Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Apples Has Arrived and the Year is Quickly Coming to a Close.

Apples, the Welsh pony arrived on the farm about a week and half ago.  She is settling in well and I have to admit I am falling in love with her.  She is very sweet-natured and loves carrots and apples and scratches. She looks much more like a small horse than a pony but it is hard to get a feel for her true size without a person in the photo.  I have not yet ridden her since she arrived as I still don't have quite the right tack.  I need crucial things like reins for my bridle and a girth for my saddle.  I ordered a riding helmet for myself for Christmas.

She has quite a fuzzy winter coat on and she and Bodhi are getting used to each other.  She did kick at him when we was sniffing around her back end, but she was not mean and nasty about it.  It was definitely a warning however.  I have also seen him give her the "if you come any closer I will spit at you" body language.  But they seem to be getting along just fine. 

  I am concerned about Bodhi.  He will be 19 in April, but he has lost so much weight the last few months that I'm not sure he will last the winter.  He has had a good long life here and is pretty much at the maximum life expectancy for an alpaca.  We'll keep him around as long as he can move around and eat.  I have a coat I will put on him when it gets really cold.  He's always been a favorite of mine.

 Grover and I spend a lot of time walking in the woods.  Rowdy used to go with us and in fact was the catalyst for my getting out and walking in the woods on a regular basis years ago.  But he will be 13 in April and his arthritis is keeping him from enjoying walks, which I find incredibly sad.  Sometimes, though, like this morning, he surprises me and insists on going along.  I love to see him out in the woods sniffing and being a farm dog.  It brings joy to my heart.

Yesterday Grover and I went across Wayne National Forest to the beaver pond.  Along the way, he got the opportunity to practice agility again.

Sometimes I think it would be SO fun to set up an agility trail through the woods with jumps and logs to run across and climb and a tunnel to go through.  Maybe someday I will actually do it.  

The beavers have been incredibly busy this fall.  I think their family must have grown because  there are so many trees that have been felled or are in the process of being cut down. Yesterday we were on the back side of the pond where there are no large trees because almost all of what you will see in the following photos used to be neglected hayfield.  There was also an old house and some buildings until the government came in and removed all traces of them about 8 years ago.  I will try to get out soon on a nice day and take some photos from the road where it is easy to see where the beavers are gnawing through large trees.

 Where Grover is standing is the very back side of the marsh area created by the beavers.  In fact, the water to the extreme left is covering what used to be my walking path.  While I was taking these photos, I was being scolded by an agitated Kingfisher who was obviously unhappy Grover and I were there.  Back in November, I also saw a family of about 8 wood ducks on the pond .  I have never seen that type of duck in our area before and was delighted to see them.  They may have seen the pond as a nice resting place on their migration south.  They were quite lovely.

 Looking to the right from the above photo you can see across the marshy area to the slightly deeper part of the pond.  The beaver lodge is on the far side of this, somewhat centered in the photo.  From the road (which you can see going uphill at a slight angle) we can actually walk right to the beaver lodge.  No one has interfered with it in some time and it has been made larger and there is a nice big "pantry" of limbs in the water close by for easy winter access.  This area in my opinion has been enhanced by the presence of the beaver family and I only hope they are left in peace.  

Here are some small trees near the old house foundation that have been cut and taken for winter food storage.

This closeup is of a young tree probably about 3" in diameter.  You can easily see the teeth marks in the wood.  

I had pretty much finished up any gift knitting until yesterday when I decided I needed to make one more hat.  And then I have another hat promised for New Year's weekend.  Hats are quick.

Both my looms have had projects removed from them.  I finished weaving my Krokbragh sampler, which I love.
But look at all those ends I need to weave in.  This is 17" X 42".  It looks nice in front of the fireplace in our office, so it may end up there after I weave in ends.  Or it may become a bench pad or a pillow.  

