Mo Bloggin'

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Archive for the tag “felting”

Whirlwind!

My January has been a busy one, with multiple classes, work, and social events keeping me busy and engaged all month long.  It’s been a great start to the year, and though I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit (I have next weekend “off” yay!), it’s also been an invigorating, “grab the bull by the horns” kind of start to the year.  I had an astrology reading today by my favorite astrologer, Pam of NorthPoint Astrology, and the reading was one that had the little hairs sticking up, with so many things aligning with my exact experiences for the past few months.  And the rest of the year sounds just as exciting.  Wee! 

Adding to the month’s eventfulness was the “great Seattle snowstorm of 2012.”  It was a nice accumulation of snow over the period of a full week, and brought plenty of weather-related issues. It started on Saturday the 14th (an inch or so), and continued through Thursday the 19th, on and off, for a total accumulation of about a foot (at my location).  Monday and Tuesday were full of dire predictions, but the roads were mostly passable.  By Wednesday (the main dumping) though, the roads were a mess and I stayed home that day.  It was a nice break from routine and I had fun playing in the snow with the dogs, and sledding down the pasture hillside on a large piece of cardboard.  This was too much for Daisy, and she tugged at it, barking wildly, each time I slid down the hill.  After several trips down the hill (and going ass over teakettle a couple of times for some snow up my shirt – eep!), she finally got it away from me completely and dragged it off to shred with obvious relish.  I tried again the next day with a new piece of cardboard, and the same end result. She had fun and so did I.  It snowed pretty much all day Thursday and with some freezing rain it was another bad travel day, with the governor declaring a state of emergency.  Friday brought relief with some rain and warmer temps, but for me it also brought a power outage as trees began to fall under the weight of the wet snow and ice.  I was lucky in that my power was only out for 22 hours—many people lost power earlier in the week, when it was really cold, and for several days not hours—but the last 5 hours were miserable with boredom (no lights) and it was a wee bit chilly by then too (49 degrees in the house when the power came back on).  I’ve been meaning to get a generator, and would love to install a wood stove (though I can’t figure out where – there’s simply no room in this little place) and of course this all came to the fore during this short outage.  It’s something I need to consider (the generator), especially as a longer outage could seriously impact my water supply (well pump).  So it’s still on my list.  I managed to get out on Saturday, and made it to my scheduled “Big Felt” felting class (same instructor as last month’s felt scarf sampler class).  It was good to get out, and I had a great time making a large piece of felt with my table partner.  We cut the piece in half at the end – she kept the half she created and I kept the half I created.  It was about two feet by four feet (so we each got a two by two piece) and gave me a lot of ideas for things I can make with my own sheep’s wool.  Now to find the time.

Ewe haul

The girls are home!  I went and picked them up on Tuesday and we enjoyed an uneventful (that’s code for pee-free) ride home.  I put down the rubber mat, as usual, and a net full of hay as well as some goodies (grain and treats) and hit the road.  Getting them from the barn to the car was the tough part, as I thought it might be, but once they got in the car they seemed to settle down, even lying down, in Cinnamon’s case.  This is major progress!  Not that I need to have them learn or progress in their car riding habits, but it had to be more relaxing for them, too.  I think they recognized me (well, they had to know me, but giving me any sign that they cared a whit for my reappearance in their life wasn’t going to happen).  Little Pebbles munched on hay pretty much the whole way home (Cinnamon had a few nibbles as well) and there wasn’t even a poop from either of them.  I don’t mind the poop so much – it’s not carnivore poo, after all, so not very smelly and super easy to clean up (dry little raisnets, like deer poo) compared to the pee.  That being said, my car still smells like ripe sheep.  The girls had spent the last month with a ram, after all, and while the stink isn’t the funk of a buck goat (billy), they definitely had a little Eau d’Ram going on.  Hopefully that means they spent “quality” time with the ram, Jocko, and all the right, ahem, connections were made.  From the looks of the “wear” to their fleece, I’m thinking I can mark the calendar in 5 months’ time.  I’m hoping I’ll have some sign before they drop their lambs, and I’ll be watching like a hawk…er, make that an expectant shepherdess, for sometime between April 20 and May 27.  I’m hoping I’ll get a couple of ewe lambs, and I would love to get some more greys, like Pebbles.  I think her fleece is lovely and of course she’s the tiniest of all, so it would be great to have more of it to work with.

Speaking of working with fleece (and the fact that I haven’t yet), I took a great felting class at The Weaving Works in Seattle last month.  It was taught by Faith Hagenhofer, and we bonded immediately over sheep; as the class participants went around and introduced themselves we each had a chance to share why we were interested in felting.  I explained that I raised the natural product and needed a way to use the five bats of processed wool in my loft (last year’s shearing) that would be easy and fun.  It turns out Faith raises her own sheep as well and has a moorit Shetland that looks a lot like my Cinnamon (and sounds just as feral).  I really enjoyed the class.  Besides being an inspiring artist and enthusiastic feltmaker, Faith is a also great teacher and we were each able to create a scarf using different techniques (felting onto silk, needle felting, etc.).  I’m ready to sign up for the next class (Big Felt).  Squeezing the class time in during the busy month of January might be a trick – I have something going on every weekend this month, and several weeknights (and doG knows I like my down time) but since I won’t have time to work with my own wool until sometime in February (almost shearing time again!), I may as well learn a bit more technique before I get out the bubble wrap and liquid soap.* 

I neglected to take any pictures during the class – there were some wonderful creations by my classmates, and the process is a fun, active pastime.  The clerks downstairs said they had several customers ask if there was an aerobics studio upstairs, when we were ‘throwing’* our wet felting wool onto the tables.  My own creation is humble, though I have to say that my “lima” green was popular with my classmates – nearly every one of them came to borrow some of it (we each shopped for the one ounce of roving from a rainbow of colors downstairs).  It was such a lovely match with the natural color of the base wool, and I was happy to share.  And I grabbed a few bits of the berry and grape color, as well as a wisp or two of orange, from others.  So, don’t laugh, here’s my finished product – a sampler really. 

*These two YouTube video links are unrelated to the class I took but show same general process.

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