Saturday, March 27, 2010

Come See the Babies!

Lots of changes on the farm in the past week. We've added Krissie to the list of lambs - she was in the little pen with her mom for just a day or so - she really wanted to get out and play with the "big" boys.

Speaking of "big boys" - here is Bode's "Whatcha doin?" face

And Wicket gets cuter every day.

Kind of reminds me of that scene from "West Side Story" -

"When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way..."

Common Krissie - you stay away from those bad boys...

Speaking of "bad boys" - look at what The Shepherd found in the hen house yesterday morning!

Just after he found these two in the barn. This is Dusty. Actually he was born second - The Shepherd helped clean him up and get him going after Luna dropped him out on his noggin.

Now this is where the cat blogger term "Sheep Furs" really comes from - doesn't he have the prettiest wool?

OK all you Shetland Shepherds out there - what do you call these markings?

And here is Robin - She is a pretty brown with krunet markings on her head and ears.

We had an "Open Barn" this morning for some friends who wanted to see babies - Luna had about had enough and really wanted out of the jug. (ie, lambing pen)

Out to meet the new neighbors....

Then a few dashes up and back in the pasture - but as you can see here (click on the picture to biggafy it) poor little Dusty got his new found legs tangled up in the long grass and, as my dad used to say, went "ass over teakettle"

Oh, Dusty, you'll be OK. Just look where you are going the next time.

We think that Violet will be next - what do YOU think? ? ?

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Review of WPI Tool Kit

I very rarely review products - sometimes on Amazon if I really like the book or what ever I've purchased, but I'm really excited about this little doo-dad. I found it originally on my friend Vicki's blog The Virginia Purl and immediately knew it was something I'd been looking for. So I ordered it right up, and it came (as promised) within 3-5 days, and then I got an email back from the folks at Village Spinning & Weaving asking me if I'd like to review it.

"No prob", I thought to myself - It's something I'm excited to have and I know I'll be using it a lot. When I got done with the review, their web site asked me if I'd like them to post my review to my blog. Well, that was a cool idea, since I was going to tell you about it anyhow - so here is my review and their dandy picture. One thing I see that this has that the other WPI things don't have is the cool little chart that comes with it. I mean, what good is knowing your Wraps Per Inch, if you don't know what kind of "commercial" yarn measurement it equals. So, I'm a happy camper - I'm going to play with it tomorrow during our "Open Barn" - Oh, that's right, I didn't tell you yet, Luna had her babies yesterday - Just wait til you see them!

Originally submitted at VillageSpinning & Weaving

WPI Tool Kit from Nancy's Knit Knacks This Wraps Per Inch Tool and Knit-Kard is useful for the following: Measures the thickness or ''weight'' of the yarn Identifies yarn with poor or no labeling Makes

WPI Tool Kit will Deliver

By Tina T-P from Bellingham, WA on 3/26/2010

5out of 5

Pros: Easy To Use

Best Uses: Home, Professional

Describe Yourself: Experienced

As a spinner who crochets with my own yarn, I am often perplexed as to what "weight" my yarn really is - I end up having to make sample after sample to get things the right gauge. This WPI tool kit will help me from the very get-go as I can actually do a WPI on my singles to make sure that I am spinning for the size yarn I want as a finished product. I like that it has more than one inch so you can measure bulky and novelty type yarns too. Very happy with this product!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Colors of March -

Sue at Life Looms Large has a great monthly "blogging exercise" that she does called "The Colors of (this month)"

I enjoy looking for pretty things and places in our beautiful corner of the world to share with everyone and I think this exercise is also helping me learn more about my camera (that I've had for almost a year and still haven't gotten much past the "AUTO" setting on the dial...)

The cherry trees have been out in town for weeks now - pink haze as you drive through the streets - but ours in the back yard has only bloomed this week.

The white Japanese birches are showing their new skin.

And how could I leave the new lambs out of the colors of March -

The quince is probably my favorite spring flowering plant. The Shepherd says they spread too much and won't "allow" me to have one - well, he's the one who does all the yard work, so I just have to enjoy the fleeting glimpses that I get of them as I drive around.

Along with the pink haze of the cherries goes the yellow blaze of the forsythias. They have been very bright and colorful this year.

This beautiful roving that was at our Spin-In last weekend. I bought 16 ounces of two different colorways to make baby sweaters for my boss's "upcoming" twin girls - they are due next summer - I figure I should be able to get the spinning done and the crocheting done by then, don't you?

