Friday, May 21, 2010

Animal Cornucopia

We're getting fairly varied (say that 10 times fast) these days in the animal department. The farm cycle is running very well, now it's down to fine tuning for optimum performance. I hadn't really thought of all the critters that come around that aren't part of your standard idea of a farm, until this morning that is.

This winter brought a little mouse to the barn. Why do I mention the mouse? Well because for about a week, he'd pop his head out of the hole and get a milk squirt or two...thus Milk Mouse. Do I really know if it's the same mouse, have no idea....but it's Milk Mouse and probably always will be. I hadn't seen MM for some time and figured Fluffy had, had herself a nice milk raised mouse for dinner. Come this morning...MM shows up, gets a couple drops of milk and is off running back to it's hole. There's a nice smile in the morning (I realize it's a rodent, but I like mice, not rats, mice...and not in the house, I realize I'm being picky). Milking finds it's rhythm, Amy starts dozing, calf is snarfing for any missed bits of grain. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a bird staring at me. I peek under the boards and there's a couple of birds scratching around to see what there is to see. MM comes out to see what's afoot and starts doing the same. So there I sit, with a barn full of critters, wild and domestic, on a warm, sunny morning...just enjoying the show.

You have to love moments like that.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Natural Beauty

I have an affinity for naturally colored wool and fiber. While adding color and the dyeing process is very enjoyable, the natural colors have a beauty all their own. If I wanted to analyze this, I can probably trace this back to the fact that my first fleece was a Jacob. On a recent rabbit excursion, some wool (sans sheep) managed to jump in the Suburban and come home with me! One woman willing to travel, one woman with a generous spirit and enough cargo space to accommodate has started my Private Reserve.
That ostentatious title is how I'm tricking my brain into being okay with not giving it all away. So, shhh, so far it's working. Aside from the color, there's a nice new range of breeds I haven't spun before. This will in turn help me decide which direction to go with animals....should I choose to accept the mission (hmmmm...what do you think?)

Back to the wool that followed me home. 100% fun.

I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure this is from a sheep named Jill. This was an introduction to spinning in the grease.

It's a family tradition to have issues with I'll blame it on genetics. He's next on the play list...I think.

Montadale cross/Jacob
I'm biased, I'll admit it. It's a first love thing.
I spent almost 2 weeks basking in the heathery pleasure of this wool. My free time was dedicated to it.

Carded (there was a wool explosion in the kitchen while I accomplished this) and turned into roving.

All spun up! This just tickles me. There's the color for one, but it's bulky weight. I spun fat yarn that isn't going to take a lifetime to work up into a sweater. It came out pure sproing and squoosh.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day!

Bad, bad me for not keeping up with the blog. In playing the catch up game, I'm splitting it up into a couple of entries.

May Day!

I can't believe it's here already! Spring has arrived in all it's green and color. Garden beds are ready for planting when the time comes. Amy is back out on pasture and the steer is weaned.

Recap start:

I was able to get some gifts knitted this year with some of the handspun I've done. These two scarves are a pattern called Column of Leaves, the top was for Great-grandma Weigel, the next for my mom.

Christmas also started off a tad early, 5 am to be exact, due to a vocal little puppy. Jager is a red Golden Retriever....who retrieves very well, whether you want him to or not.

After a fun and food filled Christmas Day.

Seamus was less than pleased for a time, but figured out we don't love him any less...even if he has a stinky ear.

Amy decided to play ping pong with her abomasum again and we ended up having to tack it down surgically. She's now giving 4-5 gallons of milk a day, we're happy, pig is happy, chickens are happy...calf is unhappy that he was cut off.

January also brought the rebirth of the green Suburban and a conga line of trips to the car doctor. You know you've been spending too much time there when they start giving you price breaks out of sympathy. It's a place best left unexplored if at all possible.
It also brought Lars's birthday and mine. His last pre-teen year, I'm going to ignore the ever present shadow camped out under his nose...for one more year.
He's having a great year, has a teacher that likes to play Big Band during study times in class. Sweet!

March brought the death of my dryer. It had a good run, but did not go out sounded possessed. So we have a pretty new dryer, that has no idea of the endless toil it's been sold into.

I'm being sent to retrieve caffine, so it's a good time to wrap this up for now!