Sunday, January 30, 2011

Loss

 Loss.  Another loss.  Two pregnancies in a row for my female.  She has yet to carry a cria to full term. Last year she miscarried at six months and this year at seven months.  Her fetus ( as shown in these photos) had developed quite a bit but her body rejected it.  We bred her to a different male but that didn't make a difference.  Since it's Winter here in Michigan, we will have to wait until Spring to take her back to the farm where we are purchasing her from so they can work with her.  Obviously, two aborted pregnancies at about the same stage of development means that there must be some reproductive issues.

She is such a loving Alpaca.  Her disposition is good and she eats well.  I've given her everything she needs to be a healthy Alpaca yet...she has not been able to keep a pregnancy full term.  I'm sad.  How do you build a breeding program when one of your three females can't carry a cria full term?  It's frustrating.  I've included the photos because I want you to see what I saw.  Of course, I have moved it from the barn to a shovel outside because of our barn cat.  I assume she aborted late at night or early in morning since all was well when we checked the barn around dinner time the night before.  I instinctively knew who had lost the pregnancy so I went to lift her tail first.  Yup!  No need to investigate further.  This is not what I expected to find when going out to the barn this weekend for chores. 
This is a part of being a farmer though.  It's not the fun part.  I don't think this cria was developing properly.  I've been looking through my Alpaca books for a good color photo of fetus development.  Was there something wrong with this fetus?  Why the miscarriage?

I wonder what goes through an Alpacas mind when they abort a pregnancy.  Do they feel sadness?  Do they get depressed?  She just stood there looking at me when I went back to the barn later in the day.  Her eyes, so beautiful, just stared at me.  I walked up to her and she gave me her sniff kisses then she walked back to the other girls and started eating more hay.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday - June in January

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Each week Fiber Artists from around the world meet here to share their adventures in Fiber Arts.  So...what are you waiting for?  Link your Fiber Arts Blog in and share in the fun.  If you visit, please leave a comment.  We bloggers crave comments and followers.

This week we celebrated June in January here in Battle Creek.  What?  Your calendar doesn't have it on there?  Well, too bad because at Your Local Yarn Shop we celebrated the union of two of our favorite local fiber artists. Pattern Writer and Knit Doctor Extraordinaire, KellyJ, and one of our favorite dyers, Jill June of Studio June, have collaborated for Kelly's newest pattern, Winter's Rhythm using Jill's gorgeous hand dyed Squishy Soft Worsted Yarn.  They debuted the new pattern and yarn colors with a special discount for shoppers who attended the event on Wednesday evening.  I, of course, made a bee line for the store straight from work and was greeted by a yarn shop packed full of many friendly faces all eager to check out Jill's new colors and Kelly's amazing pattern.  Wait!  Did you say it's not fair that you don't live locally or just plain weren't able to make the event?  Don't worry because they are so awesome that they are letting you purchase the kit at the grand opening discount through February 5th through this link - Winter's Rhythm Kit.  Oh yeah, there is going to be a KAL (Knit A Long) for this Caplet too.  Really, if you aren't on Ravelry, you had better be because we have lots of buzz going on over there.  I plan to participate in this KAL and I am very excited for it to begin in a month.  Argh!  A month?  That's like...a month away. 
I decided to grab the Avocado and Burgundy yarn for my project.  Look how sassy that Avocado looks.  Ok, how awesome it looks on me.  Really, I do rock those colors, don't I?  We'll find out soon because the KAL starts in March and I plan to be at the yarn shop every Friday cranking away on my caplet.

