Sunday, November 29, 2009

Itch Relief

I'm home, safe and fairly sound, from the trip north. My three brothers were there, with assorted in laws and a couple of teenage kids. I had a great time!

Everyone was glad to see me and I was glad to see all of them. We played eucher and Aggravation and laughed and ate.

The trip turned bleak, though, when the car lost power on the drive home and just quit. I was able to pull off to the side of Interstate 69, but not far enough to avoid the jostling effect of tractor trailers as they passed. Phone calls were made, a tow truck called (thank you, Harry,) an alternator installed, and I made it home $350 poorer and four hours later than planned.

Sweetie was nowhere to be found, having apparently heard me say that I would be home at 9, instead of what I actually said, which was 7:30. I know, the two numbers sound just alike, don't they? Also, Crazy Neighbor had put up an artificial christmas tree on top of the rabbit cage in the living room. I hate artificial trees.

I had so wanted to be home that night, and it was like being in the twilight zone, and no, not the vampire twilight. That might at least have been interesting. So, I went to bed, grumpy and tired and out of sorts.

I'm better now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dinner Meeting Reminder

In the past, "with family" was where I never wanted to be for any holiday, because it always dredged up sadness, hurtful memories, feelings of loss, and tears.

But a friend told me that I should go and be with my family. The friend spoke dispassionately, as he had no idea what was in my head. I merely said that my brother had invited me up for Thanksgiving, and I wasn't sure if I would go or not. Go, he said.

So, I am heading to northern Indiana tomorrow, by myself, and will come home Friday afternoon. It's a five hour trip, one way. Sweetie will stay home to take care of the critters - and sleep. He has four days off, and will mostly likely stay in his jammies the entire time.

Speaking of critters, we lost another banty hen today, and almost lost a rooster. I heard him make his "warning" cackle, and I took off out the door and saw a strange dog carrying him off. I was sure he was dead, because when the dog dropped him, Roostie was motionless, face down in the grass. I picked him up, and lo! his eyes flickered open but he was panting, grasping for breath, and his comb and wattles were purple-ish. The offending dog, with collar, had high-tailed it out of there, so I carried the chicken inside where he panted and rasped for a good two hours. I think he must have been in shock, but his color gradually returned and his breathing became normal. He even ate a little bit.

Tonight, he and the remaining banty hen are cooped up. This weekend, I will try to put some netting over the enclosure to keep them in. Should have done it long ago.

Had court this morning, too, for the damages/back rent but the evil renter called at 8 am to ask if we could just settle and call it even. We did. It's over. That's all I can say. I'm not happy, but it is over.

I will return ship the windows Friday. I will have to pay shipping charges, and maybe a re-stocking fee, and I will have learned an eckpensive lesson. (My keyboard is screwy and will not make the letter ecks.)(The command key is also not working.)


Enjoy your holiday, folks, and be truly thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Turn to the Right

Ten hours and fifty minutes. That is the amount of actual daylight we have here in southern Indiana today. Dawn and twilight eat up an hour of that time. One more month and daylight will win out again. Yay, Solstice!

So. I am a dumbass.

I ordered replacement windows for the rental from Home Depot, and I measured wrong. One inch too wide. Damn it. The service from HD was great, no fault on their part, but now I am facing shipping back the over large windows via FedEx, because I cannot take them back to a real store.

I am beginning to think that I will merely repair said windows, not replace, and call it a lifetime. I am running short of money to fix up that place.

The repair is mostly replacing missing and broken panes. The energy savings replacements will just have to wait.

In the meantime, I have been clipping bunnies. This is Spike.

Grumpy, Jr. passed last week. As has Kelly Bob. And now, Icky Thump is ailing something awful.

It seems that, every year about this time, I lose three or four buns. I try to learn and prepare, but, still... when one has livestock, one has deadstock, too.

Two hens have been taken by predators of some sort (hawks?), and I tried to corral them all into the barn with the bunnies. Ha! I never could catch one of the roosters, and the two banty hens flew out of the windows to join him. So now, I have one rooster and Miss Biddy in the barn, and the other rooster and his two hens are loose. But wary.

I am at least glad to have separated the roosters, who have been fiercely fighting one another, drawing blood and everything.

The Artisan Vest progresses.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Shaun the Sheep.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just Like Mom Used to Make!

