Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weird Weather Photos and Thank You

Just after I posted my blog update this morning, I stepped to the back door to try to snap a few photos of how strange it looked outside - the fog was blowing around like sheets of rain and it looked like a giant spooky fog machine was at work. Here are the pictures, taken one right after the other...see how the fog closes in?

(The two bottom pictures are the exact same view and snapped just seconds apart!)
As I write this tonight, the temperature is 56 degrees and the fog is gone but it is raining again. I used several bales of straw throughout the barn's really wet. I also took delivery of 100 bales of hay this afternoon - lol - luckily, my nephew could back right up to the barn since the snow and ice had melted away!

I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who have left some very kind and encouraging comments on this blog the past few days. It's always nice to know that folks are reading and take the time the time to comment. I appreciate every one of those messages!

Presents or Presence?

Is it global warming? To date, here in Michigan, we have had record amounts of snowfall - one wintry mix after another. That's okay with me. I like snow. I love snow...and when its winter, I want there to be SNOW! And while we have had some days of wind chill in the frigid range, most have been pretty good days in the teens. A good winter, with good snow cover to insulate the ground and freezing temperatures to kill off yucky things that like to hibernate in mild winters. I am thankful we have not had to deal with the ice, and pray for friends and fellow farmers in the east who are coping with that situation.

This morning, as I write, the big picture window next to my computer desk is being pelted with rain...heavy, driving rain. I woke up this morning to flashes of lightning and claps of thunder. We are under a flood warning. It is so foggy I can barely see the barn. Every time the the sky is lit up by lightning, the mercury light that floods our yard goes dark and so for several seconds it is eerily dark outside the window. Rain. Thunderstorms actually, at the end of December. I like snow. I do not like rain in December.

Neither do the sheep. I think of my friend Lona and her family, who are scheduled to be shearing today.

We had a beautifully quiet Christmas,full of the joy and love of family. How about you? How did you celebrate? I know for some it can be a time of sadness. I thought a lot about the difference in what it means to have "presents" rather than the "presence" of our Lord at the Christmas celebration. He is always there, of course, but the difference is in whether we recognize it or not I suppose. This year, in a quiet and deeper way, I feel His presence. And I appreciate that so much more.

On the night before Christmas Eve, we were experiencing one of those beautiful snow falls, with fast flakes swirling all around. I was tired and went to bed early, only to wake up around 1 a.m. When I can't fall back to sleep, I always feel like it is such a waste of time to lay tossing and turning in the bed. I usually feel that this is a good time for prayer and I answered that call, getting up and putting on a small pot of French press coffee...yum! It is my habit, whenever I wake up and whatever time of year it is, to step out on the back porch to fill my lungs and clear my head with fresh air. When I did so this night, it was amazing. The snowfall was heavy and the world was silent. Well, silent from man-made noise. No car and truck noises from the nearby highway; no snowmobilers defiling the night with the whine of their irritating machines; no neighbors dogs barking...the noise was the silence of the snow fall and the swoosh of the wind stirring the large pine trees outside our bedroom window. As I stood breathing in this miracle and feeling the snowfall on my face, I heard another sound..."woooo...hoo-hoo, whoooo....hoo-hoo" I stood still and listened to the Great Horned Owl who lives in our woods!

The photo above is taken from this website:
If you click on the link, you can read more about these fascinating creatures. There is also a link called "listen" and if you follow that, you can hear a brief recording of the owl. It is a neat site, and the Tittabawassee River floodplain that it speaks of is quite close to where we live.

That was a beautiful experience, and I stood in the night listening until I got cold and had to come in. I woke Bill up to share with him. We used to love watching for and listening to, the owls that nest here. I wonder, when the snowmobile and off road enthusiasts go screaming down our road and pile through our woods and fields (illegally trespassing, by the way)...if they give a thought to the damage they do just with their intrusion? Everyone has a right to enjoy their personal favorite pastime...but do they really, when it negatively affects people and things around them? Anyway, I am wandering off subject....

