Tag: goats

What I’ve Got For Today 8

So you know I’ve been knitting, but I don’t have much to share in the way of photos. The best I can come up with is today’s car knitting. The weather was rainy and surprisingly cold for May.

But the stripey blanket did me right. It kept me entertained AND cozy!

To distract you from the lack of exciting knitting photos, how about some baby goats? We got to see these precious angels last weekend at our friend Marcia’s. It was heaven.

These are angora goats. Their fiber will make to-die-for roving and yarn when it’s blended with a bit of wool.

Blackberry here is the mother of the little black baby and his brother. Twins!!

In the spirit of further distraction from the lack of knitting excitement, I’ve been meaning to share some interesting fiber related links with you. Here’s some good stuff I’ve stumbled across online recently.

  • No Wool, No Vikings  This is a fascinating article about a high school program in Norway where the students spend nine months learning what it might have been like to be a Viking. The fun part for us fiber people is that it involved LOTS of wool. In particular, the Viking ships used woolen sails. To outfit one boat required a thousand sheep or more! And the amount of fiber work involved was insane: “Building a boat might take two skilled boatbuilders a couple of weeks . . . but creating its sail would take two skilled women a year.” Crazy! (Thanks to Dorothea, dear friend and captain of my awesome Tour de Fleece team, for turning me on to this article!)
  • The mystery of knitting . . . remains a mystery  Just hilarious.
  • Yoga for Knitters and Crocheters  Did you know Lion Brand Yarn has a whole playlist on YouTube focused on yoga for knitters and crocheters?
  • Why Farmers and Knitters are Fixated on Icelandic Sheep  Are you sensing a theme? I think this might be another of Dorothea’s recommendations. Love me some lopi.
  • Stitch by stitch, a brief history of knitting and activism  Pretty much like it sounds with some cool pics.

That’s what I’ve got for today . . . except for this sweet picture of Frankie sleeping.

What kind of knitting goodness is going on in your neck of the woods?

Junebug Farms Yarn 18

fetching-6-sm

If you’ve read even a little bit of my blog, you know about my friend Cari. We met online back when Paul and I were planning our move to Tennessee. I had questions about chickens, so of course I turned to Ravelry. I searched for someone in NE Tennessee who’d posted about chickens, found Cari’s blog, and the rest is some of my happiest history ever.

Over the years that Cari and I have been friends, Cari’s fiber genius has exploded. She knits, spins, crochets, dyes like a crazy color savant, and along with her hubby, Jay, has started a small fiber farm. With goats!

Here’s a picture of Cari and Jay that ran in the local paper.

cari-and-jay

They started out with two female angora goats and early this year added two boys. This is when they were bringing the boys home in their car!

junebug-farms-5

It’s all been big fun to be part of and watch develop. And now! Oh, my gosh! The yarn!!!

This Spring, Junebug Farms got their first batch of processed fiber back from the mill. It is crazy gorgeous. Cari gave me a skein of the natural color that I’ve been saving instead of knitting with (I know, I know), and then she started turning out these glorious colors. I had to jump in.

junebug-farms-yarn-1-sm

I’ve had the Fetching pattern in my queue for ages. It seemed good for trying out a new yarn since, with a little cabling, some stockinette, and a picot edge, I’d get to see how it behaved with a number of different techniques.

fetching-9-sm

So I can’t figure out how to photograph the squish (which is OUTRAGEOUS), but hopefully the photos at least show how beautifully the yarn knits up. The stitch definition in the cabled areas is nice and crisp, yet there’s still this lovely bit of mohair haze that just kills me.

I couldn’t stop with the mitts. I mean it. I just had to keep going. So I came up with a matching hat.

fetching-4-sm

This hat and these mitts make me so happy! I’d love them even if the yarn weren’t from Cari and Jay’s precious goats and dyed by Cari herself, but those things make them extra super special.

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I knit the first mitt the night the Cubs won the World Series (!!!!), and I’ve been wearing them ever since,  even though this is the most un-winterlike November I can remember. Now, all I can think about is what I want to make next with Junebug Farms yarn!

Fall Is In The Air 12

goat

Are you feeling the fall where you are? We spent the weekend running around here and there and loving the nip in the air.

I bound off the sleeves for Paul’s sweater (finally!) as we drove.

knittig-and-driving

On Saturday, we got to visit this year’s goat babies at Good Fibrations. Their pals gave us the fiber I’ve been using to knit the sweater.

goats

You can see the leaves coming down in their pasture. This is across the border from us in North Carolina, and fall seems to be a little further along there than it is at our place.

I took this picture along our driveway during my lunchtime walk today. The leaves are just starting to turn. I love the woodpecker tree on the right. And can you believe the sky?

fall-woodpecker-tree

Here’s more fabulousness from North Carolina. I can’t remember what the plant in the foreground is called, but I need to find out. That’s pink muhly grass in the foreground. It and the bush behind it with the purple berries made my heart ache they were putting on such a show.

fall-plants

The bush with the purple berries is called a beautyberry. Look at the color of those berries! I’m wondering if it could be preserved in dyeing. I haven’t found an answer yet although I did learn that the beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a natural insect repellent, apparently comparable to DEET in effectiveness.

beautyberries-2

The cooler temps have spurred Paul to start bringing firewood up from the shed.

firewood

And they’ve made me pull out the crockpot.

lentil-minestrone

And start another blanket.

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Oops.

Casting On 5

What better way to kick off the 4th of July weekend than by casting on for a heavy wool sweater?! Woohoo! Seriously, I’m pretty excited. I started Checks and Balances for Paul.

Checks-and-Balances-Yarn

I’m using one of my absolute favorite yarns. It’s a mohair/merino blend from Good Fibrations. The mohair is the magic ingredient. It gives the yarn this incredible loft that makes it wonderful to handle, and it knits up into garments that are exactly what you want from wool–light but sturdy, comfy, cozy, hard wearing . . . It’s the perfect sweater yarn.

And the color! The artist who raises the angora goats who contribute the mohair is a genius with the dye pot! I posted a picture of a mind blowing red she dyed back in October. The colorway I’m using for Paul’s sweater is called “Soft Suede.” I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but in its way, it has as much depth as that glorious red.

M-and-G

The best part about Good Fibrations yarn and the very special woman behind it is the goats themselves. My friends, these are happy, happy goats.

Gracie 2

These pictures are from a visit to the Good Fibrations farm during kidding season. I think that’s what it’s called. It’s the time when there are goat babies everywhere!

Goats

Gracie 1

The cute is unreal.

I cast on for the sweater last night and knit a bit here and there as we ran errands today. I found a shady spot behind the library while Paul ran into the bank.

Checks-and-Balancs-CO

This is going to be a busy weekend, and the Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow, so there will be lots of spinning for the next few weeks. That probably mean progress on Checks and Balances will be slow for awhile. That’s okay. I’m happy to have gotten started.

Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone! I hope you get to spend it doing the things you love.

Not Yet, Winter 2

This weekend was all about fall. 

Fall Chicken Coop

The leaves are shockingly beautiful. It’s surprising again and again that they they can be so vivid. I keep trying to soak it all in so I’ll have it in the dark and cold that will be here before long.

Fall at Home 4

Fall at Home 7

I’ve been spending as much time as possible outside. Yesterday, we visited friends with GOATS!

Paul and Gracie

AT Goat 1 web

These guys are angora goats, and their fleece makes wonderful, lofty fiber for spinning and knitting. And speaking of knitting, I did some along the way. Here’s the first sock in this pair, finished except for the kitchenering.

Sock

Happy knitting, my friends! And happy fall!

Fall Sunday 1

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