Saturday, August 29, 2009

Woke Up in Heaven this Morning

Not only did I get to sleep an extra hour this morning (no school!) but when I did get up, I found that The Engineer had fed the animals for me. Wasn't that sweet? And when I went outside to finish up the chores of which he isn't fond, namely, raking poo, it was a brisk 75 degrees out. Where's my sweater?? It took several hours for the mercury to hit 80. This is what I've been waiting for. And in the coming weeks, it will only get better... ahhh.

That was a fabulous way to start off the day. Next, I did a little internet housekeeping, beginning with posting our new Jacob's Reward Farm pattern at the JRFF Ravelry group: Rachel's Mantle, designed by shareholder Joanne T. It is a really beautiful pattern and easy to knit. I love patterns that look like lots of work, but aren't! I hope to have it up on the website soon, but in the meantime, you can contact me at ctelisak at juno dot com if you'd like a PDF of the pattern e-mailed to you. (Sells for $6 via PayPal, unless you're a JRFF shareholder, and then it's FREE!) Once our yarn comes back from the processor, we'll also make up kits, but that's down the road.

Speaking of selling stuff, I've decided to let my Strauch drum carder go. I really need one with a finer cloth since I'll be using it on alpaca fiber, and mine has the medium cloth. This carder has a story: I bought it sight-unseen on eBay; the listing had no photo, but I was in my early fiber obsession stage and had no ability to delay gratification. When it arrived, it looked like crap. Aaauuggh! "What have I done?" I did the research, found out it was an old Fricke, and their carder division was now owned by Otto Strauch. Mr. Strauch had mercy on me - I mailed the carder to him, and he completely refurbished it so that it came back looking Spanking New. I've made a point of finding him at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival every year and thanking him for saving me from my own dumb impulsiveness.

New, my carder goes for $530, but for this meticulously maintained, lightly-used machine, I'm asking $400. It comes with all the normal accessories, and a custom made storage or mailing box. More detailed photos are on my Flickr set, if you're interested. She's a workhorse who won't let you down.

Anyway, the day today continued to inspire fiber work (heh, that sounds silly, doesn't it? Fiber work?). I got the last of the alpaca fiber picked outside on the skirting table in the lovely shade, and then lumped it in with the stuff for blending. I'm down to needing to just wash a little bit of Jacob wool, and then we'll be ready to package all the fiber up and mail it to Spinderellas. Then we're popping the cork.

Working in the Red Barn sorting fiber and tidying up the piles put me back in touch with all the cool stuff that lives there. Almost all of it came in with a purpose, an inspiration, a plan. But it gets put on a shelf and has to wait its turn behind the new fuzzy, sparkly stuff that came in behind it--stuff that got lucky and attracted my attention first. I'm very, very bad about that. This issue causes a lot of my cast-on-itis. I go in there and spy a yarn for which I originally had a really good idea. I pick it up, fondle it, refresh all those awesome inspirations, and grab a needle to cast on. Then, 4 rows into it, I set it down, distracted by yet another intriguing material on the shelf that has captured my imagination. I asked my doctor once if I had ADHD. She said, "No, you're just creative." I'm going with that. She's a doctor, after all.

But getting all that fiber ready to process loosened a log jam. I had room in my brain now to actually engage with a project. In fact, I had the overwhelming need to MAKE SOMETHING. I couldn't even think of a knitting project that would give me the immediate gratification I was craving. My eyes fell on a sack of felted sweaters a friend gave me at spinning this week. Aha!! I would finally cover a tomato can with a little felt sweater to hold flowers or pencils or something. I knew it would take me 30 minutes, tops. I have a stash of tin cans waiting for this very purpose. And this is what I made.
It's a tomato can covered on the sides and bottom with pieces cut from a felted sweater and blanket stitched together. I embellished it with some metal gecko thingies just because they were laying on the table - why not? It's not art, but it was fun. And functional. I love functional fiber thingies. In fact, I have more cans, and if I can come up with a more interesting execution, this project might be part of my inventory to take to Boerne in November.

For most of the day I had my trusty iPod and listened to knitting podcasts. I am really addicted to those, thanks to my enabling friend, Liz. Today I listened to about 5 episodes of "Kiping it Real" hosted by Jackie (PinkTiburon on Ravelry). She lives in St. Louis, and her fiance is a entrepreneurial/marketing/consulting guy of some celebrity - Scott Ginsburg of www.hellomynameisscott.com. They have to be a totally interesting couple. Anyway, when you listen to podcast after podcast, you get to feel like you know people. Which reminds me, I'm way overdue for a new podcast episode myself. Any suggestions? I really wanted to sit outside on the bench by the sheep pen and podcast with my trusty MacBook, the weather was so beautiful, but it just wasn't to be, today. Let's see what kind of weather we get tomorrow. I know the sheep will have some opinions to share....

3 comments:

  1. Wow!! This cooler weather sure has done its work quickly. You are really moving, Cindy.
    Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't slow down until that fiber is in the mail!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aw, thank you for that super kind plug!!! I'm really glad that you're enjoying the podcast. :)

    I am loving reading your blog! It's so neat to see all the animals and read about life there. Until working at the textbook company and learning about some of the yucky things animals do, I joked that I wanted fiber animals. Now, I think I'll just stick with the dog and buy fiber from people like you. :)

    ReplyDelete