And I took 2 scarves off my loom in the home studio.  I am in the process of twisting the fringes on the ends of both of them and then they will be done.  But here is how they looked on the loom.  The pattern is the same on both, but the second one is my favorite because the colors contrast enough for the detail to show well.  

 When I post next, it will be 2018.  There are a lot of changes coming for 2018.  The biggest of course being the arrival of our first grandchild, but our older son will be graduating from college as well as becoming a father, and Sam and I may see some changes in our own lives as well.  I'm looking forward to a great year.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thanksgiving, A Trial & A New Farm Resident Coming Soon

Agility is an every day thing around here!
Yes, even on our early morning walk Grover gets in a little practice.  

I last posted just before Thanksgiving which ended up being an "interesting" day.  First, we left home an hour and 15 minutes late for our 3 1/2 hour drive to Mom's because there was a deer caught in our pasture fence and she could not be saved.  Her legs were horribly mangled.  I will  not post the photos Sam took, they are very disturbing and he  took them only in case he needed to prove to the game warden that the deer was beyond saving.  Sam put her down as humanely as possible and got permission from the Sheriff's department to keep the meat.  After all that was taken care of, we got on the road with two vehicles because we planned to drop my truck at the Fieldhouse in Zanesville on the way through.  This way Sam and Rowdy could leave Grover and me there for an agility trial on the way home Saturday.  Long story short, the truck got a flat tire only 15 minutes into our trip and while we had no trouble getting the truck jacked up and the lug nuts off, the tire itself would not break free from the hub until we finally flagged down a guy passing in a truck who had the proper tool, a 12 pound sledge.  We arrived at Mom's 3 hours later than our planned time.  But we didn't miss dinner (which is good because I had the pies!).  The rest of our visit was good, no sick dog this year.  And as an aside, the truck now has all new tires.  I am just glad the flat did not occur on my way home from agility class at night in the middle of nowhere.

Grover and I missed part of Saturday's trial, but we got there in time to do our jumper's run and a premier jumper's run.  No Q's Saturday, but we got our 13th QQ on Sunday!  Our next trial is New Year's weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

I spent this past Sunday outside all day.  It was gorgeous, mid 50's and sunny, especially for December (changes are coming!).  I had some fence maintenance to do.  Alpacas are pretty easy to keep in and do not challenge fences.  They aren't big enough to knock them down by using them as full body scratchers, so sometimes I am not as diligent with fence repairs as I should be.  But we have a new resident coming to the farm who will be sharing pasture with Bodhi, our 18 1/2 year old male alpaca, and she might test things (y'know that rubbing, scratching thing) a bit more.  So I replaced posts and hammered in new fence staples and changed out a gate and removed a couple objects that I thought might pose a hazard to a Welsh Pony!  Her name is Apples and I am getting her from a dog club friend who has a training stable. Kara got Apples from a rescue several years ago.  She now needs to re-home her and after some thought and consideration, I went and met Apples on Monday.  She is just big enough for me to ride, but I think I am about her limit.  The photo above is from summer and she now has a thick fuzzy winter coat and is just as cute as can be.  She will be great fun with my young grand-nephew and also with my expected grandson when he gets older.  If I get motivated to do so, I may even train her to drive and pull a pony cart.  We'll see.  I just think a Nana who lives on a farm should have a pony!  I have also done some work inside the barn to give her her own space.  I am sure there will be more photos to come.

Apache age 27

That's really the most exciting news.  I have to say I have felt like a kid at Christmas thinking about getting this pony.  Dec 29 will mark 5 years since I lost Apache and lately I had really been missing just having a horse around.  I wasn't looking for an equine friend, but now I think one has found me.  It seems right and I hope things work out for her to stay here a long time.

