Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Charge It Please!

My Mum said the one thing she didn't like was carding the wool. A whole lot of effort and not a whole lot to show for it.

My last post I showed you the cleaning process. Which by the way, I found out last night in my class that I'm a little too zealous in my cleaning... I cleaned it so well there is no lanolin left. Some lanolin is good. Ahem. Oops. I can tell you with my kitchen smelling like a barnyard and my sink looking like a poo bath, I wasn't thinking about lanolin and preserving some. We're just lucky this isn't bleached wool....

So, here is my wool all dry and clean except for a bit of hay and grass seeds and...... no poo thank you very much.

Next step is to use this puppy. Looks like an evil torture device doesn't it?

There are two of them. One for each hand. This way I can comb Henny Penny's hair and one of her brothers at the same time in the morning. I'm all about multi tasking.....

You put your cleaned wool on one of these suckers. Those of you that are professional carders...... no mean comments please. I'm learning here! If I remember correctly, this is called, "charging the card". If you ask me, I like my way of charging the card better........

Going in the opposite direction with your other torture device you start to card away. The idea being you get all of the fibers going in the same direction and all the funky gunky out of your wool. That's the idea. Not sayin' that's what's happening here......

Pretty cool eh? My arms, shoulders, and muscles don't think so......

This is not a closeup of my wool. It's a closeup of the wood. That is some cool wood grain. Sorry, I got side tracked. It happens.

When you think you're done or you're just plain tired and your arms are begging for mercy you take the wool off of the little wires and this is what you end up with.

A whole lotta...... ummm...... well....... okay maybe not a lotta....... I begin to see what my Mum means.... Great. Chalk up another point for once again my Mum was right. I hate that! Well, unless it comes to The Native's and The SM. Then I'M always right.... it's a smug feeling.

After your wool is carded then you can do all sorts of things with it. You can dye it, you can start to spin it. This week we're learning to spin on a drop spindle before we learn to spin on a wheel. All I can say is name any war in history and it's got nothin' on what has been going on between me and this stupid spindle. I am bound and determined to conquer it though!

As for the carding...... I think Thomas Edison was brilliant when he invented electricity. They make electrical carding machines........ they're kinda pricey though so in the meantime, I'm building some killer muscles in my arms. By the time I'm finished with this venture, I will have mongoid muscles and will have dead on aim throwing the spindle.

The End.

P.S. The warped thing about this whole story... I'm actually enjoying this process....... now THAT'S scary.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

King Poo Sheep

I've been wanting to learn how to spin my own yarn for quite some time. Months ago, my sister brought me our mother's old spinning wheel so I could learn to spin on it. Go to this post to see a photo of the spinning wheel. I find the idea of learning how to spin on the same spinning wheel that my mother  learned to spin on romantic.  My mother bought a spinning wheel kit back in the 70's, sanded, stained, and put it together.

The idea of using this spinning wheel is romantic to me, what you are about to see, is not.

I signed up for a class, and my first one was yesterday afternoon. I was given a bag of sheep wool and told to clean it before our next class where I would then learn to card it. How hard can that be?

First, you pull out a chunk of wool and start to pull it apart a bit. I decided to do this outside as dirt, grass, hay, and who knows what else tends to fall out onto what ever surface you are on. I didn't want any of this on my kitchen table........

I'm pulling the wool apart here a bit. Separating the ends......

Aside from the disgusting poo, notice how yellow the wool is.  That is the lanolin.  After washing, I was told the wool would be white.  I was skeptical but, it really does turn white after he lanolin is melted out! 

I go to get some more wool and.... is that what I think it is?

Great! Just fabulous! My bag of wool apparently is the bum end of the deal and all that goes with it. Yup. That be poo. I am paying big bucks to learn how to pull poo off a sheeps bum wool.

After all of the wool is pulled apart and the poo taken care of, it is time to get the water in my sink as hot as I can possibly stand putting my hands into and I put the wool into the water. I am to walk away for 10-15 minutes. In that time, the natural oil on the wool called lanolin which holds onto all of the dirt, grass, poo, etc. etc. and more disgusting etc. will be melted off.

What in actuality happens is the water in your sink turns a putrid color of brown which looks like you are washing a bunch of horse poo instead of sheep wool and your kitchen/house smells like it too.

After the 10-15 minutes is up, you transfer your wool to another hot water bath that has a bit of soap in it. Let it again sit and then rinse your wool in another sink of hot water, and be amazed that what was once really disgusting and brown is surprisingly kind of white!

Do this a few times and then take your wool and set it out in the back yard on an old towel to dry making sure to fluff it here and there from time to time....

And that, my friends........ is how you wash sheeps wool right off the good ol' sheep itself. Next time..... I want the neck or body. Teach me for having to do a make up class and getting what was left. Talk about a bum deal!

P.S.  Yes, I did wash my sink after really really good and disinfected it.......

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Baby Girl Please!

Pattern for hoodie can be found here.

Now do you see why my niece has to have a baby girl???  Come on Mae Mae!  Auntie Madussa's  innards are dying for you to have a baby girl!!

I used Plymouth Encore DK sock yarn for this sweater. (Or jumper if you are Jenni.)

Wait until you see the leg warmers I'm making to go with!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at what is materializing on my knitting needles at the present moment. I couldn't resist when I saw a little sweater hoodie in a baby size. I love hoodies so when I saw this itty bitty thing,  can you all just say, "OHHHHHH"! with me?

I think my inner desire that is having a hard time letting go of this phase in my life is coming out with my knitting and selling of baby items.............

