Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's a Little Blurry...

but I just wanted to show you that I finally completed the spinning and plying on the turquoise batt that I mentioned in my first post. I ended up with almost 1000 yards, but with the mohair and glitz, it is a bit scratchy, so still not sure what it will become. But the colors sure are pretty!

This will probably be my last "official" Tour de Fleece post as I am going out of town for a few days. Tomorrow night I will be in St. Louis cheering loudly for the Milwaukee Brewers to win against the hometown Cardinals. Hopefully they don't run me out of town on a rail. The Brewers won the first two of the four game series, are leading tonight's game in the bottom of the 8th. Wouldn't a sweep be nice?!?!

But before I can take off for a weekend of relaxation and visiting with family - let's see, the sheep all have fresh pasture, the mineral feeders have been filled, the new float valve is on the water trough, the dog-sitter is ready, the cats and hamster have been taken care of, fresh litter in the litter boxes, the farm sitters are briefed. It's only for a couple of days, but there are so many details. At least this time should be easier on the farm sitters (my parents) than a few years ago when I took off on an emergency trip across the country, telling my mom (who is not a shepherd, although is learning constantly) "Oh, by the way, Mom, two of my ewes are due to lamb any day now!" She went out to the barn the morning we left to find twins on the ground!

I am hoping that in addition to a Brewer win this trip, I can locate a nice yarn store and some good food. If nothing else, any building with air conditioning will do, as it is hotter in St. Louis than here in Southeastern Wisconsin. My knitting is packed (the socks from the last post), hopefully I have packed clothes that actually go together - at least they are clean - the tickets for the game are already in my purse. Now off to bed so I can be up early in the morning.

"See" you when I get back!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Still Spinning and Starting Some Socks

Well, I was afraid of this. I'm not a very active blogger. It's already been a week since my first post, and if there is anyone out there who is actually reading this, you have probably already given up on me and moved on. Can I blame it on the heat and humidity? I really don't do well in the summer swelter.
I am slowly progressing with the Tour de Fleece. Still working on the turquoise batt pictured below. I have been spinning most nights, although not for very long periods of time. I did take the wheel to our local "Busy Fingers" group this week and spun for about an hour and a half. That is our version of a knitters get-together. I live in a very small rural community and to only allow knitters - well the group would be even smaller than it is now. This month we had two knitters, one crocheter and one quilter. I'm one of the knitters and I brought my spinning wheel. I am the only spinner in the group, at least so far.
Since the spinning progress has been slow, I thought I would show you my latest knitting project. My son decided he would like red, white and blue socks, so I purchased some Lorna's Laces in the Liberty colorway from the Loopy Ewe and knit up the swatch last night. I will knit a very basic sock, haven't decided on an actual pattern yet. Probably the Yarn Harlot's basic sock recipe. I thought it would be a good project for a weekend getaway we have coming up - about a six hour drive each way. We are going to St. Louis, where it should be even hotter than it is here in Wisconsin. Oh, joy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My First Post!

OK, I am finally giving in and becoming a "blogger". Not that I think there is anything wrong with blogging. In fact, I read several others' blogs and thoroughly enjoy it. But I have been putting this day off for fear that I will not be disciplined enough to post regularly. And if anyone should actually read my blog, I would not want them to walk away disappointed when they find nothing new to read.

First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Lael and, along with my husband, Larry, and our wonderful son, Nicholas, live on the family farm in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. The farm has been in the family since the 1950's. We raise sheep - Shetlands, Polypays, Coopworths and assorted other breeds and crossbreeds. We have some chickens and rabbits. And a black lab mix, Kipper and three cats, Watson, Fuzzball and Boo. We have over 100 sheep, which we raise for both meat and fiber and it is my job to stay home and take care of them on a day-to-day basis. You can see more of our farm at our website,

Part of the reason that I have begun blogging now, is I have been participating in the Tour de Fleece. My goal for this year is to reduce my stash. And to try to spin a little bit every day (well, almost every day. Katherine, the organizer, assures me that we are allowed rest days, just as the cyclists are!). I started with this:

This is the result of a roving that I received in a fiber exchange, a soft blend of Cormo, silk, bamboo and mohair. My photography skills are limited, but it is a blend of purples, blues and greens and reminds me of Monet's "Waterlilies". I'm thinking it may grow up to be a scarf. I have ended up with about 330 yards of yarn, about 14-16 WPI.

My second stash-busting effort is a cloud of a mostly turquoise blend from Quail Hill Carding in "Caribbean Blue" which I picked up at last fall's Spin-In. I'm more than half way through it, but haven't decided yet what it might become.

Now I will try to post this. If it works, I will be back to blog another day. (I had some problems with the pictures - getting them to sit in the correct spots on this post - we'll see what it looks like after posting - please bear with me as I work out the kinks!) Hopefully, I will entertain you and inform you about life here on the farm, my spinning and knitting adventures and life in general. Thank you for reading!