I wanted to finish my sweater that I blogged about last week.  You remember, Baby in the Corner.  Well, Baby has been getting a bit of TLC this week and I've managed to get two to four rows knitted a day. Ok, that's not a lot but really it is.  There is a lot of stitches in one row plus I'm trying to eat and catch up on internet during the one hour I get for lunch at work.  I made a few calculations and this is how long I figure it's going to take to finish Baby.  I've knitted about six inches from the armpit.  My favorite sweater that I'm using as a guideline is 17 inches from the armpit which means that I have 11 inches to go.  Now...my knitting gauge is about five rows per inch which means that I need about 55 rows (give or take).  That being said, at the rate I'm knitting (not including any possible evening or weekend knit time) I should reach the bottom in about...a month?  Also, I've knitted almost five of those six inches in the last two weeks.  As a disclaimer, all of my math skills are from Homer, Michigan and I will leave it at that.  So...knowing that I will knit on my sweater more than just at lunch, I predict I may possibly get my sweater done before I start the Winter's Rhythm.  Maybe?  Ok, I will!  Whew!  As usual, I've been a busy gal.  Do I still live up to the name, Wonder Why Gal?  I had better!  Stay tuned for next week because I am meeting up with a few of my local fiber friends this Sunday for our first Rigid Heddle Weaving Study Group so I'll have some weaving to share.  Now share your adventures in Fiber Arts!

Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs:




Thursday, January 27, 2011

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program...

I haven't touched my camera since last Friday.  My blog posts have been scarce too.  My life has been interrupted by work.  Argh!  It's frustrating not to write when you want to write, knit when you want to knit, enjoy barn chores and work on fiber prep.  All the things I love most in life...and I'm in an office working.   

It's not all bad though because even in my training period  I've already helped lots of clients and I turned in my first time card yesterday which means next week I receive my first paycheck.  My paperwork is turned in so that health benefits will start for my family in a month (which was the whole motivation to get the office job) and I have a nice group of nurses and office people to work with.  I am still adjusting to the 8-5 work schedule but I am no longer coming home exhausted. 

The last couple of nights we had evening activities and tonight after work I actually get to come home for barn chores.  I am excited to relieve Grumpy from night time chores tonight.  I miss my Alpaca herd.  I miss the barn chores.  I miss the smell of hay and even the Alpaca Poo.  The daylight hours are already getting longer and soon I won't be going out to the barn with a flashlight.

I've found my silver lining and I've found my positive mojo.  Any sadness or depression that I fought over the last few months is slowly subsiding. Yes, I do have to catch myself when those moments appear but those thoughts are fewer than the happy ones.  I'm learning not to suppress them which is a difficult task.  I am learning to face those negative thoughts head on so that they go away instead of eating away at me.  For the first time (since maybe before my Dad died) I have been waking up just before my alarm goes off with pep and a bounce.  I am ready to enjoy the day and find new challenges.  My doctor's office contacted me this week too and instructed me to lower my thyroid medicine.  This means that my thyroid is starting to finally correct itself.  This is really good news.

I'm going to be great!  I'm already awesome!  Yes, my life has changed but this change is good.  Here I am at 6am already dressed for work.  Not in my favorite blue jeans and sassy t-shirt but in nice dress slacks and blouse. My lunch is packed with healthy food and I have my knitting for lunchtime enjoyment.  Today will be  a good day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Honey, I'm Home!

This last week I started a new job.  It's the first time I've worked in a traditional office with traditional hours (8am-5pm) in eleven years.  It's been quite the adjustment for me and the whole family along with the Alpacas.  Although I enjoy my new job, I miss the freedom of my old schedule.  I miss the amount of time I was able to devote to my fiber arts and to my herd.  I know once I get acclimated to this new schedule, I will have more energy in the evenings but this last week I came home exhausted.

My new position is at the Calhoun County Health Department as a Program Clerk.  I can't say too much about my job because of all the client confidentiality.  I work closely with nurses and patients dealing with immunizations and sexually transmitted diseases along with the people who test our schools for vision and hearing.  I won't be blogging much about my office or what happens at work because of this and that's fine because this blog is about fiber arts and Alpacas.. 

Grumpy helped me get caught up on barn chores Saturday morning.  We both have a lot of adjustments to make with my new work schedule.  He is now running our other business all by himself (and this was a busy week, of course) plus making sure the kids get to and from school (we are school of choice so no bus) along with feeding and watering the Alpaca herd in the morning.  We've decided to scoop poo in the evening when I get home from work but this last week...exhausted.  We paid for it Saturday.  The herd is used to a tidy barn and they made us work hard to clean it back up plus with freezing temps (below 0) it was very difficult to scoop. Well, it's all tidy and ready for week two at the new job.

