Sheep, Socks, And Sandy

Today apparently the letter of the day is “S”.  This last weekend the Mr and his buddy drove down to California and picked up our 7 Icelandic sheep.  I can’t tell you how nice it is to have them up here.  They are going to be able to keep my pastures trimmed neatly and save the Mr some major mowing time.

They have settled in really well.  I don’t think they’ve ever seen so much green grass and they are happily munching what the goats have decided they don’t like.  We are keeping them in a smaller paddock for a few days to acclimate them to the property.  I have their fibers in bags and will be sending it for processing shortly.  I’m thinking about making it all into yarn, thoughts?

Our good friends who own the ranch where we were boarding them had the sheep shorn before they came up which was really nice.  They look a little silly right now but it helped them keep cool on the trip.  I remember them being pretty shy and skiddish (Icelandic sheep are a primitive sheep and don’t  flock and don’t warm up to people like some of the other larger breeds of sheep) but they are much more friendly than I remembered.  They come up for feeding and I think they are starting to learn that since the goats think I’m ok then I must be 🙂  I don’t ever expect them to follow me around like the goats do and beg for attention but they don’t run away which is nice.

On another random note, this week starting Thursday is Sock Summit!  My good friend Sandy and her husband are coming up.  I’m so excited to see them!  Sandy is originally from Wisconsin and me being from Minnesota we instantly clicked when we met at a knitting group in California.  I’m taking a few classes (a pattern seminar from the editor of Knitty Amy Singer, and a dying seminar with Tina Newton).  I’m really excited (and a little nervous) about this.  I’ve wanted to go since I first started knitting 4 years ago but I couldn’t justify flying and staying in Portland by myself.  This time I live across the river from Portland and can go home and stay in my bed at night.  I don’t know if I’m more excited about the marketplace or the seminars!

Are you going to Sock Summit if so I’d love to meet you! 

In knitting related news I’m working on 2 cardigans at the same time.  I’m really happy with both of them so far too.  It’s amazing how fast something knits up when you don’t have to write a pattern for it!

The first is Daffodil with a striped garter stitch yoke.   It’s a fingering weight pattern but I never use the right yarn for the right pattern.  I used silky tweed and did the math for the gauge.  I used purple for the stripes.  Something I normally wouldn’t have.  I like the charcoal but I’m still on the fence about the purple.  It’s not my normal choice but I was trying to go for something other than ochre and acid green.  I wish I would have gone with acid green.  Maybe I’ll do a short sleeved version in my original color choices.  I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this cardigan though.  It seems very wearable and light enough to wear around the house from fall to spring. The second is Larch but it’s a big grey blob right now. It’s going to be super pretty and wearable but the details were tedious (beautiful, very thoughtful but tedious none the less).

I haven’t written in a week but I’ll get back to it soon.  I’ve hit a point where I know how this is all going to end.  I had to take a step back and write up a battle plan.  I’ve got diagrams with arrows, skirmishes and planned attacks.  I think it would be easier to write a fiction crime novel at this point where you don’t have to put a war onto paper.  Maybe not.  I’m actually excited about finishing this self imposed project because I um, have something else that has been eating my brain.  It’s individually smaller but collectively larger and I’m in love with it.  So yeah.  Mildred is huge and Mildred will eventually need a title that is not “Mildred”.  Maybe when I am done with this I will have a blog contest on “Name My Book” 🙂 Maybe, I don’t know if I’d get enough entries to make it worth while or not.

 So yeah.  That’s mostly my life these days.  I have some farming stuff going on, and I’ll be putting up some Tarhgee fiber for sale.  If I were to have some Icelandic spun up what weight would you as a knitter prefere?

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5 thoughts on “Sheep, Socks, And Sandy

  1. Interesting looking sheep! I’m always interested in fiber of all kinds. I wish I could knit a sweater which fits me well, but so far the ones I’ve knit for myself didn’t. I envy you a little, that you can go to Sock Summit, but I hope you’ll have a grand time!

  2. Congrats on getting your sheep up here with you! No Sock Summit for me this year. I’m hoping to go in ’13, if Stephanie & Crew don’t decide it’s too much trouble to do yet again. Have a great time! I can’t wait to hear all about it…

  3. Yay for sheep! Is it weird to say I love your farm? I love your farm!

    Also: Thanks for the link to the Daffodil sweater, I hadn’t seen that one before and now I want to make one too!

  4. You asked about yarn weight for the Icelandic wool….I have some Einband from our trip to Scotland and it’s knitting up beautifully it’s a lace weight.

    I’ve just discovered your blog, enjoying the read and will return. Have a great time in Portland at SS this weekend!

  5. The thing about Icelandic fleece is that they are double-coated, with a soft downy undercoat and a longer, coarser guard coat. You can process the fiber all together, or you can separate out the different grades. I haven’t seen or tried finer yarns spun from both coats together; mostly you see it as a “lopi” style (singles) worsted weight, I think. For finer yarns, I expect you might be happier with just the undercoat. Your fiber processor might be able to separate the long and short fibers by combing–I don’t know much about how they operate.

    I have some raw Icelandic fleece, and I enjoyed pulling each lock apart. You grasp the lock firmly by the root end and then just give the long, hairy fibers a pull. It comes apart in a really satisfying way. 🙂 It is a LOT of work, though! But the fuzzy soft stuff you get is just delightful. The undercoat is called thel and the long hairs are called tog (which means “tug”).

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