Thursday, May 28, 2015

Great Lakes Fiber Festival & Waiting

Here I am in our booth at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival this past weekend.  Tari and I had a great time.  The weather was perfect during the day, though a little windy, which caused some issues since we are the first booth inside the door and the wind was blowing into the barn.  Friday night was cold, but we hunkered down in our sleeping bags and I for one had an alpaca shawl over my head, so we did all right.  It was 37 when we awoke Saturday morning.  Sales were somewhat slow, though Tari did really well with her dye plants, which you can see there on the floor.  She is really into dyeing with natural dyes and she grows many of the plants that can be used for that purpose.  I did not buy a lot, though I did buy a gorgeous shetland fleece which I am sending off with an alpaca fleece to have processed into roving.  I may make Sam and myself sweaters.  It will be a very nice blend.  We will be back again next year.

 The 2 alpacas in the front of this photo are the 2 I am waiting on to deliver crias.  They are still not here.  Maybe next week I will have better news on that front.  They will come when they are ready and not before.  After 16 years of crias, I know this, but it is still aggravating to wait and wait and wait....

Speaking of waiting, we are waiting for a weather forecast with 3 or 4 days of no chance of rain or storms.  Our hay is in need of cutting, but once cut, it needs to dry before baling.  This is the big field that Sam will put in round bales.  He has everything operating as it should, but we need the weather to cooperate.

 I was able to spend some time weeding the garden the other day, and then it poured rain and now it needs weeding again.  The lettuce (foreground) is about ready to start thinning, which means salad tomorrow night!  The carrots and beets, behind the lettuce, are now big enough that I can discriminate between them and the weeds, so I am working on that.  There are onions to the rear, squash and pumpkins to the right rear, and corn which Sam just planted over the weekend to the right of the lettuce, carrots and beets.

We moved the tomatoes and peppers this year to a sunnier spot next to the horse barn.  This necessitated  putting a fence around it to keep the chickens out.  We hope these plants will do better here than in the shadier area they have always been in in the past.   

We have been having fresh asparagus, but it is probably about done, so I am glad it is lettuce time.

I have not caught sight of the beavers this week, but I took a photo of their engineering endeavors on our walk last night.  It is truly amazing the amount of work these creatures have put in to build themselves a home.  I really need to go over there some evening without dogs and sit for a while and see if I can catch them in action.  Soon.


I have been getting some fiber-y stuff done, since I am done dyeing for now.  I have started to put the warp for my alpaca blanket on my loom!  This whole process has been a learning experience.  I am taking it slowly, so it will likely be next week before I even consider starting to weave.  One step at a time.  It looks pretty cool so far though, doesn't it?

Another learning experience is this table runner I just took off my small loom.  This is nothing like I had planned it looking like, or at least not much.  Its a long story that would not make much sense to anyone who does not weave, but I managed to get something I like out of what started out wrong.  It will probably shrink when I wash it and become a dresser scarf in Rowdy's room (our guest room).

And I finally cast on a lace shawl with beads I have been wanting to start for a while.  The yarn is a handspun gradient in wool and silk.  I started at the top with the lightest color and the shawl will get larger and shift to a lacey pattern and end with the darkest color.  It will be beaded throughout.  The pattern is Out of Darkness  and I have knit 2 or 3 other patterns by the same designer and I love knitting them.

Grover and I have confirmed entries in 2 upcoming trials, one in about 2 weeks in Sharonville Ohio and another one, this one a 3 day trial, in Latrobe, PA over the 4th of July weekend.  I will be staying with Mom for the first one and sharing a hotel room with a fellow dog club member for the second.  I am ready to get back in the ring and see if we can't finish our Novice Jumpers title.  We only need 1 more Q in that and we move up to Open.

Speaking of Grover, here is what he loves to do and why I will never see the beavers up close while he is with me:


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