The Home of Beautiful Bluefaced Leicesters and Shetland Sheep

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shawls.... Love 'EM

I love shawls. When I taught first grade, I used to flap around the room in one like a giant crane, tickling the kids with the fringe. Many of those children are probably suffering from "shawlophobia" as adults and seeking professional help.

I still have the shawl I wore on my first Communion Day thousands of years ago. It was made by my Italian neighbor who taught me to knit in Italian. That's probably what I like best about my shawls.. .the memories they evoke. Every shawl in my collection reminds me of a the person who made it. One was made by my spinning guild for a demonstration. It is a conglomeration of thick and thin singles that would make a sheep to shawl judge cringe but it's made from the wool of my first sheep. I laugh to think of the day we made it. The bagpipe player began accompaniment, playing faster and faster. Of course, we spun faster and faster til someone screamed in a tangled mess of over spun yarn .

My Shetland sheep and a Scottish grandmother gave me the impetus to learn more about traditional Shetland knitting and try my hand at some shawls of my own. Not finely spun or well knit, they have made me feel connected to my sheep and my Grandmother' homeland. There is something special about knitting with wool from your own sheep and putting a name on the fiber.

This summer I fell in love with a shawl made by Tari Lohrey at the Wooster show. It was handspun BFL wool, dyed with natural dyes. The pattern was Irish, the other part of me. I couldn't believe that Tari agreed to trade her beautiful shawl for one of my sheep! It is in my collection and another treasured memory.

With Fall in the air, I'm anxious to get some of those shawls out and go swooping around again.(Get your children off the streets.) Elisabeth counts the sheep pictures in my house. Maybe I'll get her to count my shawls.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ramona aka Daisy

Remember Tim's canine stray Jack Russel who arrived while I was away? Well she became a member of the family. Tim named her Ramona but Dad kept calling her Magnolia. Tim bought her a new collar,special food, a bed etc.Romona went everywhere with Tim. She had moved in for sure, until last Friday. Tim had her out for their usual walk when a passing car stopped and the driver yelled " have my dog!" Tim was stunned as Ramona/Daisy happily hopped right in the car and never looked back. Not so much as a parting wave of the tail. (Sort of like the Irish kid we kept for the month of July.)
Well, Tim just showed me a picture of a dog at the shelter that he'd like to get. Just when I had just gotten used to being a 2 dog household again.

To be continued....I'm sure.

Rain It Is a Blessed Thing Beloved From Pole to Pole

At least I think that's how it goes in the Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner that I read in high school. Somehow that stuck in my ancient brain taking up brain space for more important thoughts. Oh well, hope Sister Noreen reads this blog and rewards me at my next high school reunion.'s raining! We have had so little rain this summer that it really is a blessed thing today. The formerly dingy BFL sheep looked so clean and white this morning when they came in to eat that I spent lots of time just looking through each fleece as they stood to eat. They made me all wet and sheepy smelling but it's a great smell!

Rainy days give me energy so I carded oodles of roving batts for Rhinebeck this morning. Usually I send my wool off to be carded and blended but today I just felt like blending funky different stuff...Shetland/BFL cross with glitz and silk, Shetland with dyed silk and BFL locks. Spinning the samples of each blend was such a joy.This day just keeps getting better! Hope it keeps raining.