The next night, Christmas Eve, and I linger in the barn just a while longer. Don't most stockmen and women? Especially shepherds? Don't we always feel that pull, that connection to something long ago and miraculous...the shepherds on the hill, who shared in the wonder? I feed everyone a little extra - the sheep, the horses, the barn cats, the chickens - and I pause with my ewes on one side of the barn and the old mares behind me in their stalls. My ears are filled with the sounds of contented munching and an occasional snort from Sammi as she buries her nose in the good hay. One of the barn cats purrs at my side and occasionally one of the ewes, usually one of my old favorites, stops in her pursuit of supper to give me a look or sniff my hair. I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience a stable on the eve of our Saviours is humbling.

The Shepherds and the Angels ~ Luke 2:8-20 (NIV version)...
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told..."

Dear Lord, I pray that I continue to seek your presence in my life rather than always looking for presents from you in the coming New Mary, I want to treasure and ponder your gifts in my heart.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

First Day of Winter

Here in mid-Michigan, we welcome the official first day of winter with an Alberta Clipper.

This on the heels of a massive storm that gave us over a foot of heavy snow two days ago. The bitter winds associated with today's storm is having a grand time blowing the earlier snow into monster drifts across the landscape. Its funny, Friday's storm blew in from the north east. Today it's coming straight out of the west. So the house and outbuildings are surrounded with the drifts and it is beautiful.

We are content, here at Serenity Farms, and thankful. We have food, hot coffee, warm woolen socks. I let the old mares inside to eat in comfort while above and around them (and the sheep and chickens and barn cats), the old barn groans and creaks but holds its own. Hmmm....much like my creaky bones! They protest, but thankfully they still manage to get me around ;D

I've got several little projects I have been anxious to share with you. First of all, my Bittersweet Serene Hands Mittens were sent and have been received my spoilee in the No More Hum Drum Mitten Swap 3. I love how these turned out! The pattern is my own entrelec mitten pattern but the color is what really made these, I think! Cascade 220 superwash wool is the main red, with some Orchard Hill Skinny Skeins as the contrasts.

(Sorry for the slightly fuzzy photo...but I kind of like the warm glow look of it) This is the third pair of mittens I have made from this (my own) pattern. It has also been knit by two other "test knitters" (Okay, they are friends from my knitting group, but they did knit and let me know of problems!) I am working on a pair now that I want to put a lining in, and am thinking I will add that feature to the pattern...what do you think? A bit more tweaking and then I will consider offering it to others. I have had requests, but hate to send it out into the world full of errors!

Now, here is another small finished object that has already been gifted and so can be shown...

This is a wonderful little project from a pattern I have completely fallen in love with! The Cabled Neck Warmer is available from my friend Joanne through her etsy store, Terrific Creations. I highly recommend this pattern, and Joanne offers wonderful customer service. It uses only 100 yards (or less in the case of my project) and has just enough to it to keep you interested, but easily enough memorized to work in busy situations. This was my second one, made over the course of two evenings but probably only a total of four hours. The first one I made was a bit to loose and floppy for my taste, so I went down a needle size for this rendition, using the same yarn (Serenity Farms blend of Corriedale wool and Alpaca from North Star Alpacas) and working one extra pattern repeat. It is perfect and the recipient of the gift seems to agree (it looks great on her, too, but I didn't get a photo of her modeling it) I am hoping to cast on another in a different yarn this afternoon. Or take a nap, I'm not sure....

