Winter knitting

Scarf knit from sari ribbon

It’s been colder than most winters this year so far.  And I am knitting some seasonally appropriate things, but I also fell in love with this glitzy scarf knit up on size 19 needles from sari ribbon. (Halcyon had a simple pattern to give out with the purchase of the skein).  It was a little frustrating to begin with, as it kept falling off the needles, but after I got a a few rows on board, it was a little easier.  My husband isn’t sure it’s me (!) but I love it.  In the dark of winter here in Maine (where it is snowing yet again), I am loving it!

Early morning chores and flurries

John's new weather station at work this morning!

Tuesdays are early days for me and the chore routine.  I have to be at work by 7 a.m., so the outdoor gear has to start going on by 5:15 at the latest.  It’s dark.  And cold.  Today was the second day in a row that we had zero degrees or lower.  This morning felt like a heat wave compared to yesterday morning’s temp of -9 with a windchill of -29, so I wasn’t really dreading it too much.  With the snow on the ground and the flurries coming down, it was quite an enchanted sight.

Don't know what the smoky thing is, but it sure looks cool!

The moon was visible behind a few clouds over in what I consider the SW sky, but still above the tree line.  It looked totally amazing so I tried taking some photos.  I didn’t do very well at catching the moon, but the effect of the snow in the dark was amazing!  If I hadn’t had to hustle, I would have lingered a little longer to enjoy the dawn and maybe take a few more photos.

Snowy sky

It was here a minute ago…

Snacking before breakfast (SnowPea in front, Bonbel sneaking a peek over her back)

I have to give those goatie girls a lot of credit… they made short work of our friend’s Christmas tree.  I went out bright and early to get the girls fed this morning, and this is what I found.  Not much left, and they were hard at work on it even then.  And when Zorro the llama got up close and personal to get first dibs on breakfast, it was actually a very pleasant experience:  instead of his usual llama breath, he was breathing lovely, piney scent at me!  So I guess we now know how to make camelid breath mints :*)

(Zorro’s breath usually smells like a cross between cudded grass or hay with a hint of eau de stale corn chips.  Not bad at all, but the contrast was amazing!)

A little goatie snack

John set the tree into a snowbank

One of the things we love doing after the holidays are over is giving the cut Christmas trees to our goats.  They love them!  When we actually have a tree we share it, and we frequently get a tree or two from friends.  The 14 foot beast that we had in our living room was moved out to the front of the house and promptly was covered over by an avalanche of snow coming off the roof.  We haven’t gotten that one out yet to the girls.  But our friends at Hatchtown gave us their perfect little tree the other day and I finally got it into the paddock this afternoon.  A sweet afternoon treat!

Rhubarb, Pippi and SnowPea dig right in!
The sheep crowd around to see what all the fuss is about

Snowday redux

Old Bear still loves the snow!

Another storm.  Another snowday.  More photos that don’t look any different from the last ones I posted.  The sun is shining this morning and everything looks clean and white.  Such a surprise!  I can’t complain, however.  We had a good day yesterday.  It gave me one more day to recuperate from the stomach flu.

John's breads from the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day"

John did some bread baking, Sawyer began his career with blocks, watched some movies and did some reading.  (Yes, we did have a little bit of a Thomas the Tank Engine marathon!).  I got the better part of a baby cap knit up as well.  All in all, a pretty relaxing day until the storm wound down and John went out to get the tractor started so that he could get us dug out.  Thank goodness it isn’t as windy today!

(Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois, 2007).

Sawyer checking out the possibilities while waiting for dinner

Yarn, snow and yuck

What a week!  Not sure how it’s going to end yet, but it began with some crazy weather, hit us again with crazy weather (early release from school on Tuesday), and it looks like tomorrow we will be getting some more snow.  Added to that, I have been down with the stomach flu (yuck!) for the past few days.  A week not to remember, for sure.  But as usual, the recent snow of yesterday has left the immediate surroundings as gorgeous as ever.  Since the temperatures are staying low, I hope that the snow on top will remain light and fluffy.   And I can’t believe that the sheep and goats still have not cut a path to their favorite playground, the giant boulder at the top end of the paddock!

Playground rock under snow

In the meantime, over the weekend I finished spinning up the dark grey/brown roving that was the result of some Coopworth and Border Leicester cross lamb fleeces from a few years ago.

Giant skein on the niddy-noddy

There wasn’t that much of it left, so I decided to spin it medium weight on my Majacraft Rose, and then on Monday I plied it up on the old stand-by Louet S10.  I had gotten two over-full bobbins of the singles, and when I plied it I could not get it all onto one Louet bobbin.  That’s always my goal, so I put it all together into one giant skein when I wound it onto the niddy-noddy.  It is quite the heavy skein!  I washed it and it is drying now.  I hope the plies plump up a little.  I am never quite as pleased with my 2-ply as with my singles.  I don’t usually put enough twist into the 2-ply.  But as I spun the singles with not much twist, this looks like a fairly balanced yarn.  Now that it’s almost dry, it looks pretty nice!  Now to decide what to knit :*)

Washed skein

Baby it’s cold outside!

Early morning moon

Brrr, but clear and beautiful.  I went out this evening to do chores and didn’t even need my headlamp, the moon was so bright.  It’s only about 5 degrees F right now, and it is supposed to get down below zero tonight.  And then a crazy warm storm moves in tomorrow and into Wednesday, with rain and sleet.  What a mess!  The girls are looking good right now, the ones without coats aren’t too messy, but rain and sleet make mud and slush, and that is going to be followed by a hard arctic freeze.  Yeehaw!  Life lived by the weather forecast :*)  Love it!

Meg scores breakfast!
Lupine waits for breakfast, guinea hen at the ready

The Day after

Last night the storm was still blowing around when I went to bed.  The snow had stopped but we couldn’t tell if the cleanup job we did was good enough.  This morning I got up at the usual time and was just ready to go out and do chores when I got the word that we had a 2 hour delay.  What a lovely gift!  I didn’t have to do chores in the absolute dark!  Maybe I would really be able to tweak some of the shoveling up around the animal feeders and get that opened up a bit more.  On my way up the driveway just before before daylight I had to go back and grab the camera.  The sky and the snow were just too beautiful!  Now that I know how to create a slide show, I will throw some dawn photos here :*)

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More blizzardy days

This one wasn’t a surprise, but even so, yesterday at work we were wondering aloud at lunch what the result would be.  I don’t know why snow days are so special, but they are!  It’s found time, when you really can’t go gadding about.  Staying home is enjoyable.  So today we are playing with Thomas the Tank Engine trains, watching Thomas on video, making soup, knitting and spinning.  (And before anyone says anything, we have only become experts on Thomas since our grandson decided it was the best thing since sliced bread!  And dad is out plowing…).  He has been really getting into character this morning, draping himself with a pretend cape and hat.  Super Sawyer!

Start of a baby sack for friends. Using Malabrigo Rios.
No, those aren't jeans! That's a Super-Sawyer hat and cape!