Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Greasy grimey...

Two days off! Thunderstorms! More rain! This weekend (Mondays & Tuesdays are my days off, so henceforth, when I say "weekend" I mean MY weekend...) I mostly did chores, had my car inspected, & went to the dump (where I scored some canning jars at the Swap Shop). I did manage to get some gardening done between rain showers -- I planted the tomato & pepper seedlings, onions, peas & swiss chard today because it finally seemed dry enough to do so. I spun another skein of gray wool for Laura's sweater and washed it and another one that I spun a while ago.

Oooh...I've delved into the new cormo fleece & I'm in love. I thought I'd try spinning it a couple of different ways to see how I like it best. First experiment was to hand card and spin in the grease. I always washed fleeces before, but this fleece is exceptionally clean ("Fellow" was covered) and I thought I'd just try it...and well, um, I think I'm a convert... Here are my reasons: 1) I'm trying to spin a light weight yarn & the grease helps create some friction to keep that tiny yarn from slipping out of my hand and breaking. 2) I think it actually helps me spin a thinner yarn. 3) The grease helps keep the little fuzzies from sticking out too much. 4) It softens my hands and 5) I love the smell of sheep. So I've spun one skein & washed it. All the grease washes out easily leaving a nice pure white very springy yarn. Gotta love cormo.

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I know there are people out there who swear by spinning in the grease and those that are vehemently opposed, and not many who go both ways...I'd be interested to hear opinions for and against. How do you process fleece? What are your reasons?

P.S. Hello from the chickies & cats who are all well.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Sun? What's that? Spring in New Hampshire is being very wet this week. Not good for gardening or little chickies going outside or working in the museum business! Very good, however, for watching movies (new Star Wars), knitting and reading and making cats crazy.

Not much to report...the chickies are about the size of pigeons and have quite a few of their grown-up feathers in. They have moved from their guinea pig cage to an outside shed and I have drawn up plans for their chicken tractor (construction delayed because of the WEATHER). They are eating A LOT of chickie food these days and I can't wait until they can forage outside!

Knitting projects right now include a Flower Basket shawl using the purple Rowan that my co-worker Dana bought for me in France, a Kimono shawl pattern scarf out of lovely eggplant colored Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (because my boss wanted to make one and I had to have something to show her how on), and the displeasing picot trim on the (again, purple) lacy cotton too-big tank-top.

I have not posted any pictures lately because of new computer arrangements in the house (Laura's laptop -- which had the digital camera card reader -- fried itself and was replaced by a MAC which I don't understand and wireless network which allows me to use MY computer, novel idea). I'll figure it all out one of these days.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Finally!!

Today was really, really fun. There were actual people at the museum today. Actual people! After all those long winter months it is so nice to see real, breathing people again! I think I've started breathing again, too -- it seems a lot less stressful now that we are actually open again. All went well today; I had to cover one tour for someone who went too long on their first tour, but otherwise just fine. Since it was our first Garden Days weekend, we had the Soil Tunnel (Kids loved it!) on loan to us from the Merrimack County Conservation District in the Family Activity Center along with seed planting, decorating Shaker-style seed packets, some garden-themed stories, and my composting worms, among other things. Attendance could have been higher but attendance is usually a bell-curve anway. We finished the day with a wonderful barn dance in our brandy-new (and gorgeous) Garden Barn -- a reconstructed version of the 1828 post & beam barn that used to stand there (it even uses most of the original foundation). We had Two Fiddles from up the road with us doing the calling & fiddling & the bugs weren't bad at all!

I came home to find a beautiful white 5 1/2 lb. Cormo fleece with my name on it -- an early birthday present from Laura, Doug, and Pat who, (lucky ducks) got to spend the day at the NH Sheep & Wool Festival. I have long wanted a nice fleece to process all the way through (i.e. no vegetable matter, second cuts, etc.) and this is it!

Oh right, one other thing....silly me....last night I met Laura at the Elegant Ewe in Concord because they were having a bookbookbook signing with none other than Stephanie the Yarn Harlot. And she knew people who knew Laura & seven of us ended up going to dinner with her! She really is quite funny...lots of Canadian humour! Heeheehee!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My first!

Liz at Pocket Farm just tagged me with my very first meme ever (see below!). Sorry it's taken me so long to get to it...the Museum opens on Saturday and things are a wee bit crazy these days. But I had to get online tonight because Laura just signed us up for DSL and put in a wireless network in the house. So here I am in my room with my laptop! Today was so nice outside...tonight I have my window open for the first time this spring & all the nice spring smells are wafting in!

The chickies are doing fine. Here is a picture taken on the first or second day we had them. They have since moved on to slightly larger quarters (an old guinea pig cage) and are growing rapidly!

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Anyway here is the meme; Funny how so many of Liz's answers are similar to what I would say...I'll try to be original! The Rules: Pick 5 of the following and then complete the sentences:

If I could be a scientist…
If I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician…
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I could be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be an athlete…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an inn-keeper…
If I could be a professor…
If I could be a writer…
If I could be a llama-rider…
If I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be an astronaut…
If I could be a world famous blogger…
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
If I could be married to any current famous political figure…

The answers ....

1. If I could be a painter...Gosh, I wish I could be a painter. I love colors. I go on these little art kicks from time to time and make a big mess, but never like what I do. I would love to have the dedication & patience to keep a watercolor nature journal! I guess I'll stick to fiber as my art form...

2. If I could be a gardener/farmer...I would love to support myself as a fiber artist/teacher/organic farmer, something like what Deb & Rickie do at Seeds of Solidarity I would grow enough to to sell at our town's farmer's market as well as be a regular supplier for the Concord Food Co-Op. Someday I'll make the big jump & do it...

3. If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…A certain close-to-home world leader and all his corporate cronies would be put away for life for their crimes against humanity & the environment. Enough said.

4. If I could be a librarian…I would keep a special shelf of "Sarah Recommends" for the books listed at the right (scroll down to "must reads").

5. If I could be an architect...My houses would be like Liz the Architect's...small, clustered, efficient & blending in with and causing minimal interruption to their landscapes. Treehouses anyone?

Whew, I did it! Thanks Liz! I don't know who to tag next, but if you read this and want to play, consider yourself tagged!
And speaking of bitter...I live less than 10 miles from the NH Sheep & Wool festival this weekend and I can't go because of the aformentioned museum opening. And its my birthday. Harumph...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Babies!

The chicks have arrived! All 12 little fluff balls are very well & enjoying their box with heat lamp. I left my camera at work, but will post pictures ASAP. The cats very much wish to be let into the room with the chicks....I don't think so, guys.

Not much time to knit lately, but I have been working diligently on the purple cotton/tencel lace tank-top (again, will post a picture soon). I went to see an old friend from high school and her baby on Monday and corrupted her (the mom, not the baby) into learning how to knit, which she picked up very quickly. I did warn her of the dark path she was headed down and the eventual lack of storage space due to wool accumulation....I don't think she gets it yet. Ha, she'll see.

Abbey (who is climbing on me and demanding to be introduced to the chickies) says "hi" and I say have a great week!