Today, I went out before our dinner since Grumpy was in charge of cooking tonight and I checked their water and hay then I sat down on a bale in the girls area and just visited.  They were more receptive to me than the boys.  I got lots of kisses and sniffs from my favorite girls and Sexy Rexy.  I talked with them for quite awhile and our barn cat, Friend, even decided he needed in on the love so he curled up on my lap and the Alpacas sniffed him for a bit too.  I didn't realize how much time I spend each week or even each day out in my barn until I wasn't able to this week.  They really seemed to miss me. I know I missed them. I talked about them so much at work.  My office already has photos of my Alpacas...and the Bears hanging up. 

I will have to work better at my time management which has been very lax for quite some time.  Now only do I have my "day" job which will provide our family with much needed health benefits but I have my real and true job that I am totally passionate about...my farm.  My farm will be successful!  My farm will sell amazing Alpacas that are born here on the farm!  My farm will produce amazing fleece which will be processed into delightful roving and yarn to sell!  I am still working on my Certified Sorting but the cold temps have put a slight hold on that.  I will be busy on the weekends sorting once it warms up.  I will have to devote certain days/evenings a week to dyeing, carding, spinning, etc. on top of my daily barn chores and family time. 

Yes, family time.  The Bears are adjusting well to the big change.  Grumpy is a wonderful father and husband and he is making sure meals are made and the Bears are getting their homework done.  We are Team Morrison and we'll work together to get everything done.  The only ones who are really having an issue with me being gone all day are our two miniature schnauzers, Munchkin and Lego.  They  are super clingy and won't leave my side at night.  Little Stinkers.

It's a big change but...I think our family is ready for a change. Regardless, we are changing.  I'm just glad that daylight is already starting to stick around longer so when I get home from work I can actually see the Alpacas outside.  Oh, yeah, this also means I won't be blogging as much either.  Yes, my internet access has been limited...and apparently the sky didn't fall.  Go figure.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday - Time Out

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Each week Fiber Artists meet here to share their adventures in Fiber Arts.  This week I'm going to share my adventures in weaving plus the progress of the sweater I've been knitting.  For the last four months it's been in time out.  What?  A sweater that get's put in time out? What on earth did it do? Read on to find out more.

First of all, I finished the first of two fabric strips that I am weaving for my Rigid Heddle Study Group created over at the Wonder Why Alpaca Farm Ravelry Group.  Although many of us own Cricket Looms, it's open to anyone with a Rigid Heddle Loom.  This month, for our first meetup, we decided to follow the instructions inspired by the Don's Delis Blog and created a woven bag.  I am making one for myself and one for my daughter plus I want to make one for my pal, Holly.  She is one awesome lady who is constantly giving and deserves a special gift for all the wonderful she does plus now that we are both working, we never get to see each other anymore and I miss her something terrible.  We meet next Sunday to assemble our bags so I have plenty of time to get at least one more fabric piece woven but I'm not sure about the other.  That's ok though...they will all get done in due time.

I've been doing some research on what to use when carrying your Cricket Loom from place to place and the talk in the Cricket Club Ravelry Group suggested that the Land's End Large Tote was the best.  I went a step further and got the tote with the zippered top and had it personalized.  Now I can safely travel with my loom and supplies and everyone will know that it belongs to the Wonder Why Gal.  I am really digging the weaving.  Yes, warping the loom can be tedious but once that is done the fun begins.  So far I've been keeping my weaving pretty basic and just using colorwork to change the look of my weaving.  After this bag project I intend to start working on various weaving techniques.  There is so much that can be done with a rigid heddle loom.  Don't worry, I'll be sharing those adventures with you too.