Rowdy is here with me at work today.  He has an appointment with the alternative vet today for acupuncture.  He has good days and bad days.  He is doing well on his diet of homemade food.  Gun season for deer was last week and Sam collected unwanted shoulders as well as hearts and livers from all the guys who hunt in our area.  I think he has close to 200# of meat to grind for me to use in dog food.  He said the guys were giving him a hard time about it and offered to take up a collection to buy him some dog food.  Believe me, the meat they do not want is way better than dogfood they could buy at the store.  Sam grew up butchering meat in his family's business and he is very good at what he does.

Saturday was our local Christmas Festival and I attended along with my good friend, Tari.  It was moved to a new venue this year instead of being at the courthouse, as in past years.  Sales were not as good as in previous years, in my opinion.  However, Tari and I reserved an extra space and we took our spinning wheels and I am glad we did.  We had ample time to spin and I forgot how many people have not seen handspinning.  It always draws attention from children and adults (mostly men who are fascinated by the mechanics of it).  I managed to finish spinning about 4 oz of Rowdy's undercoat, pictured above.  I'm not yet sure what I will do with it.  I can ply it on itself for a 2-ply, or I can ply it with some nice alpaca or maybe silk.  Or hope to collect more undercoat in the spring and spin some more.  Whatever I decide, I now have some yarn spun with which I will eventually make something that I can treasure forever as part of Rowdy.  

I have fun projects on both my looms.  On my big loom I have this sampler of the Norwegian weave structure, Krokbragd.  Don't ask me how to say that.  But it is a fun weave structure, great for rugs, and I think it would make an awesome saddle blanket, so I may give that a try (especially now that I have a pony!).  This is woven using some heavy alpaca yarn I bought several years ago that was too heavy for scarves and too light for rugs.  It would be about perfect for saddle blankets, but I don't have enough and I don't think I can get it anymore.  But it is nice to use it up.


On my small loom in the home studio, I am working on overshot scarves, using tencel warp and hand-dyed wool weft.   I am using some yarn I dyed years ago in a dyeing class I took and I have never known what to do with it.  I will make a second scarf on this warp when I finish this one (I have 8" to go) using a wool/silk blend I dyed in a tonal teal color, again a couple years ago.  I am pleased to be using up some yarns that have been languishing in my stash.  It makes me feel less guilty about appropriating new yarns for new projects, which I may have been thinking about lately.

Sometimes, driving home from work this time of year, I actually get to see a sunset before I descend into the hollow.  I had to pull over and photograph this one a couple weeks ago.  By the time I got to a good spot to pull over, the colors were not quite as spectacular as they had been, but still wonderful.  Especially if you can see the tiny little crescent moon up in the left hand corner.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Time is Zooming By

It's true, it's almost Thanksgiving.  Last week I thought I had written a blog post the week prior, but I had not, so it has been almost 3 weeks since my last post.  

It seems there is not a lot to write about, or at least not a lot of photos since the weather has been very dreary.  But I have finished some things and Grover and I went Bar Hopping (agility trial) and there are more things coming up.

First of all, Grover and I did go attend a 3 day agility trial Nov 3, 4 & 5.  It wasn't as great as the prior trial for us, but it was still good and lots of fun.  We had no Qs for 3 runs on Friday.  On Saturday, we had 1 Q for 3 runs.  That was a standard Q.  Then Sunday we Qd in both standard and jumpers, for our 12th QQ.  Which brings our QQ total to 12 out of 20 needed for our MACH.  We still also need 356 points out of 750, so we're (more than) a little behind on that, which means we need to be faster AND accurate.   Grover and I are attending a trial in Zanesville this coming weekend.  We will miss Friday and also Saturday morning since we will be going to Dayton for Thanksgiving.  We will leave my truck in Zanesville on Thursday on the way to Mom's and Sam will just drop Grover and me off on Saturday and he and Rowdy will go on home.   

