Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I just found out yesterday that I have been accepted to the Indie Craft Parade here in Greenville in the fall. I am so excited but really need to kick things into gear to keep up with Saturday Market and still make a splash at this two-day event!

I awoke this morning knowing that I could stay home all day and get lots accomplished. I pulled out a pound of creamy white alpaca roving that I had in my fiber stash. I wanted to soak it so that I could dye it. I realized I needed a bucket so went out the downstairs door for one of the new goat milk replacer buckets. The supply of new buckets sort of takes the sting off of the cost of bottle feeding orphans. Well, I went out for a bucket and realized that I hadn't given Amy, our oldest Anatolian Shepherd, her arthritis meds yet. So I went back up the stairs for her Rimadyl, forgetting to take a bucket with me. As I was coming back down the stairs, I made a mental note to bring the pineapple in the outside refrigerator in to the kitchen so that I could clean it for afternoon snacking. I gave Amy her pills and realized her water dish needed rinsed and refilled.

I walked around to the hose at the side of the house and noticed the oxen standing next to their water trough and staring at me. That usually means their water is getting low so I turned on that hose. I used the other side of the tap to fill Amy's bowl and then returned it to her. I noticed a smidgen of beautiful gray fleece peeking out of a bag in the carport. It was a fleece that Al brought home from a spring shearing job when the farmer didn't want it. It was shiny with a fine crimp and lots of shades of gray. I unstuffed the bag and spread the fleece out on a six foot table that stays at the edge of the carport. I picked out a few locks to decide how dirty the fleece was and how I wanted to spin it when it dawned on me that the hose to the oxen was still running. I walked over to turn it off.

The geese followed me on their side of the fence so I decided to go around to the garden and trim some of the grass between the raised beds to treat them. The three bottle lambs saw me as I came through the gate and came bawling across the pasture. I managed to push their little heads away as I slid through the gate to the garden. They watched me for a few minutes as I trimmed grass but lost interest and the hope of another bottle so they wandered off. I dumped the grass in with the geese, snapped a long stem of basil off for the rabbit and went back to the fleece. I checked that I'd turned off the oxen water but got distracted by a volunteer squash plant growing up in the brick pile. It has been hot and dry so I decided to water that ambitious little squash. A moment later I was headed back to the fleece. I picked a few locks apart and began a pile of nicer wool to work with after I started a dye pot. I headed back in the house to soak the alpaca fiber so that I could lug it to the stable and start my dyeing before the day got hot.

On the way up the stairs, I realized I hadn't yet fed the outdoor cats. I headed to the back of the house for cat food and then dumped it on the front deck where the cats wait each morning. I went back to the kitchen to begin to soak the alpaca. The ball of alpaca roving was still on the counter where I'd left it when I went to get the bucket. That is good - often the cats help me with my fiber projects but I was lucky this time. I weighed the ball so that I could split it in halves. I then realized I had no bucket.

I very purposefully went back downstairs and made an effort to look at absolutely nothing as I walked to the pile of buckets. I grabbed the top bucket, turned and went back into the house and up the stairs. I managed to arrive at the kitchen with that bucket. I filled it with water and a smidgen of soap then gently tucked in the alpaca. I let it soak for a few minutes while I did a few fiddly things around the house. Then I headed to the stable to begin dyeing. I made it to my dyeing stall with only a few distractions. And right now I am waiting for the steaming to finish so that I can retrieve the roving, rinse it, hang it to dry and spin it by the end of the week.

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