Saturday was Market Day for the Friendship Spinners, and Fuzzarelly went. Seemed like forever since I had been to a meeting, and it was good to see all my friends there. I took my new blend called Bunny Luscious, which is 80% prime white angora and 20% fine, undyed merino. I sold a few things, even.

Then I bought 20 fleeces.

Raw Lincoln and Wensleydale fleeces.

It made me happy and didn't cost very much on a per fleece basis. I have been All Angora All the Time for so long, that I was getting sick of fuzz and sick of rabbits and sick of drumcarding. I know! Not good! I needed to do something different, and this was it.

Many of them are dark, and so I am thinking about actualizing my idea for Baaad Bunny, a dark sheep wool and brightly colored angora mix. I carded a 50/50 blend yesterday and spun up about 8 ounces, and it is drying now. I am curious as to how the two inelastic fibers will knit up. The yarn, (I used white wool and white angora,) is lustrous and strong and would be good for lace, I'm thinking.

The Handsome Shawl is languishing again. I think I just don't like the dusty mauve colors or something, but since I need want to have it finished by April, I will have to gird my loins and grit my teeth and just do it.

The socks also languish. They are at heel flap stage.

This garment, though, is in my hands a lot. It is the Artisan Vest from the Green Mountain Spinnery book. The yarns are almost all Knit Picks worsted wool. I found them in my large bag of mostly handspun, and these were leftover skeins from a couple of different projects, along with a bunch of natural dyed and fairly unattractive ones. I overdyed them all with fuchsia and black, so they harmonize nicely.

Listen, I even swatched! My gauge worked out to be 17 X 26, over four inches, and the pattern gauge is 20 X 28, so I re-figgered the math and cast on Sunday evening. I am psyched!

And for no particular reason, this is what hangs over the couch - my art quilt, Morwen Mede, and the whatnot shelf.

Friday, November 13, 2009

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I have been busy. And sick with allergies, it being harvest time and all. I'm wishing it would rain, to cleanse the air, but none is forecast until next week. Hurricane Ida completely missed us.

From the recently dyed yarn, I began another pair of socks. It's hard to see, but there is a zig-zag pattern in moss stitch going on there. I am getting close to heel time, and may do the flap in moss stitch, too. Or eye of partridge.

Work on the rental house is underway.

My handyman, Josh, has torn out the nasty carpet and pads, and is working on removing all the staples from the hardwood floors. One of the front rooms was revealed to have this cool log-cabin-type floor! The center boards are normal and parallel, but four feet of the edges look like this.

The outbuilding was full of trash bags of dirty Pampers and empty beer cans - how incredibly nasty. And depressing. Three of the four doors have been replaced, and I am ordering 6 replacement windows from Home Depot today. (They have free delivery! plus an easy-to-navigate website. Not Loew's, though. They don't even show prices. Not with it, guys.) This is some of the artwork left behind.

Yesterday, the roof got painted. Once the windows are installed, there is painting to be done top to bottom inside, plus stick-on tile flooring in the kitchen. The list just goes on. And on. But Josh is a hard worker, if a bit ADD and spazzy and loud.

As for me, I am still sober and except for the allergies, doing well. Sweetie is working crazy-ass hours, and the assorted critters keep doing their crittery things; wool, eggs, shedding....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

Buy More, Save More

Yesterday, Miss Biddy decided to come into the house and investigate the kitchen. She cracks me up. Nobody here but us chickens.

I also dyed some superwash yarn, because now that I finished that pinkish pair, my fingers are restless. This is from Kraemer Yarns, and was spun in Nazareth, PA.

I used Hot Fuchsia, Black, and Gun Metal Jacquard dyes to get this yummy colorway.

And these 34 batts are going to The Spinning Bunny.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Buy Now, Don't Pay for 90 Days

Alright, Helena, here are the socks, along with The Handsome Shawl, in progress. I used the common heel, which does not involve turning, but rather kitchenering, because it is more durable. Heels are where I wear my socks out first, every single time. The shawl is maybe 2/3s done.

Princess loves surveying her domain from my knitting chair, when I am not in it.

This is Steve, fuzzy in more ways than one. I don't clip him because 1) I probably couldn't catch him, ii) He appears to shed as needed, and C) it protects him from Smoky attacks.

A study in Feathers and Leaves.