Monday, May 29, 2006

The Perfect Sleeping Pill
I have never been a good sleeper. Let me nap and I am good to go for a thousand more miles but make me sleep through the night and I can't do it. It runs in my family. I don't drink caffinated drinks and haven't for years. I have tried music, the sound of running water, earplugs and so many other methods to make me sleep I can't even remember them, but give me a spinning wheel, and I am out like a light!

I have been doing more spinning lately than I had ever intended and it's been fun. I have gotten varied results and have no idea what I will do with them, but I contented that the roving is now spun and I can move on to a new color or new texture. This have more of my attention than knitting has and I am not sure my Mock Cable Sweater would agree this is a good thing.

Remember this?
100% Merino Cider

Now it's this...

...and this?

Has now become this...

I had some of the Citrus 100% Merino left over along with some Lincoln-Corriedale and combined the two to get a softer look that seemed to bring out the slight greenish tint in the roving. I was amazed since it has so much yellow in it.

Plus I took more of the Lincoln-Corriedale and combined it with some of the left over Cider Merino and made this...

Just when I thought I was done, I went digging into the roving cabinet and found more of the Finn, Merino, Rambouillet and combined the last of that with the Lincoln-Corriedale and have more of this...

So have you noticed a trend here. I hate wasting roving. What galls me is that I get down to the last bobbin and it has just enough left on it to want to keep going but don't have the second bobbin to ply with. So instead of recarding it, I have decided to combine it with other lonely half filled bobbins to create one of a kind yarn. Now what to do with all of these orphaned balls. I am sure that it will come to me in a dream what to do with all of them but for now they will be stored away for a time I have no money and time to knit.

My Mock cable sweater is going for a drive tonight...the last class. I should have two sleeves and be ready to do the button band and picking the buttons. Sadly I have only sown one shoulder together and have three rows to finish on the other shoulder. I haven't even started either sleeve and have no idea when that will happen. I will be flying to my 30th class reunion pretty soon, and doubt the sweater will be making the trip with me. It will be banished to the canvas bag I carry to class, while I am gone. The sweater will be the dog sitter for our trip since it doesn't have much use for anything else. I hear fall is a good time to finish sweaters...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday and I am still standing...
It's been a long month since taking on a third part-time job. I know I should have my head examined but I want to get out of debt so that I can spend my money on more spinning classes, roving and knitting so I am motivated to pay things off!

Even though I am two sleeves and a button band behind in my sweater class, I will go ahead and go tomorrow night. I will sit and admire the other's sweaters and have visions of what mine will be as soon as things settle down.

I have been spinning like a mad fool. I don't know why I have set the knitting aside but I confess, knitting on the sweater does not interest me in the least at the moment. After going to Maryland Sheep & Wool, I have been consumed with spinning what I bought, and I have.

I bought 1 lb 8 oz. of hand dyed roving called Citrus Splash by Brush Creek Wool Works at the show. Monday night I finished spinning the last of it. I have aches and pains in my back, elbows and neck from all that intense spinning. I was driven to get it done! Here is a group shot of the process from beginning to end.
Pictured here is the roving, plied bobbins and the wound balls. I have a ball winder and finally got someone to tell me how to keep that silly arm from flopping around. I just wasn't pulling on it hard enough to get it to stay still. So I tested it many times on this batch of roving. I have no earthly idea how many yards there are or the final total weight. I really could care less about either one at this point. I just wanted to see how it would spin up. I did end up with one small bobbin and I combined that with some Lincoln-Corridale and it really doesn't look much different that the other stuff. I haven't wound that on the ball winder yet.
I think I will do it on the swift instead and see what it looks like.

I will post more about the things that I bought at the show. I have a nice long credit card bill to prove I had a good time! More later...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More Sheep Pictures...really more
I know I really over did the pictures of the different sheep but I was so in the moment and got swept away. Each sheep was just as wonderful as the person who raised them, sells them, breeds them. I only found one woman who was a bit on the gruff side with me about her sheep. She in no uncertain terms told me that her sheep were for breeding stock and she had a farm to pay for and these were not pets! Fine, but did she have to be so cold about her livestock? Can even the most hard hearted person in the world not melt at the site of a new born lamb and not want one "free loader" for the farm? I am not farmer but even people who have show dogs have one at home who is not show quality and the pet is kept underfoot just because. Anywho, I found the woman to be a bit on the rude and cold side, but she did have beautiful sheep.

Here we go with more pictures...again, I have no idea what they are, but I found all of them fabulous. I love these sheep because of their fleece. It's long and looks like some good spinning stuff. I can think of three different sheep this could be, Shetlands, Icelandic or Navarro-Churro. Maybe you all know, I don't have a clue, but what a neat looking sheep.

This old girl had the right idea. She had had enough and wasn't going to stand up for one more photo for a blog. Nice fleece, huh?

I couldn't resist a family photo of mother with her twins. When I think of sheep, I think of these guys with the black faces and legs. These are the kinds of sheep we used to see while driving in Texas close to where my grandmother used to live.

I have to say that I love natural brown fleece. It was the second color of fleece that I learned to spin on. So hence the brown sheep.

Are these cute two toned sheep or what? I know I know what they are. It's on the tip of my tongue but for the life of me I can't remember.

