Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Running & Weaving & Dyeing & Waiting

My trusty running partner, Grover, and I ran the Rails to Trails 5K in Barnesville, Ohio this past Saturday in chilly 40 degree temperatures.  We did very well, in my opinion.  Though the official results have not yet been posted with times, we beat our last 5K run by over a minute and got 2nd in our age category.  The photographer actually got a lot of good shots of us.  It is much easier to find my photos among all the others if I just look for Grover.  He did NOT stop to poop this time!

Sam is off fishing in Canada and I am going crazy with so much stuff to do this time of year.  Why did I say he could go?  Saturday was the race and I also had a real estate appointment in the afternoon.  Sunday was gorgeous and I spent most of the day (after worming all the alpacas) working in the garden.  I weeded the lettuce and beets and I planted corn and lots of tomato plants.  I still have more to plant, tomatoes, peppers, squash and I have no idea when that will get done.  I also had to check on the bees Sunday afternoon and am happy to report that I saw lots of little bee larvae and saw the queen and the bees were very docile and busy bringing in pollen and nectar.  

I am at the office all week while Sam is away and I have some rugs about finished on the loom that I am working on between phone calls and appointments.  This is a new to me method where I use the warp to determine the color shading of the rug.  I am using all white alpaca yarn and the warp is brown and white and it is making a pattern, which will be reversed on the other side of the rug.  I did the first of the two rugs using brown yarn.  Warping challenged me, but I am enjoying the weaving and eager to see the final result.

Since I last wrote, I have also dyed 3 more batches of yarn.  I still have a couple batches worth to dye, but I am just not going to get to it this week.  Ain't happenin'.  I am pretty pleased with what I did. This is 100% alpaca and I have dyed this colorway before.  I call it John's Iris because the color is so reminiscent of the blooms on the irises that are actually in the background of these yarn photos, though they have yet to bloom this year.  The iris was given to me a few years ago by my brother's best friend, John, who died in a tragic accident about 3 months later.  Love this deep purple tonal.

Then I dyed some of my alpaca/wool blend.  I was going for kind of a camo look and I had to overdye it because I was not happy with the first result, so I tied a couple knots in each skein to prevent dye take-up (kind of like Tie-dyeing) and immersed the skeins in a dark green dye bath.  I am pleased with the final outcome.

And for the last batch I stepped out of my personal color comfort zone and went for bright and happy.  I think I got it.  It makes me think of spring crocuses and sunshine.  This is also 100% alpaca.

 And now for the waiting.......I am supposed to leave Friday for the Great Lakes Fiber Show with my friend Tari.  That is why I have been dyeing yarn like crazy.  B  U  T, I have 2 alpacas who are not being cooperative in giving birth to their first crias.  I know I do know better.  I know that spring crias in particular can take as long as a full year to arrive, but may arrive in only 11 months.  In other words, cria births cannot be predicted by any calendar.    I have been doing this for 15 years after all.  I have had a 370 day gestation and I have had a somewhat successful 302 day gestation (this did require intensive care at Ohio State's Veterinary Hospital). If these crias are not here and doing well by Friday morning, I will not be going to the fiber show.  I have someone coming to stay at the farm and take care of the dogs and feed everyone, but I cannot in good conscious expect her to attend to the (possible) births of crias.  I may stay home from the festival and the crias may not arrive for another week to ten days.  Fortunately Tari is a farmer who has sheep and dairy goats and she understands the unpredictability of birthing.  Cross your fingers for me that I will have babies on the ground in 48 hours.  I really wanna go have fun this weekend!

I finished the last 2" of the last pair of socks in the sock circle.  I mailed these off to the originating knitter last Friday and I expect I will get my own socks back shortly. I can hardly wait to see how they look (and fit!).

Ok, I will sign off with something that is so bizarre it is cool.  This is how they have been trimming trees on power right of ways around here.  

That is a helicopter with saw blades hanging underneath!  Kind of lends a new meaning to the term "chopper" doesn't it?  I wonder if you need to be good at video games to sit in a helicopter and cut tree branches?



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