Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's been a while!

Yes, it has been a while. With spring, which does seem to be here ––judging by the almost flowering daffodils outside the house, and the almost bursting buds on the maples–– I've gotten more and more busy. This season also means, of course, the end of a semester (Did you think I was going to say the end of an era? Not quite!) and a scramble to get things done before the summer sets in. As I write this, Mother Nature is gently mocking me. Spring? Ah well, a few snowflakes won't make too much of a difference. It's been incredibly windy and rainy and cold here the last two days or so, nevertheless, we've definitely crossed the hump into another season. The lambs are all there now, so many, black ones, brown ones, white ones. Our sows are ready to burst ––we're waiting for piglets at any moment. And the chicks, just in time for Easter, are enjoying the heat of a heatlamp, and an occasional sunny day. 

I finished the vest! I must admit it was a little while ago ––so I've gotten many good wearing out of it already! I have a bunch of yarn left, and honestly didn't spend an exorbitant amount of time spinning. That is to say, making your own woolens isn't really as time consuming as  you might think. Yes, it is definitely faster to buy a sweater, and I won't try to argue with that, but if you have somewhere to raise a few sheep, consider the benefits of doing so. Sheep manure for the garden, possibly meat from lambs, fiber (especially low-cost if you learn to shear by yourself), a fossil-fuel free lawnmower. And with the cost of wool on the rise... maybe it IS time to buy some sheep? 

I'm still figuring out buttons. I'd like to put maybe one or two, not a whole row's worth, and I'd like to make them myself. My clay buttons turned out to be a bit too heavy for the weight of wool I spun, so Plan B is to find some nice dry apple wood, and cut some thin "cookies" from it, drill two holes, sand then shiny, and ta dah! Buttons! Here's an idea of what I'd like to make (as usual, Etsy provides). And here's the vest in action. 

The second I finished the vest I started on my next project. Did I tell you that we go two wonderful Rowan pattern books in our library? Well, we did! So I started knitting a loose v-neck sweater from the British Sheep Breeds book with some heathered green yarn I had left over from another project. I'm almost done, just one more sleeve to go. I can't wait to wear it! 

With that hot on the needles, I also started an embroidery. My first since the 1st grade, it I remember correctly. I'm embroidering flowers and birds: a chipping sparrow, a robbin, and a black-capped chickadee. It's a lot more work that I thought it was ––but fun, too! 

Marsh marigolds

This will be a bunchberry ––red berried still to come.

I'll leave you with just a few more pictures of our beautiful honey bees making full use of the first "crop" of flowers. They've received so much admiration of the past two weeks or so ––it's wonderful to see people clustered around the flowers, watching the honeybees do their thing. They've still got to make to through some mean weather, but at this rate, they should be tough enough. Fingers crossed!! 

Have a great end of the week! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011


We had another spring snowfall. 

So I stayed indoors and started sewing. 

Denim and snowberries became...

...a tote bag with pockets...

...and another bag with long straps. 

Also a slightly off-kilter fairy princess embracing the world. 

Then the weather turned. 

So I went for a walk.

Have a laughter-filled week!