A New Treasure

I knit because I make yarn, but given the opportunity to just sell the yarn I make, I would just spin.

Today, a friend that I started on spinning about a year ago came over with a bag of gorgeous Leicester Longwool lamb roving, and an entire Leicester Longwool lamb fleece in the raw. After she started spinning with a drop spindle I gave her, then a Turkish spindle I sold her, she bought several more spindles on her own, and then the travel wheel that I had tried her on. I had gotten a small Saxony wheel made by Kromski and previously owned by a good friend who passed away. The little Saxony is one I can take to retreats and to costumed demonstrations and the travel wheel was not being used. She has become quite a good spinner, but is having some difficulty with the travel wheel due to it’s size. She came over to discuss how to clean raw wool, to try my Kromski to see if it might be a wheel for her to seek out, and a lesson in using wool combs. We had a very nice afternoon playing with fiber and broadening her scope a bit.

After she left, I anxiously dashed up to the mailbox as I was awaiting my newest spinning treasure, a Golding spindle that with it’s dark wood and black ring will be one I can take to demonstrations. Each Golding comes with a small sample of wool usually from Inglenook Fibers. I had just ordered some fiber from them and looked at the colorway that was sent as a sample. If I had just waited a few days, I not only would have bought that colorway, but would have gotten a discount from them. Maybe if I sell another pair of fingerless mitts or a hat, I will return to their online shop and purchase more of it.

This spindle spins forever. I love my little Jenkins Turkish spindle, it is fun to use and to ply from but very limited in amount it will hold, but the Goldings are primo.

A Beautiful Day

We have had so much rain, that the occasional day or two without are such a treat. Today was the second in a row and the last for a while. Yesterday the pretty day was used for outdoor chores. Today, we took a walk. Because of back issues suffered by my love, when we go out together, we keep to smooth surfaces and not too much elevation changes. Between Blackburg and Christiansburg is an old rail grade that has been paved with asphalt, ideal for joggers, bikers, the occasional skateboarder, and lots of walkers, powered conveyance is not allowed. Because of it’s location and access points on and off of it, if you walk near lunch time, you see lots of business folks walking on their lunch break. In some areas, you see houses and parts of Virginia Tech Campus, other parts are in the woods or through the edge of farm fields. I’m not sure how long it is now, as they have extended it in two directions since I moved here. Today, we left from the original start, near the public library branch that for the first 1/2 mile passes between houses, then opens up to agricultural study fields and between a lacrosse and cricket field and the local small plane airport. We walk about 2 to 2 1/2 miles.

This time of year, the spring flowers on the banks behind the houses are beginning to peak through.

There was a bee busy with the crocus. I have wanted a pussy willow since I moved here and have tried to root it unsuccessfully. Maybe I will order one already rooted this year.

Up on our farm, nothing is blooming yet. I don’t even see daffodil shoots, but the iris, day lilies, and Autumn Joy sedum are beginning to emerge. Later, the forsythia, lilacs, and dogwood will bloom, but not for another 6 to 8 weeks. I fear that the warm winter will cause the fruit trees to bloom early and then get hit with a spring frost. I noticed that the garlic and potato onions are up a few inches and they too might get burned back, but if they have established roots from the bulbs, will recover. If the fruit trees bloom early and get hit by frost, we won’t get Asian pears and apples this summer. That will be a disappointment.

I’m glad we got out. Tomorrow will still be in the low 50’s, but rainy. Then we have cooler cloudy days, a couple with sunshine (maybe) but much colder, then back to rain again. When it isn’t rainy, we will add layers and gloves and go on out and walk. It is good for both of us.

Weekend doings!

Our weekend started with a luxury dinner out for our Valentine Anniversary. There are few nice restaurants in our nearest big town. There are more in the nearest city, about an hour away, but this was the first February 14 that we have spent at home that it hasn’t snowed, so we don’t make reservations that far from home. Last year, we went to the same restaurant and having been there several times before we expected a good dinner and left very disappointed. They post their menu a few weeks prior and we gave them another chance. The starter, salad, and dessert are set, but they had a choice of three entrees, beef, salmon, and pasta, each well presented. Hubby got the beef, I got the pasta and we were both pleased.

Yesterday was a quiet day, not much accomplished but some knitting and spinning, some laundry. The coop needed cleaning as did the house. There was no straw or woodchips to use in the coop, we needed dog food, chicken food, and bird seed but didn’t want to go out yesterday.

After a lunch out today, a trip to Tractor Supply took care of all those needs and the coop was cleaned, sprayed down inside and refilled with fresh pine chips. Tractor Supply had 6 pounds of Black Oil Sunflower seed for $7, but 40 pounds for $10. Not sure how I would deal with 40 pounds, the bargain was too great. Every extra bucket is filled, along with the bird seed container and the bag still is about 1/3 full. The house was vacuumed, dusted, and the kitchen cleaned. Between jobs and preparing dinner, the fiber that was being spun on the spindle was finished and a few rows knit on the scarf.

Left is the fat little cop of singles, Merino, bamboo, and silk from Inglenook Fibers; Close to You being knit from Lollipop Yarn, and the fat little cop of the plied yarn. Looks like I’m stuck in a color warp.

The warm winter and lengthening days have upped egg production from 1 to 3 a day, now getting 4 to 6 a day and the yolks are taking on a nice healthy golden orange. This is the first winter wince I’ve been raising hens that there have been any winter eggs.