I started a new job this week.  It's the first time that I've worked in a traditional office in many years.  I have to get used to the 8-5 work day and only having an hour for lunch.  Instead of starting a new project for lunchtime knitting,  I decided that I should take my sweater (started back in August) out of time out.  It wasn't bad and it wasn't being punished, I just wasn't feeling the love and with all the work that goes into knitting a sweater, I wanted to give it my best effort so it's been in a corner (Maybe I should rename it Baby, In the Corner --Ok, I'm dating myself with a Dirty Dancing reference) patiently waiting for me to work on it because, of course, no one puts Baby in the corner.  Since last Saturday I've knitted about two inches.  Not too shabby for only working on it at lunch time.  You don't realize how long it takes to eat a packed lunch until you also try to find knitting and internet time into that hour too.

I've been exhausted coming home from work getting adjusted to the new schedule so hopefully next week I can start spinning or weaving in the evenings again.  My weekends will be full of barn chores, fiber sorting and more fiber arts.  I'll have a lot of work to squeeze into my weekends to maintain my farm's productivity for sales and service but hey, I am the Wonder Why Gal so I can do it and even though I have a "day job", I am still committed to making my farm successful. It just will take a wee bit more discipline with my time management.  Now, if all that didn't exhaust you, please share your adventures in Fiber Arts this week.

Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival!

To participate:

  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Pasture Sentry

Some Alpaca farms have guard dogs while others have Llamas to protect their herd.  We have Friend.  This cat has saved our herd from countless mice, chipmunks, rabbits and frogs.  He also herds the chickens into their coop each day.
Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Andy's Toys

The Bears wanted to watch Toy Story 3, again, and they didn't have to twist my arm too much to get me to watch it with them.  I've always enjoyed the Pixar movies and the little girl inside of me always secretly wished that my toys would come to life when I wasn't looking.  The people who wrote these movies really did an excellent job of taking you back to the age of make believe.

Grumpy and I love to listen to Brother Bear play in his room with all of his Transformers, cars, etc. and make the explosion noises and speak the "toy talk".  Sister Bear is already growing out of it (which at ten years old, I hadn't yet) and I know it won't be long and Brother Bear will replace those beloved toys with car keys, sports and girls.  I don't want my Bears to grow up but...they are.

I get nostalgic when I watch the Toy Story movies because I was that child who had her room set up in a make believe world where her toys came to life.  Those toys were my friends much like the ones in the movie are to Andy. As I grew older, I got rid of many toys but I kept those that I loved the most including all of my Barbie dolls and their clothes, my Cabbage Patch dolls, my Glamour Girls and my Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  As a collector they aren't worth any money because they were well loved and played with.  I kept them because one day I would have a little girl who would enjoy them and she did.  Now, some of those toys are making their way to my nieces or being kept in a box for children who visit our farm to play with.  I wonder if my toys were happy when I took them out of the box after being packed away for years so that my kids would play with them.  Grumpy saved all of his Star Wars toys and Brother Bear cherishes them.

In an age where every kid wants the newest toy, I am glad that my kids are enjoying the toys that I grew up loving. It's funny to see Brother Bear play with a new Star Wars action figure and have it team up with one that Grumpy played with as a boy.  Sister Bear has played with her My Little Ponys right along side mine (which were stamped with Patent Pending because they were the original, YIKES!)   Now I know that the message of Toy Story 3 is not about just throwing away toys, it's about friendship.  When I watch it, I remember what great friends those old toys of mine were to me.  I guess they will forever be Andy's toys. (Yeah, how awesome is it that I'm an Andy too)

Now, to enjoy a morning of knitting while my kids play with their favorite toys.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday - Tink or Tear

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Once a week Fiber Artists from around the world join in to share their adventures in Fiber Arts so...join in the fun!  What are you waiting for?  Knitting, Spinning, Crochet, Weaving, Sewing, Quilting, Felting...the possibilities of Fiber Arts are endless so let's begin!

