Friday, December 25, 2009

Bottle Baby

Since my beloved Blue past on to dogie heaven this last summer i finally decided to find me another buddy (we still have Skimpy but he is more a outside /doing his own thing dog).
So when my neighbours Fiest dog expected puppies i put myself on the list for a little male.
I got the call about the puppies being born on the 14th December. I was to wait about a week to give the pups and mom some time to settle and then go over and pick my puppy.
But,next day i got a call that one of the pups had been rejected by the mom and had to be bottle fed. Since the owner is a very busy woman and don't really has the time to feed this baby every two to three hours i was asked if i wanted to take him.what a question!! of course!! took me all of two minutes to run over there.
And here is what i got:

one little hand full of puppy
he weighted 4.25 oz that day

this is him 8 days later:

he now weighs 10 oz ,is very active,healthy and fat. He also sleeps through the night now which is a great relieve
I named him "Jack" in honor of Captain Jack Sparrow played by Johnny Depp from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies,which I'm a great fan of.
We are planning to teach Jack all kinds of tricks and take him everywhere we can.I want him to ride on the back of my horse,on the boat,the 4 wheeler etc.
But i think the first thing will be potty training if he is to spend anytime in the house.
He should start opening his eyes in the next few days,i'll try to get some better pics then.

Baaa Humbug....

No, seriously,I'm wishing everybody a enjoyable Holiday Season and a happy ,healthy and hopefully much better New Year than the last.
I'm a bit of a scrooge and am glad that we survived another Christmas with most of our wits intact. It's funny, we know it's coming but somehow it sneaks up on us every year.
Well, next year is going to be different, i decided that starting January i will buy one gift a month for one person on my list, by the time next Christmas rolls around i will be pretty much done without the stress,mentally and financially.
Wishing Love and Peace to all....

Santa Sled

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Knitty Kitty

Yes, definitely a knitty kitty !
Bib has gotten used to her new home nicely. She sits with me when i knit and follows me around in the house all day long in the hope of a treat or some petting which she gets quite a lot of.
She has gained some weight since she got here.
As a former outdoor kitty she tries to sneak out the door with us and has succeeded a few times but i catch her right away and put her back in since she is not spayed yet and the last thing i want to do is add to the cat population.
She is great company and i enjoy having her.
By the way, i want to thank everybody for their well wishing posts and e-mails after my fall off the bluff.
I'm all healed up now and as good as new ,just a little twinge when i stretch my arm over my head but that will be gone too in a couple of days.
I'm still busy knitting socks with more custom orders coming in .
There are big changes coming up in the spring (around april/may) which i will post on. One of which is my expansion of inventory. I'll be able to offer hand dyed yarns, spinning fiber ,hand spun yarns, and some weaving supplies in greater numbers by the end of summer.I'm very excited and can't wait to get going on this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Waterfalls,waterfalls,Gaby falls....

We've been having some beautiful fall weather the last couple of weeks : sunny, quiet,warm days,temps in the high 60's,lower 70's.
So John and me decided Sunday afternoon to take Skimpy on a little hike in the woods behind our house.
We have two beautiful waterfalls just a few hundred yards below a bluff that surrounds the whole top of the mountain we live on.The shelters behind the falls had been used for hundreds of years by the local Indian tribes as shelters.
To get there we go through the woods about 400-500 yards until we come to the bluff.
There is only one spot where it is possible to get down into the creek valley without ropes or a ladder.
It is about 7-8 feet down ( the rest of the bluff is up to 25-30 feet down.)
we've used that spot lots of times before and never really had a problem, except for this time.
John went ahead and passed by a narrow spot right on the edge of the bluff .He told me to be careful the leaves where slippery. So carefully i placed my right foot and then my left foot and before i could shift my weight i went over the edge feet first.Halfway down i hit the trunk of a big tree with my right lower inside arm and slid down the trunk the rest of the way.

