Archive for August, 2011

Helping friends

August 28, 2011

I spent 2 days this week over at our State Fair helping friend Correy show her sheep. I am amazed at how many people think this was an extraordinary thing to do. In my book, friends help each other when possible. I cannot always be there to help all of my friends, especially not given my current physical condition. For example, while I can hold lead ropes and walk around the show ring, I would have been of little use with Brenda’s move into a new apartment.

I did notice an interesting phenomenon while I was at the fair. For the last few years I have apparently exuded an aura of unapproachability. It didn’t stop folks from asking questions when I would demo spinning in public, but when I would walk thru the commercial booths at fairs none of the vendors would call out to me, and I was hard pressed to get info if I approached them. That held true at our county fair. Friday morning I walked thru the commercial booths at the state fair and I was visible again. Not just to folks trying to peddle their wares either. Two young ladies stopped me to ask about the bag I was carrying (made from a cat chow bag), and folks just chatted me up. Twice during the day I went to watch parts of the horse show. Both times people sat near me (in a nearly empty arena), and the last time the guy spent a great deal of time talking to me. I’m not complaining; this is how things used to be. I’m just curious about what has changed back.

One really neat thing is that I have downloaded an app to my phone that will allow me to take credit card payments at Oregon Flock and Fiber! A friend recommended one that she has been using for several months with all her farmer market sales. I am very excited and hopefully it will improve sales. Now to get my butt in gear increasing inventory. I have to send off a check to pay for a booth, but I already talked to the person to request one near the Romeldale Association booth so I’ll be able to man both at the same time. That was I’ll be able to also sell my hand dyed yarns and sheep related stuff (since the ARCA booth only allows things that are at least 50% Romeldale). I’ve got a few ideas for some new lines and some new packaging (my mind does wander wonderfully while I’m driving)

I’ll close my rambling post with some pictures of the bounty I picked up in the valley yesterday. I’m off to Mom’s to use her freezer to preserve blueberries and peaches…


Life moves on

August 23, 2011

I recently got a picture message from one of Jo’s best friends. She is now engaged, and I am very happy for her. But it also hurts to know that these girls are as close as I am going to get to planning a wedding as the mom of the bride, and also as close as I am likely to get to grandbabies. Breaks my heart all over again. Making the shawl for Brin was an emotional thing, and she looked so good in it.

Youngest and I were talking the other day while driving around. I would love to be able to make a living with my knitting. He thinks I should write a book. I think I’ll knit up a couple of wedding shawls, original designs, and see if I can sell the designs on Ravelry. I really like how the semi-circle hung as a veil, and they seem to knit up fairly quickly. Think I’ll go online and get some lace yarns…

Ooh look, a chicken!

August 20, 2011

My friends will recognize the phrase. We use it on each other when someone’s attention appears to have wandered. A lot of us have ADD tendencies.

I normally have several things demanding my attention, and I have a hard time sticking to projects without getting distracted by the next few things waiting impatiently in line. It is very normal for me to have 2 to 3 pairs of socks on needles, a shawl or 2, a couple of sewing projects, a couple of books or magazines mid-read, all at the same time.

Right now I am struggling to maintain interest in the Niebling shawl. It languishes on the coffee table. I have finished my SurgiCenter socks (started the day of my shoulder surgery, finished the day after my back/hip shots). What is screaming for attention right now is my recreation of Neville Longbottom’s fair isle sweater from the last Harry Potter movie. I have done my best to decipher the motifs used, and have started a notebook to hopefully keep track. I’ve knit up a sample using my Romeldale yarns. The colors are off a bit, since my “black” is actually a dark charcoal grey, and my grey is lighter than the one used on the original. I’m going to have to do some math to get the sweater to fit me, since I’m built nothing like Neville.



I am happy with my interpretations. I started from the original movie poster as shown on the Warner Brothers website. Not a great picture as far as being able to catch all the details, but I think I’m pretty close. I am going to make myself set it aside until I finish the Niebling, and I’ve committed to 3 pairs of socks for a friend for Christmas, so those things need to take priority. I will allow myself to work on the math part of the sweater, as well as research the logistics of sleeve  & sweater contruction, since I haven’t done a whole fair isle sweater before.

