Friday, January 20, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday-Single ply spinning & Shawl Knitting

Yippee for Fiber Arts Friday! I managed to work on a few projects in this bitter cold snap we are having. My latest knitting success was posted on WIP. Now I am working on another shawl and knitting with alpaca. The yarn is complied from many leftover bobbins of hand spun yarn. The great aspect of this yarn is that I can keep adding to it as I go! The pattern is a bit of a free form one I downloaded from Raverly (stockinette stitch with a couple of YO). I am enjoying the knitting process and am surprised as the colors unfold into an interesting scheme. As you can see in the photo:
Next I debated about plying this strand of alpaca with a gold thread but changed my mind. I have been sitting on this bobbin for about 4 months (not literally, of course!) and finally decided to leave it as is. I hand dyed the fleece and added some angelina to give it a bit of sparkle. I also added a bit of banana silk. My intention was to create something with an Indian flair. Not at all sure what I will do with this skein.
That about wraps up my week. Check out Andrea's blog for lots more fiber fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP-DanDoh Scarf-Knitted Hug for Japan

This is actually not a WIP. It is completed. The pattern is DanDoh Scarf by Yumiko Alexander and was designed as a way for the artist to contect with her homeland after the tsunami in March of 2011. She wanted to create a pattern as a memorial to those who suffered from the tragedy. And a beautiful pattern it is. I used a soy blend from my stash and size 9 circular needles. I prefer circular so my work doesn't slide off and I find them easier to knit with. I have no idea what kind of yarn or the exact blend because I threw away the info one time when I was cleaning my office. It is beautiful and the variegation in the yarn really does this scarf justice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Farm Tip Tuesday-Keeping Track of Chores

There is always something to do around the farm from fixing fences, cleaning water buckets, sweeping the hay loft, deworming the minis, herd health day, and the list goes on. I have had to struggle with the fact that the list never ends. I like to cross things off my list and move on, but that is not really what happens. The moment I cross off a duty and new one replaces it!
I found this vintage black board at a resale shop for $5.00. It is placed in a central location between the tack and grain rooms. In other words, I cannot ignore it. The black board works great for me to keep track of chores and a plus is that I don't lose the list.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday-Catching Up

As Friday rolls around I begin to wonder what I did all week with fiber. I frogged a project and started another one. It is too early to post photos as I am only on the second row.

Reflecting back over the week I think I was working on my Etsy store for a good part of it. I retook tons of photos and am slowly uploading yarn and roving. It is bit time consuming. I was messing around trying to get my focus right. I have a portrait lens on the camera and for some reason was having difficulty focussing and getting a clear perspective of the yarn. I think I have that all cleared up now. Yay!

Wednesday I went to the GR Yarnie Group and saw some friends. It was a lovely time. I did not knit at all! I jabbed the whole time. Imagine that??

And I finished the String Ray Shawl (aptly named by my son). It looks like a sting ray. I posted some photos of this one before. Cherry Hill Yarn in Charmed. Knit with a modified pattern. Very easy peasy. I love, love the color way. I could only get one skein so it is smaller than I would like.

I am posting a photo of my cat. I like to see other people's pets on FAF so I am posting one of TomTom the LGC (Livestock Guarding Cat). Only he is on break in this photo.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Hop on over to Wonder Why Gal's for more fiber fun.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Farm Tip Tuesday-Heated Water Buckets

I never even thought to put in automatic water feeders when we built our barn. I managed the first winter...barely. Finally I worked out a system to run electrical cords to my heated water buckets. Then I figured a way to use recycled milk jugs to keep the connections dry over the winter months. It has worked out pretty well. I have heated water buckets in five of my paddocks.
Only once did I have an issue. My male alpaca, Blazing Ben, got his foot caught in one of the extension cords and by the time I got down to the barn he had pulled the cord free from the bucket and tore down the stake. He wasn't hurt and all was well.

Ben is always doing crazy things. One time he got a bucket caught around his neck and he wore it for about an hour before I realized and could get it off of him. Needless to say there are no more small feed buckets in the pen. Another time I brought home new hay feeders with a grid on top to keep the hay in the feeder and off the ground. In the first 15 minutes he had the grid around his neck. He freaked out and tore it to smithereens. Pieces of PVC piping and sand were all over the paddock. I don't use those grids anymore either. But I digress...

This is a photo of my water bucket contraption.

And this is with the milk jug.

I used my favorite and all purpose tool-zip ties to keep the milk jug snug and prevent it from blowing away. I used duct tape to seal the connection between the two cords and to keep the cords in place on the stake. The stake I purchased at Family Farm and Home for a couple of bucks. This is the boys water and I placed it on cinder blocks so I don't have to bend over and I used a tire to secure the bucket in place. Just in case someone gets an idea in their head....

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Fiber Arts-First Post of the Year!

Welcome all to the first post of 2012 FAF! I am looking forward to a year of fiber fun with all my friends on Wonder Why Gal's blog. I actually am getting a slow start. I have not spun yet this year. Kind of sad...
I have knitted these cute little cuffs from my hand spun and Classic Alpaca. I sort of made up the pattern as I went along. They are simple knit/purl with a couple of yarn overs/K2tog in a few rows. I have wanted to make some cuffs for awhile to wear as I am always cold. I am not completely finished. Can you see the safety pin? I haven't stitched them up yet. I may add a lace edging in crochet. We will see..

Goals for 2012-Let us be realistic. Please!

1. Finish the cuffs.
2. Finish all WIPs. No cheating on this one.
3. Learn two new spin techniques.
4. Attempt to post more fiber projects on this blog.
5. Finish skirting fleeces. Please do this immediately.

That is all. I am not going to have a bunch of things that I will feel overwhelmed about and then not be able to do. That is what I do. I get stressed by self imposed rules and then I cannot do anything. Ridiculous. At least I know myself. he he.

That about wraps up my Fiber-round up. Skip on over to Andrea's blog for a peek at more fiber fun!