When i hit the tree the momentum twisted me backwards to my right and i overextended my arm and shoulder. A sharp pain went through my back and i thought:
" oh no, i broke my back!!" the pain knocked the breath out of me.
Almost at the same time i heard a snap in my shoulder and i thought: " ...and there goes my shoulder or arm"...
I finally landed hard on my butt , i just sat there for a minute trying to get my breath back and trying to assess my injuries.The back pain went away after just a few seconds and i moved my feet and legs...back not broken... thank God!!
By now John had safely made it down the bluff to me. He was white as a sheet.He said he had just got past the iffie spot and turned around to help me past and all he saw was me going over the edge and hitting that tree.I sat there for awhile getting my bearings back and moving my extremities,i knew i hurt my shoulder, it hurt BAD!!
Nothing is broken but i think i very much overextended or even tore a muscle in my chest and shoulder.
By this morning my whole right side ,shoulder ,ribs are very,very sore.and on top of that i got allergies and am constantly sneezing and coughing. oh, the pain!!
but, i can still knit! that doesn't hurt at all !!
and we did go on and i made some pretty pics of the falls:
Fall #1:


I also found the tree John carved our initials in five years ago ( the old romantic :)

Update : Here it is three days after my fall (been trying to get online long enough to finish this post (phone lines are messed up again since yesterday), and I'm still hurting but it's much better already. I should be pretty much back to normal by the end of the week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This is a picture of a pair of my patchwork socks inside out, before i weave in all the little yarn tails and yes, there are just as many on the other side.

It takes me about 45-60 minutes per sock to weave all the tails in. This is my least favorite part of making these kind of socks , but then there they are in all there glory .Pretty , aren't they ?

These are some of my favorites ,with the camouflage pair my mostest.
and these are still waiting to be finished.
There are 11 pair in all and they are all going to a good home wayyyy up north to Canada.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

weaving in my blood?

I received a " my mom loves me " package from my mama in Germany and with all the goodies she send me a stash of cotton kitchen towels.

At closer inspection they did not look store bought so i got on the phone and called my mom to find out where she got them.
And here is the story:
apparently those towels are about 50-55 years old and hand woven by her mom!
I didn't know my grandma was a weaver! I knew she was a seamstress making clothes for the wealthy people during and after the war. Looks like she also wove a lot. My grandma passed away 15 years ago and my mom told me when they cleaned out the house she had a big floor loom with lots of heddles( my mom thinks at least 8-12) and a bigger (she thinks about a at least 40 inch ) table loom.
I was afraid to ask what they did with it but asked anyway:
i shouldn't have :( , i now will forever have the picture of my dad hacking the looms to bits and burning them in the back yard in my head!!
What a crying shame! those looms where at least 50-60 years old.
The towels are woven with sewing thread thin yarn. Some of them have a very tiny waffle weave pattern ,some are plain weave.

I will have nightmares about this for a while.
But at least i got a little more insight of my love for fiber arts.


Well, we are now the proud caretakers of a sweet kitty who joined our family yesterday.

Meet "Bib": she is a one year old, dark ginger tabby with a snow white bib on her chest (hence the name ) ,white belly and four white feet and greenish amber eyes.

My stepdaughter graceously gifted her to us as we where looking for a good mouser .
We occasionally have a mouse in the house and apparently they are getting smarter each year concerning getting trapped. So, we decided a cat would be the best move.
She will be a indoor cat only from now on and i think she likes it :

loves watching tv too:

she follows me around wherever i go,right now she's sleeping by my feet under the pc desk and she slept on the foot of our bed all night.I love having a cat in the house,it is so calming and relaxing.I had a calico cat for 15 years until she passed away 6 years ago and not had one since then.I love it, she'll be my little buddy and companion.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It's been raining here a lot lately and everything is wet,soggy and muddy. I hate it !!!
But between heavy rainshowers yesterday a very cool thing happened. It was still drizzling lightly when the sun broke through for just a few seconds . I love rainbows so whenever that happens i always look for them and guess what?! we got one , but not high up in the sky like they usually do but right in our back yard just about 20-25 feet above the ground:

I know they say that there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow ( gosh, do i wish it was true )
but i know for a fact at the spots where the rainbow ended is nothing but dirt! Ah well, it was pretty anyways.
I'm still working on the mega sock order so nothing else is going on until i get them done.
I traded yarn left overs with several Ravelry members for spinning fiber.That helped out a lot but i need more. so, if anybody has leftover superwash sock yarn (pieces must be at least 4 feet long) contact me please , i'll trade for spinning fiber or homespun yarn in matching weight.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Spinning Challenge Results

Well Dave, here is my contribution to your Summer Spinning Challenge:
It's not much but it did get me to spinning again and i will spin more from now on.
I spun 13 different colors up into this yardage:
469 yards multi color merino 12 wpi
251 yards black super wash merino/silk bits/black alpaca 11 wpi
151 yards fall colors BFL 6wpi
380 yards green BFL 16 wpi
102 yards bright multi colors cotswold / x bred merino 10 wpi
738 yards all colors alpaca/silk/cotswold/baby shetland/merino-polward x bred 12 wpi
256 yards dark blue denim super wash merino 19 wpi
161 yards dark blue denim super wash merino 17 wpi
113 yards multi color merino/cotswold 11 wpi
41 yards multi color cotswold 12 wpi
148 yards dark blue denim super wash merino 8 wpi
42 yards multi color cotswold 12 wpi
600 yards light steel grey superwash merino 17 wpi
that comes to 3304 yards in all,they are all two ply so i guess i spun 6608 yards in singles.
not even close to yours but it's the most i ever spun in this amount of time.
this was fun, it really got me spinning again, thank you.

finally motorized but....