The UPS man knocked on my door in the middle of Friday's storm. A small package was left behind. I quickly grabbed it up, thinking it might be MY mittens from the swap (which I still haven't received....nor have I heard from my spoiler....hmmmm) Anyway, the return address was California and I opened the box to reveal - not mittens - but YARN!!! Yummy, delicious, soft, lovely, beautifully spun yarn! Four skeins worth! A bit over six hundred yards worth! With a very sweet note from my across the country friend and "fiber partner", Tina at Take Heart Farm

This fiber is a blend we made from one of her angora goats, Jasper - his kid fleece. A beautiful strawberry blonde that blended so perfectly with our Violet's multicolored Corriedale fleece. I loved the results so much that it has never been offered for sale (keeping it all myself) and I even offered to buy Tina's portion from her. I understood why she declined, wanting to have some of Jasper's fiber for herself. Then, along comes the fiber back to me in this sweet gift of yarn! Could anything touch a fiber person's heart more than that?!? Thank you, thank you Tina!

In the note Tina included with the yarn surprise, she encouraged me to make something wonderful from it. Oh yes, surely I will!!! But what? I was thinking of more mittens (for myself this time) A scarf...but then I discovered just what it will be! I'm sure you are dieing to know what, aren't you? How about this:

"This" is the Trinity vest from the fabulous, fabulous, fabulous new book by Lisa Lloyd "A Fine Fleece". Do you have this book yet? Have you seen this book yet? Quick, put it on your last minute Christmas wish list! Or if you receive a gift certificate to a book supplier of any kind, treat yourself to it! I didn't take any chances, I got a copy for myself that arrived just a week or so ago. I can't put it down! I can't (or couldn't, till now) decide what I wanted to make first! I just keep drooling and dreaming (this is all fueled by the Ravelry group devoted to the projects in the book) Anyway, Trinity only requires 600 yards to make the smallest size of the vest and though I am definitely not the smallest size, my dear daughter is! So, the plan is for a lovely vest for her.

But not to be cast on for until the first of the year. I am still finishing a pair of special socks for a special friend (hope to deliver them in time for Christmas) and then I want to finish my Fiddlehead Mittens and my lined Entrelec Mittens. I would like to pick up my Wrap Me Up Shawl and get that finished (so close on that one, too!) And trying to find time for some spinning. I'm looking forward to Christmas, and am keeping myself immersed in God's Word as the winds of the world swirl around me, and finding Peace there. Peace and Joy ~ oh such Joy! How can so many Christians walk around with sour faces and sour attitudes, petulant and defeated? I'm not trying to be judgemental, I just don't understand how. We serve a living, loving, all-mighty triumphant Lord!!! What about that is there to be defeated about? And if you are feeling that way, turn to Him! Tell Him how you are feeling, draw near to Him, let the winds of His Mighty Spirit lift you!

My prayer for my Christian friends this year.

And if you don't know this wonderful living Saviour of mine, please offer Him a place in your heart this Christmas. Just offer Him the chance to show you what His love is all about! Even if you have tried before, and thought it not for you...give Him another chance. He has not turned His back on you...He is waiting. If you have been to a church, and didn't find Jesus there (only groups, and social networking and rules and disapproval) then try another church and another until you find Him! Or maybe, sit down in a quiet place all by yourself and speak to Him. He will be there. You will find Him. (Now, you won't usually find a call to salvation here on my blog, though I would never hide my Christian beliefs. But I just felt the joy in my heart to much not to share!)

Last of all, a final finished project to show, this one created by my daughter.

The wonderful Heartstrings pattern, Cascading Hearts Faroese Shawl. She made it for her grandmother, my mother, and many of you know that Mom has been ill this year. We have many afghans and quilts between us, gifts crafted from Mom's hands. Nakia wanted this one to be a gift back to her Grandma, a hug for those times when she couldn't be there to offer one in person.

From one heart to another, looking forward to Christmas!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

How Does December Come In?

You know that saying about March, "In like a lamb, out like a lion"? Well, what do they say about December? Because ours certainly came in like a lion!

It started late Sunday afternoon, the last day of November. The first photo below was taken around four in the afternoon, when I could barely see the barn looking out the back door! The rest of the photos were taken on Monday, the first day of December, after we had received around 4-inches of the glorious white stuff!!!

The forecast this afternoon (and for the rest of the week) is a new storm system to hit, bringing those of us in mid-Michigan another 6-12 inches of the white stuff. The western tip of the mitten may be blessed with as much as 20 inches more!!! Me, I love snow and hope we get it.

The other possibility is for that snow to reach us as rain....No thank you ;( Not in winter time! Winter is all about the snow for me!!!

But wait....we still have eighteen more days till winter "officially" arrives - LOL!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hints of Knits

Hello again ~ two posts in one day, how about that? LOL...and both about knitting!

After the snow flurries and grey skies of this morning, late this afternoon the sun broke through for some November brilliance before it got ready to sink to the west. Sitting in my front room, knitting by the (unlit) fireplace the sunlight streams in...and I couldn't resist some knitting project "teasers" or hints ((grin))

These are two of the gift projects I mentioned in my earlier post that I have been working on, posing by the stone fireplace. I hope the photos won't totally give them away to the recipients who might be reading my blog, but I had fun taking them and wanted to share

First, here and at the opening of this post, something Bittersweet ~

The glow of the yarns warm me just looking at them!

And this little bit...does it look warm and wooly enough to keep you warm?

Okay, that is all the knitting hints for today ~ I really must get back to work, so that there will one day be finished items to show! By the way, the birdhouse that is posing with Bittersweet was made some years ago by my very talented Mom...

Black Friday?

Doesn't seem right, because there is "white" stuff falling from my sky (grin)....I thought I would celebrate "black" Friday by knitting with some black wool today ;)

I don't do shopping (unless it is yarn shops or farmers markets), so to venture out today would have been silly. Plus Bill and I have the house to ourselves this day after Thanksgiving, and it is a cloudy and blustery day - what better thing to do than stay indoors with yarn? I pretty much cleaned everything up before bed last night so woke up to a semi-clean house (those of you who know my home, know that "clean" is a relative term!) I had considered driving west to Holland, Michigan, to take in the opening day of the Kerstmarkt. My online, fellow Michigan sheepbreeder friends Mike and Lona from Shady Side Farm will be there, plus other vendors, in what is called "an authentic, open-air, European Christmas market" - doesn't that sound neat? The way the weather is acting here this morning, though, I think it is good I decided to stay home. I am planning to go at least one day before it is finished (maybe tomorrow?)

Speaking of Shady Side Farm, I wanted to make this post about knitting and fibery stuff and I am sooooo excited to show you a project I have been working on that includes yarn from Shady Side, as well as yarn from my own sheep:

PATTERN: Fiddlehead Mittens by the amazing Adrian
YARN: Millspun from Shady Side Farm "Guns and Roses"(MC); millspun from Serenity Farms pink,rose and natural colored (grey) Corriedale lamb.

I started these with the Ravelry knit-a-long group the first of November (you can also find out more about them at Adrian's Hello Yarn Ravelry group). I love the pattern and love the colors and love the feel...these were going to be a gift, because pink isn't really my color, but they fit me so perfectly - LOL! I really enjoy making lined mittens and have done many pairs this way over the years. I especially like the technique because you can use a stronger, harder wearing (and often not-so-soft) wool for the outer mitten, and something soft and cozy for the liner. In this case, it also works to cover up the strands of the colorwork, even though mine are pretty neat (if I do say so myself). I had originally planned to use black as the third color, but when I started with it there was just to much contrast. Now as I look at them, I almost wish I would have used the rose (darker pink) in the center - the grey nearly gets lost, doesn't it? Oh well, I will keep on as it is. I would have them finished by now, that is how much I love knitting them, but I have a few other gift items to finish up and I don't need the Fiddleheads to be done till the first weekend of January. So much as I hate to, they have been sitting aside for the time being. Here is another shot, with maybe a bit better lighting:

I can't show you the other nearly finished projects (also mittens, and one pair of socks) because as I mentioned, they are gifts.

I can show you some dyeing projects, though. Last weekend, my blogless friend Mary (who is on Ravelry - find her there as clevasgirl) and I made the trip to Grand Rapids and City Knitting to take a dyeing workshop with wonderful Rita from Yarn Hollow.