This week I'm going to share with you a dilemma that many knitters face when they have screwed up a pattern.  Do you tink (knit backwards - really it spells knit backwards) or do you simply tear the whole project apart or back it to a certain point?  Well, I will do neither. I have a thing about never tinking back.  bahahaha Yes, I have decided that my knitting will forever have my artistic mark of going with the flow which includes mistakes, um, unique marks. Well, what I have neglected to tell you is that I don't have a problem with someone else tinking or tearing back for me.  Yes, it's always less painful when you have someone else take apart the knitting you have worked so hard on.  Also, I have more projects that are done correctly than not.  It's just that those not so correct ones are the ones I talk about because there is always a good story.  Perfect means no story because it was done right, eh?  Oh, now the lightbulb goes on, tehehe.

This week I let KellyJ at Your Local Yarn Shop tear out a decent amount of my cowl that I've been knitting.  This was after Melissa helped tink back a section of it two days prior to change the needle size.  I decided that I would come up with my own pattern of sorts by loosely following other patterns but missing one major component...gauge.  Yes, I decided to use a bulky yarn instead of a worsted weight and used a larger size needle than the pattern I was looking at as a reference for the cast on of stitches.  I was good with that because I wanted a looser knit around the arms.  Where I failed was in the decrease.  The cowl just fell right off of me so Kelly tore back enough so that I could compensate for gauge and give it some hefty decreases.  She then suggested that when I get home to put it on scrap yarn and check the decreases before I put my final ribbing in and bind off.  That makes sense, eh? What would make even more sense is knitting a gauge swatch in the future but hey, that would require actually thought and I do like to just go with the flow.


Well, I also didn't think about the fact that I was knitting with Alpaca and Wool, primarily Alpaca (I used Misty Alpaca yarn and Bear Mountain wool).  This cowl is heavy but heavenly and it will keep me warm, which is what I want.  This is what I didn't think about...the growing factor.  When I put it on scrap yarn it fitted like I wanted it to but once I finished it and blocked it...it had grew...again.  Where did my decreases go? Now there is no one here at the farm who will tink or tear for me nor did I want to knit that cowl anymore but there was an easy 4 inches of width that I didn't want.  I was done knitting so...I got creative.  I'm rather please with the results.  I don't know if other knitters would be but it's my cowl and I will be the one wearing it. I folded the cowl and realized I could easily lose another four inches along the whole length so...I did.  I got some yarn out and started my crappy sewing job then added some cute buttons to draw your eyes away from my crappy sewing (really, my grandmother would be spitting fits if she saw the backside of my buttons).  It really is cute...who knew?  So I present the Cowl of Wonder and who better to wear it than the Wonder Why Gal. Oh, my next project?  I will be following (to the T) a KellyJ Key to Warmth Cowl because after this adventure in gauge madness, I want to follow a pattern I know is going to work the first time through. Now what fun adventures in fiber arts have you had this week? 

 Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival!

To participate:

  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Gone South for Winter

I was walking back to the house from the Alpaca barn when I spotted this bird's nest and I realized that although it's only the beginning of January, the beautiful birds will begin to fly back to Michigan in just a few of months. I wonder if they will reuse this nest.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekend of Wonder

Whew!  What an amazing weekend here on the farm.  We started with a few inches of snow that came in quite quickly on Friday and aided in the decision to make this weekend about being lazy yet productive.  The majority of my weekend was spent in my pajamas knitting, spinning and weaving.  I know, I should have been working on taxes or some other important paperwork but the call of yarn was too great. 


I had originally warped our new Cricket Loom for the Bears to practice weaving on but they quickly got bored so I took over then, of course, it looked like fun so then Sister Bear would take over for a bit before finding something more exciting to do which left me alone with the Cricket.  Before I knew it, an afternoon of weaving had passed and a scarf that is about 10 feet long (yeah, I said I warped a long practice scarf) was created.  I decided that I would create 12 charity projects this year.  That's a project a month.  Well, here we are on Day 9 of the year and I've already made two scarves which I will donate.  How is that for being industrious?

