Friday, September 27, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Acadian Shawl, part 3

I only have 1.5 diamonds to go on the Acadian Shawl.  :-)

Since I'm a little short on yarn, each section has fewer repeats than the pattern calls for.  However, I think the length will be just fine... especially given the fact that when I used other colors of this yarn, that scarf grew tremendously with blocking.

Maybe a finished project next week??

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Acadian Shawl, part 2

I'm still surprised by how quickly the Acadian Shawl is moving along.... Yes, I've been spending more time on it and there's the whole fatter-yarn-fatter-needles thing.... but mostly, I think the diamonds make the progress easier to see so it's a lot more fun to knit.  ;-)

I am challenged by lace.... even the tiny bit that's in this shawl.  I have had one ripping-out episode since my last post and there are a few mistakes that I decided to leave in place.  I think I know what I did wrong, but it's amazing how even the simplest lace can still trip me up.  ;-/

I am into the last ball and have just begun the return portion of the shawl.

In other news, we've seen a lot of Chinook Helicopters overhead this week rescuing people and transferring supplies and here's a video from a few days ago showing the areas closest to our location.

Personally, we are on the recovery side of the floods.  We are down to one area of standing water and most of the mud has moved beyond the suck-the-boot-right-of-your-foot stage.  :-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Have I Mentioned We're Planning a Litter?

Well, a couple of things have happened that have caused us to cancel our plans for this year.  However we are planning the same match up for next year.

Noodle, in Fort Collins last week... before the rains came.

If you are interested in getting in on this litter, and willing to wait, please let us know.  :-)

In other news, it's still raining.  We are fine.  All of the dogs and alpacas are ready for the rain (and mud) to end.  Us too.

We have plenty of food, are dry, and have been able to get to town for a few supplies.  Some of the roads and bridges have re-opened and some roads and bridges are completely gone.  As far as we know, all of our family and friends are safe and without much damage.  However, there are a lot of people who are stranded.

The weather conditions are forecasted to improve tomorrow.  We are looking forward to it.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Letting Go or Moving On

After I finished my Forever Wingspan, I spent some time thinking about my shelved and languishing projects... trying to decide which should be finished or turned into something else.  Some are likely to be finished, such as the Acadian Shawl and Awesome Sweater Remake.  Others really should be something else...

First is my Surprise.

I had a vision of this project.  That vision was to be woven.

We've had some issues with the basement that has prevented my loom from being set up.  The last issue is still being resolved but I think we have line-of-sight to the path of final repairs now. *fingers crossed*

I had finished spinning the yarn quite a long time ago and really wanted to start working on the project itself.  But the knitted version was just not doing it for me.  So it was shelved, also a long time ago.

The bottom line is, that even while resting, the knitted version was not gaining any favor in my heart.  So I have taken it apart.

This will eventually become a Woven Surprise.... after the basement work is completed and the loom is set up.  So it will be some time, but I feel better having let go of the knitted path on this one.  ;-)

Second are my Challah Socks.

These have also been resting for quite a long time.  I love the pattern and love the yarn but have had to rip these socks out a few times.  The last being an extra stitch after finishing the heel.  I can't figure out where my mistake is.  It bugs me.  So this yarn is going to be a different pair of socks.

I've made Hubba two pairs of socks and the only pair of hand-knit socks I have were made by Spinster Beth.  I think that's wrong!  I'm a knitter.  I have sock yarn.  I should have more than one pair of hand-knit socks!!

I have a family trip planned in a few months and think these would be a good project to take along.  So the old socks have been frogged and set aside for, hopefully a more successful foray into sock making.

There are a couple of others that may also be frogged too, but there is no current plans for their yarn so they will continue to rest.

We've been getting a little rain around here and haven't seen the sun in a few days.  So I apologize for the quality of my photos... but it is quite impressive to see 6 months worth of rain in 6 hours.  ;-)  For a while they were saying that the Coast Guard was coming to help, but it was the National Guard... a proverbial slip of an official's tongue, I guess.  ;-)

We are fine.  We are far enough from the rivers, creeks and lakes so we've only got some standing water at our place.  But some bridges and roads have been washed out nearby, so I suspect that life as we know it will not be the same for a while.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Acadian Shawl

I have been wanting to make the Acadian Shawl for quite some time.

I've also felt that the Yak/Merino yarn that Hubba brought back from Japan a few years ago was what I needed to use.  I'm short on the recommended supply.  So I let this pattern percolate with other yarn for a while, but the heart wants what the heart wants.... so I cast on last December.

I am using smaller needles and have three balls.  The pattern is written in three sections and all three balls have been weighed.  I plan to mark the end of the first ball and then make sure I am at the similar point on the return section prior to starting ball #3.  Hopefully this will work out.