Here is the mad-dyer, my friend Mary

and here is Rita (right), answering dyeing questions.

I dyed two different sock "blanks", just because I had never done them before. One I was quite happy with and is in the photo below on the left. It is kind of "Opal-esque", don't you think? I am planning for it to be another pair of Jaywalker socks. The other is very ugly in the blank, but I am sure it will be fine once I skein it up (and then I will show you a photo!) The yarn in the larger skein on the right is some of my own Corriedale, a natural smokey brown, that I overdyed. I LOVE how this one turned out and wish I would have done two skeins (of course I didn't) There is 500 yards here, enough for a nice scarf and that is probably what I will make with it.

If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with Rita, or to purchase yarn or fiber dyed by her, please don't hesitate to do so. She is an amazing, generous, talented and fun person to learn from...and I do mean generous! I came away with my head spinning from all that she shared with us. I am hoping to take another class from her after the first of the year. Oh, and I also really enjoyed seeing City Knitting for the first time (I know I will be going back when I have more time to shop!)

So there is my knitting and dyeing update. I haven't been doing much spinning, except for one batch of sock yarn that is being knitted up for a special friend. I need to get back to the wheel(s) one of these days!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Ordinary Road

"My Father God, help me to expect Thee on the ordinary road. I do not ask for sensational happenings. Commune with me through ordinary work and duty. Be my Companion when I take the common journey. Let the humble life be transfigured by Thy presence" Charles E. Cowman

These past few days I have been taking care of some ordinary, common chores around the farm to get things settled in for the winter time. Daylight comes early and leaves early in the winter season, so these chores can use up most of a day! With help from dear friends, the sheep barn is clean as a whistle (well, almost - LOL!) and the compost (manure) piles are turned for the time. Most of the ewes appear to be bred and the rams have settled in to their routine. The temporary fences are folded and put away till next spring. All the farm vehicles have been checked for antifreeze, the lawn mower and rotatiller are put away. I still have a pickup load of lawn furniture to haul over to the Burnham barn for winter storage and I need to finish putting the window covers over the barn windows, but that is the bulk of it. I enjoy the slow pace and the satisfaction of these simple daily jobs.

Now for today, Dear Lord, from The Simple Woman's Devotion, I bring to you

My impatience and frustrations, Lord

I bring you my worship and praise...for the simple joy of the ordinary road, for this life you have given me and my prayer is that my eyes and heart will always be open to daily communion with You as I walk this road

I bring you the prayer shared at the opening of this post. Help me to grow in my everyday living, always seeking and always looking for You at every turn.

You spoke to me..."And the peace of God, which transcends all our powers of thought, will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 4:7)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!! I pray that you and your families will find some time to enjoy an ordinary day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Simple Devotion ~ November 19

Please visit Peggy's blog "The Simple Woman" to learn more about her latest weekly focus, Simple Devotion, and also just to enjoy her simple ways ;)

Here is my Simple Devotion for Wednesday, November 19, 2008!

For Today, Dear Lord, I bring you ~

My shortcomings ~ my heart, oh Lord, that you continue to work on stir me up and create more and more desire to not only serve you in every area of my life, but also to worship and praise You...which speaks directly to our next area ;D

My worship and praise ~ that You are not only my Saviour, but also my Father, my Brother, my Friend, my Director, my Guide and my Comforter

I bring you my prayer ~ for our new President, that is the prayer that is on my heart this morning. Keep him safe, Lord, physically and spiritually. Keep him humble and focused. Lead and guide him, Dear God. And most of all, Lord, work a healing in our nation.

You spoke to me ~ in my morning devotional Streams In The Desert: II Corinthians 1:8,9 "I was much so that I despaired even of life, but that was to make me rely not on myself, but on the God who raises the dead"

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.

