Friday, April 29, 2011

New Babies, the human kind

We have a new addition to our family, a little girl.  Since Dear let me go wild in the closing yarn store, I had to look for something to make for the "new girl."  My mother-in-law wanted me to make the same dress I made for another baby, but I wasn't really feeling it, I knit it twice before.  So, I found a cute little hoodie called Roo by Kate Gilbert. 
I decided to knit this in the round instead of pieces because I hate piecing knit projects.  Here is the progress so far.
This sweater is made from Debbie Bliss Rialto.  Rialto is a DK weight, 100% extrafine superwash merino wool.  The yarn is very "squooshy" and feels nice on my hands.  The stitch defenition is pretty good too.  I chose this yarn because it is wool, so it will be warm, and because it is washable.  I have some of this for sale in my etsy shop.  It retails for almost $9, I am selling it for $8 and free shipping.  I have a few more colors, but I am only adding new ones as the other sell.  If you are looking for a specific one, convo me at etsy and I will see if I have it for you.

Socks? Never Say Never

I never thought I would ever knit a pair of socks.  I mean, what a waste?  I can buy them cheap and they get holes in them and worn out really fast.  Right?  Well, with the closing of my favorite yarn shop, I bought some pretty sock yarn (Alpaca Sox by Classic Elite).  Then I searched for a free sock pattern on Ravelry and found the Artichoke socks by Megan Humphrey.  I went back and forth between the socks and Rosebud's Zauberball dress
 and finally finished them in 2 weeks. 
These are the softest, warmest socks I have ever worn.  My toes are always cold, even in the summer, but yesterday, wearing these socks, my feet and toes felt as warm as they do burried in warm sand at the beach.  Now, I am not the most consistant person in the world, probably the least, so the thought of handwashing these socks does not really bother me now, but a few weeks from now??? I don't know.  Anyways, I loved them so much that I went back and bought the rest of the Alpaca Sox yarn and purchased a book by Cookie A. .  She is famous for her sock designs, in the knitting world, and I have already begun the first pattern in the book.   

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's been a long time

A lot has happened since I last posted.  This is what my downstairs looks like, minus some furniture.  We have been living and doing school like this since last July.

We also had a run-in with the neighbor this fall.  We told them that their dog seems to have an unhealthy interest in our sheep and they should make sure it does not roam here because we don't want our sheep hurt or our llama to kill their dog.  We thought it was all worked out, but one night I was home alone without a vehicle and their dog was chasing and biting my ewes.  All of my ewes were pregnant at the time.  Well, I could not catch their dog, nor did the neighbors respond to my screams that their dog was over here.  The dog split the flock, confused the llama, and had already seriously injured one of my colored merino ewes (Button, the one that gave the awesome banded fleece).  My only option at that point was to shoot their dog and call the police.  The neighbors never asked about the sheep, never paid the vet bills, and told me I should have just let their dog kill my sheep, they would have bought me more.  Where in the world he was planning on picking up an ultra fine merino ewe, let alone a dark brown one, I have no idea.  They started tearing down our fence and driving by our place slowly.  They even screamed at my 12 year old daughter when she waved at them (H did not know who they were when she waved).  Well, spring is coming.  Hopefully they settled down. 
We also had the roof of our sheep barn slide off from too much snow on one side and no snow on the other side.
So, we had to move all of the sheep outside while we worked on building pens and moved them to a new building.  We got them in just in time.
27 also rejected her lambs again.  This is the third year in a row.  She had 3 girls, but one did not make it, its spine was blocking the birth canal and she had to be delivered, but she was too weak.  These 2 Suffolk X Merinos are Pinky and Quiggles (standing).
We lost a few lambs early on because the barn the sheep were moved to did not have the bedding build up and it was too large of a space for them to keep warm (we had a very cold winter, colder than normal).  We were being very careful about checking on the sheep and getting them into pens a day ahead of their lambing date and putting in heat lamps.  We also coated every lamb with a polar fleece coat.  Still, if we did not catch the lambing within 1 hour, we lost a lamb.  Hopefully next year will not have those problems.
We also had a tragic death this winter, one of my husband's co-workers.  It was very sad and confusing for everyone.  He left a little boy without a father.
We changed churches so the kids could be a part of a larger pool of children; our old church only had a few kids in it.
Now?  We are working with a general contractor to get our house lifted, a new foundation poured, add some bathrooms (we only have 1), new electric, new plumbing, and square off our house.  We will have to pack everything up again, including the basement, finish tearing off all of the plaster upstairs and pull all of the plumbing and electrical, and move out.  They hope to begin by the end of June and be done by September.  We are excited to finally see progress in getting our house in order.  This project is very expensive and we hope we can swing it all because this old house really needs it.
I also did some knitting.
 This is 4' in diameter and 100% hand spun alpaca. 
This last project was changed from a sweater to a sun dress, so no sleeves, and more shaping.  I think I have ripped this apart about 5 times.  My middle girl will look great in it, though.  The yarn is Zauberball.