Monday, February 27, 2012

White Feathers!

I must admit it, I love my February socks!  I got the pattern on  Ravelry, "Rainbow Socks".  They were a bear to do, at least the first one was, mostly because of operator error, but all in all it was worth the fuss.  I didn't worry about trying to match the color order, but they came out remarkably similar!  I modified the pattern a little, mostly by using a 2x2 rib on the legs to make them fit snug. Finished February 25th, not bad, I hope the March socks go a little smoother.

Happy feet!

Ages ago I replaced the metal pull rods on my 8 harness loom with Texsolv.  I then, had a terrible time trying to get a decent shed to pass the shuttle through, and like I tend to do, I chickened out and I put the poor thing in isolation/ hibernation until I could summon up the courage to work on it. It has probably been more than a year since that happened and today was the day.  I thought to myself, don't be a chicken any longer, you have got to face your fears!  All of a sudden, I  thought about comparing the length of the metal rod to the length of the Texsolv, made some very minor adjustments and ecco fatto, a decent shed!

You can see the Texsolv running up the side of the loom right here,  I will probably adjust a tiny bit more when I go back upstairs after this post.

This is the first few inches of the last scarf on this warp.  It is black bamboo and rayon colors.  I am loving it! (I need to load a bigger bobbin next time, this one tends to wrap yarn around the rod.)

This week I have been feeling a bit under the weather.  Nasty cough, and sore throat, but no fever.  (I wonder if I inhaled too much dust last Tuesday when we were sorting stuff in the annex at Tuesday Weavers? )  That means that I have not run with my dog, Scout, for 2 days.  I let her run around the yard yesterday morning but it is not quite the same as a good 2 mile run.  She has  therefore, been a little more antsy than her usual antsy self.

 This morning when I went out to feed, I was saw several piles of white feathers in her pen!  I looked all over the pen, and did not see a dead chicken.  I looked in the neighboring goat pen, no dead chicken, I looked in chicken yard, no dead chicken.  Finally, I looked in the hen house, and sure enough, there was
Roo2,  he was on the roost looking slightly bedraggled and definitely partially de-plumed, but he was alive and I even saw him eating later too!  I can't catch him during the day, so it is a watch and see situation.  If  Roo1 will leave him alone, he will recover and once his feathers grow back, he will be able to fly over the fence once again to his own peaceful kingdom with the goats.  Now, I wonder if he will remember to not wander into the dog pen?

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, February 17, 2012


I thought I would hop on and give an update on the chocolate pest control project. (See previous post.)
The first couple of mornings, when I checked the feed room, you could see that the "pests" had moved the squares of chocolate around and maybe licked them, but, evidently, they didn't like that kind of chocolate any more than I did !
So I broke down and bought some milk chocolate with almonds in it.  I opened the wrapper and placed it in the feed room that evening.  In the morning, it was gone!  Even the wrapper was gone!  That night I put another one in the feed room.  The next morning it was still there, but it was really chewed on.
I fed all the animals and took Scout out for our morning run, and as we were approaching the house on our way back, Scout and I found a dead rat right beside the road.  I don't know if it is from the barn or not, I would hope so!  It would tickle me pink to find one in the barn itself so that I could know if my devious plot is working or not.
Anyway, I am getting ready to go out and do the morning feeding, as soon as I sign off.  I hope to be able to report back with conclusive evidence within the next few days.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pest Control!!!

It is no secret that I live on one of the tiniest farms around.  Just a scant 1.25 acre, surrounded by lovely acres of pasture.   I have filled it with everything I have thought I could manage. (at times even more!)  When we came here 11 years ago, we brought with us 2 large St. Bernards, and a mother cat and her litter of  kittens.  It wasn't long before I added some chickens to the menagerie, then sheep and finally I replaced the sheep with little goats. ( which Dear One likes better!)

When you add grain eating animals to an environment you are going to add grain eating varmints as well.  First I notices a mouse or two, which the chickens really loved to hunt when they got the chance, then I began to see evidence of a larger varmint, rats.  The cats have come and gone throughout the last 11 years, and while they do their job around the house in keeping the varmints down, they just don't make it over to the barn.  (It may have something to do with a crazy black dog that lives there!) But that was okay, because I had the next best thing.  I had a black snake, (that I hardly ever saw) which managed the population nicely.

