Saturday, June 25, 2016

It Takes Less Than a Fortnight

To knit the extraordinary Fortnight hat by Jared Flood of brooklyntweed.net! What a nice surprise to have something fly off the needles at the breakneck speed of a few days after spending so long on the Color Affection Shawl.

This may be the softest hat ever, made from Shady Grove Alpacas Worsted in colorway Cassidy!

I made the version with the "ear flaps" that make the back longer. It is remarkably more comfortable than a hat with actual ear flaps.

As per usual, the fabric grew some after washing and blocking, especially the garter stitch section, and is now super drapey and pliable. Not that it matters with this pattern, since it sits firmly on one's head.

I'll definitely be knitting a few more of this pattern, and Cassidy worsted is my new favorite to work with!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Foundation Herd Shawl

I finally finished my Color Affection Shawl this past weekend! The yarn is Shady Grove Alpacas in fingering weight, color ways Bella, Moonstar, and Greta. These three animals were the first alpacas we bought when we started farming, thus foundation herd shawl.
Fresh off the needles! As you can see by the pucker on the right edge where all the increases are, I should have made more adjustments to make it looser. Do check the advice of other knitters on Ravelry if you plan on making this one. Fortunately most of the tension lessened significantly during blocking.

Blocking... I stretched it quite a bit, which gave it a more sheer texture and longer length. It also evened out some of the stitches a little bit.

More blocking... As usual, the washing and blocking made this yarn so light and fluffy! The drape of the fabric is really wonderful, and it feels airy yet very warming.

A few "candids" - not the best photo shoot. The light was fading, the Farmer was tired and not in the mood to deal with evening mosquitoes, so it is a bit hurried. 

One of the alpacas in the herd is peering at the photo shoot from the barn.

Quite a few friends have expressed "surprise" that we ended up dying our fiber when they saw the yarn. Across the front you see Greta (black), Moonstar (white), and Bella (medium brown). They personally brought us the colors I got to work with, and it is awesome that no dying is necessary! In the back is Cassidy with my brother #2 and his wife. 

Stay tuned for a new project using Cassidy's yarn, coming soon! 

Joining the Yarn Along at Ginny's today.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Bantam Silkie Field Trip

A few weeks ago, The Farmer brought home three Bantam Silkie chicks; so cute!
They spend a lot of time being alarmist and fearfully hiding behind the hen hydrator.

Until it's time to eat. Then, please excuse us while we chow down in oblivion!

On Tuesday, the weather was nice so we put them on the lawn. The confusion was palpable. What do we do now?!

Lookin' around... Hmmmm...

They figured out pretty quickly that grass is yummy and bugs are tasty.

Tomorrow or Sunday, we will have knitting content! Stay tuned!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Yarn Along - Color Affection

It's been a while since I joined the Yarn Along at Ginny's: http://www.gsheller.com/2016/06/yarn-along-282.html 
Today I have a tiny bit of down time, so here goes.
I started this Color Affection shawl using Shady Grove Alpaca fingering weight yarn in late March, and those rows just keep getting longer and longer. And longer. I'm trying to make a push for the finish before I start another smaller project. I haven't settled into a new book yet. I did finish Outlander on CD last week, which I enjoyed, but did not love.
In the mean time, the garden is flourishing. We enjoyed the first broccoli of the season for dinner tonight.
A visit to my parents' house I got to see my favorite rose hedge burst into bloom over the last few days. 

Till next week. Maybe the shawl will be finished...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sputter

It's been a crazy month filled with contests and concerts and celebrations and auditions and interviews. I feel like life kind of sputtered to a halt while all of that was going on. Today was the last day of school, and I decided to wander out of the cave that is my office and take stock of my yard. Apparently lots of things have been happening in my absence.






I'll be back with more after a long nap. And when I finish writing the last of the pesky emails still on my to do list...

HAPPY SUMMER!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Chicken Win, Chicken Loss

Win: one of our little Australorp chickens has started laying eggs!!! They are tiny and cute, and the most amazing purplish-flesh color. Shown here with a Heinrich mammoth egg sample for contrast.


Loss: a fox or coyote ate another one of said Australorp chickens - THROUGH THE BARS of the dog run chicken coop. A second chicken has a broken leg. These chickens are being raised for The Farmer's dinner plate. He was not amused. Dog run is now reinforced with what else, but chicken wire.

Fox also trampled the potato beds. Farmer's wife not thrilled either. Beds now surrounded by screens. Bugger off, ye wilde beastie!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Moonstar Sock

Last weekend I visited my parents and brought a few skeins of yarn for my mother to knit up.

My hope was to get a pair of socks. I didn't realize how fast they would materialize! Well, one at least. We had to make sure it fits. I'm sending it back Monday with some more yarn for another pair of socks for her.

This is yarn made from Moonstar's fiber mixed with 10% nylon and 20% merino.

It is soft and cozy and doesn't itch. Maybe, just maybe, this blend of yarn won't give me my normal allergic reaction to alpaca. 

But in the meantime I'm happy to put up with a little bit of itchy-scratchy to wear home grown, home made clothing!