Thanks for all the condolences on the loss of our little poodle Sophie. Now you can do the same for my old cat, who we finally had put down two weeks ago at the ripe old age of 18. We had a visiting vet come to the house and it went very smoothly, if a little tearful on my part. I got this cat as a kitten from the humane society in 1991, the year after I graduated from college and the year before I met my husband.
He was slowing down just as Milo came into our lives so much of the past two years has looked like this:
Though I haven't seen the movie, I suspect his attitude resembled that of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.
The cat is buried between the apples trees just a few feet from Sophie. But that's not all. Now that I am over that whole ordeal, we have a very sickly yellow Lab who probably isn't going to make it through the week. We're going to try one more visit to the vet and then we give up. Sigh.
Anyway, the whole birth/death thing is alive and well here on the farm. We've lost a few baby turkeys here and there, including Rocky's mother to a coyote. Rocky and his siblings survived the attack, but since then two have disappeared (possibly even Rocky; we can't tell them apart anymore). The last two are still sad and lonely without their mother and occasionally manage to sneak under the wing of an older turkey. Mostly they wander about forlornly, peeping.
In brighter news, we had our first calf born. The mother is half Holstein, half Hereford. The baby is a quarter of each of those and half Angus. Here are some random photos immediately following the birth but before the calf had tried standing up.
We thought it was pretty exciting, but in Vermont no one takes much notice of calves being born. If we'd been in Miami or Chicago maybe it would have made more of an impression on people...
A big personal milestone today was that I finished spinning the yarn for my sweater.
The color is more accurately this, I'd say:
For my own future reference, I spun a total of 1255 yards weighing a whopping 51.5 ounces, or 391 yards per pound. I presume I will not need that much for the world's plainest sweater, but it's nice to know I have enough just in case.
As for the sweater, it's going to be big, comfy, warm and pretty much nondescript. I have discovered over the past 20 years that Vermont is freaking cold in the winter, my office in particular. I need warm and classic, not trendy.
I love my February Lady Sweater but I wasn't able to wear it a single time between December and April because I need sleeves that cover my wrists or I freeze. (I just checked and in our area of Vermont, the average high in January is 28F. The average low is 8F.)
I cannot get enough spinning these days, possibly because the combined stresses of money and dying pets makes me want to go to my happy place, and it's usually at the wheel. I just dyed up an interesting combination of local black alpaca and our sheep Sophie's Border Leicester fleece.
I love the way the BL takes dye but I have to say it: This wool is not soft. I guess it can vary from sheep to sheep and Sophie's beautiful, lustrous, long-staple wool is in no way next-to-skin soft. I'm planning on using it for a winter wrap or stole or something, not next to my bare skin, and I'm spinning it as soft and loose as possible to make the ends less prickly. It's a fun fiber to spin, I will say that.
In this case, I space dyed 8 2-ounce batts all pretty much the same and I'm spinning them just like that. Unlike my sweater yarn above, I'm not looking for a heathered solid; I want multicolor blends and stripes throughout. As soon as the sweater yarn dries, however, I'm casting on for my sweater, so the spinning may take a backseat for a while.
I actually did manage a small shop update at A Piece of Vermont Yarn and Fiber yesterday, although I don't believe there's much left.
What you see above is some bamboo/merino/nylon sock yarn and some Falkland Superwash (DK weight). Not to harp on it again, but you join the no-pressure A Piece of Vermont mailing list quite easily (and unsub whenever you want) to get immediate notification of updates. The Falkland Superwash is really quite lovely, but it's a pain to put into skeins as it comes in giant hanks rather than cones. I do have more I plan to dye this week, though, if time permits.
And for spinners, I have some hand-blended dyed batts (for that heathered look) coming in a few days.
I have so many different things going on sometimes I forget to make time to go out in the shop. But I really enjoy playing with color and fiber. I hope I can be a little more consistent in my updates.
Cross your fingers for the dog. At this point, unless they discover something missed in earlier exams, we're not doing him any favors by letting him go on the way he is. And if we do put him down, we'll only have Milo left.