And of course Thanksgiving is only 3 days away.  Our gathering will be a little larger this year than the last few years, with my brother's family having moved back to Ohio from Arizona, but we will still be missing the Michigan contingent and my own kids living out west. I know life is change, but there are people whose presence will be greatly missed.  
It was cold a dreary all weekend as I said.  Today it is cold, but the sun is shining, which helps a little.  Since it was cold and dreary, I spent some time in my studio over the weekend finishing up some projects and starting a new one.  I also did a little tidying up.  The finished project is several towels all from one warp.  Originally I wanted to make them all with the Christmas borders on them, but I had so much trouble with the plain weave parts that I gave up.  The yarn was fine and I had all kinds of tension problems with it.  If there are too many problems and the project is not fun, there is no point in struggling through.  I do this because I enjoy it after all.  A week from this coming Saturday is our local Christmas Festival and I will have a booth space there, so these towels will be part of what I have to sell.

Having done a little tidying up of the studio, I thought I'd make a record here of how it looks now, 6 months after I moved into it.  This is the front to the right of the door as you come in.  


Continuing around to the right is my storage shelving and the alpaca rug where Rowdy likes to spend a lot of time.  He was not out here when I took these photos however.

On the back wall is my sewing machine, and my drum carder for processing fleece is under the window.  The big empty spot to the left of that will be where I eventually put the large cabinet that is currently in the loom room at the office

And here, before we get back to the door, is where my loom is set up.  This loom will eventually be moved to the other side of the space (first photo) and my big rug loom will go in its current location.  I need some more lighting, particularly over my sewing area, but in general I am very happy with this space.  And I should be.

Grover and I have been taking a fairly regular morning walk of about a mile.  This morning I had my camera with me and took a photo from the "flat" we walk across looking down toward the house and buildings.

Now that the leaves are off the trees, the alpaca barn (red roof) and studio (white door, green roof) to the right of the alpaca barn are somewhat visible. The sun is just coming up over the ridge behind me and you can see it on the ridge on the other side.  Our valley or  "holler" is quite narrow.

 I have been knitting a sweater with my handspun alpaca/shetland yarn.  It has interesting construction, starting in the center of the front and then the right sleeve.  I am also doing some Christmas gift knitting, so this is going slowly.  

 We have had a lot of rain, so the creek is running.  The 3 hens on the far end of the bridge are the old hens.  The new ones seem to be watching them in order to figure out how to get to the other side of the water.  All the new hens are laying eggs now.  We are getting 10 eggs a day, so we once again have eggs for sale.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Arrives

I promised a chicken photo.  Well here they are.  The somewhat lighter colored hen in the foreground is one of the 3 hens remaining from the 8 I got a little over 2 years ago.  It is nice that the new hens are a different color so I can tell them apart.  I started letting them out to free range a week ago and only had to herd them back into the yard and coop two nights and then they figured it out.  It has been a week now and everyone has returned home safely at night.  We have always lost one or two in the first few days in the past.  And now that I have put that in writing one will go missing for sure.  I am pretty sure one of the new hens has started to lay eggs as there was a small perfectly egg-shaped egg in one of the nest boxes both Monday and Tuesday.  We had only been getting 1 oddly shaped egg every couple of days from one of the older hens until that point.  We will be overwhelmed with eggs before too long.  Just in time for holiday baking!

In family news, my son and daughter-in-law learned the gender of their expected baby.  My grandchild will be a boy!  Everything is looking good, so now we just wait for the arrival in April.  And of course I can knit and weave for the little guy while I wait.

In my last post, Grover and I were preparing to attend an agility trial in just couple days, and we had a great weekend, Q-ing in 5 of our 8 runs and getting one more QQ toward our goal of 20.  We also were the only 20" dog to Q in standard premier on Friday, earning us a blue ribbon.  You can see that run here:Premier Q 
Be warned, there is a lot of barking.   And now 2 weeks later, we are once again looking forward to a weekend of agility at Incredipaws in Pataskala, Ohio, which is just east of Columbus.  This is also a 3 day trial.

