Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Sunnyday!

Happy Sunnyday everyone!

Mummy is letting us go outside more and more - in fact, yesterday she left us in the house, but left the door open between the family room and the back porch (she calls it "The Air Lock")

We surprised her by being outside when she came home from work. We figured out how to get OUT the kitty door!

Today we are just lounging around and George is stretched out as l-0-n-g as he can get so he is not so hot. He wants Mummy to stop with the flashy thing, so he covered up his eyes!

The weatherman said it got up to 74 degrees today - that is warm enough for us. Although Mummy says maybe if it got up to 80 degrees for a couple of days it would toast those pesky mosquitoes -

I like to chase them, but I don't know if I'd like them toasted...

Dr. Anne Marie came this week to start our shots. We just got the distempered shot this time (that's a good one for Georgie - he is distempered a lot of the time - ha, ha, ha) She tried to draw blood to do some tests for an awful disease that a lot of kitties get, but Georgie tried to bite Mummy's thumb off - so she decided to wait until she could come back with a V-E-T tek (what ever that is) who was more used to holding squirming kitties....

Mummy says this is her artsy-fartsy picture of me - taken through the hanging screen on the back porch.

I think I take a good picture whether or not I am fartsy, don't you?

Your roving reporter,


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spinning, spinning & more spinning

Here is some more yarn that I've been working on for the Artisan Faire in September. It is potluck roving from Ferndale Fiber - I talked to Kathy at our wool sale last spring, and she said that it is most likely Targhee - it is soft and springy.

The colorway is called Granite. The pink didn't come out very well in the close-up, but you can see it in this picture really well.

I will make a pair of fingerless mitts from it and have the rest available as yarn.

This is my first attempt at three ply yarn. I don't know how it should look, so I don't know if it looks good or not. It will be for a sweater for The Shepherd

It is 80% Shetland/20% Alpaca - It is spinning up OK - it's just so boring spinning white yarn.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tail of two Kitties

Little by little we are learning the ways of The Mrreows.

Gracie is soft and kind of like a rag doll. The black rings on her tail go all the way around.

George is growing daily. The Shepherd says it's like living with a teenaged boy - and he eats like one too -

I love the ladder pattern on his tail - the tip is black, as are the bottoms of all four paws. His fur is soft and sleek -

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Mrreows go outside!

Mummy and The Shepherd let us go outside last night!

But not for long - there were big thunder-boomers happening and Mummy was afraid that we might run away like Neelix (one of the ones who came before) did one time - he didn't come back for a week! So she called and called and we finally came back in the house .

I think George was kind of annoyed, because he tried to jump on the front door.

They said that they would let us out again tomorrow. I hope it isn't raining!

Your roving reporter, Gracie

"Mummy here - The Mrreows got to go outside for a good part of this afternoon too - so much that they totally exhausted themselves exploring and chasing those darn pesky wabbits (GO George) They won't have free reign for a while, but they were good kitties and came when I called for them to come inside.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The "Camelid Sampler" skein

I had my skeins of camelid sampler out today to show "Dr. Amber" - she was here to make her annual visit to the sheepies and wanted to see some of my yarn.

I took the sampler singles and plied them with a single spun of grey baby alpaca top. Oooh. It is soft!

Then I hand carded some mohair locks that had been dyed in jewel colors and "floofed" them in when I was plying.

I found a scarf pattern in Crochet Today that I think will "biggafy" into a shawl. We'll see how it turns out.

If you click on any of these pictures they will biggafy and you can see more detail in the yarn. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Camelid Class at BSG

I took a class at Black Sheep that lasted All day Friday. The instructor was Paula Shull, who is a long time spinner, a llama/alpaca judge, and a long time spinning teacher.

She had decided that she would not be teaching her class on "Spinning Camelid Fibers (that is, camel, llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuna fibers) again, so she divested herself of ALL of her camelid stash - (well, except the vicuna)

She said that normally when she taught this class each student would get between 6-12 inches of any given fiber - she was giving us, sometimes, between 6 & 12 feet - roving, top, etc, and bags of raw unprocessed fiber. Wow!

My favorite was probably the baby camel - so much so that I bought 8 ounces to spin yarn to make something for my sister who "doesn't like wool" - well, this won't be wool, and it is certainly soft and non prickly - I hope that she will like it -

I put samples of every fiber in a 3x5 zip lock bag with a sample of the spun yarn that I came up with. It was fun. I would have liked to have gotten a few more tips and pointers on spinning the different fibers than she gave, but learning about all of them and how they were used (especially the camel hair!) was really fun.