Last Summer my Black snake came to an untimely end, (I won't go into it here) ever since then, the varmints have been more noticeable, more tunnels, more droppings, and once or twice I have even seen a rat face to face, the little heathens!  Most of my feed is stored so that they can't get to it, with the exception of the grain in the chickens feeder and the bag of dog food in the feed room.  I could do nothing about the feeder and they didn't seem to be bothering the dog food at all, which I thought was strange.  That is, until I came to the end of that particular bag a little quicker than normal and found an enormous hole in the bottom of it!

 Finally, last night, I was feeding a little later than I normally do, and I could hear them squeaking!  I was determined to face music and do something about it!!!  The problem is, I wasn't sure what to do, I don't do poison, because I figure that if a dying rat goes into the coop, the chickens could eat it and die too, and while  I have no problem with mouse traps, those rat traps look like they could take your hand off! Then all of a sudden I remembered something.

Way back, 10 years ago, during our first Christmas holidays here at the farm, we were all snuggled in the family room, watching something on TV.  Suddenly, from out of the TV cabinet there lurched a mouse, we all of course were on top of the couches and chairs, shrieking, in nano seconds.  However, as we watched this strange mouse, it staggered to the middle of the room and it collapsed, dead before our very eyes! We were stunned, but after talking about it, it was discovered that a mouse had gotten into the Christmas Stocking candy that the kids had taken upstairs, and eaten some of the chocolate! It might have been that one!

Dear One has a very soft heart, and he has been recently struck by the articles on the child slaves that are used to make the chocolate we Americans have access to.  He went on a hunt for some untainted chocolate and came home with milk chocolate for him and dark chocolate for me.  It was a very dark chocolate, like 75%!  I did the best I could but I have to tell you it was pretty hard core, even for me!  Half of the bar remained in my cabinet.  I got a small container and I broke up that chocolate into 6 pieces, and I have lovingly ( they are going to love it!), placed it into the feed room and closed and locked the door so that nothing else will be able to get in there.  Now I have my fingers crossed.  Will it work, will I find scores of dead rodents in the barn, I don't know, but I do know one thing, now I won't have to finish that chocolate!

(Sorry for all the exclamation points, it is even more than I usually use!)
(I am not sorry for not posting pictures, and you shouldn't be either!)

I will keep you posted....

Friday, February 3, 2012

It is all part of it.

I got an email last week through my Etsy shop.  It seems that there was someone interested in one of my rugs, but she really wanted it wider, say 4 x 6ft.  I have plenty of the weft in question left but, I had a good idea that none of my looms would be wide enough to allow me to undertake such a job.  I wrote her back and told her as much, but that I would put out the word to see if I could track a loom down that would do the trick.

All it took was an email to the Tuesday Weavers, and they reminded me that there was a 60inch loom getting ready to come back to the center!  I was thrilled, and I contacted the client to let her know. I told here that it would be a couple of weeks before I could start weaving, but that if she was still interested in a custom made rug that I could get the warp and weft ready to go, so that when the loom was ready, I would be too.

I heard back from her 3 days later, they had decided to not go with this rug, but that she would be contacting me in the near future for a different project.  Now some of you might think that I was disappointed at hearing this.  On the contrary, I have learned that this is not unusual, and it in fact has happened to me many times. Sometimes it is the cost of handwoven goods, and sometimes it is the fact that it does take some time to do a custom order.  At any rate,  I am looking forward to having access to a loom for larger rugs, the mind just ponders the possibilities!   I also learned, or should I say was reminded that The Tuesday Weavers are always there when you need them, and for that I am thankful!

I have been working in the evenings on my February Sock yarn project.  Here is the pattern I chose.

The complexity of this pattern requires that I do one sock at a time.  I had gotten  about halfway through one sock, when I realized that it was going to be entirely too loose.  So I ripped it out to the cuff and I tried again, this time I didn't increase the 4 stitches to 60,....

...and I did it in 2x2 rib.  I think they are the funniest socks I have ever done! They look and feel wonderful on my leg, nice and snug.  I can't wait to get past the heel and see what the foot does with fewer stitches.

That is it for now, Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina