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Friday, May 2, 2014

April's Showers Have Colored Everything Green!

I love seeing my neighbor's cows up on this hilltop
Everything is incredibly, vibrantly green.  The woods are carpeted in green once again and the wildflowers are everywhere.  I am amazed when I walk at how green everything really is.  Now if it would just warm up a bit.....

Other signs of spring include asparagus coming up in the asparagus bed, millions of little tadpoles along the shore of the pond, hostas coming up in the flower beds and my tulips in full bloom.  In my garden, the lettuce and beets I planted a couple weeks ago are also popping up and I can hardly wait to have fresh salad greens.  I confess I have already tested a couple stalks of asparagus straight from the garden.  Can't let those first ones wait around for more to be ready to pick or they'll be beyond their prime!

Our plans of getting alpacas shorn early this year have not materialized.  The weather has been too rainy.  And wet alpacas simply cannot be shorn.  So we are waiting to start.  I did prepare the barn this morning for shearing.  Most of the dividers in our barn are moveable so we can rearrange space to suit whatever our needs may be, so I moved panels away from the built in shearing table so that we can walk around it, which we need to be able to do.  It gives the alpacas a bit less indoor space, but they really don't need it this time of year.  I hope to get started on that chore this weekend.  We have 21 to shear, 2 of which are due to have crias imminently.

 



I have gotten 3 batches of yarn dyed in the last week.  This is some of my 100% alpaca 2-ply sport weight yarn.



 These 3 are all "colorways" I have dyed previously and have sold well at festivals.  I keep good notes so I can come close to reproducing a color I like.  But there is always some variation.  Each one of these batches is 8 skeins of 300 yards each.  I still have 3 more batches of this yarn to dye and I am not sure what colors I will use.  I will likely try something newI also have about 20 skeins of an alpaca/wool blend to dye and I will probably do that in 5 skein batches.

Grover and I had a great time at our agility class this week.  We got to put a couple obstacles together and let him run it as fast as he could.  He really got into it and was quite revved up.  I think he likes it.  I have to put a couple jumps together here at home so we can practice.  Grover is not the only one who has things to learn.  



 Work continues on the kitchen down the road.  Sam has really been working hard.  He has jacked up the floor a bit and used some leveler  and has installed the backing board for the tile, which we picked up at Home Depot this week.  You can kind of see what it will look like.  I think it will look great.  We also purchased a new side entry door, as the one that is on the house has never been very functional.  A good wind would blow it open if it was not wedged shut with a screw in the jamb.  And Sam had a horse blanket in front of it all winter to keep out as much of the draft as possible.  I even got someone to come and pick up the old sink and haul it away and they gave me $30.  Pretty good deal if ya ask me!





 


Sam also put up new fence to replace the old fencing I tore down.  He is so handy to have around.  So whenever we get some of the older girls shorn, they will be moved down the road onto really lush pasture.  And I won't have to worry about them falling into the creek.












Meanwhile, the fracking (hydraulic fracturing) continues on the well site above our hayfield.  This shot is from our alpaca field at the main barn and shows our neighbor's house and the red beyond is the run in shed across the road from the guest house.  Amazingly, they seem to take Sundays off, but otherwise the noise reminds me of diesel engines idling in European train stations.  Rome. Constantly.  And that's how it sounds at my house, 1/2 a mile away.  I can't imagine what it sounds like up on the well site.








So I finished the shawl I have been working on.  It took me most of a week to do the bind-off (last row) alone, but it is SO worth it. It is spectacular.  I love it.  I need to get some photos of it being worn.  I don't think of myself as a girly-girl, but I sure do love lace and beads around my shoulders.  Now if only I had someplace to wear it.  

I have now started knitting some baby items.  I knit a baby blanket once about 8 years ago, but have not knit anything other than booties since then.  I have a couple babies to knit for right now and am making some fun things that I won't post about here, just in case.  But that will be the majority of my knitting for now.  Well I also have the last couple rounds of the traveling socks to work on and I will probably start a summer lacy sweater.  I'm also warping up my loom at the office for some rugs using a new to me pattern.  Time, I need more time........

This is Grand Design posing for me in the morning a few days ago.  





 

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