This is one of those "Ready Box" type storage boxes - It is full of "sandwich size" zip lock bags full of different fibers on the bottom half and gallon sized bags of raw fiber on the top.

During the class I "half filled" a bobbin with the different samples of fibers - I decided to finish spinning "sample singles" alternating light and dark fibers throughout.

One of the "samples" that she was so generous with was grey baby alpaca top. I decided to buy another 4 ounces, filled a bobbin with just the grey and then plied it with the sampler bobbin, adding in little tufts of combed mohair in jewel colors.

You'll have to wait to see what it looks like, but here is a close up of the sampler bobbin - the pretty brown on the left side is guanaco - Oooo, nice.

I have been spinning every night in my own little Tour de' Fleece - and crocheting fingerless mitts during my lunch hour - hopefully I'll have enough to make a good showing at the Artisan Faire in September!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two 'fer Tuesday

The Shepherd gave me this little orchid for my birthday last year - it bloomed at work then I brought it home and set it on the window sill above the kitchen sink (so we'd remember to water it!) and, what do you know, it's blooming again!

The Mrreows are doing just great - you would almost think that they had lived here forever - it's interesting to learn the differences between them.

We think that George is going to be, as The Shepherd puts it - "a Grande Unit"

His favorite place to sleep is on The Shepherd's place mat on the kitchen table - ick - so we've taken to putting a newspaper over it - he can lay on that.

Gracie will not be as big as her brother, but she is built for stealth. Right now their favorite game is "Thundering Herd of Elephants" - Sinda used to play that by herself - how can such small kitties make so much noise?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Meet the Mrreows!

PTU's (*Prisoner Transport Units)

Check -

Dinner table ready and waiting

Check -

Litter boys & girls room ready

Check -

Oops, no pooper scooper (I think it got thrown away when Sinda went to the bridge) - have to correct that soon...

Thursday night we went out to Nooksack to meet George and Gracie - two tiger striped tabby cats - about 9 months old - Our BSG house sitter had connected us up with Linda, a friend of hers, who was actually an acquaintance of ours from the local fiber world. She needed to find a new home for these kitties.

George and Gracie are siblings - they had been fixed, but have not had shots, etc., so that would be on the docket - but they seemed like nice enough cats and we wouldn't have to worry about tiny baby kitties being by themselves during the day and getting into who knows what kinds of trouble. We told her that unless we called to say no, that we would take them and made arrangements to come out Saturday morning to pick them up.

Turns out that today was the Everson Nooksack Festival Parade, and she said that I should make sure that I was out of town by 10:00 because they would be shutting down the main road (only in small towns, I gotta tell ya) at 11:00 for the parade - so I told her I would be there at about 9:00 - Yikes, that's early for me on a Saturday!

So I was up early this a.m., got the PTUs in the car, directions noted, called Linda to tell her I was on my way. Yes, when I got to Everson, the flags were out - a flagpole on the sidewalk about every 10 feet - it is a couple of miles from Everson to Nooksack and the school district serves both communities from buildings half way between - that is were everyone was gathering to be in the parade - I got to our friend's home and we got George in his PTU right away, but Gracie was no where to be found - but I hung around for about a half hour and she re-appeared - never having been in a PTU before, she was, lets say, none too happy...

But they both settled down right away once I got on the road - on the trip back through town, even though it was just 10:00, everyone already had their chairs out on the sidewalks - holding the prime real estate for the best parade viewing.

We're headed home kitties -

Once inside, the investigation begins - "Where the heck are we?" and "What is this place?" was written all over their little faces.

But they soon found the dinner table and were delighted to find the "stinky goodness" (that's canned cat food for you non cat-bloggers)

I had just put a little bit out - and they scarfed that down, so I put out some more - which they didn't touch until just a little while ago - - so I'll just have to get a sense of how much they are going to eat. I have quite a few tiny cans of gourmet cat food that I had bought to tempt Miss Sinda - she would only eat about a quarter of a one of those itty bitty cans and didn't like it when it got stale - I threw away a lot of expensive cat food over that six months. (Mind you - I'm not complaining - the extra time with her is something that I've treasured.)
So I set about trying to take some pictures for you - As you can see, George moves much quicker than the shutter on my camera...

Gracie was actually quite agreeable and posed quite nicely.

They were happy to join my "on the big bed" for a nap after lunch.

Gracie (on the left) is much lighter color than her brother, and her fur is also much softer.

Here, let me get that for you Gracie...

They are very affectionate towards each other.

They spent the entire afternoon in the bedroom - on the top of the bed, not underneath - that was a good thing.

Gracie seems to be a little more cautious than George - but I think that they both will like living here.

