Friday, June 29, 2007

Tour de Fleece

Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense. Arnold Bennett

One should never try to understand ones self, you might be afraid of what you discover. I finally had to admit that I have to join things where I have to produce something in order to get things done. If I don't get it done I face judgement....well not really because the fiber community is very encouraging. I guess I feel I let someone down by not getting done what I promised even if they don't care I do.

So I joined yet another group. I joined the Tour de Fleece 2007 more info here.... and at some point I will figure out how to get it on the sidebar.

I am trying to finish off Bozo's fleece as I will be getting back the Finn roving soon. I decided to make a sweater for me from it. I had spun up two bobbins and plied them and went running out with the yarn and the directions. I started a raglan sweater while my mother was getting her drip. I got two hours of guilt free knitting done. One problem....I washed the fleece twice and rinsed but he still has a lot of lanolin in him. And I hadn't washed it and set the twist after I plied it and before I started knitting. I am wondering if I should rewash the whole fleece before the 7th start date. I still have to card it all. I think I will ask at spinning. Speaking of which I am going to be late.

Wish me luck in finishing it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Photo Intensive

Didn't want summer to be associated with the previous post so I took some pics of what it looked like yesterday.

First, upstate NY had severe rains which comes down our way. Here is our river which even with the rains is still low, and then NY river and then the convergence of the two.
And then just some of the things growing right now.

Now I hope everyone has a great summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Yesterday the landscape was looking kind of bleak. Oh the sun was shining but looking up into the woods was now different. What brought about this diffence? Well after doing the morning chores I came in to do dishes and laundry and I heard a chicken clucking like she had just laid an egg. She was very loud and I thought, Wow it must have been a big one and didn't pay much attention to it. The birds started singing and I just went about my business. A short time later the chickens and ducks started making a ruckus and I couldn't ignore it any more when the dogs started going crazy. So barefoot I go outside to check to see what is wrong. There was a coyote chasing a chicken! I start running toward them and it catches the chicken and starts to run away with it! These broiler chicks are weighing in at about 8 pounds right now so I was surprised that it did it so effortlessly. Right before it gets to the woods the chicken gets away and starts coming back and the coyote started to follow but then decided not to and ran into the woods. The injured chicken wont let me by her as she is totally freaked out with good reason but I see she has some injuries. I walk around the coops and garden trying to ascertain the damages. I was missing a pekin duck, an indian runner duck, RI red hen and 2 broiler chickens. In the front yard I do find a dead chicken. I go into the house to get some shoes on and a bag to put the dead one in. As I am coming out of the house and walking toward the body, the coyote is coming across the yard for dessert! I start yelling and running toward it. Granted that wasn't the smartest thing to do but it worked as he/she decided to take for the woods again.
The rest of the day everytime I heard a squawk I went running. In the end the RI red hen came back uninjured from where ever she was hiding, but I had two injured broilers which the man had to put down and bury. So I lost four broilers and two ducks.
The man and my brother went up into the woods and there was the coyote. They got off a shot but missed it. So the broilers are going to the butcher on Friday and then I just have to worry about my layers and ducks. I have to stop the free range for a while and get a fence up to keep them safe. I don't want to have to kill the coyote but I can't afford to loose any more. If 9lbs of free range chicken sells for $33 then I just lost almost $100 plus two laying ducks. I realize I am not selling them but they are my food for my family.
Today I will work in the gardens so that should hopefully keep it away, if not I guess I will be running again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I had to do my work today!

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.--Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947)

Every morning I do have the same bird singing (aka yelling) at me, she has a nest in one of the birdhouses on the fence post. She gets pretty loud! Then mom found this little dandy in her red maple treeWe will have to be careful going to turn on the hose if it is needed. I would love to take the day and watch them coming too and fro tending their nests and feeding their babies but the chores are calling loud and clear. But first I am going to catch every one up of the happenings around here...

We drove little man to DD#1's house on Wednesday as she was taking him to a concert. On the way home we stopped at Farmer Dave's and he had a new addition. When I first saw her I thought she had a coat on but she doesn't. He said she is the ugliest thing he has ever seen, his wife loves her. I think I have to agree with him but then again I would think that she would spin up kinda cool!

Saturday we finally got rain. It was a nice thunderstorm which knocked the power out for a couple of hours but was desperately needed. It was cool watching it move in, do it's thing and then the calm after the storm. The plants took off and so did the weeds! Sunday we didn't go into the garden and compact the soill and then we had dr appts. yesterday so...