And speaking of chickens (and turkeys), they are all doing well. Lost one of the turkeys, but the others are growing madly, and the chicks have started laying. Nothing beats farm fresh eggs! Sizes and colors are pretty varied, and I’ve gotten 1 shell-less egg, but the girls are getting in the groove. I need to replace the light in the hen house before the days get too much shorter, so that I can encourage them to keep laying as long as possible. I don’t think everyone is laying quite yet, based on the number of eggs I’m collecting most days, but I’ve had plenty to give to family and friends (not as much as they would like, lol)

Ahh, insomnia

August 14, 2011

Here it is, 2 am, and I’m still up despite not sleeping very well last night, getting up fairly early, and having taken a pain pill.

I didn’t read the premium book correctly, so I’m going to have to make 2 trips to the fairgrounds in the next few days. One tomorrow (today actually) to pick up my exhibits, and another sometime next week to get my premium money. No fancy ribbons this time, just the usual assortment of blue, red and white. I do enjoy the showing. I did get to handle the rosette and award for the Supreme Ram on Thursday since I happened to be holding Correy’s black horned ram. She offered to take my picture, but I’ll wait until it’s actually my animal!

Our county fairs are as different as night and day. Deschutes is much more intense, and the fair board is not terribly user friendly. They give the impression that they would very much like to see the animals disappear; the sheep superintendent says that she has no input on selection of the judge, and shows no inclination to change the classes to what is actually being shown. Delivery dates are spread over 3 days (not very convenient if you actually have a job). Crook is much more laid back. The sheep super actually asks for our input, and comes around during Deschutes to make sure that we have enough pens set aside, configured the way we want them. Most of the departments actually seem to want you there, and work to maximize the classes and the premium moneys.

I’m still making progress with my shoulder, and getting nowhere with my back and hip. I am scheduled to go in on Tuesday for shots to both, a process I am NOT looking forward to. Hopefully they will work, because I am really tired of hurting. The pain pills I have really don’t do more than take the edge off and put me to sleep (usually). There are so many things I should be doing around here, but most days I’m lucky to get the beasties fed without having to sit down in the middle. Hurting sucks, and I feel whiney most of the time!

I am making progress on the Niebling shawl. Got about 1/6 of the way into row 95 with the first skein, and am now up to row 103. Only 135 rows to go. Doesn’t sound like much when I put it like that, but the rows are already 552 stitches around, and growing. We’ll see how far I get on the yarn I have. I think I have enough, but it’s hard to translate his amounts of crochet thread to actual yarn.

Deschutes County Fair

August 10, 2011

I always enjoy fair. This year I didn’t enter any animals, but I did help my friends show their animals (with approval of pt). Hopefully next year I will have lambs at the right time and size. It was a pretty good show, and the judge proved that he has paid attention to the breed standards we have given him in previous years. In between the wool sheep and the meat breeds he judged the wool fleeces, and we stood around and supervised to make sure he didn’t mess up too bad. Friend Barb took the Supreme Fleece (Romeldale), Correy took Best Ewe (Romeldale), and Robina took Best Ram (Blue Face).

I did enter several handspun skeins, as well as a pair of handspun/handknit socks started during the Tour de Fleece this year, as well as the sweater I made for my mom, socks that will be christmas presents, and the re-do of Brin’s wedding shawl. Totally shocked to find this when I went down to check how I’d done:

Yes, it took Best in Show! I am beyond proud, and it wasn’t until the last day that a friend pointed out that it was hung wrong side out all week. Made up for the few things that didn’t place, though I am confused by the notes left on those (I’ve gone over my mom’s sweater 4 times and still can’t find the knots the judge did. It didn’t even place. Oh well, mom loves it).

Even when I don’t have animals of my own there it is a long week. I helped keep buckets full and jumped up from spinning several times to educate folks that grabbing rams by the horns really isn’t the best way to handle them. I got more spinning done last week than I have in the last 3 months, and Monday morning my arm was feeling it. I’m under orders to rest it, but don’t think I did any real damage.

Parting shot – the light was hitting my wheel just right one evening and I couldn’t resist this shot: