Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Not sure what else to say, other than: here is the first sleeve.
Obviously an unblocked sleeve. And it is upside down--the cuff is at the top. although this looks like a cool fin, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Interesting Day

Yesterday I went to Aragon Alpacas to 'help' with Atom's gelding.

Atom is six and hadn't been gelded. His fiber is quite nice but it isn't 'breeding' quality. When I moved him to the new farm, he had to deal with an 'alpha' male who has been picking on him a bit. This is somewhat normal alpaca behavior--but Ann, Atom's stepmom (she owns the farm), also noted that he still had his 'fighting teeth.'

Here is what they are (from the Alpaca Farm Girl site): "Male alpacas get what are called “fighting teeth” at the back of their mouths on the sides. In the wild this is one of the only weapons alpaca males would have to fight each other for doiminance and the right to breed the females. It is customary to cut male alpaca’s fighting teeth, which are very sharp and pointy like a shark’s tooth, as they come in. These teeth come in as the males reaches sexual maturity.  If the alpaca has fighting teeth that need to be trimmed, we use obstetric wire and saw them off. The process takes a minute or two, and then your alpaca is “safe” and ready to go. Often this only has to be done once in a male’s lifetime. What happens if you don’t cut the fighting teeth? They can puncture a herdmate while fighting or “play” fighting. Adult alpaca males are generally housed together and spend some of their time neck wrestling and chasing each other around. This is something they do playfully, as well as seriously to establish dominance. Alpacas have distinct personalities and they have a pecking order and social roles."

So Ann let me know that Atom's fighting teeth needed cutting, and she also mentioned that it might be good to geld him as well. This will help calm him down, keep him from getting frisky among the girls,   his fiber will be nicer,  and his fighting teeth will stop growing.

So yesterday I went out to 'help', as Dr. Pat, a camelid vet, came out to do the deeds. He gave Atom a tranquilizer that gave him a half hour nap, and then he made an incision, took out what needed taking out, crushed what needed crushing, and sewed him up. Let's leave it at that. The whole process took about 10 minutes with almost no blood. I basically watched and worried about fainting. Then came the teeth. This was much harder for me! I held Atom's lips back while Dr. Pat used a coarse wire to grind the teeth off. It was something.

A minute or two after we finished, Atom woke up on his own, and about ten minutes later he stood up. Kind of amazing.

I also spent some time working on the Arkadian Ulla socks--they are really fun to do! The shadow wrap technique is pretty simple and looks good, and now I'm working on the leg of the first sock.

Tim comes home around dinner time! Yay!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Projects

How do you pick new projects?

Sometimes I see something on Ravelry or in a magazine and think "I have to knit that" and then find out I don't have yarn and then order yarn and then knit it--that happens maybe two or three times a year. If the yarn isn't fingering yarn, I tend to follow my gut. If the yarn is fingering...such as the cute sweater Akebia from the new Twist Collective but it calls for a LOT of fingering yarn and I don't think I have it in me to make a fingering yarn sweater.

Sometimes I get a hankering to knit something cables. I got that hankering the other day but didn't want to start on a cable sweater. So I did a search and found a pattern called Arkadian Ulla (it's on Rav) and started on that.

It has a bit of a different construction and uses some new techniques (shadow wrapped heel) and so it is a bit of a challenge. And I always have sock yarn available.

And finally--sometimes I get an email with an offer and I just go for it. Today I got an email and it had a beaded cowl kit on sale--so I ordered it...because I have a hankering for beading too.

Pilot is much better...still a little wonky in the netherregions but on the mend.

So that's me. How about you?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Catch Up

I'm not sure why I haven't blogged for a bit, I should have. Tim has been out of town so that means I usually have a lot of time to do stuff like blog. But somehow I've been very busy for the three days he's been gone. I've caught up with quite a bit of work, which is good. I've done a few things around the house and have a mind to do a few more, and that is good too. I've knit a lot:

Jeanie is starting to look like something.
And both fronts of Thorntower are done. I'm working on sleeves now.

Last night, Pilot for some reason got very sick--I think he ate something bad on one of our walks this weekend. He spent about an hour throwing up (unfortunately all over the house) and so that took a bit of cleaning up. This morning whatever had hit him moved down his system and he got me up at 5:30 am to go out. I cooked him some rice and chicken broth and gave him a pepcid. We took our walk and now he's relaxing.  I think he is OK but will keep an eye on him all day (I think the culprit might have been a rotten apple).

So what's up with you?

Friday, August 08, 2014

Friday Formatting

I've spent the last two hours formatting the references on a paper (but the good news is that a rough draft of the paper is done, and it was pulling teeth to get that out of me so I'm happy about that).

My head kind of hurts.

But I finished these guys.

Tim left today for a conference where he'll be for about a week (sad face) but lots of knitting will be done, I predict!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Jeanie Grows!

I found my 'jeanie rhythm' yesterday and grew this a little bit--unfortunately the needle is too short to stretch the whole thing out but you can tell that there's some cool cables and dropped stitches happening. I'm enjoying this knit a lot.