me when I took this.  

It has been a busy week, again.  We went to Dayton over the weekend to go to a 20th anniversary party for my brother and his wife and we spent the night at mom's.  The party was very nice.  The weather was nice enough to sit outside and chat.  Sam even went with me and we boarded the dogs overnight at a new kennel in the area.  The kennel where we used to board has shut down as the owner has moved out of state.  I was so apprehensive, as that is the only place Rowdy has been boarded since he was a puppy, and Ilaina never  kenneled him.  He stayed in the house with her and her dog, Roy, who is also an Aussie and Rowdy's best buddy.   He knows Roy's name.  He gets excited to go stay with Roy.  But things change, people move on, and Rowdy was fine at the new Plainview K9 Retreat, which is good because he is going to be there for a week soon when we visit our sons in Portland.

Yesterday I dropped off 20 pounds of fiber at the post office to ship to the New England Alpaca Fiber Pool which will magically be turned into 4 dozen pairs of wonderful alpaca socks for me.  I sell a lot of these at Christmas time.  Worth every penny of my $15 retail price.  So that is 20 pounds of skirted fiber out of my studio!  I also have 20 pounds of prime alpaca ready to deliver to Morningstar Fiber Mill next week, along with the wool fleece I purchased at the Wool Gathering.  I decided to pair it with Lightning's fleece and do a 66/34 alpaca/wool blend yarn.  I will only have about 5 or 6 pounds finished yarn from that, but I want to see how it turns out.  As I have been skirting these fleeces, I have also skirted the secondary fiber and sorted it into bags by color.  I will eventually have some spun into rug yarn and I will likely sell some on Ravelry at $2/pound like I did last year.  I have more than I can use.  Amazingly, I still have an abundance of fleeces in my studio.  

I have finished with honey extraction and have everything mostly cleaned up and stored away.  I will be feeding the top bar hive weekly most of the winter I think.  But the Orchard hive is pretty well set.  

The chickens are doing well.  We are up to 4 to 5 eggs a day now.  I will say I used some chicken stock that I made from one of my previous chickens on Monday to make chicken corn chowder (also used corn from the garden, garlic from the garden and potatoes from the garden) and it was excellent.

Tuesday I took advantage of fine weather and I cleaned out the garlic patch and planted next year's garlic.  It was a fabulous day.  I also got some knitting on the deck in.  I have been working on a cowl in some 100% Merino wool yarn that I won from a podcast I listen to.  It's in great fall colors and I should have it finished in plenty of time for our Portland trip.

I have my loom here at the office all warped and I will be weaving as soon as I finish this post.  I can't say what this is yet, but I will eventually.  Once I finish this project, I need to warp for more rugs.  Since I sold 3 at the Wool Gathering, I need to replace them.

I have been looking forward to this Saturday for several weeks because I have plans to do a full day's horseback ride.  Wouldn't you know the forecast is calling for rain?  Let's hope it is wrong and I get to go.  It'll really be a bummer if it gets cancelled.  

Here's the sky that gave me that pretty soft lighting for the photo of Rowdy and Grover.  Isn't that marvelous?

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