Sunday, November 20, 2016

Getting ready for Christmas

I have been quite busy lately, and loving my crafts.  Not all of it has to do with Christmas, but I am enjoying making things!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a 4-harness counterbalance loom from my friend Diane.  I picked it up in parts, assembled it in my bedroom, and have so far wound a warp.  This is a vintage loom of unknown age or provenance, although Diane told me it came from Pennsylvania.

The warp I wound is from a towels-of-the-month club from Cotton Clouds.  I got a year of those, about two years ago.  I started winding one, ages ago, and decided I didn't want to do the calculcations to make it fit on my Structo table loom.  The one I started working on this time is called Roller Bird Bumbaret Towels.  The warp is a little complicated (lots of color changes) but was fun!  Now I need to finish my Christmas projects, and get the barn ready for winter, before I continue.

For Christmas, I'm doing corn bag heating pads again.  As of yesterday I have all the muslin pockets sewn (they hold the corn) and all the outside flannel cases, and I'm about 2/3 of the way through filling the corn bags and sewing them shut.  I need to get more corn.  You take the corn bag (in its flannel pillowcase) and microwave it for about 2 minutes, and put it where you need heat.  Also works if your hands or feet are too cold!

For a couple of people I am making some hats.  One pattern has elephants, one has panda bears, and if I have enough time, one has cats.

I'm waiting on new coats for the Jacob sheep, because they have really outgrown their current ones.  I thought they'd be here yesterday, but now I'm hoping for tomorrow, as they're only coming from Vermont.  I bought the new ones (size 34) from the Gypsy Tinker.  I met her and saw her coats when I got to take a trip to Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool last month.  (That was such a fabulous vacation day!)

Today I'll be cleaning bunny cages (four bunnies; three of them are fawn!) and cleaning around the stall doors so it will be easier to open/close them when it snows.  The goats are in the small stall for now - the two Pygoras, who had their first shearing in September, and a new addition yesterday - Margot, an Alpine doeling.  She's about 8.5 months old, and bred to a very handsome LaMancha buckling.

I got about 10 ounces each from the Pygoras' first clip, after skirting.  I'm sure it's going to spin up gorgeous!

I also traded guitars recently.  I still have my beloved purple Ibanez, and my Taylor, but I traded the Martin (with which I never bonded, for some reason) for this gorgeous Breedlove Oregon Concert!  I adore this guitar, and it is - for me, at least - easy to play.  I still have difficulty reaching the frets for the C chords, and changing to C from other chords, but the neck of the Breedlove seems to make it a little easier.

It's made from spruce and myrtlewood.  Absolutely gorgeous figure, and great sound!  I recently subscribed to the Yousician app as well, and have enjoyed adding those exercises to my practice.

The only thing I haven't had time for lately has been the cross stitch, and I am really itching to get back to the Yoda chart, "Master."  Unfortunately, like some other things (warping the loom, for example!) that will have to wait until the Christmas projects are finished.

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