Do I have to?

Almost a year and a half ago I lost my oldest sister.  I miss her dearly and reach for the phone constantly.  I miss our chats, and our fights, and our giggles. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to do a task I have been putting off for this past 18 months.

Nobody should have to go through their sister’s things and decide what to do with them. She lovingly acquired it all.  Does it get sent to Goodwill? A women’s shelter? Can I bear to let it go?  Thankfully, I will not be alone.  My wonderful middle sis will be with me.  She is coming up from states away to help me do this.  I only hope we can get through the day without to many tears.  Hopefully, we will only remember the funny stories of our youth, when the big sister orchestrated all of our fun; and told us what to do and how to do it.

She isn’t here to tell us what to do anymore.  It is upon us to make those choices and those decisions.  I hope we are moving on the way she would like us to.

I sure miss her.


My first spinning project is complete.  Well almost, all I have to do now is wash the yarn I made and then figure out what I am going to knit with my masterpiece.   I spun brown and white wool; 1/2 pound of each.  Doesn’t sound like much, but holy spin BatMan it is a lot!  The process, for those of you that don’t know, is to spin the colors separately and then put the together in what is called plying to get a two ply yarn.  These are my two colors waiting to be plyed.   Actually, I had already started plying them so imagine each spool a little over half full.  When you spin your wool, you spin you thread in one direction to make a one ply thread.  Both threads are twisted in the same direction.  When you ply it, you spin it together in the opposite direction so that you don’t unwind your thread that you just made.  I am finding that you really need to be very coordinated to do this.  I took me two weeks to consistently get the wheel to go to the right to spin the wool, now that I am plying I have to get the wheel to spin to the left.  All of this while using both hands to feed the yarn into the wheel at a consistent speed without getting tangled.  It is quite comical; I talk out loud to my wheel.  I will have to give it a name cause it certainly seems to have a mind of it’s own.  

Three hours later, I have 360 feet of this brown and white 2-ply yarn.  360 FEET!  120 YARDS!  What am I going to do with all this?  I am not someone who can wear brown.  I think all my kids will get brown and white scarves next year.  Here is my finished skein on what is called a Niddy Noddy.  Funny little tool that helps you wind the wool.  Also not an easy thing to get right.  All in all I am very pleased with my first attempt.  Now I have the bug and want to do more……look what just came in the mail…I think I will save it until I get really good.  It is so pretty, I want to just touch it.  Is fondling fiber illegal?


Spinning Wheel Has To Go Round

Guess what I learned to do!  I am officially a spinner, a maker of hand spun yarns, a natural woman extraordinar. Ok, that is a little over the top, but I have started spinning!

About three weeks ago, my friend (a fellow equestrian) came over with a spare wheel that she had.  Knowing how much I love fibers she decided I needed to learn to make my own.  What I can’t figure out is why she had a spare wheel.  Those things are not cheap and she has 4! Well actually she has three now that I bought the one she brought to my house.  See, isn’t it cute?imageIt is an Ashford Kiwi.  LOVE the name.  Anyway, I started spinning. She gave me some roving and said have at it.  My first attempts were really not good….img_0494Not something I would care to work with.  Would you?  BUT I have gotten much much better. This is my first spool of wool that I am going to use.  I will ply it (since it is only a single ply) with a white that you can see on the wheel.   Not bad!imageI am so excited.  I didn’t tell my friend, but I have been wanting to learn how to do this for a really long time.  I am always looking for more ways to spend my money. But it really is a natural progression for me.  I started my working career as a buyer and clothing designer for a local woman’s retain chain; I knit, and I love to put colors together.  Once I get really consistent in my spinning I am going to try and put different yarns together.  I doubt I will ever dye my own yarn. I just don’t have the space but who knows.

What I do have the space for are animals.  Can Sheep or Alpaca be far behind!



Socks…Uh No!

As you know, I started knitting my first pair of socks last February.  I bought pretty hot pink yarn, the book on sock knitting and spent an entire day in class.  I felt pretty good as I managed the four (yes 4) needles necessary to handle at one time to knit these special gems.  I got the top ribbing done, turned the heel and started on the foot.  One day I took a really hard look at my work and decided it was terrible.  For one thing I had the dreaded ladder where my four joins happened and secondly my heel was all messed up.  I put the project in my bag and that is where it been.  Sitting in my family room.  Mocking me each time I glance over at the bag; every time hubby asks me how the socks were going.  Not going to happen, not in a million years. Nobody in my family will know the joy of a pair of hand knit socks; at least not from me.

Needless to say, I have not been knitting.  You don’t start a new project when you have one already going.  Yea Right!  So my very dear friend sent me a text early December and asked me if I would knit her a messy bun hat.  She even sent me a pattern that she found.  Unfortunately the adorable hat was crocheted and not knitted.  I don’t want to learn to crochet, I really don’t.  So I did the only thing I could think of.  I WENT TO THE FIBER STORE!  I was only going to see if they could help me find the pattern I needed.  Big Mistake!!

The second I stepped into the store I knew why I knitted.  It isn’t because I love spending hours manipulating knots so I can barely move my fingers.  No it is because I absolutely love the fibers.  I love the fibers so much that I have often talked to hubby about opening a fiber store.  But alas, I don’t knit well enough to run such as shop.  So, I just  have to satisfy my love of beautiful colors and soft wools by buying them in mass quantities.

But I digress.  So I never did find the appropriate pattern for the messy bun hat, but I did find my knitting mojo.  That day, I purchased a beautiful yarn that I knitted up into a soft peach cowl for my son’s girlfriend.  As soon as that project was done, back to the store I went.  This time, infinity scarves for my daughter-in-law and both granddaughters.

Big sigh, I love knitting!


A Winter Reprieve

We have had beautiful weather here on the farm for the past two days.  Start out the mornings below freezing with temperatures soaring to the upper fifties by early afternoon.  I decided to let my flock free range these two days since I am home and it has been so nice out.  Usually thy stay “cooped” up because we have coyotes, foxes and hawks that would love to make a meal of my birds. 

My flock consists of six birds.  Sophia, Zas Zas and Marilyn are the Silver Lace Wyndottes.  I originally called them the Dixie Chicks, but the more I get to know them, I realize that just won’t do.   They are flashy birds.  A bit bossy.  Definite DIVAS. Therefore the names after famous women.  I love the black and white lacy pattern in their wings.  They have been with me since August.   I must say, they aren’t very friendly.  This is Sophia (as in Loren, she looks like a movie star doesn’t she?)

My Rhode Island Reds are more down to earth.  I currently have three RIRs.  My hens, Diana and Aretha are joined by the man of the group Smokey Robinson. They make a nice trio.  I did have six RIR hens.  I lost three of them in October due to an infection that mimicked the dreaded Mericks Disease.  After the first two died a week apart I took the third ill hen to the state lab to have her analyzed.  If it was Mericks, I would have to destroy my entire flock and give up any hopes of breeding my heritage birds.  Luckily, it wasn’t so hopefully I can breed my RIRs.   That is if any of them ever start laying, the moochers!  I got three egg back in September. Evidently laid by one of the girls that passed on.  I am hoping production kicks in once molting season is over.  Otherwise I am going to have a hard time justify feeding these freeloaders.  But in the meantime I love spending time with them and watching their very spohiticated society.