The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth, and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others, and fits us to help and sympathize with them....A. B. Simpson

Let me rely more and more every day, in every thing, on you, God

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Fun Fall Mystery

I was so excited to stumble across this mystery knit, just as it was getting ready to start ~ The Yarnarian Mystery Sock KAL!

First of all, it was fun to find the mystery. Second of all, it was even more fun to find Ruth's blog and I have been having a blast reading it ;) Thirdly, and on a more dangerous note, there is Ruth's yarns and patterns...oh my!!! I say dangerous because how do you expect a sock and yarn addict to resist??? I am making a Christmas and birthday wish list for my family - LOL (she does have an Etsy shop)!

Anyway, be sure to go and check out Ruth's (The Yarnarian) blog for all of these things - mystery, socks, yarn and good reading. And its not to late to join in the sock knitting mystery fun! Here is my progress, both cuffs done, and ready to start the Second Clue, which is posted today:

I am using a pretty dark green sock yarn from my stash, and I seem to have lost the label, but it might be Froehlich Wolle (which I love) and would have been purchased from Sweetwood Farms (sadly now closed) Needles are size 1, dpn's, and I am knitting two socks at a time on two different sets (don't like magic loop or two circs all that much)

And be sure to read Ruth's post on Fudging your knitting...oh my goodness, I could have written that post ;D

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Day All Around

Today is my dearest daughter's birthday (for those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember that last year we celebrated her 30th birhtday - LOL!) How do you think we celebrated, after coffee and birthday cake and presents??? By wrangling my long time favorite sheep helper (that would be said daughter) into helping me pen up ewes, change a few coats and then....big drumroll here....PUT THE RAMS AND EWES TOGETHER! Woo-hoo, breeding season has begun around the old Serenity Farms sheep barn ;D

All went smoothly, and I have seen five breedings so far today...hehe

Something I thought of today, from the day my daughter was born. She was born at 7:27 am. I was a youngster myself. I delivered her completely natural - no drugs! I had gained 60 pounds (though she was only a 7 pound, 11 ounce baby). I was tired. I was excited to be able to sleep on my stomach for the first time in a long time - LOL! I remember that I was sleeping soundly when a nurse came into the room wheeling my daughter, woke me up and told me she was going to teach me to bathe an infant. Hehehe...I can only remember indignantly telling her that I was the oldest of five children and knew very well how to bathe a baby!!! I also remember my mom bringing me the best treat in the whole wide world later that morning....I had been on a restricted diet (no salt/sodium) What did my wonderful mom bring to me???? A bologna sandwich, on white bread, with lettuce, swiss cheese and miracle whip salad dressing with a side of potato chips!!! Let me tell, my mouth still waters thinking of that delicious treat after weeks of denial ;D And though now my tastes lean towards a more healthy turkey, mustard, red onion, spinach on whole grain (and skip the chips), I am still known to gobble up the good ol' bologna on white bread! Good memories....

Tonight, though, my heart and thoughts are with a very dear, long distance, fiber friend Kimberly and her family. They are celebrating today, too. Husband and special dad, Jim, is home. Home two days early. Home safely. Home from war.

I can't even begin here to tell you of what very special, extra-ordinary people these two parents are. But if you would like to visit Kim's blog for proof of Jim's homecoming and maybe even to wish them well, you can go to Woven~N~Spun and say hi.

I just keep getting teary eyed tonight over it all. We have spent many prayer filled days and nights with Kimberly these past few months and now, to think of them together tonight under the same roof...whew, it just overwhelms me - I can't imagine what it is like for them. And it renews my prayers for so many others still overseas...

Big hugs, Kim and Jim!

Monday, October 20, 2008

And then there is knitting....

I have been promising my friend Margaret a picture of these finished mittens for a while now, so here they are ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman's Mitered Mittens with adaptations according to Kathryn Ivy's blog:

This next knitting in progress picture is for my friends Mary, Lucy, Maple and Pam to show that I refuse to let any knitting project get the best of is my very own Moebius in the works!