The weekend of our last trial we had real Indian Summer weather.  It was in the upper 70's with sunshine all weekend.  Since then, we have had light frost several times, including yesterday morning.  A week ago Sam cleaned the chimney and the woodstove and it has been cool enough that we have kept it going pretty much ever since.  Chimney cleaning is one of Sam's least favorite jobs and it needs to be done at least twice a year, once before starting the stove in the fall and usually once again mid-winter.  It involves pulling the woodburner out from the chimney and taking the stove pipe apart.  The difficult part is putting it all back together.  But to avoid a chimney fire like we had in 2010, it needs to be done.  And while we have a gas furnace that burns natural gas from the wells here on the farm, we really prefer the radiant warmth of the woodstove in the living room.  

Rowdy is doing pretty well.  He is now 12 1/2 and he is dealing with both arthritis and Cushings and doesn't move around a lot, but I can tell he is happy cooler weather is here.  He loves the cold.  I was feeling bad about leaving him behind when Grover and I take our daily hikes, but now he gets a Kong stuffed with Zukes (yummy treats) and peanut butter when we leave and I think he forgives me.

Grover looks like he is sitting guard while I am in the alpaca barn in the morning feeding the 3 alpacas and our livestock guard dog, Star.  But in reality, he is waiting for a cat to make a critical error in judgement and come out of the barn on the other side of the creek.  The barn cats have his number, however, and will do no more than sit on the bottom of the half-open dutch door and taunt him.  Especially since they know that their area of the horse barn is my next stop to put out food.  They will exit the barn and go off and do whatever outside cats do during the day once Grover is back in the house.  The cats know the routine.

I did a little sock knitting in Socktober, which is now over, so I can move on to other things.  Although I need to start another sock to take along to the trial this weekend.  Socks are great for travel as they are small and do not require me to carry a pattern around.  It's all stored away in my head (unless I am doing fancy lacy/cable-y socks).  I also have a couple of sweaters I am working on, one of which I completed last February and decided I did not like, so I ripped it out back to the underarms and am re-knitting the body.  I would not have worn it the way it was and I love the color combination, so hopefully I can make something I will like better.

I also finished a couple of alpaca rugs

These are 25"  X  46"  and I am very pleased with them.  I will probably be listing them for sale in my Etsy shop  later today.

I also finally finished 2 scarves I wove with some of my alpaca.  There was very little finishing that needed to be done.  I'm not sure why I didn't do it sooner.

These are 100% alpaca from my farm and are each approximately 60" long and 8" wide.  

Otherwise, I have warp for a new to me weave structure on my big loom that I have yet to start weaving.  And on my small loom I started some holiday towels that were not going to be successful, so I am now just using different tie-ups and treadling patterns and making towels that are different than originally planned.   

Early morning light on the hilltop


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sam's Elk Hunt Was A Success!

Last time I posted Sam and his brother were preparing to head out to Colorado for an elk hunt.  They left a week ago Tuesday (this is Wednesday as I write) and Sam arrived back home this morning at 2 am.  They drive out and most of the way they are on I-70 until they reach western Colorado where I believe they go north and eventually drive up onto "the mountain" to where they camp and hunt on public land.  They meet up with  some other guys from our area.  Both Sam and his brother were successful in shooting a cow elk on Saturday, opening day of season, and one of the other guys got a bull elk.  They all broke camp and headed off the mountain early Monday morning and they usually drive into Kansas and get a hotel room for a shower and good night's sleep before driving the rest of the way home.  Today they are cutting and wrapping 250 or more pounds of meat.  I am looking forward to having some elk roast and steak.

So I have been covering the office while Sam is away.  Normally, Sam is in the office 3 days a week and I am in 2 days and we do appointments on weekends.  Before the gas and oil boom in our area, our Real Estate business was very busy, but things have really changed since all that came along.  Also, at one time we had over 50 alpacas on our farm and now we have only 3.  So we used to share 2 full time jobs and now it is more like sharing one.   So having Sam away for a week is not nearly as exhausting to me as it used to be.  But I sure am glad he is home!