Well, i finally got my pulleys i needed to motorize my carder in the mail yesterday. I could not wait to get it all put together and try it out.

The wheel on the grinder is 2" and the wheel on the carder 6".

It works great!! but, even though i turned the speed on the grinder to the lowest point it is still too fast. It works good on the more sturdier wool like Shetland or bfl but not the fine stuff like merino or the alpaca, it flies everywhere.So now I've got to find something else with adjustable speed but quite a bit slower than the grinder, i just don't know what !
I also noticed that because of the speed it really slings out the vm and dirt during carding, that's a plus.
Maybe if i attach a brush to the carder it will press down the fiber before it gets slung off.I'll just have to experiment some more , but i like it so far especially that i have both hands free to feed the fiber in and don't have to hand crank this thing. it really speeds things up.

Monday, September 7, 2009

another great ride..

We decided late yesterday afternoon to go horse back riding today at 'Seven Springs Lodge ' horse camp just a few miles down the road.
We haven't rode there in several years.They always had good trails but oh what a change!!!
We pasture our horses just about half a mile from the camp, so all we have to do is saddle up, ride down the road a little and we're there.
presently there are over 3000 acres of beautiful land with hills,bluffs,springs,streams,Indian shelters and waterfalls. 20.000 !!! more acres will be added soon.
we arrived very early (about 6:30) and everybody there(they had a big four day ride this weekend)was just getting up. so we decided to hit the trails alone(we like it better that way anyways).
We like all kinds of terrain but are really into rough, challenging trails with lots of climbing, down hill slides, etc.
We didn't have a map of the trails since the office was not open yet when we got there, so we just followed our nose., and apparently picked one of the more challenging and most beautiful trails they have.
After some challenging climbs up and down through gorgeous old timber woods we came to a huge ,very tall bluff. I guesstimate about 100-120 feet up (or down depending where you are.)

as a matter of fact the trail will lead you to the top next and you can see for miles once the leaves are off the trees right now they totally obscure the view.

we took a break there to give the horses a chance to get they're breathing under control. They have not had a decent workout since the middle of July and that wasn't near as exhausting as this.
soon we where off again.
Next stop:the waterfall. its not very high but it goes for about 50-60 feet in small steps. unfortunately no water right now since we had not had a decent rain in weeks.

After some more riding across small streams and by some impressive bluffs we arrived at another Indian shelter:

Fred the mule looks totally dejected:

By that time the horses where quite tired and we decided to find our way back to camp.
After a couple wrong turns we finally saw it in the distance, the horses saw it too and all of a sudden they weren't tired at all.
when we arrived we had a nice chat with the owner (after i got a map) and he directed us to the "Rattle Snake Saloon" that they just recently build under one of the many Indian shelters. Of course we had to check it out even though it was closed.

and what a neat place it is !!!:

build right under and into the overhang. and if you look close you can see the walk way above the saloon on the next ledge.
All in all we had a blast (probably our mounds not so much but they do have to earn they're keep once in a while.We sure will go there on a regular basis from now on and explore the rest of the trail of which there are many more.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

enormous order...

I just received an enourmous order (12 pair !!!) for knitted socks from a very dear repeat customer in canada.
her color wishes are very specific , so i 'm going to be busy dyeing yarn and knitting for several weeks.
So everything else is going to be put on the back burner and postings here will be sparse for awhile.
goes to get her dyeing stuff together....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

washed and combed

I got most of the fiber from merry meadows farm washed and dried. i took a few locks and just combed them out with a flicker brush

staple lenght is between 4.5 and 5 inches, fiber is sooo soft, no scratch effect at all against the skin.

even after washing and brushing the hairs still have a lot of crimp in them, this fiber should spin up into a springy yarn, great for weaving shawls,scarfs and knitted socks.
I love it!! got to get some more!!
I can't wait for the long winter nights now, i'll be spinning, carding, weaving like crazy!!!
I used to be very fond of bright colors (and still am) but now i'm really getting in

to natural colored wool.

more raw wool..

