Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Still Enjoying Warmer Than Usual Temperatures

There's nothing like a warm sunny day in late October to warm an old dog's bones.  And Rowdy knows it.  Our deck, which is so nicely shaded by 2 huge maple trees all summer long is now a nice place to enjoy a warm fall afternoon.  After the removal of 6 inches of maple leaves, anyway.

A lot has happened since my last post.  Grover and I headed off to an agility trial and we had quite a weekend.  After a long spell of almost no qualifying runs, we started off Friday with a Q in all 3 runs!  We Q'd in Open FAST (which gave us our title in that, so now we are in Excellent FAST), then got our very first Q in Masters Standard, followed by our second Q in Masters Jumpers.  I was so excited because this gave us a Triple Q for the day and our very first Double Q toward our MACH title.  Now I need 19 more.  Oh, and 750 MACH points.  We earn 1 MACH point for each second we run under the SCT, or Standard Course Time.  We earned 18 points for our Standard run and 9 for our Jumpers run.  Here we are getting ready to leave the ring realizing we have earned our first Double Q.  What a great feeling.  We finished out the weekend with 2 more Q's in Jumpers (so we were 100% for Q's in Jumpers) and earned a total of 44 MACH points.  Our Standard runs were good, and Grover got his weave poles and hit his contacts every time.  It was other errors that caused us to no Q.  So I considered it a very successful weekend.   We will be trialing in Morgantown WV in a little over a week.

We got a light frost on the farm while I was away at trial (and then at Mom's for a couple of days).  Not a hard freeze, but enough to pretty much do in the tomatoes and peppers.  Then the temperatures soared back up into the upper 70's during the day and we have had some truly lovely fall weather.  I spent some time this past weekend cleaning out the tomato and pepper plants and now all that is left is one big parsley plant.  In the other garden, the arugula is still doing well and the swiss chard seems to be hanging in there as well.  We have lettuce and arugula in the cold frame, but it has not needed to be covered lately.

 Most of the leaves are off the trees, but there is still a bit of color left.  I took some photos up by the pond on Monday, which was Halloween.  This is the pavilion and the sugar shack.  Before we know it it will be syrup season again.  We still have plenty of firewood.

The outhouse is on the far side of the pond from the pavilion.  

This is actually on the path on the way up to the pond.  In the summer, this whole path would be in deep shade.  I love the fall light and the brightness it brings, especially when the sky is a deep blue.  And there is no way you could sneak up on anyone in the woods this time of year.  Walking through the dry rustling leaves is quite loud.  

I found these mushrooms growing on the road coming down from the pond.  They must be Halloween mushrooms.  They are kind of creepy looking.

Sam is working on cutting all the boards for siding my studio.  While I was away he got skirting all around it so that it should stay warmer.  I may put insulation underneath as well.  Sam has kind of talked me into waiting to see how warm it stays without my doing that.

Meanwhile, I have projects going on both looms.  I have 2 baby blankets on the big loom here at the office.

Both have peach cotton as the warp and the first one uses a natural cotton for the weft and for the second one I am using some thick and thin natural colored yarn that I think is cotton.  It has no label on it and I acquired it in the same estate purchase as the peach yarn and the yarn that I did the blue baby blankets from this past summer.  There is a pattern in both blankets, but I don't know how well it will show with the nubby yarn.  I will find out once I get them off the loom and hem and wash them.

On my smaller 8 shaft loom at home I am doing some holiday table runners.  This was a hard pattern to get my head around when I started the weaving and I had to cut off the beginning and start over.  But once I made a cheat sheet for the treadling pattern it did not take long for me to "get it".  I will get 2  4 foot runners from this warp and I hope to do a couple more in red when these are done.  I'll tell you, though, it was too nice outside this past weekend to be inside weaving.  On the other hand, if my studio was finished it would have been really nice to open the door and windows and spend the day in there!

I finished my Socktober Socks (I am wearing them today) and now I need to start a sweater for Sam from the alpaca/shetland handspun yarn I have been spinning for a while.  Which reminds me, I have also started spinning some chiengora, otherwise known as dog hair.  I have been saving some of Rowdy's undercoat for some time and 2 weeks ago I washed it and carded some up and got it on the wheel.  I need to finish it.  I started some secret gift knitting as well.  Something I hope to give for holiday use this year.  Time may get the better of me, however.  It has a way of doing that.

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