Wicked Witch of the Wool

My adventures in knitting and my daily life on the farm.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Who can guess what kind of fiber this is?

Look what I got yesterday.... What kind of fiber do you think this is? I'll reveal the source in my next post.

Today I had my first manual therapy session to relieve the pain I'm having from my herniated disc and sciatica. Holy moly! They had me do stretches and I nearly went through the roof. Lucky me get to go 3 times a week for the next 4 weeks. :-(

The weather is starting to change. Tomorow will bring a high in the 60's, and I'm so looking forward to it. Funny how at the end of a season I can't wait for the change. Soon the scrub oak will turn brilliantly red and gold, and with most of our acreage covered in those scrubs, it will be such a gorgeous sight. I promise I'll get some pictures when the time comes.
I've lived in Colorado for nearly 6 years now, and this is the first summer I have experienced the monsoon. The previous summers have all been extremely dry. Our pasture was always dead by the time July came around, but this year it's still nice and green. The horses are really happy with this change; they get to escape from the paddock and gallop around the pasture.

This picture is of Agapito de Luna (Pito for short), when he was a baby and running around in the arena.

Oh by the way, the spaghetti mess of my center pull ball yesterday has been resolved. I ultimately had to cut it and unravel it from 2 sides. I am so thankful that I have another skein of this yarn. The pattern calls for 875 yards and 100 grams, and that is precicely what I have per skein. The pattern also says that they had 10 grams left at the end. I can barely finish chart 3 with my first skein...... Aww, man! I just looked at the pattern again. It calls for size 3 needles. Guess what, I'm knitting on size 6! No wonder I'm using a lot more yarn. Shite, this shawl is going to a gigantic monster! Glad to find that out when I have 28 rows left. Not! Oh well, I'm a big girl. Maybe it won't be so bad. Sheesh!
Ok, I'm going to go sulk in a corner.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I hate when this happens.....

I had made a nice center pull ball out of my yarn for the Icarus shawl. Lo and behold, it turned into a knotty mess last night. I don't know yet what I want to do; do I just toss the spaghetti and start my second ball (luckily I have another skein), or do I try and screw arond with this mess?

Since I just started my blog, I might just go ahead and introduce myself properly. My name is Ellen, and I hit the big 4-0 this year. I was born in Denmark, grew up in Norway, and moved to Holland when I was 18. My life long dream of being a veterinarian came to fruition while I was there. I met my husband in Amsterdam, and when he was offered a job in the US I decided to come along for the ride (we weren't married yet at that point). A year after he moved to California I crossed the pond with all my belongings. I still had to finish vet school, so I spent my senior year at UCDavis. Once I graduated I moved up to work at a small animal clinic in Seattle, Washington. After 9 months I moved back to San Francisco and worked at another small animal clinic for a while. Since I like a challenge, I decided to up the ante and do an internship in emergency/critical care medicine. Unfortunately, I had to leave my husband behind and move to Fresno, Ca to do that. Since I worked weekends, evenings, and holidays, my husband and I didn't get to spend much time together. He was travelling a lot, especially to Denver, and when I finally had a weekend off, I decided to fly out to Denver and spend some time with him. Just for the heck of it we'd made an appointment with a real estate agent. Needless to say, we found our dream house the very first day.

Leaving the rat race behind was the best thing we've ever done. We have a 35 acre ranch with quite the menagerie of animals. They are: Nuggett the Anatolian shepherd (he's our livestock guardian), Effie and Otto the German shepherds, the cats (George, Cobweb, Mini Bikini, and Moby wan Kanobi. Outside, we have the horses (Ballade, Vlekje, Musette, Agapito de Luna, and Rayo de Luna. They are all Andalusians, pure and partbred, except Musette who is an Arab. Then we have our 3 llama boys; Apollo, Einstein, and Lone Star. Our recent addition to the ranch is the cashmere goats; Lancelot, Leslie, and Annabelle. And last, but not least, we have Horation the lone rooster. We used to have a boatload of chicken as well, but the coyotes have unfortunately worked their way through the ranks.

I started knitting when I was in school in Norway. It was very common for us to be knitting in class, and a lot of the boys were knitting as well. I stopped knitting for over 20 years, and just picked it back up this past Christmas. My first project was to finish a fair isle norwegian sweater that had been laying dormant for all those years. Since then, I've made 6 pairs of socks, a nice aran sweater in alpaca, a cozy mohair cardigan/wrap thingy, the Pacific Northwest shawl, a felted bag, dischcloths, and some other small stuff. My stash has grown quite impressively, and I probably could be knitting for a year or 2 without ever having to buy more yarn.

Since we got the llamas last fall, I decided I needed to able able to work with their fiber as well. Enter the spinning wheel. I love spinning, and can't wait to make lots of my own yarn, especially from the cashmere I'll be getting next spring.

So, now you know a little bit of my background. I'll leave you with a picture of the llama boys...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

First real post

OK, so here's the deal; I'm jumping on the blog bandwagon, but I can't promise I'll be able to post on a daily basis. We'll just have to wait and see how I can fit this into my daily schedule.
Yesterday's picture was of my 2 cashmere does, Annabelle and Leslie. I also have a billy; Lancelot. Can't wait until spring when I can get my first harvest of cashmere :-) Right now, Lancelot is getting himself into a lot of trouble. He evidently really likes to eat thistles, and we have to "de-burr" him every day. Those suckers really get stuck in his coat (read: I'm losing valuable cashmere, dangit), so DH went on a thistle hunt and we now hope we've got all the offenders removed.

On the knitting front, this is what I'm doing right now

Yep, that's the icarus shawl from IK Summer 2006 issue. I kinda wish I'd done this shawl as my first venture into lace knitting and not my second, as the loooooong repeats of chart 1 were very tedious. I'm now on chart 3, so the end is in sight. I'm knitting it with Alpaca with a Twist, Fino, which is 70% Baby Alpaca and 30% Silk. It is a delight to knit with, and especially now that I've finally gotten my Knitpicks needles. YAY! I'm planning on adding beads to the edging; that'll be interesting, I've never done that before.

I'm already thinking about my next project. When my LYS, the Red Wheel, had their close-out sale, I got my hot little hands on some delicious cashmere/silk at 50% off. They only had one skein left, so I need to find a pattern for a scarf that only takes a little over 100 yards. Hmmm, haven't been able to find anything I like yet. with yarn as soft as this stuff, I really want to make something that I can snuggle around my neck. I also really want to make a lacy cowl of some sorts, but I don't think I'll have enough yarn for that. Ah, another project in the planning.

I haven't been able to do any spinning for the past few months. My mom was staying with us for 3 months, and her chair occupied the spot where I was doing my spinning. She left 2 weeks ago, but then I slipped a disc in my back and I haven't been able to sit ever since. It feels like I'm heading in right direction, and I hope I'll be able to pick it back up pretty soon. I've got a boat load of fiber to spin, so I'm very excited.

Monday, August 28, 2006

let's try this again

Being a total novice in all things bloggy, I have no clue if this is going to work.
Let's see if I can post a picture as well....