 Before Sam left, he set up the frame over the lettuce, arugula and kale I planted in September so that I could cover it in case of frost.  We did in fact have some light frost the last couple of mornings, so Sunday afternoon I pulled the plastic sheeting over the frame.  I have also gathered our squash and pumpkins together to let them harden and sweeten in the fall sun.  I made a couple of pumpkin rolls to send out west with the guys.  Well, okay, I sent one and a half.  I wasn't going to do all that work and not even get a piece!

I just realized I completely forgot to take any photos of our new hens.  I picked up 10 new hens a week ago Saturday.  One of the reasons I have no photos is because they basically hid in the chicken coop for the first week they were here.  On Monday I noticed when I opened the coop door into the chicken yard in the morning that most of the new chickens were finally coming outside.  I also noticed that at night some of them were roosting up off the floor like chickens are supposed to do.  Until then, they had all been sleeping in a pile in the corner.  And last night 6 of the 10 were up on the roosts.  So today will be the first day they are allowed access to the world beyond their little enclosure.  Sam will let them out around noon as usual and I will be home at dusk to see if they all make it back.  They may never even leave the yard.  I always expect to lose a chicken or 2 at first.  It is just the way it is.  I'll have photos next time.

 Mom came to spend the weekend with me while Sam was away.  We had fabulous weather on Saturday for an outing and we drove the scenic route to Marietta visiting 3 of 4 covered bridges that are along the way, one of which is still in use for vehicle traffic.  We spent some time in shops in Marietta, had lunch and then walked along the Ohio riverfront for a while.  It was really nice.  There are some lovely condos right on the river that must have spectacular views.

On Sunday rain was forecast, though it did not arrive until we were eating dinner that evening.  We had indoor activities planned, one of which was making butternut squash ravioli from scratch.  With brown butter sage sauce, which is amazing in case you have never tried it.  And we had salad with lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and garlic (in the dressing) from the garden.  Of course the squash and sage came from the garden as well.

It was a really nice visit with Mom.

Grover and I are off to an agility trial in Zanesville this weekend.  It is a 3 day trial, starting bright and early Friday morning.  This will be our first full trial since mid-August and I am really looking forward to it.  After this one, we have another one in early November, then one on Thanksgiving weekend.  December entries are not confirmed yet.

I finished knitting a pair of socks last week that I started way back in December.  Sock knitting is not my favorite knitting, but socks make nice small travel projects.  It was just time to finish this pair because it is sock-wearing season again.  

I also wove a couple of alpaca rugs while I was spending extra time at the office, though I still need to finish the hems on them.  Here is a photo of some of my rugs  and a Christmas table runner and throw pillow on sale at the Monroe Arts Center

I have actually sold several rugs through the Arts Center over the last couple of years as well as some handwoven towels.  I just took a in couple of the throw pillows which were pictured in my last post.  These items are all offered for sale on consignment.

I think this week will probably be the end of the fall colors for us.  We had some strong winds a week or so ago which took a lot of the leaves off the trees already, but there is still some color out there.  We are supposed to have lovely weather again this weekend.  I hope Sam will get Rowdy outside and maybe up to the pond while the weather is nice since I will be away and unable to take him.

 I did take the dogs up last week and it was almost raining leaves on the the pond.  We just hung out and I knitted and the dogs did what dogs do for a couple of hours.  I think we all enjoyed it.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Really Big News!