My needles are probably to small and the yarn to thick for this project, but it is what I had on hand and once I got started I didn't want to stop. I think you can see my "twist" at about the 9 o'clock position? The yarn is Corriedale lamb and is very soft, plush and squishy so should feel warm and good next to the neck when finished

I will conclude by saying that I am happy that I did not let the knitting defeat me and to thank you all for your help...but I am still not sold on Moebius - LOL! Give me socks or lace or entrelac any day ;D

Finally, an update picture of my Jane Thornley Feather and Fan Wrap complete with kittens (so here is another shot of the pretty silver kitten along with one of her brothers, checking out the knitting) The colors of this wrap aren't quite so garish and bright in real life, I find them quite warm. There is one ribbon yarn in the mix that I am not that fond of, but will leave it to itself. Someone said that knitting one of these is kind of like eating potato chips (can't stop with just one) and I can see where that might be true...

Of course there is more knitting laying around the house...I have been working consistently on my Wrap Me Up Shawl and still loving that project, it is just so big that it is taking a while. A few pairs of socks and mittens (including one for my No More Hum Drum Mitten 3 partner) that are getting close to being finished. All this knitting, but not much spinning.

Never enough hours, it seems!

Serene Sunday, Football, Kittens

The light continues to change as we progress into fall. This morning while I was doing the chores, this shaft of morning sun against the old barn wall filled me with such peace - I'm not sure why, but it is the Sunday photo I wanted to share with you all.

I didn't get any good photos of our usual woods and pasture scene this week, but I did take this one of an empty hay wagon over by the Burnham woods. It struck me in the same way the first photo did...a quietness and stillness; waiting for winter to come. I hope you like it ~ and it does have some fall foliage!

I almost missed our question of the week for Falling For Ewe over at Ravelry. The question was "Do you like football? Who is your favorite team?" I do like football, but mostly my favorite to watch is our high school teams.

Finally, kittens. Any of you who live on a farm, especially if you are on a fairly remote road, know what it means to be a drop off post to those irresponsible and delusional people who think it is a good idea and perfectly acceptable to "drop off" unwanted cats, kittens, dogs and pups. Most often it is a pregnant female, but often it is a batch of kittens. I'm sure none of those folks read my blog, so I won't rant to much here - except to ask what exactly do they think happens to these poor animals? If they don't get hit by a car in their confusion of looking for a home, they are likely to get mangled by a resident dog or the farm cat who already lives here. It is usually not a pretty ending and it makes me both sad and angry. We can't keep them all, we have our cats to care for (spayed females, thank you very much) And for those of who raise sheep, having kittens dropped off can be dangerous, as kittens can carry and spread a disease called "toxoplasmosis" that can cause abortion and birth defects.

Well, this week we were the recipients of three half grown kittens. Beautiful, lovely kittens who have obviously been raised in a home and with children, because we are spending our days tripping over them and trying to keep them out of the house. They love the grandkids and are so sweet and loving. I have been trying to keep Christy Cat, our resident adult female, from beating the living tar out of them, but that is difficult. I'm hoping Beth, who is interested, might fall in love with the beautiful little silver female of the group ~ she is just a doll and so cuddly and soft, with a lovely silver belly and a huge purr.

This is not a great photo of was difficult to get one because she was either in my lap, on my shoulders or winding around my legs ;) I only got this one (and she looks a little tense here) because Christy was at the end of the ramp glaring at her, so she didn't dare move.

They all appear healthy, except for ear mites which we have treated them for. And they are just adorable...I am spending a lot of time "kitten cuddling" ;)

That's our Sunday at Serenity Farms!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Serene Sunday, a different view

I snapped a few other pictures on Sunday while I was over at the other place, from the east side of our woods. How about a trip with me down the lane to the Burnham Farm woods?

The colors here are brilliant and the sky was so blue as you can see in this next photo!

Here is some fall color of a different sort ~ many of my annuals are going crazy with the fall rains and warm weather we have been having. The intense blue of the salvia is amazing!

