Friday, January 24, 2014

January is a tough month to endure

It's been freezing cold for pretty much the whole month. Today it is a balmy 13° in Wisconsin, but the wind is gusting 30 mph out of the West. It's enough to take what little breath you have away. SO...Sissy's inside again. She's stressed out ..again. She's got a patch about the size of a fifty cent piece plucked to the skin on her chest.  That's some pretty serious stressing going on. Until she can go outside and get away from the flock on a regular basis, she'll spend her days inside with me.

I did not pass calculus last semester, so I get to take it again. This semester it is offered at night. I hope that means I can learn better. 8 am was not a good time to learn complex math.  I thought it was a bummer to be gone from my honey nights, but then I thought, 'he's got Friday through Tuesday off all day. In effect, I will have as about as much time as I have now with him.' Only Tuesday - Thursday will I not see him much. And to pick up an extra credit, I'll be helping the theatre department with their spring program. It should be fun!

In an effort to get rid of some of my yarn stash, I knitted up this sweet combo:
It's made from Martha Stewart Roving (hey, it was a buck a ball) with a seed stitch on size 11 needles for the hat, size 13 for the cowl.  It's warm and covers my face when I am outside from the wind. I swear I can put up a few turbines out behind the garage and run all of the nearest town on the generation!

Yes, that is me under the wool..,,somewhere.

The well pump is unfrozen, but it burst a pipe underground.  That's greeeeaaaat. I'm trying to figure out how to send water outside after the cold snaps so I can fill pools. Right now the best idea is to run a hose from the laundry room outside to fill buckets. UGH!

To do my work now means I get to fill up these buckets with 3 gallons of water each, put them in the wheelbarrow and truck them out to the goose pen. One container fills one bucket-ish. 12 containers a day: 6 in the morning and 6 at night.  It sucks. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Semester Break

Classes start again at the end of the month. I'm using the time to rest. Usually that would mean not doing much, but in my case it means doing what I want to do instead of have to do. So....I'm knitting, spinning and sewing.

The first up is the baby quilt fresh off the sewing machine. It's a zig-zag pattern that is inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. No, really! I actually DID something I saw on Pinterest! The pattern is a bugger though. In order to get the zig-zag lines to come out right, you need to put a solid color between the patterned pieces and keep the same solid color throughout. I sewed a top last Saturday that was just tragic because the lighter stripes were not consistent.

The gray thing is a sweater. It's from the book Men's Knits: 20 New Classics . It's the one called the Tweed Cabled Sweater.  It is one sleeve short of completion. I was knitting this for any male in my house, but a preliminary pre-blocking fit test showed that I'm the only one that can fit in it. The size is the largest in the pattern, and the yarn is Lion Brand Fisherman's wool in oatmeal. The needles are 10 1/2 for the body with a smaller one for the cuffs.

Pattern-wise, it's doing well. Some of the wording on how to end off the thing is just ..wonky. But I'm making do. Good thing I know how to sew! It makes visualizing how the tops of the pattern should look. You sew enough patterns, you know what the sleeve and neckline should look.

The spinning is on the drop spindle because I lost a lock nut on my spinning wheel. I'll need to pick up another one of those before I can spin. With all the kids in and out of here, I'm surprised that my wheel doesn't get more things missing off of it. Kids are drawn to the thing like a magnet and LOVE to treadle it. Slight heart attacks are known to happen when they do that and I'm not around.  I try to keep yarn off the bobbin so they don't skew up the poor thing by treadling.

Drop spindles are good for this kind of spinning anyways. It's bits of wool I got off of Etsy in varying colors. I think there's a need about this time of year to see COLOR, any color others than white or shades of gray. the colors in the selection lift my spirits as I spin. Right now, it's the length of blue that turns to green. This selection is end bits off of roving this Etsy seller creates. 4 ounces costs me about $13 with shipping. The sellers' name is Stefknits.

 Like I said, many colors in this selection. One bit made me want to knit it up right away, so I'm in the process of knitting up a pair of fingerless mitts. The colors range from dark red to aqua and are just mesmerizing. Fingerless mitts showcase the color changes nicely. They are also great for when you're doing your homework and your hands are cold.

And the last thing knitted quickly was another pair of minion slippers. They are not completed. They need to be sewn up and have minion eyes put on them. I whipped them up in a day but man....can't get the gumption up to actuall finish them! Oh well. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Watering and Feeding are done, now I can rest

It is oh...-12° F here in Wisconsin right now...no wait...-11°. (in order to type a ° sign on your keyboard, hold key and type in 248 at the same time)

The outside faucet froze last week and has yet to thaw. I mean, how could it? It's been below zero for what...a week now?

Sissy's been in the house for 2 days now. She is not comfortable being around the rest of the flock constantly. It stresses her out. The only goose I know who is not similarly connected to the flock.  

She gets to stressing too much, she worries the feathers on her chest. They get wet, then frozen, then she gets sores. So she's inside isolated from the others for at least another day.
Dealing with the cold is just draining on my energies. There's nothing for it, but dayum! I'd like it to stay warm for a while. Yesterday, I had to do both morning and night chores plus dig out my car from the end of the driveway. Alex spun the car in the ditch last Friday on the way home from work. Fortunately the car was easily pulled out by a farmer with a tractor, but it developed a wobble. The local dealership took out the wobble after I got it unstuck and to them.  UGH! Winter's a bitch!

Oh, and Happy New Years! 2014 will probably be another year..another 365 days of challenges. It will get warmer, then colder. I can guarantee that.


In order to keep us all warm during the cold snap, I made another one of my duck down comforters. This one is wider: 67" wide by 60".  It needs perpendicular baffles sewn into it, but it will work for now. I'm thinking that a few of the channels in the middle could use more down/feathers as well. They are warm, I'll tell you that!

We nap under them, and when you wake up...well you just don't want to get out from under them. I am very thankful that they are here. Thank God for those ducks and for my willingness to take the time to pluck them properly so that the down could be used for many years.