Saturday, September 10, 2005

Signs of Fall

flowers
Autumn Joy

There's a low mist on the fields this morning that drifted from the pond and the creeks. Crickets sang last night and I've been seeing flocks of birds in the sky for awhile. My Autumn Joy's heavy bloom and the brightness of ironweed are ushering in the fall season, which will be bright with leaf color and busy with tourists. It seems as if it has been a very short summer.

Greenberry's Bina Wade
Greenberry's Bina Wade

Another sign of fall; a group of bunnies, particularly does, that need shearing. Bina is a young purebred German doe, four months old that I'm late getting clipped off. She weighs seven and three-quarter pounds at four months, which I appreciate about her because I need to build up the size of the animals in my herd. A nice clip of 170 grams was OK, too, although I was late with shearing. She doesn't have quite as much crimp as some of the others in the litter but her coat held up well with very little matting. I'm eyeing Puff as a suitor for her in the spring; he has crimp to spare! Bina didn't like the tattoo pen; I think it was the noise, but was great to shear. She posed pretty for her picture!

Greenberry's Eliza
Greenberry's Eliza

Eliza is one of my favorite rabbits from my favorite old line. She loves to be petted and is the rabbit that is always at the door of her cage to bump noses with me and share kisses. Her coat is dark with a lot of guard hair; it should be lovely spun up. Although these rabbits aren't huge producers (254 grams this clipping), I find the quality of the coat to be far more important to me than the quantity. The mothering skills of this line are amazing; they rarely lose a bunny. I don't have a buck right now for Eliza but in the spring I plan to breed her to one of my pure bucks, unless a nice black buck shows up in another line.

More does are due for shearing early in the week; I will probably only breed a couple of them, since I'm very low on cage space. But I'd like to try Snickers again with Quenten, for more chocoate babies!

Hand Painted Kid Mohair Yarn
Hand Painted Kid Mohair Yarn

I'm beginning to like the results of my experiments of hand painting yarn in the crock pot. The color changes are much more subtle than they are when I paint it on a table and then steam it. The first batch, the kid mohair, has a lot of variation in the skeins; more purple on some than others. But the overall effect is very nice and I think it could be knitted up from two skeins at once to make a nice garment. Scarves seem to be very popular with my customers lately, so most of them are only buying a couple of skeins of one color.

Hand Painted Alpaca/Wool Yarn
Hand Painted Alpaca/Wool

After I hung this up to dry, I realized that the colors of this yarn turned out to be closer for each skein than with the mohair. It might be because of the different fibers, or because I decided to put a little vinegar in the pre-soak for this yarn. Each skein has some variation, of course, but I find that appealing. Not sure what the customers will think, though, and that's what counts. Still, it's fun to do and I like these autumn colors.

Last night I worked on the natural colored shawl, after ripping much of it out when I discovered I didn't like what the increases were doing to the top edge. The new version seems much nicer. Hope I still like it later!

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