I received a box of raw wool yesterday that i won on e-bay last week.
this is it, plus there are 4 bags of fiber missing out of this pile that i am washing right now.

Its from Merry Meadows Farm out of California.
They raise Cormo,Finn/Dorset/Targhee/Corriedale crosses,Targhee and Merino sheep.
The fiber i bought are cuttings, leftover from trimming the fleeces. For $3 a pound i thought I'll try and I'm very pleasantly surprised.
The fiber i got was quite clean, very little vm and most of it is absolutely gorgeous .i just had about 12 oz that is not usable for spinning(the pile in the upper right corner in the first picture) because its either too dirty or too short.The rest is just great fiber, very soft with a lot of crimp.

I'll post some pics of the washed fiber when its done.
I will surely buy more from this seller.
by now I've got about 80# of fiber accumulated, some of it has been washed or washed and carded.
but I've got about 60# still in the raw. I'm planning on getting about 10-15 more pounds in the next few days and then I'll quit.
What am i going to do with all this soft goodness you ask!? I'll get it all cleaned and carded and will offer most of it in my shop during the winter. some of it i will keep for my own use, spinning yarn to sell or keep some for myself to knit and weave with.
*So , if you are looking for good clean fibers for your spinning or felting needs look in at the shop from time to time, maybe you find something you like. and since i bought this at such reasonable prices i can sell it below what most other sellers ask .*
I bought that much because i wanted a good assortment of different breeds. so far i've got merino, cormo, rambouillet,corriedale,shetland,alpaca,romney,leicester,cotswold and several others i just can't think of right now. some of it is crossed breeds .
I will blend some of these different fibers when carding to improve the shine, handle,softness etc.
I'm learning quite a bit about the different breeds and the fiber they produce. a year ago all i could distinguish was soft , not so soft and scratchy. now i can pretty much tell you what breed the fiber is just by looking at it.
I love to work with this wool and I'm sure a fiber addict!!!
Well , i better get back to the washing,I've got four bags in hot water in the bath tub and a washing machine full soaking.
Y'all have a fibertastic day Sheep

Saturday, August 22, 2009

little Visitors...

My fiber goings on are put on hold this weekend due to my two little grand sons visiting.
I had both of them yesterday afternoon,my son picked the youngest one (9 weeks old) after work,but the older one (now 14 month old) is going to stay with us until Monday.
And let me tell you, anyone with two (or even more) small children to take care of: y'all deserve a medal !! I've raised two myself but they where 9 years apart, so you can concentrate on one, but this !!! wow !! My respect for my daughter in law, and mind you she is only 17!, has risen indefinite! How does the girl do it? i could not(not longer than a few hours anyway).
Well, anyhow, here are a couple of pics with the boys:

John and Daniel (we call him 'Big Dan' ,he weighs 12# already and wears the same size diapers and clothes Gavin does!!)


Me and the Babys
So I'll report back in middle of next week.wishing everybody a great weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More ALPACA...

So i finally got to spin up a small skein of this scrumptious chocolate Alpaca i carded yesterday.

I experimented around a bit with different whorl sizes,speeds and yarn thickness.
I ended up with a very nicely balanced two ply with a wpi of 9 ,worsted. The color is just amazing, a deep ,rich ,dark chocolate.Yummy!

first i was a little disappointed about the feel of the yarn, i imagined it softer.
So i soaked it in warm water for a few minutes(with a little fabric softener) , squeezed it dry in a towel and whacked it against the counter a few times.And Bingo!! now it's the way i thought it would feel: very soft, no 'prickle effect ' on the skin and a nice drape. The yarn is light and fluffy, like a cloud but really strong ,i cant just break a strand between my hands, i have to cut it.
Yes, i think I'll be working a lot with Alpaca in the future, and why not? It is a lot easier to process than most sheep wool, is softer than merino(it has been compared to cashmere) and the price per pound is comparable or less than for most sheep wool ( at least on e-bay). It'll take me a while to process all this fiber, i got about 10 pounds in assorted colors (still looking for a good deal for a white fleece on e-bay).After I'm done washing and carding all of this i will offer some of it in my shop but i will safe a good chunk for myself, i really would like to spin enough up to use for weft for a big size shawl i can wrap myself into on cold winter nights (or days ).Maybe a variegated yarn with all the colors in it.
Next I'll be turning my attention to the fawn colored fleece,stay tuned...