Some things haven’t changed in two years…

On 14 March 2008 this blog began with a post about fleece.  My first sentence was “I’ve been fortunate as a knitter.”

I still feel this way.var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));
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Today I’ve spent the afternoon skirting and washing more raw fiber.  I’ve partnered with the lovely women of Cordero Farm, who have generously supplied me with several fleeces.  A month or so ago I sent a small batch of their fiber to be spun (with bamboo for extra sheen) into yarn. Yarn which will before long be available on this website and at our local farmers market, just as the fleece I’m cleaning this week will be.  Some of the fleeces are light enough for dyeing, some are dark rich colors which will be left natural.  
Several weeks ago I mailed several other fleeces, that time llama from Country Garden Farm which will also be spun into luxurious Oklahoma yarn that will be available online and at the market.  
My inner fiber geek is pretty thrilled with this whole adventure…so thrilled that I took a photo of a huge mound of raw wool drying.  I know anyone who isn’t into fiber is likely to roll their eyes at this post and thank me for identifying what exactly is in the photo…and that’s okay.  
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Introducing – Tess

Allow me to introduce our newest member of the farm.  Tess was found this week on a dirt road near our house.  She’s a lovable dog without being needy or annoying.  Her gawky puppiness is adorable.  She follows us around, as well as following Martha who does find Tess annoying.  But since the other dogs (and we humans often) find Martha annoying – it’s quite funny.

Chris wants to be leader of the pack or is that pack leader?  I’m guessing he’ll be researching what Caesar Milano has to say.  But me – I’m wanting a companion. The kind of dog you call your best friend.  
I’m trying to avoid a rant here but what in hell compels people to dump a dog or a cat to an uncertain fate on any given rural road?  Of our now four dogs – three were unwanted lost dogs, Katie, Martha and Tess.  Stormy was a city dog,  when city friends moved to a even more urban area they needed to find a home for her and she was brought to our farm.  
The dogs usually sleep outside over at the old farmhouse, but this morning Tess was curled on our porch beside the wood pile.  Now how adorable is this sweet girl?  
Obviously, I’m already head-over-heels crazy about Tess.  

Swatching Walker – post 3

There’s a new site for the Swatching Walker blog posts!

Go here to see where I am in Barbara G Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Volume 1.
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This is Spring?

Spring arrived in a most unusual way this year in Oklahoma.  Friday the temperature was about 70F, then on Saturday the snow began and what I’d estimate was about seven inches fell. It didn’t stick around long and today only a few traces in dark shadowed places remained.  

I don’t think I’ve seen so many birds on our feeders as there were this weekend.

I had could have sworn I was Tippi Hedren.
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New Spring Yarns!

We have seven or so inches of snow on the ground here in Oklahoma but according to my calendar it’s officially Spring!

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Three new colorways of yarn are ready for show and tell and several more are on the way.

First up:

in our North Pasture Alpaca
colorway: On A Clear Day
cobweb weight 950yds/90grams

Like most kids I spent a lot of time staring at the sky and the cloud formations.  In this soft alpaca yarn I’ve dyed a pale blue nearly solid yarn that reminds me of those clear days of childhood.

Next:
in our North Pasture Alpaca
colorway: Pesto
cobweb weight 950yds/90grams

One of my favorite treats of summer is fresh pesto slathered on hot bread. I buy big bundles of basil at the farmers market and make my own. Here’s a yarn inspired by this summer treat.


And another:
Oak Barn Merino
colorway: Pucker Up!
lace weight 1000yds/90grams

Lemon ice, lemon juice, lemonade, lemon bars…lemon in whatever form you take it will have you puckering up with joy.  Dyed here in a light soft merino this is a lovely color for spring or summer shawls. 

Paypal links are in the right hand column.  You can also find our luxurious hand dyed yarns this spring at the Cherry Street Farmers Market (April – October), the Oklahoma Food Coop or whenever you find the Clear Creek Lavender booth at a festival or event. 

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Everyone’s done it.

My mother never took the answer “everyone’s doing it” as reason enough for me to do anything.  Now that doesn’t mean I was by any means a unique child.  I wasn’t.  I joined bandwagons just like most kids – including getting a shag cut and a motorcycle at age 14. It was the ’70’s.

Mom loved pulling out that oldie but goldie saying of “if everyone jumped off a cliff would you do it too?” I learned to roll my eyes at a young age and still perform that maneuver whenever the urge or need strikes. (I can snarl my upper lip like Elvis too but we won’t get into that…)

Sometimes though everyone is knitting or has knitted a particular pattern for a good reason.  I’m trying to make good choices with my pattern selections and I kept coming back to one that I’d passed over because there are currently 6475 of them in Ravelry project files.  Just because 6475 have been knit and it’s been queued over 5000 times doesn’t mean that if I don’t knit a Swallowtail Shawl I’m not a “real” shawl knitter I kept telling myself.  But with that many just in Ravelry’s database there has to be a reason.  Right?  Right. 
Now seventeen repeats completed on the Budding Lace chart (I’m planning on 24 repeats) I can see some good reasons to knit Swallowtail.  The first chart was the setup, and the second is both mindless and interesting.  The eight row repeat is easily memorized and still charming to watch develop. The later charts have nupps – and you know how I feel about nupps!  
Here is a photo of 14 repeats complete of Chart 2, Budding Lace.  
Yarn: Lost City Knits, Oak Barn Merino in colorway Serpent
Needle: 5US Harmony Circular
No Beads – just Nupps

Nupptastic!

Losing Lost City School

Like many rural communities decades ago a school was built in Lost City, OK.  There isn’t much else that claims the name of Lost City other than a small cemetery next to the school, and a long winding road that runs from a four way stop to the next small but larger town. 
The school was built long long ago and was used as an elementary school until a few years ago.  Originally constructed of rock, it was enlarged beyond the one room by a cinder block addition, then a metal building extension in more recent years.  A large fenced playground and an open pasture used for baseball extends out to the furthest reaches of the property.  A large wooden sign proclaims the mascots as Lost City Indians, a sign that many might see as providing a clue to the mindset of political awareness of a rural community.
But in the heart of land that was once deemed as unvalueable and given to a people also once deemed as unvalueable, this small school struggled to keep a nearly forgotten language alive. Some twenty miles from Lost City is Tahlequah, Oklahoma, seat of the Cherokee Nation.  While big city schools touted programs of foreign language immersion in French or Spanish, Lost City School chose the Cherokee language for their immersion program.  A bold move by the Lost City School Board.  The Cherokee immersion program for school children was unique but across the county in community centers there are small classes set up where adults can enroll in Cherokee language classes. 
 
In 2008 the State of Oklahoma closed Lost City School.  The tribe tried to save it by pumping some funds into much needed repairs, but the building was in a sad state of deterioration and it had become a health hazard. 
Recently as I was driving from our farm through Lost City towards Tahlequah for a quick (all things being relative in that Tahlequah is roughly twenty-five miles away) errand I saw a sign that caused me to pull over.  Lost City School is now for sale. I knew this day would come.  What I hadn’t realized was how sad it made me feel.  A little piece of history and daring is lost.  

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