Don't you?

And you say, What is a Mrreow? They were the feline animals that lived on the southern continent in Anne McCaffrey's (one of my favorite authors) Pern books -

You can be sure there will be more to come.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Whew, it's fernly Friday!

It is amazing how a 4 day week can seem so long - so I thought I'd take you on a little walk around The Shepherd's garden and show you some of he beautiful lush ferns that dot the local landscape.

I can't believe that it is July already! (and one friend had the audacity to mention that Halloween is a mere three months away!) Is it too much of a cliche to whine about how fast time has been going?

We had a nice 4th of July - we were invited to a co-worker's family gathering - or I should say "previous" co-worker - he was retired on June 30 as his division was disbanded. I will miss him a lot, as we have worked together for over 17 years! That's nearly as long as I've been married to The Shepherd!!

We've gone to their 4th of July party for about the last 4 or 5 years. He has just the nicest family - His sisters and their families, his kids and grand kids - it is fun to watch how their grand kids have grown over the years.

Another good friend at work was let go this week too. Sad day. I will really miss working with him too.

But my job is going well (except for seemingly spinning my wheels with too many interruptions - I'd do better if I would say "No" to people instead of jumping on their request instead of writing that letter I was supposed to write or doing that one report) I was even supposed to get a new computer this week - the one I have is circa 2003 and moves along like a river of molasses in a snow storm. It almost got put in tonight, but the one main accounting program that we use was incorrectly installed, so I'll have to wait until the tech can re-do it. Maybe tomorrow...

Big news on the home front - We went out to the home of an acquaintance this evening to look at a couple of kitties that she needs to find new furever homes for. Her husband passed away suddenly in December and a friend thought that she needed these two kittens to keep her occupied.

They are about 9 months old and seem to be very well mannered - a little shy - but hey, they didn't know us from Adam. They have been fixed, so we won't have that expense, but will need all their shots and etc. But she wants to be able to travel or leave at the drop of a hat and not have to worry about them, so I think we'll be giving them a new home.

I'm looking forward to having feline companionship again - it's been 5 months since Sinda died - I haven't gone that long with out a cat since college.

We decided to wait until after the 4th of July to bring them home - it has been like living in a war zone here - someone down the road celebrated on the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd and finally again on the 4th. I wouldn't have wanted to put those two babies through that kind of noise.

The sheep? They were kind of skittish about all the noise, but The Shepherd went out and filled the hay feeder up - they "bellied up to the bar" and suddenly it was like "Fireworks, we don't hear no stinkin' fireworks"

I hope you've enjoyed our little visit - and yes, I'll be putting pictures of the "new kids" sometime this weekend.

Oh, and their names are George and Gracie...

Monday, July 04, 2011

Black Sheep Gathering Recap

We had a fine time at Black Sheep Gathering this year - We have several things that are "traditional" with us - first is to get together with our friends Kathy and Mike - Kathy used to live in Bellingham, but moved to Eugene many years ago for work - every year we try to get together with her (and now her new husband) to catch up on each others lives.

Friday night we have Chinese food inviting any other Shetland (or not) breeders who might be at the gathering to join us - this time we had dinner with our very good friend Nancy - she and two spinner friends were camping on the fairgrounds. Vicki & MaryAnn had never been to BSG before and they were having a WONDERFUL time - by Friday night, they had already bought 5 fleeces!

This is one of my favorite booths - all the little packets hanging on the right side of the picture are (washed!) dyed mohair locks - I got some from another vendor and when I started carding them last night discovered that they were quite full of chaff - -

I buy something here every year - generally wool blended with mohair - the bags on the far wall were full of loose roving - 8-9 ounces a sack - and yes, I got some in my favorite blues purples & greens

I didn't take many pictures this year - and with the light coming in from the windows above, they are a little dark.

Yes, that "light" coming in from the windows was SUNLIGHT! All three days were just beautiful, sunny and warm.

Friday I took an all day class from Paula Shull on "Spinning Camelid Fibers" - Lovely lady - turned out that she was not going to be teaching this class any more, so, she didn't need her incredibly HUGE stash of camel, llama, alpaca & guanaco - which she liberally shared with us (I'll show you what I'm doing with mine in a later post) -

I didn't buy anything from her, but this booth was just so colorful, I had to take a picture.

After taking the camelid class, I decided to get some baby camel/tussah silk to make a scarf for my sister Merrill who doesn't like wool. The baby camel is so incredibly soft, I'm hoping that she will like it.

Hope everyone is having a great 4th of July weekend - I'm off to finish a Taco Saladto take to a potluck.