Saturday, September 26, 2015

Commence Mindless Knitting

I've had a hankering to do some serious knitting for the last few months, but always felt exhausted at the prospect of thinking about swatching, thinking about the stitch math, and following a pattern. These days my brain just seems to be so full of other things that figuring out one more thing is just not possible. So last weekend before I left on a road trip, I took the plunge and started an afghan with pattern #5 from the "Done by Monday Afghan" booklet.

A friend of my mother's friend was a hand spinner in Maryland and sent her several large boxes of handspun skeins a few years ago. My mother graciously handed them off to me so that "I wouldn't have to buy any yarn." (I don't think she considered that hunting for the perfect boutique quality yarn is part of the knitting fun.) I am using this hand spun yarn held double and knit with size 13 needles to achieve an rustic chunky blanket. As with most hand spun, there are lots of tiny straw pieces still falling out while I knit, adding to the country charm.

I think the hand spinner went to fiber fairs to sell her product. Every single skein has a personalized, hand written tag attached. The yarn I am using was from a Romney ewe named Rachel. This information makes the product so much more personal. I wish I had a picture of the sheep! Something to keep in mind when we get around to selling our own yarns soon.

I am so happy that I decided mindless knitting is OK for this fall. Knitting just a little bit in a spare minute or two has made me so much more relaxed and grateful. It's a good lesson that I don't have to always over achieve in all areas all the time. This giant blanket will be be most impressive when finished and no one needs to be any wiser that it was easy. Nor does it have to be done by Monday, at least not one in the near future. There are several friends getting married soon, so this project might actually turn out to be a fun gift too. Bonus!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Too soon...

We lost our youngest alpaca early this morning. The vet came out to do an autopsy and found nothing out of the ordinary, which gives us great comfort that we didn't make a misstep in his care. But it does make us wonder what happened.

    Leven as a cria with his mom, Greta.

We will miss his sprightly prancing, bullying his brother Dark Star, playful attention, curiosity, slight skittishness, and racing around the pasture. 

Three years was not nearly enough time with you. You were our fun and adventurous alpaca. Rest in peace, Leven.

  Shady Grove Alpacas The Eleven:
          9/11/2012 - 9/25/2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

New Adventures

I know I am currently overly obsessed with the turkeys and should probably rename the blog something akin to "The Fairest Foul." The turkeys are definitely sucking the media space on the blog right now, kind of like Trump is always on TV these days. Trump Turkeys.

The turkeys are now released into their outdoor enclosure. They are enjoying their time out on pasture. Big adventures are keeping them very busy. 

The only problem is bedtime when they insist on laying right next to edge of the cage where a raccoon could easily reach in and strangle them. So we are putting them back into their little cage that is not near the edge of the enclosure.

Today we visited some farmers nearby who have Southdown babydoll sheep. They are quite possibly the cutest sheep I have ever seen.

After we get our dead Ash trees removed, we may decide to get a few. This little brown one was particularly adorable.

Nothing like a tiny, friendly sheep to make your day perfect. I'm up for that adventure! 

And maybe now that I have blogged about sheep, I can put together a post about a finished project. A project that was finished three months ago. Stay tuned...