Sunday, May 25, 2008

Shearing Part 1

This is my aunt's farm where we went right before sheep and wool. These are some of her animals, including the scariest dog.

These are the sheep:

The sheep in the front was one that they couldn't catch last year, so that's 2 years of growth. The staple length is so long it can't be processed, but my sis in law (the same one whose getting the socks) is using it to felt.

Naked sheep. That pigme goat kept rearing back and butting the sheep as they were shorn, he didn't recognize them or their smell and thought he had to assert his dominance over the new infiltrators. All the other sheep were freaked out by the newly shorn sheep too.
They were fast. And reaaaaaaallllllly hard to catch, even in the small barn.

It was a fun trip. I'm not going to post pics of the actual Maryland sheep and wool fest, cause it's pretty much a bunch of pics of sheep. And I totally missed the ravelry meet up cause we got "lost" on the way and got there late. And the only person I saw that I recognized was monkeemaven who I don't really know. I did see Casey of ravelry pretty much as soon as I walked in to the fair, but missed EVERYONE else. Bummer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool...Backwards!!

To begin, I have a long awaited FO, my OFFICIAL FIRST PAIR OF SOCKS!!!
They are a gift for a family member, the pattern is one of those math patterns from Sensational knitted socks; made out of Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, felted ever-so-slightly (partly cause they were a bit big, but also cause she's a rough-wearing socks kinda gal). Things I like about these socks: they are soft, they are heathered green, they were inexpensive, they are warm. Things I don't like: one is a bit longer than the other. As I discovered this was a problem, it occurred to me that in the future, I could just use my scale to wind exactly half of a skein into a ball, and cut it, thus having two balls of yarn the same approximate length. I think this is a good idea.
Next, I have my goodies from Maryland sheep and wool, which was much fun and I will go into that more once I get those pics off the other camera. I want to preface these pics with the fact that I went to MS&W with a specific and well controlled budget!!!! which my parents apparently thought was a nice-idea-and-all-but-such-and-such-is-a-really-good-bargain-and-you-better-get-more-just-in-case. They treated me to multiple fibery goodies!
I got peace fleece, these will go with the 7 or 8 skeins of purple peace fleece I already have to make a sweater that is not totally all purple, thus rendering me a big grape. Cause a purple sweater with some cool intarsia across the chest and on the arms is much less grape-ish.

I got three braids of roving, blue faced leister, in this amazing colorway that reminds me of a forest in a disney cartoon.
Then I scored. This is Brown Sheep mill ends, it's an unidentified mixture of fibers, but very soft, and a great color! I bought all they had, 1 lb 9 oz.
Then I also got 3 bags of again unidentified mill ends in a just off white, and it is SUPERDUPER soft!! Me and another girl discovered it in a big bag shoved in a corner and got a little I-need-I-need frantic. It was just such a great deal for the softness, so I was goaded by my father ("are you sure that's enough? you can't get it again if it's a mill end...maybe you should get one more bag") and got 5 and a third pounds. This will be my roving to dye and make pretty colors, once I do a dying workshop (this weekend at mass sheep and wool).

Then to my actual reason for being in the vicinity of MS&W, my aunt's shearing from this year. The black bags are this years shearing, the white bags are last years. She has Lincoln-Romney crosses, I'm really excited to get the first one processed! The shearing pics are on their way to the blog soon.
And if you look in the lower left of the pic, you can see a clear bag. Of this:

An amazing chocolaty brown Rambouillet fleece, at 9 pounds. VERY excited about this one. Only felt a little guilty to buy a fleece when I already had 7 in the car, but come on, it's a Rambouillet, which I believe is similar to merino and correndale as far as yummy-ness.

Finally, when Mr VT and I were at my parents house this past weekend, we discovered thanks to my sis-in-law that it was the RI sheep and wool fest. It was pretty small, but I did manage to find yet-another-deal, 90% alpaca 10% merino roving at $2.50 an ounce. I got 10 ozs to make Mr VT a hat, and he picked it out! It will be fun to spin.