Thursday, January 30, 2014

More weaving

I forgot to show off my first weaving project! 

I cut it off the loom on the last day of class back before christmas. 

It seemed like it took forever to weave a 6ft scarf -- maybe because it was a full 9 feet long when I finally took it off the loom. 

Then I took it home, hung it in the closet and forgot about it until after the holidays. 

I finally decided I'd better get it finished before the weather warmed up and I lost the opportunity to wear it to work.  I cut off the extra, ill-matched, 3 feet at the beginning, dealt with the loose ends, tied the fringe, and washed it in cool, soapy water. The final wool, silk, and tencel product is soft, warm and slightly fuzzy. 

There are plenty of flaws, but I'm very happy with it anyway. 

And it is such a kick to wear. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow rollers

Yes, it's cold. No news there.

But I've never seen these before.

They're like tumbleweeds.

But snow and ice. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fiber cat two

I borrowed some equipment from the local weavers guild. Allie had to check it out.

She preferred the little loom over the drum carder with all the pointy ends.

Back off lady. This one's mine.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bom Bom puts his foot down

When last we saw our unwilling hero, he was suffering the discontent that comes of unpleasant society. Incarcerated with an abrasive and ill-tempered newcomer by circumstances beyond his control, our diminutive star pleaded for clemency.

Yeah, ok, Bom Bom wasn't happy stuck in a stall with Sammy. I knew this.

Today I began the daunting task of digging out the barn -- inside, not outside -- from the trials of the past week. Ponies and goats and sheep and chickens...oh yes...lots of chickens...everywhere. It was a mess.

First, I unsealed and opened doors. Phew. Fresh air. Chickens O.U.T.

Next, I separated the goats and sheep. Their makeshift arrangement was not working -- I couldn't reach the sheep.  Now the sheep are in a small, but separate pen at the end of the aisle in front of Thyme and Tyche's stall. The goats have the sheep's big stall with access to that paddock -- which was theirs in the first place anyway, before the sheep somehow displaced them.

At this point I had to go pick up the 12-year-old and run some errands.

It was getting dark when I got back, so the first job on the agenda was to get the chickens back IN. The point there being that I was in the barn for several minutes before I heard squeals coming from Thyme and Tyche's stall. Thyme and Tyche are not squealers, but Tigerlily is and she spent the past week incarcerated with the mother and daughter pair. That was not really a big deal though. Those three have been a stable turnout group for a long time and all three get along pretty well and have even been stalled together before. So I walked back to their big double stall at the end to see what might have gotten Tigerlily upset.

Everybody looked ok.  Thyme wasn't beating on anybody. Tyche was fine. Tigerlily was fine. Even our miserable hero Bom Bom looked ok.

Bom Bom?


That's right. Bom Bom was in Thyme's stall with Tyche and Tiger. And I didn't put him there.

If you squint at this iphone picture, you can see him standing at the stall gate in front of Thyme. The wall on the right side of the photo separates Thyme's stall from Bom Bom and Sammy's stall. That wall is a couple of inches taller than Bom Bom. Without a measuring tape, I did some rough calculations. The wall is made of 6 stacked 2 x 8's. That makes it around 44" tall. With a couple of inches of bedding on the floor of Bom Bom and Sammy's stall, that makes it at least a 3'6" jump to get over the wall. From a standing start. By a pony who's not even that tall himself.

Either Bom Bom is an athletic superstar or he was a lot more desperate to get away from Sammy than I suspected.

And just so no one worries, we did give our hero a thorough once over to make sure he didn't hurt himself. We couldn't find any problems. I'll keep an eye on him for a few days, but I think he's ok.

He also got his clemency. Sammy went into a small stall by himself, and everybody else got reshuffled.

Ponies. Sheesh.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The number of water bucket clasps that Sammy and Bom Bom have broken in the past 36 hours -- since their joint incarceration. 

I keep walking into this scene. 

Note the two broken clasps hanging from the gate and the empty bucket on the floor. The first time, yesterday morning, I thought that Sammy probably did it pawing at the solid block of frozen ice. Then I found the same scene again this morning....twice. At a balmy 20 degrees in the barn today, the full bucket of fresh water was still very much liquid when it hit the ground.

Bom Bom says it all. 

He's crazy, lady. Get me Out. Of. Here.   

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lend me your ear

Use #37 for a soft warm goat ear?

A cap for a friend on a cold winter morning.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Big fail, big chill

I have officially thrown in the towel on the back barn. That's the barn in the new pastures. The barn with the too narrow aisle and the flooding stalls and the doors that stick and the missing front slider and the broken lights. That barn. Some day, maybe, in the future, it will make a good sheep barn, or a workshop, or even a summer barn for the ponies. Or maybe just a big run-in shed or hay barn. But, for now, I'm done with it. No more trips out there in the dark. No more cold wind whistling through the stalls. No more skating on the ice inside. 

With the polar vortex bearing down (now there's a great new term to throw around, "Just the other night, during the polar vortex, ..." ) I worried that the exiled ponies out there would suffer too much. The temperature was predicted to hit -15F and that barn is not snug. It is the opposite of snug. Even with their heavy winter coats, I worried that it would be too much for them. So in the 11th hour, after some heavy duty stall stripping and doubling up some of the little guys, I brought the big ponies back into the main barn. I have to say, snugness aside, it's just a pleasure to see those faces back in the barn when I walk in. I have missed their company! I won't split them up again.

The main barn isn't exactly warm itself, but at least it's still and dry inside. Being a metal pole barn, I doubt it will ever be truly warm. At bed check tonight it was a quiet -3 F in the barn, while more like -10 F and crazy windy outside.

Annie said she was happy to be back in the barn, but the weather sucks.