I also created a lovely yarn blending my Suri Alpaca with a Yarn Hollow Merino/Bamboo blend. I'll have pictures of that later.  At some point Grumpy took the Bears outside and opened up the back pastures where they hooked the sled on to the tractor for some fun snow play.  Where was I?  Snug in my jammies knitting away.  Oh, I did make my way out to the barn each day for chores but it was cold out so anytime I could stay under my favorite blanket enjoying my fiber arts, I did.
Today we woke up to sunshine and a wonderful article in the Battle Creek Enquirer called  

Check out the link, I made it nice and big so you know what to click on. Earlier in the week, a reporter and photographer came to visit the farm to learn about fiber arts and Alpacas which I gladly shared.  Enjoying my coffee while reading the newspaper was extra wonderful this morning.  The Bears loved seeing their mom in print.

Just a bit ago, Grumpy commented that he didn't get much done this weekend.  I looked around at my happy family who enjoyed together time, a spinning wheel ready to ply yarn, a brand new yarn already plyed along with an amazing scarf I managed to weave in one weekend and a wee bit more knitting done on my cowl plus as I looked out the window, I saw a gorgeous view of my Alpaca herd healthy and content.  By the way, the photos of the Chickens of Wonder, the Alpacas and our barn cat, Friend, were all taken this weekend.  Even with the cold temperature and snow, the animals all were outside enjoying the sunshine and I couldn't resist taking a few photos.  It truly was a gorgeous weekend.  I managed to have a lazy weekend while getting a lot accomplished.  I hope you enjoyed your weekend too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday -

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Once a week Fiber Artists from around the world join in to share their adventures in Fiber Arts so...join in the fun!  What are you waiting for?  Knitting, Spinning, Crochet, Weaving, Sewing, Quilting, Felting...the possibilities of Fiber Arts are endless so let's begin!

This week I've been busy with a wee bit of everything related to fiber arts.  I have to admit that there is a bit of longing for the challenge of a deadline.  I met all of my Christmas gift deadlines except one which I finished before the end of 2010.  Now I look around my house, which is temporarily clean due to the Christmas decorations being taken down, and survey the new projects I have started for 2011.  First on the agenda was to spin.  I have already filled a few bobbins on Frodo that are ready to ply.  I need to start restocking my farm store because I sold out of almost all of my handspun yarn.

I spent New Year's Eve weaving a scarf on the new Cricket Loom that Santa brought the family then spent New Year's Day warping it for the Bears to weave.  As you can see, they haven't gotten too far and I'm itching to tear out their work and start over.  We attempted to use some yarn I bought last year for a charity knit and it's very sticky which makes weaving a bit more difficult so you can imagine why I didn't want to knit with it either.  I have been talking with a few people in our area and it looks like we will be starting a Rigid Heddle Study Group.  For more information, you can visit the Wonder Why Alpaca Farm Group on Ravelry.  We are currently deciding on dates, time and projects to weave.  Hooray!

Finally, after all of the enjoyment of knitting my Aunt's cowl I decided I wanted to knit another one for myself but in my favorite colors of orange, brown, red and gray.  I'm not following a pattern which is actually fun so we'll see how it turns out in the next few weeks.  I am using some Misty Alpaca Yarn that I bought at Your Local Yarn Shop along with some Bear Creek Bulky Wool Yarn.  I wanted to use a bulky yarn and I didn't have any yarns that I spun in the right quantity or color of bulky to make this and these colors were exactly what I wanted.  We'll see as I keep going.  After I complete this (ok, I'm starting the year off with one project at a time,bahaha) I plan to take my sweater out of its time out and maybe start a pair of socks.  2011 is about being positive, productive and full of wonderful possibility so...there is no limit to what I will create this year.  Now, what were your adventures in Fiber Arts this week?

 Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival!

To participate:

  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
  1. Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  2. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Defying Gravity

I'm through accepting limits
'Cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know.
-Elphaba, Act I; Scene 14
Wicked, The Musical

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
Mine will be Defying Gravity.





Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sigh!