Okay, that's enough of the sheep. I still have "other" walking fleeces to post about and then the stuff that I bought at the show and how it's spun up so far. I promise not to be gone too long next time. I am juggling two blogs and three part-time jobs. Did I mention "the" husband??? LOL!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fuzzy Happiness
I was extremely lucky enough to travel to Maryland and attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show over the May 6th weekend. Hubby and I piled in the car (I unloaded all my cooking business equipment) with only a few items and headed for Maryland on Friday. I had visions dancing in my head of going to the fairgrounds early and watching everyone unload their walking knitting projects. Boy did I ever get that wrong!!

I love Ikea and the only time I seem to get a chance to get there is via any trip towards the DC area. So of course we had to stop. 1 1/2 hours later and $150 later, we hit the road. I was armed with my 2006 Maryland Sheep and Wool book going over every ad making notes of every place I wanted to hit first. I had gone to their web sites and just knew that visits to their booths first was a must. Once again I was wrong.

We got stuck in traffic around someplace after Potomac Mills. I started to knit out of frustration and then just gave up. While we were sitting in traffic, I spotted someone with a cattle trailer and low and behold there were sheep inside it. We were going just slow enough we rolled down the window and asked them what kind of sheep they had; St. Crouix (hair/meat) sheep. I told hubby that I knew they were on their way to the show. Later there was a split in the interstate; they went one way and we went the other. I was just so sure they were going to the show! Guess what. On Sunday when we went back, they were there with their hair sheep. What was the funniest part of it all, they live about 45 minutes from my house. What are the odds??

May 15
I know I have neglected both my blogs but I have been running day and night lately and there is barely time to do things around the house and forget knitting or spinning! I have taken on a third part-time job and I feel like I live where I work now. I have never worked so hard in my life!!

I have a ton of pictures from the MS&W show so let me go ahead and talk about them and post what I can before blogger cuts me off. Since hubby and I are looking into buying a small farm and owning some sheep, we looked at almost every breed at the show, hence all the pictures of sheep inside of all the colorful booths at the show. I have to say that I was totally overwhelmed but it was worth every moment of headaches that I had over that weekend. My head was spinning!

Okay here we go...
Since I am a pretty new knitter and spinner, I was very interested in knowing what the sheep looks like when others talk about their fleece and the texture of the yarn that comes from that fleece. My very first picture was of these cuties, Cashmere goats. I was never sure what cashmere was until I saw these babies. I wish I had gotten a close up but they were busy. Their wool, was like baby soft ringlets. I didn't look into the booth to price their wool but know that cashmere is not cheap, but after you feel it you will appreciate it. Too bad I can't put sound on here so you can hear them bleating. It was so funny. I think these goats were mostly babies and were for sale. Too bad I didn't come with a trailer...

One of the purposes of this show is to show sheep. The fair grounds were crawling with proud 4H kids and their parents who faithfully go to shows around the area to show their sheep. I had never seen any behind the scenes goings on with grooming the sheep for the ring. I was under the impression that the fleece on the sheep is left natural, but it is not. It is groomed so that the fleece looks even and smooth. Here is a sheep who is in a head harness so that the woman could groom the body without paying a bruising price. Here is another example of the head harness so that the sheep owner could primp the sheep for the ring. Sadly I did not get the breed of either sheep because I was more fasinated by the head harness at that moment, but who wouldn't love those faces??

The next portion of this will be pictures of different sheep. I can't tell you every breed because in all my excitement I just clicked pictures and didn't write down the breeds, but almost every picture I took were of sheep whose fleeces could be spun. Some were medium texture and some were coarse. I did get a lovely sample from a very friendly woman who told me all kinds of things about here sheep and what their fleece could be spun into. I was a fleece snob and now I think that I will be expanding what I spin. My using coarse wool is still under serious consideration. I am thinking that maybe I don't want to take the same path as other spinners in my guild. More to follow about that.

Meet Lipstick. I struck up a conversation with her owner while we were sitting in the bandstands watching everyone show their sheep. She told me they called her that because when she was born she had dark pigment on her lips that made her look like she was wearing lipstick. She also is wearing sheep eyeliner which she was also born with. A girl just can't go out in public without her makeup!

I could not resist this handsome fella. He had the nicest horns that I saw at the show. Some of the shepherd's called them, "handlebars". I am not sure, but I don't think that "handbars" try to butt you and knock you down...

I can see that this is going to be a long post so I will post more pictures of the sheep on a later date before Blogger cuts me off! Stay tuned. I have been spinning and trying to finish my sweater. I have posts for what kinds of roving and yarn I bought at the MS&W but honestly I have to dash. I hear the spinning wheel calling me...ttfn

Monday, May 01, 2006

What I Will Be Doing on May Day

After being rained out for three weekends in a row...sheep shearing day is finally here. I am really excited that I am lucky enough to be included! I was told over the phone last night that lunch will be provided before we start and to bring a pair of heavy duty kitchen gloves for picking burrs from the fleeces. I am truly excited about helping to clean fleeces! It will be my first time to see the whole process. I plan to pack my camera and take loads of pictures for the blog. So here is the group of ladies that I will be spending time with all day today! Do they look excited???