This colorful roving is from Sunset Fibers in Olympia, WA. It is hand painted Corriedale, and should make some nice soft, warm sweaters.

My sister Wisten has given me several Lenten Roses (Helleborus Orientalis) over the past few years. This one lives by our back porch - a true sign that spring can't be far behind.

I hope you've enjoyed the colors of March from the Pacific NW. Now, go visit Sue and check out the links to March in other places! Maybe even add your own colors to the list.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pretty in Pink

The Star Magnolias are in full bloom right now -

It was a smart person who decided to make a pink one - they are so pretty.

Speaking of pretty - Here is the newest addition to the farm - Marietta's Krissie - She was born yesterday afternoon to Jewell - Unfortunately her sister didn't make it. The only thing we can figure out is that the (first timer) mom was too long in labor. The Shepherd thinks we're going to have all black & white lambs this year - so far we're batting 1000...

And speaking of black & white - here is "not so little any more" Wicket - Growing like a weed - he has more than tripled his weight since birth (about 2 & 1/2 weeks ago)

"Mommy, wow, I'm a big boy now! " Doesn't he look like he's wearing a jacket? I haven't been able to figure out if that black spot on his butt is heart shaped -

He never stands still long enough to figure it out.

They are out in the front pasture now. Sure to be stopping traffic on the corner.

"Race ya to the barn, Bode........"

Zoom, zoom, zoom..........

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Looking back Sunday

These pictures were taken in March- 2, 3 & 4 years ago - I could easily have taken the same pictures this past week but it RAINED and was wicked cold, all week long.

Until Saturday, that is, and the weather cooperated for our Spin-In - (of which I have loads of pictures) - not a single wheel got wet - but between working til 3:00 in the a.m. on Friday night getting ready for yesterday and the change to daylight saving time, I crashed when we got home from church today. So, no new pictures yet and dinner wasn't on the table until about 8:30 tonight (well, someone COULD have come in and woken me up... - but I think he was napping too.)

Anyhow - these are three of my favorite pictures of The Shepherds gardening handy work.

Little Wicket update: - He is growing like a weed - if it's not raining when I get home from work tomorrow night, I'll take some pictures - since, it will be light for a whole extra hour.

The forsythias and the quinces are all in full bloom right now. Between that and the cherry trees, they make such great blazes of color along the streets and the byways.

Hope you have a great week with blazes of color on your highways and byways too!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My new favorite thing -

I'll get back to the "Places To Go" later this week, but I had to share my new favorite thing with you.

I'll be the first to admit that I have a LOT of gadgets in my kitchen. I sold Pampered Chef products for about 4 years, so I have one (or two) of everything that they sold during those years. I still love to pour over their catalog tho - and I've been wanting to get this particular tool for a year or two, but just kept forgetting to order it.

It's called the "Mix & Chop" - and I don't know what took me so long. I love this thing!

To quote the product insert: "...allows you to chop food directly in your nonstick cookware while cooking. Five curved blades easily create consistent-sized crumbles, helping to shorten the cook time and evenly distribute seasonings. a must for ground beef or turkey, scrambled eggs...also a handy tool for chopping and mixing frozen fruit or fruit juice concentrate. Nylon head is heat safe to 428 degrees F and won't scratch nonstick surfaces."

I used it the night I brought it home and have used it three or four times since. It worked especially well with ground turkey, which tends to come apart in big clumps. So if you dont' have a Pampered Chef consultant, let me know and I'll put you in touch with mine.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Pure Bliss

The Shepherd had been cleaning house, making room for the tools and toys that he will need for his new gardening business and so he has taken a bunch of old fleeces to Gretchen's Wool Works - one of them being this beautiful moorit fleece. The exciting news is that Gretchen recently upgraded her mill so she can do TA-DA! ROVING!!! - And it is VERY nice too!

In fact, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it - I pulled about 10 yards off the bump and went to work.

This is how it spun up - wow, like a dream - and here is the rub - (big frowny face...) he had already planned that this fiber was for sale. We will have it at my spinner guild's SPIN-IN on the 13 of March. Oh well. There are two more Shetland fleeces he wants me to work on, and I had Gretchen process two fleeces that I had picked up - one Icelandic that I had her blend with some Alpaca of almost the exact same moorit color and another Alpaca fleece - I have to spin these up to sell the yarn (hopefully) - on our Washington Wool dot Net web site.

Here is some other Alpaca/Icelandic blend that I've been practicing on - what do you think? (it hasn't been washed yet so it has kind of an edge to it - hopefully it will soften up a little.)