Monday, July 28, 2008


All the mosquitoes in Whatcom County are in my yard, in long queues at every door & window, smacking their little lips, waiting to get in and exercise their vampire-like behavior on my body. Now I remember why my Dad never wanted to go camping. I don’t know what the reason is - if they’re particularly fond of O+ or some other factor in my blood, or if it’s some pheromonal phenomenon. And yes, I’ve tried B vitamins. Maybe I’d better up the dose. At this rate, I’m going to need a transfusion before this summer ends.

On happier a note, love is in bloom in our pasture. The sheep (boys separated from girls) are making kissy faces at each other through the fence. We’ve had to reinforce the partition as Don (“Adonis”) has already breached it once. . . don’t know if “anything happened” as we think they were together for a pretty short time. If so, though, we could expect a little bundle of joy around Christmas. We are hoping to put that off just a bit & aim for January, so we are planning to put Don with Anemarie (maybe - they seem to be very fond of each other), and Bacchus with Helena, next month. Pebbles was an excellent Mommy & we might consider putting her with Don, or shipping her off to her previous farm for a conjugal visit.

Wish I had some photos to share, but alas, my battery charger continues to be on its own little vacation somewhere. . .

Friday, July 25, 2008


I’ve finished knitting the Oregon shawl. The only thing that remains is to block it, and then enter it in the Lynden Fair. My goal was to have it completed before August 1st, so this will give me more time to fuss over it during blocking to get it “just right”.

It was a lovely knit. I used Madil Kid Seta kid mohair/silk laceweight. I said at one point that the shawl practically knitted itself. As long as I held onto the needles & let the yarn flow over my fingers, I simply watched the pattern emerge. Believe me, lace knitting has not always been this way for me, so I was very pleased.

The Oregon is not a difficult pattern. The center square is an undulating wave pattern which repeats every 16 rows. The side borders are fir cone, also a 16 row repeat, and the trees in the corners are actually pretty simple, an 81-row pattern. I was glad that I ordered an extra ball of yarn. I used about half of it.

In between things I have been washing fleece. This is from my sheep Anemarie, a CVM (California Variegated Mutant, a multicolored version of Romeldale). She has lovely crimp and fine fleece. I didn’t get around to coating her last year, so there’s a bit of yellowing at the tips, most of which is washing out. She’s white/black badger face girl, and has black spots peppered throughout her fleece, which comes out a lovely silver-gray. There was less than a year’s growth on it, and we are just learning how to shear, so the staple length that we got was about 3”. I’m hoping to coat all the girls soon so next year’s fleece will be realllly nice.

Also spent a day dyeing some combed top from my stash. This had been yellow/orange/turquoise, and I decided to overdye into colors that I like a bit better. It wanted to felt, but I think will be usable. . . if not, it’ll be felted into something like a scarf or poncho.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Corbin & Missy Hissypants

Our daughter took off for Montana yesterday, and arrived safe & sound in Billings, to be with her boyfriend while he is working there. While they are in transition mode, the grandcats came to stay with us. So here are Corbin the Crosseyed, and Missy Hissypants, AKA The Growling Couch or Kaya. Kaya is most often found camped underneath the couch, and when she does take leave of that spot, comes out to hiss & snarl at any other feline beings within visual range. She’s okay with people. And she’s always been like this, not only with us. So it’s nothing personal, I gather. If she’ll let me within petting range, I’m going to try the Rescue Remedy that worked pretty well for the sheep, while we were shearing them.

As for the Oregon Shawl, I can be found knitting on the border at most any hour. I looked back over my posts & found that it took me 10 days to get through 1/4 of the border. I’m halfway through now, so that means I’ve gotta pick up the pace in order to complete it in time for the fair. There was a photo in the last post. Since I can't locate my camera battery charger to take a more current picture, just try to imagine that same border on two of the four sides. Gotta scoot.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Summer 2008

This summer is whizzing by. Things have been a blur, so I will just tell you a few highlights.

We went to Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene OR last month. It was great fun to gather with other shepherds and fiber folk. Tina at: has a wonderful post with lots of photos, and it’s definitely worth a look. We came home with three new members for our little flock. They’re all CVM/Romeldale ewe lambs, and are (left to right) Bliss, Amity & Arlyss. Amity & Arlyss came in second and third in their category. We are up to ten sheep now.

It’s shearing season, so Doug & I are working together to make it as comfortable for the girls as possible. We’re not fast. They’re not pretty when they’re done, but at least we can get the fleece off & they’re set for summer. Here is Anemarie before and after shearing. I have tried everything to keep them calm during the procedure, and what seems to be most effective is a combination of Bach’s Rescue Remedy & Jedi Mind Tricks. They get very fidgety when they have to pee but other than that, they’re pretty much okay with it.

We had a few really hot days recently. . . so hot that my chickens have been panting. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Daisy (handsome rooster) is pictured here with a couple of the girls. Sadly, if his ungentlemanly behaviour continues, his new name will be “soup”. I don’t care how pretty he is. He had a little “time out” today to give the girls a rest.

I’ve been knitting away on the Oregon shawl, and am 1/4 of the way through the edging, which zig-zags around the entire perimeter. If I keep on track I should be able to get it done in time for the county fair. Wish me luck!