As you can see, I was well into this scarf when I learned that I was purling incorrectly... and this has been a more "off" than "on" type project, so I added a life-line just in case I did not remember how to purl incorrectly. ;-)

Things are going quite well, and much faster than the Forever Wingspan... amazing what fatter yarn and bigger needles will do for you...

and fortunately I did remember how to purl incorrectly.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Litter Announcement: Noodle + Spudgie

I have alluded here and there to the fact that we are planning our first litter of Tibetan Mastiff Puppies.  I'm here to make it official.

The breeding should occur in October with puppies expected around Christmas-time.  Puppies will be sent to approved homes after 9-weeks of age.

If you are a regular reader here, you know that Noodle is one of our first girls, is a great protector of our alpacas and a very funny, very important member of our family.

Tibetan Mastiffs are working dogs that do best by also having a lot of family interaction.  These are extremely intelligent, social and athletic dogs.

We are very excited to begin our adventure into dog breeding.  :-)

KayaKyi Bala (Noodle)
DOB: 12/22/2010

PennHIP: 0.41, 0.41 (70th Percentile)
Elbows: Normal

Parents: CH Ayyangadoo Guyuk Khan (Bentley) x Kesang Camp’s China Doll

Noodle is a big girl at 27 inches and a fit 101 pounds.  She carries herself very tall, is extremely athletic and an enthusiastic guardian of our alpacas.  She is social when off property.  Happy to make friends with the dogs and people she meets.  However when she’s working, she is working.

She is an excellent guardian and important member of our family.

Grand Champion, Champion Timberline KayaKyi Eytukan (Spudgie)
DOB :: 11/07/2009

OFA: Good, PennHIP: 0.24, 0.29
Elbows & Thyroid Normal

Parents: CH Kesang Camp's Zhang x Kodari Zora of Timberline

Spudgie is a big boy with exceptional bone and a magnificent head.  He is very correct in all aspects.  With limited showing he was the #2 TM in the country (March, 2011) and finished the year as the #4 TM in breed points.  Spudgie's is laid back yet protective and extremely loyal and loving.  Standing at 29 3/4 inches, Spudgie weighs in at 136 pounds.  He is a rich deep gold with light sabling.  Picture taken at 2 years old, he is even better looking now as he approaches maturity.


We expect this pairing to produce good-sized dogs with the confidence and aptitude for family and livestock protection. 

The puppies will be started with alpacas and socialized with people.

All puppies will be AKC registered with the prefix, Colorado.

We are happy to answer questions about the puppies and parents.  If interested please send a note to alpacamundo (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Slow Living: August 2013

I feel like I'm recovering from summer and am really looking forward to fall.  Which is sort of strange... it's been a lovely summer, I've just been way too busy to enjoy it fully.

Shearing season finished up early this month and now the Day Job is going into overdrive.  There have been walks and such, but no camping, few day trips and no time off.  Good thing I enjoy most of what I'm doing. ;-)

I'm very happy to write my August installment for the Slow Living Project and looking forward to September.  :-)

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, over-processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.

I have no idea.  Hubba has been doing most of the cooking and I have been eating whatever he puts in front of me. I'm definitely not losing any weight.  ;-)

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too.

3 Lug Boxes (54 pounds) of fresh Peaches became Peach Butter, Peach Jam, Peach Pickles and Peach Sauce.

REDUCE/Reuse/Re-purpose/Repair: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired.

In canning our peaches I re-used all of our available canning jars and rings from previous years, I only had to use a few new jars.  Of course, the lids are always new.  ;-)

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

Oy.  I really need to work on this one.

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don't have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you!

My garden has suffered from neglect.  It's a shame.  We've had a lovely summer... not too hot, not much hail, a fair amount of rain, soil in good condition.  Really, it was a great summer for growing.  I just did not have the time to give my garden the attention it deserved.  So, I've given up on hoping I will get to it this week and have started planning to prepare them for winter.

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

With the weather cooling off (occasionally), I've been working on my Wingspan more and finished it a few days ago.  :-)

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month.

I found this text buried in a Peach Jam recipe...  "Oil rim of saucepan well and mixture will not boil over."  Talk about a great discovery!  I've been using the wooden spoon layed across the top of the pot technique for years but it doesn't really work, so I usually end up with the standing there blowing on the bubbles technique.  Not anymore!

I've been reading about pickling.  I have not yet attempted anything beyond the Peaches, but they turned out great. So who knows?

I also learned about the usefulness of Antler for controlling tartar on dog's teeth.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers and producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven't already - online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.

I had my last shearing client at the 
beginning of the month and have been on the receiving end of kindness and mentoring when it comes to dog shows.

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here.

Mr. Gunnison and I have been going to Puppy School.  He and I have been learning how to show properly in a conformation competition and had our very first show this month.