Whether you are a fellow fiber artist, enthusiast or just an admirer, walk along and talk with me on my journey.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Have we talked about Yaks yet.... ::grin::

It's putting a smile on my face to even think about them. But I'll back up and give a little history.  In 1992,  I began raising sheep.  They were part of my fiber philosophy-I wanted to raise my own wool and process it myself right from the beginning-and I did.  My little darlings multiplied like rabbits and soon, I had wool coming out my ears.  I sold it, spun it, processed it, dyed it, wove it, felted it and knitted it!  Hence my title of "Shepherdess".

Nearly 22 years have passed since then.  One by one, due to their age or various illnesses, my sweet sheep have all left me.  Lulabelle, my last remaining sheep, passed away over a year ago.  Do I miss her!  :/  Chip the horse misses her too.  They were buddies.  But I digress... 

Ruthie (front) and Lulabelle (rear)

Yaks are hauntingly beautiful creatures.  Their fiber is fine, soft, quite expensive to purchase and dreamy to spin..  Secretly,  I've longed to have my very own Yak.  But I imagined they were cumbersome and ornery creatures.  A couple years ago, I found an article in Country Woman magazine that lead me to believe none of the above is true!  A female Yak is approximately 4 to 4-1/2 feet tall.   They are reported to have sweet and gentle personalities.  They don't appear to eat much either.  This is yet another fine quality in a fiber animal!

Ohhhh I want her!

The fiber from this soft and beautiful creature can be gently plucked or combed.  They are very bovine-like  in their care and feeding.  I have read Yaks are efficient at browsing scrubby pasture and basically prefer it.  Sounds like a winner to me.  I can't wait to have one!  Although, I'm sure I'll have to. Yaks are not inexpensive...  But when I do have one, think of all the Yak jokes you can send me! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pioneer Woman... Book review?? lol

I hadn't been a fan of Pioneer Woman-Ree Drummond, only because I didn't know that much about her.  My wonderful sister gave me a copy of "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" for Mother's Day. This book is the story of how she met the infamous Marlboro Man and how their relationship developed.  I had heard a little bit about her husband "Marlboro Man"  and was curious to know the rest of the story.

For those of you who might not be familiar with The Pioneer Woman (yeah right), she is a blogger who has been entertaining readers since 2006 with her stories of  transition from city life to a rancher's life and all the recipes that go along with it. 

I began reading this book and could not put it down.  My eyes blurred and teared (from weariness and laughter).  I read every available moment.  I seldom devour books like this anymore. I think it has something to do with the 3 children my husband and I are raising...At any rate, I finished my book shortly after receiving it. I loved it.  Every word. I even spent a few days in a mini-funk because I was done living in Ree and Marlboro Man world. We actually had quite a bit in common.

If ever I could recommend a book that would make a person feel good-even though there are a few parts that aren't happy, this would be the one.  As I would read into the night next to my snoring husband, I could even overlook the 100 decibel snores emanating from his head.  I could do this because Ree's book made me remember the reasons why I fell in love with him in the first place. 

I even made her Chicken Spaghetti recipe (from the back of the book).  It's comfort food and I really needed some last week.  It was yummy.  Thanks Ree.

If you have the chance, I highly recommend "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels".  It's one I know I will go back and read again and again. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's done, it's done, it's done! :)

After several months of knitting in seed stitch, my Great Niece's coat is finished!  This sweet little coat was to be one of her Christmas presents.  But it took this semi-experienced knitter, nearly 7 months to complete!  I didn't knit my every waking moment on it's completion.  There were several stops along the way attempting to decipher the instructions for button holes and the collar.  Both were ambiguous...to say the very least.  Fortunately, with the help of the experienced knitters around me, I finally finished it.  In the photo, the coat is  hanging on an adult size hanger and makes it appear disproportionate.  The coat is really a 24 month size and will hopefully fit my adorable little Great Niece for a very long time!

 I cannot wait to see "E" in her new coat! :)

I love these beautiful little buttons purchased at Enchanted Yarn and Fiber. At the time, they were in Russellville, Kentucky and have since moved and opened a lovely store in Sango (Clarksville), Tennessee.  The yarn is a Merino, Alpaca and Donegal Tweed blend in "Lemon Curd". (Mmm...the yarn was' purchased' and not spun by me, as I wanted a specific color and fiber blend).  I used ivory buttons and velvet ribbon.  I'm so pleased with this little coat.  I stepped outside my normal range of garments; mittens, hats, socks, scarves, etc., when I began this project.  Some parts were difficult, because of the poorly written pattern.  But overall, I'm very glad I trudged through it all.  Step outside your fiber or other comfort zone once in a while and see where it takes you.  You might be pleasantly surprised!