Monday, April 30, 2012

The flutter of Wingspan

When I first cast on for this scarf/shawlette, I was a little worried about how much yarn I had - would it be enough?  The skein of Marks and Katten Fame Trend says it contains ca 420 meters, which sounds like plenty in the face of the 330-425 m that the original pattern calls for.  But I was pretty sure I was going to want it longer, with more triangles. 
Ah, I thought.  If that turns out to be the case, I'll just frog and reknit with fewer stitches, which would make it end up narrower and longer.  No problem.

But then, this:

The color transitions are happening perfectly...  It's as if the yarn was made for the pattern.  There'll be no frogging here - whatever I get, I get.

Now why is it that, even when a plan is working perfectly, it still bites me on the ass?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

There I was again, out in the sheep pen in boots and pajamas

 And our flock has officially doubled. 

Goldie didn't go all crazy, like Onyx did - she just had one lamb.  Which is almost a relief.
Too bad it's a boy - it looks like his fleece is going to be lovely.  He's mottled with lots of shades of gray - just gorgeous!  (Unfortunately, we don't need another ram...  *sigh*)

So, we have winners for LambWatch2012 - Wind came closest to Onyx's drop date and chose the Folk Bags book.  Goldie's winning guesser is Chantelle!  (Email me your snail address, girl, and a copy of Selbuvotter will be on its way to you!)

Friday, April 20, 2012

As if we didn't have enough to do...

Our chicks and baby turkeys arrived yesterday.  What were we thinking...

 We've got 50 Cornish-X, though 20 of them will be going right away to someone else.  The black ones are Black Australorps that I ordered at the last minute.  (Madman had sent me down to the feedstore with our turkey order.  I was unsupervised.  Black Australorp chicks were on their order list and were the same price as Rhode Island Reds.  I couldn't help it.  I'd wanted Australorps since the first picture I saw of them, and there they were, right on the order form.  How many times do you get a chance to impulse buy chickens...)
Madman picked up the chicks when they came in, and brought them home.  "You're going to love your Australorps," he told me.  "They look like little penguins."

 And we got half a dozen turkey poults.  We've never grown turkeys before, so this should be an interesting experiment.  The three in the foreground are turkeys - they look like chicks with lumps on their heads.

I told Madman I wanted to take a black marker out to the chick's coop and draw little bow-ties on the Australorps.  "Wouldn't that be cute?"  I asked.  He just laughed and shook his head.  And went to hide the markers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Okay, just one more

But only so you can see how cute the lambs are.  (They're really really cute)

Here's the littlest one - she's a ewe.  You could probably fit her inside a sugar sack.

Here's the ram lamb.  He's the biggest of the bunch.  And we're pretty sure he was the first born, since he was the driest of the lot when we met them this morning.

And here's my favorite - the little spotty ewe.

I wish you could all see them.  And hear them too - they sound like little squeaky toys...

I promise I won't post every 5 minutes all day long.

Though I'm tempted...  Not that I'm excited or anything.

As best as I can tell, we have one boy and two girls.  (Yay!  The spotted one is a girl!)

I've got to head for the feedstore, to buy lamb bottles and milk replacer, just in case.  Onyx is a first-time mommy and we don't know if she'll have enough milk for 2 lambs, let alone 3.  In any case, sheep, unlike cows, only have two nipples on their udders.

Someone is always going to have to wait their turn...

We've Got Lambs!

I peeked out the kitchen window this morning as I started making coffee, checking out the sheep and listening to Goldie blatt through the open window.  ("Breakfast!  It's time for breakfast!  Sun's up!  Breakfast!")  Onyx was nowhere in sight, but that's not unusual.  Then I thought I heard a higher-pitched blatt - a lambie blatt.  I listened hard to make sure I wasn't imagining things...
I hollered to Madman, grabbed the camera, pulled on boots, and bolted out the door.
Up in the pasture, on the other side of the shelter, I saw Onyx with a lamb beside her.  Wait, there were two lambs!!

We'd been joking that she was sure to twin, since she was as big as a house...

But then I realized I could still hear a lamb bleating - and it wasn't either of the ones I could see.

I walked back to the shelter, and found another lamb.

Holy shit!  Triplets!!!

 Now, I know I probably shouldn't pick favorites, but this one...

 We haven't determined sexes, yet, though the biggest one is a ram.  (You can't check private bits easily while you're madly clicking pictures.  And they're still new enough that they're a little slimy...)
I'll check later and report back.  I'm hoping the spotty one is a ewe.

So, our flock just about doubled itself overnight. 
Holy crap!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Onyx is behaving oddly, even for Onyx...

When I went out to feed the sheep this morning, I came up one short.  While Goldie, Merlin, and Orion were happily munching on hay, I went and peeked into their shelter and found Onyx standing with her face in the corner.  She didn't even come out for grain until the others had pretty much finished it off.  I hand-fed her a little, then she retreated to the shelter again.
Now given that she'd rather stand outdoors through every kind of weather than go inside, and that she's never missed a meal in her life, I'd call that downright odd.
No lamb yet, but she's got the beginnings of a crazed look in her eye...
I'll keep checking on her today.  And tomorrow.  And for however long it takes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I rejected several titles for this post...

Sheep Groping, for Fun and Profit
Copping a Feel, Wooly-style
Udder Nonsense

Actually, that last one would have worked, without drawing a lot of really weird internet searches.  (Or searchers.)

Anyway, I finally got a chance to grope Onyx while she was eating this morning.  (She is very single-minded about her eating, once she gets rolling.)  There's definite swelling in the udder - 'making bag' is the technical term - so we could be looking for lamb anytime between now and two weeks from now.  (It's not a scientific process.  And every ewe is different.)

Still can't get close enough to Goldie, though.  Every time I sidle up to her, she gives me a Look and shuffles around to face me, so I can't get up to no good. 
But since Orion managed to nail Miss Onyx, I'm pretty sure he got Goldie, too...

So, all you folks who guessed April dates, get ready!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I'm seriously ticked...

I got home from work just now and found several emails from friends asking if I had deleted my blog.


I clicked on my bookmark to check.  Yep, blog no longer available.


So I logged onto Blogger to try to access it from there, and was told that my blog had been deleted.  But wait - if your blog has mysteriously disappeared, there's help available.
The 'help' was a message that there had been unusual activity on my blog, and Google just needed my mobile number so they could send me a text that would 'verify' me.
Okay.  That sounds like extortion to me.  "Give us your phone number and we'll give you your blog back".
Now, both Google and Yahoo have been trying forever to get me to 'add my mobile number' to my account.  (Oh so many benefits would be mine if I did so.  Benefits that don't interest me in the slightest, but they just don't get that.)
But I don't want them to have my number.  The only ones who have my number are my employers and my family.  Even my friends don't have my number.  My number is MY number.

So, I had to weigh my options.  Give them the number or lose 4+ years of work.  You can see by the fact that I'm posting (and that you can see it) that I caved in.

But I am seriously seriously pissed.

Friday, April 6, 2012


If I could find a pair of size 5 needles, I'd so be casting on for this. 
With this:
From here.

Oh, wait.  I found a pair of size 4s.  Close enough...