I wrote a post then didn't post it.
I wrote another post then thought better to post it.
This self-monitoring is awful but supposedly it's also a sign of growth...so I'm told.


All I have to say is, if you say it then mean it and act upon it; don't just say it to make yourself feel better because it doesn't help the other person.

I'm going to attempt the "some things are better left unsaid..."

There, that's my cryptic post. Do I feel better?  No!  Argh!

Sigh...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Weave in the New Year!

I spent the last day of 2010 at Your Local Yarn Shop which is my favorite yarn store with friends learning to weave and enjoying the morning's thunderstorm because here in Michigan you can never plan on the weather.  Who knew that we would have 50 degree weather with lightning and a downpour of rain instead of fluffy white snow on December 31?  Well, if you live in Michigan you probably had a good idea that this would be a possibility.

Santa brought our family a Cricket Loom after I sent a request asking for one.  It's amazing how quickly he responded once the check cleared.  Anyways, we waited until Christmas to put the loom together and prepare to warp it.  That's where the trouble began.  It forced me to read instructions, bahahaha, and I was very confused. On top of that, my internet service decided to go wonky.  After a few days of internet tinkering and attempting to get help via my cell phone, I got major help from the Cricket Club over on Ravelry.  Apparently I'm not the only person who has had issues with the instructions (thankfully, because I was really starting to doubt my sanity) and they quickly came to my aid.  I got my loom warped and started to weave.  Well, I was still off just a wee bit but my friend Terry came to the rescue and within minutes I was weaving.  Here's where you ask, "Whose gift was this?"  Oh yeah, it's for the whole family but I get my turn first.

Upon returning home I found my bears playing the Wii so...I kept on weaving.  It wasn't long and I had created my very first woven scarf and my final fiber arts project of 2010.  Hooray!  I intend to use my first few scarves as part of my contribution to the Kalamazoo Deacons Conference Kazoo Yarnies Contribution.  Did you see the article about my friend Beth?  Well here it is. Kazoo Yarnies Give  I am very happy to know that some of my knitted goodies found their way to homes that needed them this year and Beth has created a fun way to bring knitters and knitted goods together to help others.


So...how did I spend Day One of 2011?  Well, It started with ringing in the New Year with Sister Bear.  We had a slumber party in the living.  Grumpy wanted to hunt the last day of hunting season so he planned up getting up early and after Brother Bear learned that a ball didn't literally drop in the front yard, he stormed into his room for the evening.  We woke to Sister Bear frying us Eggs of Wonder and gluten-free pancakes that I made.  I spent my day with my family taking down the Christmas decorations, playing games, watching movies, scooping poo (we had the perfect blend of rain, wind and sun to get some deep mid-winter cleaning done a wee bit early at the barn) and finally re-warping the loom.

For my first few woven projects I'm using what we call Charity Yarn.  It's always machine washable and usually inexpensive.  I have already decided that the acrylic yarn I am using is awful but it's warped and I'm not turning back so this new project will take a wee bit longer because it's "stickier" than the wool I used for my first project.  Of course, it's still better than knitting with the yarn.  Yes, I'm a yarn snob. I'm spoiled and I should be.  I have 21 reasons to be spoiled grazing (ok, right now huddled under the overhang of the barn) in the pasture that make unbelievable yarn to knit with.   As I get better with my weaving, I shall use my own Alpaca yarn but there is a lot to learn.

I joined the Weavers Guild of Kalamazoo this last fall and intend to participate in their education programs and study groups.  Currently they don't have a rigid heddle group so Terry and I intend to start one. Our goal is to take different techniques and master them each month. It's always more fun when you learn with other people so I am excited about this. 

I'm not making any true New Year's Resolutions because those typically are never kept but I am starting the year off with a new mantra,  This year will be positive, productive and full of wonderful possibilities!  I plan to say this every day and more importantly, I intend to live it. 

Happy New Year to everyone!  Now...since it's cold again (Yes, that darn unpredictable Michigan weather) I am going to work on my newly found weaving skills.