This morning after taking little man to catch his ride to day camp, I saw my mother down in the big garden....about 3 hours later she finally said that was enough "for right now"! We weeded and hoed and laid down some grass clippings and hay around plants.
I have tiny little heads of broccoli, the tomatoes are blooming, the potatoes are blooming, pea's are blooming finally, and the yellow squash bloomed and has little baby squash. Can't wait to partake of our labors! The kids are getting paid to handpick the potato bugs and although they like the $$ they don't like the job..neither do I which is why I am willing to pay them!!

On the fiber front, nothing much is happening. I was out carding early yesterday evening and had company stop by to see what I was doing Hope to spin that tonight. I shipped the finn fleeces off to be washed and returned as roving. Can't wait to get that back not that I will have lots of time but for sanity reasons I will have to spin some up when it does get here, weeds be damned!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


... time is not a linear flow, as we think it is, into past, present, and future. Time is an indivisible whole, a great pool in which all events are eternally embodied and still have their meaningful flash of supernormal or extra-sensory perception, and glimpse of something that happened long ago in our linear time.- Frank Waters, Mountain Dialogues, 1981

I have been helping a friend empty out her mother and father's house. Her father died several months ago and her mother is in a nursing home. She wants to empty it and move in with her children. The past month my weekends have been devoted to helping her clean it.

She will be the fourth generation to live in the house. In one of it's former lives it use to be a boarding house. There were 6 bedrooms but the two topmost ones became the attic storage when it ceased operation. The guests dining room became another bedroom, bathroom and laundry room. The place is a time capsule.

When we enter a room to start cleaning it, she is one of those people that gives it a cursitory look and chucks just about everything out. I, on the other hand will turn the china over and find....Theodore Haviland or Homer and Laughlin. The books I will open the cover and read the dates. I keep saying "You need to have someone look at this" or "You should take this into town to the bookstore" or "You should put this on Ebay". She keeps saying "Stop looking, your wasting time" or "If you want it take it. I don't have time for this". Her parents were pack rats and I can understand her not wanting to continue to pay rent when she now owns the house. I can understand it when she says you can't hold on to so much of the past that there is no room for the future but still....

I come home each time amazed at the treasure trove that is her house, saddened by the waste, and exhilerated at how much we got accomplished! So far the wrap around porch has been cleaned off, the screened lowest floor porch cleaned off, the pantry cleaned, the livingroom, den, bathroom. laundry room and all the bedrooms are sorted. What remains in them will be used in the house or like the attic will be done after she moves in. All that remains is the kitchen and the dining room.

During the week the garden has been getting it's watering and weeding. I have blossom on my tomatoes already but not my pea's - go figure. Yesterday we finished planting the beans, cucumbers, melons and corn. Hopefully we will have enough time to harvest the last two. My popcorn and broom corn are already knee high. I pulled the spinach and planted beets.

In fiber news, I continue to card the alpaca and mohair and I think I have enough carded to finish this bobbin and then I can ply. I started carding up some of Bozo the Romanov and he is very bouncy, I can't wait to spin him. I am mailing the finns out today for processing. I finished the stocking and have been knitting bottle socks for the kids water bottles.

Today is the last day of school and the kids are very excited. I was too until I realized things would not calm down for two more weeks. The little man has boy scout camp next week and #2 daughter has girl scout camp the following week....I need to plan things better and get it done in the same week! Little man got a surprise from his big sister and got to go to a concert Wednesday night, he was extremely happy to say the least.

The ducklings are getting big, the pigs bigger. The roaster chicks will go next week as they are eating me out of house and home. Last years roamed all over, this years just sit and wait for you to feed them, which I need to go do. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

This IS a fiber blog after all!

I like making a piece of string into something I can wear. ~Author Unknown

I thought I should post some pics with some fiber content...This is the wool that I spun last weekend... This is what I am working on now...It is a blend of black alpaca and my mohair from Storm. I am tring to spin it thin (for me) so I can make socks. I sat outside spinning this morning before I left for a friends house. I carded up some batts to spin while it is raining today or atleast they say it might rain today. We desperately need it but the dandelion is open which is suppose to mean we won't get any.

And this is a stocking that I am working on for #1 son for Christmas... I messed up on the cable and had to rip back but finally finished it and it is all easy from here on out... I still haven't picked up the stocking where I am using the short heel row but I will eventually as I am determined to master that!

In other news we are up to about 16 ducklings. The two moms that sat together took their little flock for their first outing yesterday. The hen is still setting so we put some eggs we know are fertile under her and we will see what happens. And the blue moon is gone now, not to return for a couple of years.