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Topaz. The end. Cuz It's Getting Creepy

Mr. B is into rock climbing.  He has been for over a year now and goes several times a week.  When ever he goes, I hold my breath and pray he comes home in one piece without his brains bashed in.

There is of course an easier way to climb up but...... being the climber that Mr. B is.......

Mr. M and Mr. T have found natural lazy boy recliners in the flow of the lava rock.

I think the rock swirls here at Mr. B's feet are cool looking.

He made it!  Feeling quite manly while he's at it I'm sure........

Mr. T wants a go of it while the rest of The Native's and The SM explore the top of the lava flow.  They took the more natural route up. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.................  Mr. M continues to kick back and eat cookies whilst the rest of the troops explore.  And this, is right when all photos of found topaz were forgotten to be taken because it was then, that I looked down the mountain and saw that our little white dog was hurt.  Badly.  I took off and yelled at The SM to help the little ones down as I was abandoning ship and jumping into troubled waters to rescue said white rat.

Yes, I call this dog the white rat.  I am holding her here as her poor little back leg is trembling, her heart is beating like sixty, and her eyes are rolling around in pain.  She'd walked through a fire ant pile and one had embedded itself in between the pads of her little paw and was biting her repeatedly.  I had to use tweezers to get the dang thing out.  Her little paw was bright red and she was in a great deal of pain. 

Thankfully, we brought our first aid kit with us so we had tweezers and some essential oils to put on the spot and then I rubbed her ears and face with lavender to help her relax and calm down.  It took her most of the trip home before her little heart beat started to slow down and her leg quit shaking.  By the time we got home a few hours later, she was able to walk on her leg, albeit a bit stiffly, and by the next morning she was fine.

So THAT is why there are no pictures of The Native's and their topaz finds and now for the creepy part.

I posted Part Two of this post and then and clicked over and read the news and this was the top headline for the day!!!  TOTALLY CREEPY!!!  Glad we only found topaz...........

The End!!  Thank goodness...........

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Topaz Mountain Part 2

After much climbing and searching, Mr. T made a find.

Not what we'd originally been looking for but a find never the less.

And then it was lost.

It was so funny watching Mr. T trying to find and catch lil' lizard on his back. Twisting this way and that like a puppy trying to catch his tail.

Mr. J wanted to hold it so it was transferred to his little hands where it promptly jumped off.

Recaptured, it was entertainment for quite some time for the little ones.

The SM cooking us some beef stew for lunch.

The SM is a pretty handy man to have around. He can not only cook us a yummy lunch butt he can also take care of what happens after lunch.

It's the law of physics don'cha know. The SM is good at dealing with the law of physics.

Lunch over with, The Native's went back to digging around. Mr. B said he'd found a big piece of topaz and it was going to take him awhile to dig it out.

I can see what he means........

Yup. It is going to take him a long time to dig it out.

At this rate, he'll be here all day and night! Nothing like a little after lunch siesta......

"Look at my cute little pet snake"! We hear Levi yell this to us. Both The SM and I yelled at him not to touch it. Mr. T jumped up and ran like sixty to Levi to make sure the snake wasn't a poisonous snake.

Not poisonous but disgusting all the same. Be proud of me for getting this close to get a shot of it. Shudder.......

The storm clouds move closer and closer....... the day starts to come to a close. The Native's load up all of their topaz they've found along with some sticks and a whole lot of dust and we begin the drive back home.

Happy day. The one thing I didn't get any photos of........ The Native's topaz.

I'm lame like that.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


When one has a cupcake hat...... one should have matching mittens don't you think?

Pattern for cupcake hat can be found here.

I'm in love with this set.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Topaz Part 1

Monday was a holiday here in America. Labor Day. A day in which if you ask The Native's, is a day in which we honor our mothers who labored to bring us into this world. I make no effort to educate them any differently.

The Native's didn't have any school and The SM had the day off from work. We loaded up in the truck and headed to a place called Topaz Mountain. Named thus because apparently, the mountain and surrounding area is made from lava and filled with topaz and other gemstones.

Food, hammers, chisels, screw drivers, anything you could pound into rock, and more food. Roger that. We're off!!

We found a nice secluded spot to picnic and park the truck. The Native's took off in several different directions. Mr. T and Mr. C took off up this hill just sure they'd find a gold mine of gemstones at the very tip top.

Mr. M and Mr. B took off and climbed this one. That tiny little yellow speck in the middle of the photo is Mr. B's shirt.

Mr. C and Mr. T have made it to the top. The only evidence is the two of them yelling random words out to the entire of state of Utah and laughing their heads off as it echoed back to them.

The SM showed Mr. J, Henny Penny, and Levi some rocks they could pound on close by so we could keep an eye on them.

The sound of all of these guys pounding rocks up this little draw sounded like gun shots going off echoing back and forth.

The rock in this area was fascinating to me. Such a dull grey color but nature put some blush on their faces to brighten things up a bit. It was an overcast day so the grey everywhere seemed all the more grey.

Mr. J hard at work.

Levi doing his best to crack the entire mountain in half.

Not a gemstone. Not even close. Warning! Do not pick up or move any rocks with your bare hands! A scorpion.

Henny Penny cracked me up. Her pink purse clutched in one hand and a hammer beating the tar out of rocks with the other.

If this doesn't describe my baby girl, I don't know what does.

Mr. M and Mr. B still hard at work on their side of the hill

Mr. T and Mr. C coming back down for some grub. Hiking up while yelling their heads off has made them hungry.

Levi is trying to split a rock in half.

This is actually pretty impressive for him. This requires fine motor skills so for him to hit the screw driver like this, I was proud of him! I just need to make sure he doesn't try this at home on things I don't want split in half!

NOT, the end........