The picture is a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.

Finally, I got to end my Sunday building our headless scarecrow with a special helper!

We're thinking he needs a bandana neckerchief and a pumpkin head....what do you think?

Serene Sunday October 12....

Oops, its actually Monday that I am posting this and I hope no one will mind.

The color in our woods, at least here on the west side (where I usually take my photos) is waning a bit. Yesterday morning (Sunday) was still a pretty sunrise with the mists spreading over the fields and the sun hitting the tops of the trees. In the picture above, I don't know if you can even tell that there are horses and sheep far back in the field! The picture below is taken just across the ditch and is actually our neighbors woods, behind our pastures and plowed ground. He has more maple trees in his woods!

People comment all the time on this beautiful view we have and I have to explain that this image that I take so often is the one I see from my back porch and on my way to the barn. When I find a few stolen moments to sit out here and spin or knit, this is what I can look at. It is the view that prompted the name, "Serenity Farms"

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Presents and Pheasants

Catchy with the title, aren't I? LOL....

First of all, I have to show off my October Fiber For Ewe goodies, shown here on the right...

So much good stuff and in lovely fall colors. You wouldn't believe how dense and plush the orangey yarn is! There was nothing in the package to tell me what it is, so I have written to ask my pal. I also wonder if she spun it herself. Whatever the case may be, its wonderful and I am thinking of either making mittens or else the Foliage hat from Knitty Fall 2007.

There is an apron there, also. I'm not sure how my Pal is doing this, but she hit on another thing that speaks to me. I don't remember my mom wearing an apron when she cooked, but I do remember her with a towel either wrapped or tucked around her waist. So I am really tickled by this little gift. There is lotion and candy and a little note pad as well as the apron and yarn and spinning fiber. What a sweet Pal I have!

Now to the Pheasant part of this post. Sitting at the computer checking emails the other morning, I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. It was barely daylight, but this is what I saw through my window:

I call this photo "Pheasant Through Glass" - LOL!

There were three roosters and one hen. We used to have a lot of Ring-Neck Pheasants here in Michigan, but not so much anymore. Here is another picture of them scurring away - they must have seen me moving around. This photo is kind of dark, but I think you can make them out.

Anyway, that was another real treat for me, to see those pheasants. They used to be so plentiful. I remember my dad and granddad hunting them, usually after the corn came off the fields in fall. Later on I had a boyfriend who hunted for them, and I trudged along (usually in some snow) Now, I am just happy to see them, reminders from my past (the pheasants, not the boyfriend!)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Serene Sunday October 5...

There is something dazzling in our landscape photo this week ~ something that outshines the loveliness of the changing of the leaves and the green of the grass. Don't believe me? Well, take a look then:

Isn't she pretty? And do you know what is even bigger than her beauty? It is her personality! She is smart and kind and sweet and considerate. This is Bill's granddaughter Amanda. And though I did not contribute one bit to her genetic makeup (grin) I still love her very much and am so proud to be a part of her family. And Grandpa Bill? Well, what do you think? Here is a picture of them together and you can see the beam on his face is not just from the sun shining in his eyes!

This girl knows how to handle a sheep in the show ring, too! Another great accomplishment (grin)

She sure is special, and we are blessed. Hmmm, now I need to get some pictures of her little brother and her Colorado cousins here for equal billing, LOL!

(Note - the Homecoming dress pictures were actually taken on Saturday, not Sunday)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Trying hard....

Not to start another new project! LOL....

Here is my September gift from my unknown spoiler in the Falling For Ewe Yarn Swap:

The lace scarf pattern is one I had on my "wish list" - from the Knitspot, called Rivolo (my first official Knitspot pattern - I have since added two others, LOL!) and the colors in the Peace Fleece Merino yarn are beautiful and a perfect compliment to one of my wool blazers, so it would be perfect to have to wear as we move into cooler weather here in Michigan. But - groan - I have so many other patterns on the needles. Sigh....I just don't know what to do ;D