Ocean Drifter Shawl
Knitting has been keeping me pretty busy for the past month or so. I always have a project on the needles in some form, but when the evenings are as long as they are at this time of year, I try to get a little more accomplished. Not so easy, since by 7 PM or so I am pretty tired and on worknights I get to bed around 8:30 or 9 at the latest.
We have gone into the deep freeze here as well, which is another motivating factor on the knitting front. I finished my Ocean Drifter shawl awhile ago (made from our farm-grown Coopworth/Border Leicester cross wool with a little mohair thrown in), and then I finished some lovely, comfy fingerless mitts that match a cowl I knit last year from String Theory yarn (Caper Aran in Cobalt) that I bought at Spa. Lovely and soft, I am enjoying the mitts and cowl quite a bit right now! (The String Theory yarn is a merino/cashmere/nylon combo, very nice).
Simple triangular shawl
I am also knitting a simple triangular shawl as a Christmas gift for our elderly neighbor. It’s handspun, hand-dyed BFL/silk two ply. Kind of on the bulky side, I am crossing fingers and toes that I have enough to make the shawl as big as I had envisioned it. It’s pretty and soft, and I know our friend will love the colors. She doesn’t move around a lot and sits in her chair with sweaters and other things draped around her, so I am hoping she enjoys this. Doesn’t look like much yet, but it’s fun knitting that doesn’t take too many brain cells!
The last project I am working on is one I cannot detail yet. When we went on our summer retreat to Vinalhaven, we did some natural dyeing experiments on some raw clean fiber as well as some yarn. (Dyed with osage orange and cochineal bugs). We all took a portion of the spoils and agreed to do something with it and do a show-and-tell at our Christmas party. I will have to cover that project later :*)
Posted in Fiber Arts, Friends | Tagged handpainted yarn, handspun, Knitting | Leave a Comment »
SnowPea is happy to have Bagels back in the paddock with them
So much for switching out the bucks! By the end of the day last weekend I had found Bagels in a number of different places, most notably not in the paddock with the donkey, which is 2 paddocks away from where the does live. The last time I found him already cuddled up with the does, I just left him there. I admit that I don’t really know what to do! If he is shooting ‘blanks,’ I really need to get him away from the girls so Beige Boy can do the deed. How to do that, I don’t know as the girls regard Bagels to be the dominant buck, so they really don’t want to give Beige Boy the time of day. :*(
The crew watching me drive down the driveway this afternoon
It’s also been a long week at work, and I have been fighting off a little cold and just been plain tuckered out. Slacker central as far as the blog goes. It’s a little disheartening to be doing chores in the dark in the morning and then doing chores at 4 PM in the afternoon and not having enough light to take photos that actually work! It also means that I really don’t see the girls well enough to hopefully head off a problem before it gets too bad to deal with. Sigh. We are counting down to the Solstice for sure :*)
Posted in goats, Health, Seasons | Tagged Bagels the Buck | 2 Comments »
Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together. What a hoot! There has been a ton of chatter about it in the media, and I won’t belabor the “next time this happens will be 75,000 years from now” bit, but it is pretty neat. Although it kind of cheats us out of having a Hanukkah/Solstice party this year.
For all of you who celebrate, enjoy the Festival of Lights; the latkes, applesauce, sufganiot and all the other delights that go with it. Until next year, when we can again schedule a Solstice party right in the middle of Hanukkah!
Posted in Holidays | Tagged Hanukkah, solstice | Leave a Comment »
I am hoping that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a quiet one. It was actually a quiet week all around, except maybe for the weather!
Chipmunk tracks (or perhaps squirrel)
Tuesday morning we had a little bit of a slow commute. The snow flurries that we expected turned into more than predicted. Buses had trouble getting to school, and there were accidents all over the place. Of course it didn’t last long, the next day we had torrential rains and gale force winds again. Sigh.
On the goat front, two of the girls came back into heat, so I switched out the bucks. Beige Boy thinks he has died and gone to heaven, unfortunately Bagels is feeling a little blue :*( We shall see how this works!
Posted in goats, Holidays, Weather | Tagged Bagels the Buck, Beige Boy, snow, Thanksgiving | 1 Comment »
The weather sure has thrown us for another loop. I expect it to get cold in November, but I think one day last week it was almost 60F and yesterday the temperatures tumbled into the teens, the wind gusts were over 40 mph, and the struggle with frozen stock tank water began in earnest. The wind was so bad that we spent most of the afternoon with the generator on because the power was out.
Of course we have stock tank heaters, and you would think that we would be all ready to go with them, but with the power out and the generator only taking care of certain things, we never got to it yesterday. When I did chores last night there was not much ice in the water buckets, so I thought this morning would not be too difficult. Wrong again! I was almost late to work today (and I left the house with the bed unmade which makes me nuts) because I spent so much time with the sledge hammer breaking up ice.
This afternoon the wind had finally died down, and we at least got one tank heater into the biggest water tank. One of our other stock tanks sprang a leak, so I had to bring that in to dry and see if John can fix it. It’s definitely winter out there :*)
Posted in Weather | Tagged tank heaters | Leave a Comment »
A big fly in the ointment. My big changes in the paddocks have created a situation whereby I have to take SnowPea out of her paddock and walk her all the way around the greenhouse to the milking stand. Not a really huge issue, but sometimes the others in the pen are very interested in where she is going. So I have to very surreptitiously open the gate and let her bolt out and around. She knows exactly where to head and has no problem getting there and onto the milk stand. On the trip back, however, I have been putting her on a lead. After eating her grain she has the potential to be less motivated to go back around, although I haven’t found her to wander at all. She is a good goatie girl.
I think it takes them a lot less time to make these changes than it takes me! But they do seem to be getting along fairly well so far. And no one has come back into heat yet!
Posted in goats, Milking | Tagged change, SnowPea | 2 Comments »
Things have calmed down a little bit in the last few days. None of the animals got hurt (that I am aware of) in the change over of groupings. I have to get used to the new feeding amounts, so my schedule has changed quite a bit at chore time as well. It’s an adjustment!
I am getting a little bit of a rest from cheese-making because I wormed SnowPea the other day. As the does may be pregnant I had to use Ivomec as a dewormer so we don’t have as long a waiting period as we would if we used a “white” wormer like Valbazen. I have not read any information coming out of the United States on these wormers used on goats (Ivomec was made for cows and pigs and is “off label” for goats and sheep). But the Brits have done a lot more research on wormers made for cattle and used in small ruminants, which is definitely helpful. So I usually only wait 5 days after giving Ivomec, which will take us to the weekend and then I will start collecting the milk again. Kind of nice not having the milk bucket and bottling cleanup chores for a few days! It’s a mini vacation :*)
Anyhow, the temperatures have dropped radically over the past 12 hours and the wind is blowing hard. Winter is probably on it’s way. The countdown is on in our house to the Solstice! Daylight, such a blessing!
Posted in Farming | Tagged chores, Ivomec, solstice, worming | Leave a Comment »