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Thursday, 27 February 2014


Thought you might like to see how "my twins" are doing now that they've gone home.

Guzzler and Bridge(t) the Midge(t)

The one on the right was the little one we didn't think would survive.  Rob and Tammy took her to the vet when they got back from the UK and she was put on antibiotics for poly-arthritis.  I'm absolutely amazed that she has made such a complete recovery - no sign of a limp at all - and she's grown.

When she was with us, she would hobble around behind her sister, desperately wanting to play, but she just couldn't keep up.  Now she's running around the field with all the other lambs.  It's really nice to see her better!

When I went to see them, they both came straight over to us and nuzzled our fingers.  It made me feel that they remembered me, but actually they do that with everyone!!

These little lambs have different names now from the ones I gave them, but I can't remember what they are - they'll always be Guzzler and Bridge the Midge to me.  They do begin with 'B' though, as all animals born on their farm this year will begin with that letter.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The End of the Rainbow

My rainbow shawl is finally finished.  It took a bit longer than it should have because I ended up ripping half of it back at one point.  The shawl just wasn't narrowing toward the tapered end as quickly as I wanted, and I was running out of yarn.  Time for some tinkering!

It always amazes me how natural dye colours all seem to go together.  They just never clash.  Nature is clever like that, eh?  The Falkland wool is really soft too, I need somewhere special to go now so I can wear this.

In the meantime, I'd better get on with the baby blanket - we go back to the UK on 12th March so it has to be finished in time to take it with us.  I'm getting near the end, but I suspect I'll have to spin a bit more wool to finish it.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Two Rainbows for Sunday

The rainbow shawl continues.  I'm just hoping I have enough yarn to finish this.

I've been knitting up a lilac colour tonight and was then planning on putting the deep purple (same as the start of the shawl) on the end.  However, I don't think that will take me to the end of the pattern, so today I plied up some more purple which is sort of halfway between the lilac and the deep purple.  Fingers crossed that that will be enough to finish.  I'm finding that as I get closer to the end of the yarn, I'm knitting faster!  Makes sense eh?  If I knit really really fast the yarn will go further and last longer!!

The 2nd rainbow is really two.  We had a little shower this afternoon and were left with this double rainbow afterwards :-

The second one is only just visible here.  And a more dramatic one showing the colours a bit better :-

I do love rainbows, don't you?

Yesterday we went shopping.  All the usual mundane groceries etc., but we also looked around the local depot ventes (French sale rooms) trying to find a second-hand window for our new kitchen.  We didn't find a window, but we did find this :-

For all those non-yarnies among you, this is a skein winder - perfect for winding off my hand-spun wool from the bobbins.  The most amazing thing was that it was Eric who found it . . . and knew what it was!! 

It even has a rev (revolution) counter on it!!  You see this little ratchet wheel?

When the handle at the front is turned, the wheel moves round one slot per revolution, and when it gets to 45 a little knob clicks past the upright stick so you know how many wraps of yarn there are on the winder.  It helps work out how many yards of wool there are in each skein.

At 20 euros, this was an incredible bargain.  It's had a bit of woodworm by the looks of it, but we'll give it a spray tomorrow and then I need to get some beeswax on there.


The little lamb who was limping so badly last week while she was here is getting better. Rob and Tammy took her to the vet who said she has polyarthritis, and that's treatable. She's having antibiotics every day and they're very hopeful she'll be sorted out soon. Since going home she's been running around the field playing with the other lambs.  She can't keep up with them yet, but that doesn't stop her from trying!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Growth of a Rainbow

I'm really liking knitting this shawl, it's quite addictive when you can see another colour getting closer and closer.  I've just started the yellow, which, when finished, is about half way.  Then the warmer colours come into play which will really brighten things up.

On another note, the lambs have gone home.  I'm sure they'll be a lot happier now they're back in the flock and can play with the other lambs.  The little one, who was sick, started to perk up after a couple of days and even had a little trot around the garden with her big sister.  She seems to be a little fighter and everyone hopes she'll come through this.

Finally, the baby blanket has been on hold while I finish spinning the 4th ball of wool. Should be done by tomorrow so then I can start knitting again.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

There'll Be a Rainbow in a Minute

I've got a new project.  OK, so I know I said I wouldn't have another project until the baby blanket was finished.  Well, I lied!  This one is something for meeeeee.  And anyway, I'm still working on the baby blanket alongside this, so it's not abandoned by any means.

Remember in the summer, when I took part in the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry?  I dyed, and spun a rainbow yarn, all done with natural dyes, most of them from my garden or the surrounding area.

This is from a really nice Falkland fleece (which arrived direct from the Falkland Islands) and was spun in a sort of gradient (I say "sort of" because I'd never done a gradient before and under-estimated how much I should overlap the two colours).  Then I Navajo-plyed it, which made the overlap even shorter.  Anyway, next time I'll pay more attention to that.

On 7th February, the Sochi winter olympic games started.  Well, I'm sure you won't be surprised when I tell you that Ravelry have an equivalent event running alongside it (just like the Tour de France).  This is the first time I've joined in with the Ravellenic Games, and decided to start off with a bit of knitting.  After all the controversy that's being going on in Sochi, the rainbow yarn seemed somehow appropriate.  I'm making a side-to-side gradient shawl - the Now in a Minute shawl - which is a free pattern on Ravelry.  This is what it looked like this morning :-

but I've since done some more and it's gone into the next colour, which is a green.  I can't photograph it until tomorrow as I never get a good result from my camera under artificial lights.

I'm really excited to see how this turns out because I loved all the colours when I was dyeing it, and the wool is gorgeously soft - an anticipated hug around my neck!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Special Delivery!

OK, get ready to Aaaawwwww!!!  Here's what arrived yesterday evening :-

These two belong to Rob and Tammy, our neighbours.  They've gone back to the UK for a short visit (4 days, 3 nights) and asked if we would look after them.  They were both rejected by their mothers and are having to be hand-fed.

The problem with them being rejected by their mother is that they didn't get that first feed from her and so haven't received the vital colostrum that provides the boost to their immunity. Apparently, they will be very prone to infection.  In fact, the smaller of the two isn't as lively as the other one and Rob doesn't really expect her to survive.  This morning, when we let them out of their pen, she could hardly walk.  She's walking very stiffly, as though she's arthritic.

The next problem is, how will the other one cope on it's own if she dies.  Normally, it wouldn't be a problem because she'd be with the herd and the other lambs.

Wicked stepson no. 4 is calling us soon (he's the vet) and I'll mention it to him.  But really, there's not much he can do from that distance.  Just got to keep our fingers crossed.

Elephants, Elephants, Elephants . . .

Sorry to bore you all again, but this is the only project I've been working on lately so I hope you'll bear with me.

This is how far I've got with the blanket and have run out of white yarn again :-

I estimate I'm going to need another one and a quarter balls to finish this and am part way through ball no. 4.  At this rate it's going to take me another week at least to finish.  Wish me luck!

On another subject, my new kitchen is slowly moving on.  This is the new (old!) lintel going in for the new entrance.  When the sink is moved away we'll be putting glass doors in here (the sink is just out of view, this side of the wall).

This piece of wood weighed at least 200 lbs and took two strong men to manoeuvre it into place.  Eric has since sealed all around it with mortar so it looks a lot neater now.

More news later on today on something completely different.  We had a very special delivery yesterday evening . . . I'll just leave you to guess until I've been able to take pictures in the daylight.