Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sheep on a Schedule

When the summer monsoon rains come, I let the sheep out most afternoons to graze on the green grass. They love it, of course, and it lowers the feed bill for the alfalfa hay.

Awhile back, I opened the gate for them to graze in the morning. Apparently, I messed up their schedule. All the sheep hesitated to go out, and Gimli, one of the rams, simply refused to exit at all. Instead, he shifted over to his usual spot to await hay. I finally scattered COB (corn, oats, barley, and molasses) on the grass to get Gimli out. After they ate it, the sheep dispersed and started browsing.

Seriously, guys, you can graze in the morning as well as the afternoon. Silly sheep.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Autumn Towels

I just finished weaving five autumn towels and a bread basket cloth. OK, so the bread basket cloth was supposed to be a sixth towel, but I ran out of warp yarn. Hey, bread basket cloths are good. They're all from the same warp. Changing weft yarns certainly makes a huge difference.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Some of this year's wool from Madeleine, one of my Cotswold sheep. Her fleece is absolutely gorgeous. It was her first shearing, though, and she was not cooperative. I had the bruises to show for it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Knitting Lessons

I'm teaching a woman to knit who works in the same building as I do. I dropped by the other day to say hello.

When she saw me, she said, "Emergency!"

I asked, "Knitting emergency?"

"Yes!" she replied as she grabbed her knitting.

She's knitting her first slipper and somehow managed to wrap a stitch instead of knitting it. I was pleased she recognized there was an error even if she didn't know how to correct it. She's enthusiastic about knitting and already has a list of things she plans to make. Teaching is so much fun.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Herd or Play?

Yesterday, returning the sheep to their pen after grazing was easy. It was hot, and both Logan and the flock were tuckered. The sheep simply followed Logan as he ambled to their enclosure and through the gate. Below is a picture of a job well done.

Today, however, was more exciting and involved a chicken.

Instead of gathering the grazing sheep, Logan entered the barn and discovered a hen. He was in a bouncy, playful mood and started chasing her around. He plays with the chickens often and doesn't want to hurt them, but he was overexcited and kept trying to pick her up. I told him to stop, and the chicken ran off. She didn't go far, though, and Logan continued the game. I finally scooped up the slobber-covered hen, put her in the hay storage room, and gave her some COB (corn, oats, barley, and molasses) to mollify her. She can leave via the open window when she's ready.

I turned around to find the sheep entering their enclosure under Logan's watchful eye. Huh, well, that part was easy.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Vet Visit Anxiety

When you run into your vet while out shopping, someone who you usually see just once a year, and she greets you by name, does that imply that your dog is a bit too memorable?

Logan is perfectly happy to go to the vet's and to see her and her office staff, but he emphatically does not want to be examined or treated. The situation makes vet visits a challenge.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Sometimes Sheep Respond to Their Names

While taking the trash out to the road, I saw all but one of the sheep grazing nearby. Coming back, I noticed Logan had encouraged the group to move along.
Wondering about the other sheep, I asked Logan, "Where's Gimli?" Immediately, I heard a deep baa and looked up to see Gimli rounding some scrub oaks and trotting towards me. After I petted him, he wandered off to graze some more. That was a really weird experience: I had no idea the ram knew his name.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Hooded Scarf

Preferring a hooded scarf knit in one piece without picking up stitches, I designed the scarf below using short rows to shape the hood. I knitted it from 100% alpaca worsted weight yarn. It's warm, comfy, and drapes beautifully. I'm selling the pattern on my website and on Ravelry (

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Capes of Eleanor Bostwick

Eleanor Bostwick, a fellow guild member, is a lovely woman and an amazing artist. Watch the YouTube video "Art Over Your Shoulder: A Chat with the Woman Behind the Capes."

One of Eleanor's capes

Monday, December 5, 2016

Finished Poncho

Back on September 26, I posted that I was going to make a poncho from yardage I wove some time ago. I finally did it.

Handwoven poncho with knitted collar

Close-up of fabric

The fabric was longer than I needed, so I cut it and fringed the cut end, thus avoiding the need for seams. I made a template for the neck opening, pinned it onto the fabric, and zigzagged around it with my sewing machine. (The tissue paper template kept tearing and shifting, so next time I'll outline the template with tailor's chalk and sew around the markings.) I then cut out the fabric inside the stitching.

Next, I decided on an appropriate gauge for the yarn I was going to knit with and picked up stitches around the neck opening accordingly. I knit twice as much distance as the width of the collar I wanted and then turned the extra knitting inside and sewed it to cover the zigzagged edge of the weaving.

To maintain the V-neck, I decreased a stitch on both sides of a central stitch every other round for three sets of decreases. After knitting one round even, I increased one stitch on both sides of the central stitch every other round to return to my original number of stitches. That way I was able to turn the knitting inward and sew it without the fabric puckering at the V.

The sides of the poncho are open. I may leave it that way or add a button on each side so the wearer can fasten it if desired. I'm quite pleased with the result.