Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Socks, carding and labs who don't swim

Do you ever find yourself in the mood to start lots of projects?  That seems to have been the case with me and socks lately.
There are these, my coffee shop socks
and these, something wrong with the heel.

and these, which are a MUCH brighter green

and lastly, these

And then there is the pair I frogged because I just didn't like them.    Didn't like the fabric I was getting with my 2.25mm needles.  That yarn has been tried in several projects and lost each time, so it's on its way out the door.

To top this off, I got some yarn at Jo-Ann Fabric the other day for socks for him.  It is Patons sock which I really like for men's socks.  It's fulls a bit and makes a nice cushy sock for olde soles.  Pun intended.

I've been carding the alpaca with the corriedale from Serenity Farms.  I am not being careful enough of the mix, but I figure it will all even out in the end.  I also carded the alpaca that I dyed with Wiltons food dye.
The color 'broke' when I dyed it, so instead of a solid I got a multi color.  Lavender and bright blue.  It is striking, I want to spin it NOW, but remember that Cormo, well, it is still on the wheel, taunting me.
This picture captures the blue better
This picture shows the lavender, but the blue is too light

Now, about the Lab.  Daisy, as I may have mentioned, is a Texas rescue dog.  Her first year here she was a bit timid about the water, but caught on soon enough.  Last summer, when the lake levels were way down she was a swimming and ball chasing fool.  She was tethered to us with a very long clothsline rope that just kinda followed along behind her.  Because the lake was low last year, she didn't land in water when she jumped off the wall, she landed on sand then then into the water.
This year, began with the lake low and everything was fine.  And then.
The rains came, and the lake almost topped the wall and well, she was jumping into water almost deep enough to swim in.  That and we removed her tether.  Maybe she feels unsafe???  To add insult to injury she was attacked by a large mouth bass several times.  So was I...............  Mama bass seemed to an issue with us being near her nest I guess.
The outcome, Daisy no longer swims.  She wanders along the shore, stepping on the large boulder type rocks, getting wet up to her elbows and knees. [at least she gets her feet clean]  Once in a while she will get her belly wet, but not on purpose.

Eighty-eight.eight-degrees now, time to head down to the water.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Whoosh and a month is gone.  Where?  Who knows.
But, it's been hot, and we've been doing a lot of this.

Napping under the fan

I've even been swimming.  The lake temperature quickly rose to 88-degrees and I find that acceptable for swimming.  Well, I don't really do what you could call swimming anymore, but I do a lot of moving around in the water.  It's great that my body has always wanted to float to the top.

Seems like in June I was talking about some roving that I had that was a mix of corriedale and alpaca.  Cary and I are doing a spin in/knit in.  I think I was supposed to wait for her before I started on the knit in part of the deal.  Well, I thought I should make a gauge swatch and before I knew it I had a sock. OPSS!

Coffee Shop socks, pattern by
Cary Smith, Serenity Farms
Alma, MI

These socks are just screaming cold, snowy winter walk.  They are heavy; boot socks for sure.  The yarn is so nice and soft and has a great sheen too.  Now, I seem to recall how we were [not me] all complaining about winter, so I won't wish for summer to fade just yet.  But I assure you, first cold nite these are going on my feet.

I spun up some of my mystery fiber last week.  I didn't overprocess this fiber so the finished yarn is rather rustic.  I plan to make the lined beanie.  And maybe some gloves too.  I have lots more fleece from this batch, but next time will run it through the carder [at least] once more.  I have about 8 3/4 oz which I think is only around 300 yards.  I keep doing the math again and again, but can't get more yardage::-(
Mystery fleece turned into rustic yarn

Next up on the wheel is some Cormo that I picked up from someone on Ravelry.  It is a roving, so that is a plus, but it is full of straw bits.  I am trying to make myself spin it thicker than I normally spin.  It's so funny that when I first learned to spin I was getting a ultra bulky two ply.  Now I seem to automatically spin so much thinner.  There is lots of this fiber, more that I will spin at this sitting for sure.  It is a nice clean white, so the yarn will lend itself to dying.
Cormo roving
 I promised the owner of School House Alpaca in Granby, CT that I would demonstrate spinning at Granby Open Farms Days in September.  So, naturally I needed some alpaca.  I now have a white blanket.  I'm slowing washing it and preparing it for carding.  I've sampled some mixed in with white corriedale at a 70/30 mix and it spun well.  I also spun some 100%.  I haven't plied them yet, but am sure they will make lovely yarn.

There is more I could talk about, like the CSA we joined, and more I won't talk about, like what is going on at the Board here in our community.  BUT, it's time to get moving along.