A trip to the pond on a warm fall day still makes this dog smile

I have probably the biggest news I could possibly have, so I think I will start with that.  Right before Labor Day weekend, older son, Ian, who lives in Oregon, called with news that he and his wife Michelle are expecting a baby!  I was literally speechless.  They have been together for about 8 years now, I think, and got married just a year ago in June.  They had told us that children just wouldn't fit into their lifestyle, and we accepted that as their decision.  It seems they changed their minds on that and did not tell anyone.  Michelle is a few years older than Ian, so they kept it to themselves in case it never happened.  I have to say, it was so hard to keep this news to myself until I was given the go ahead to tell people, which happened after last week's doctor appointment and ultrasound.  We expect baby in late April 2018.  I am delighted on so many levels!!!  So much knitting and weaving potential here.....

We have been experiencing fall in Ohio at its best.  Bright sunny days with blue skies and warm temperatures dropping into the 40's and even 30's at night, requiring a blanket on the bed.  And yet the hours of daylight are diminishing, so I find myself sleeping a few minutes later in the morning and preparing dinner a little earlier in the evening.  

The leaves are falling and an old dog can warm his bones in the sunshine.  Bow season for deer has opened, so Sam has been spending the last few hours of  daylight in a treestand.  I have spent some time sitting on the deck (still shaded) doing some spinning.  I love spinning outside in the fall.  It is just too hot to do so in the summer.   I have also been working on garden clean-up, gathering the squash and pumpkins and pulling the vines and weeds.  Which reminds me, I need to plant garlic soon.

Grover and I attended one day of an agility trial in Columbus this past weekend.  We had 4 runs and only Q'd in one of them.  It was a class we have never run in before, Premier Jumpers.  Our other runs were good, but it only takes one little error to NQ....but a fun day regardless.  That was Friday and on Sunday we went to a Seminar on course analysis at Incredipaws, a wonderful agility training facility just east of Columbus, with several of our POTC club-mates.  It was great fun and very informative and I hope we can arrange something like that again.   

Monday Grover and I went for a hike at one of our favorite local spots, Lamping Homestead.  We had the entire place to ourselves, though normally there are very few people there.  It is kind of off the beaten path.  I love it.  

Rowdy is no longer able to do many of the things he loved doing.  Between his arthritis and his illness, he is not the dog he once was.  Even short walks are really hard on him and he hardly leaves the yard anymore.  He does still get very excited to see Sam and me when we come home and he still "talks" to us when he wants something, usually treats.  

Yesterday I  loaded him and Grover into the buggy and took them up to the pond for an hour or so.  We wandered around the pond and went for a walk in the hayfield and Grover went for a swim.  I took lots of photos, and got a couple I really like of Rowdy.  He used to be so much fun to photograph, he seemed to know when I got the camera out what I wanted him to do.  It's harder now to get that great shot, but he's still one of my favorite subjects.

 Sam is heading out next week with his brother for an elk hunt in Colorado.  It has been several years since they went and even longer since Sam brought home an elk.  Since I am using venison in large quantities lately for dog food, an elk for the freezer will be very welcome.  And of course it is delicious, so I'd really, really like Sam to bring one home.  Mom will be coming  out for  a few days to keep me company while Sam is away.  I hope the good weather continues.

As for fiber-y content this week, I have warped my small loom for some Christmas towels, which I have neglected to photograph.  I am in the process of warping my rug loom for a couple of rugs and I have completed the finishing on the overshot pillows and photographed them.  They came out really nice.  They are for sale, though I have a friend who may want the lighter colored ones.  These are 16" square (approximately).

I also knit a hat for Sam for his birthday.  He is a home-brewer, so I planned out a beer-themed hat.  I am happy with it except that the lettering color is too close in value to the hat color and therefore hard to read.  It says "Just Brew It".  I should have made the background white....

And I made a hat for one of my agility friends who also does herding with one of her border collies.  Look carefully and you can see that there are two border collies in among the sheep, sitting with their backs to us.  I made them with markings just like Missy's dogs.  I gave her the hat last  night at agility class and I think it went over pretty well.  I love it when I can make something for someone that I can tell they really like.  I told her she can take the pom pom off if she wants.  I know now everyone is a pom pom person and that one came out bigger than I expected!