Have you begun your holiday knitting yet? I have, sort of. I've put together the spreadsheet and filled it in with due dates that should give me plenty of time. The problem is, there are also 4 birthdays between now and Christmas that involve completion of projects, as well. And then there's THE BOOK. The list keeps growing as my co-author/photographer and I are inspired by this or that, and that means an endless amount of knitting for me to manage there, too. Every project on the list involves a good bit of tedious stocking stitch, except for one pair of socks, which involves ribbing. Although I am glad that there isn't a large amount of tedious and time-consuming cable work, one does like a little bit of interest now and again. Actually, I think everything on the short list is either completely stocking stitch--how long do you think that Dr. Who scarf is, really?--or stocking stitch with a bit of lace work. Of course, I'm always happy for the opportunity to sit and knit a spell, but there's so much in the way of other demands right now that my anxiety over being able to get it all in and done is mounting. What's worse is that I can't even show pictures of anything because it's either top secret for the book or top secret because it's a gift.
And it won't stop raining. You know how too much rain makes one more than a little bit nuts in a cabin fever sort of way. This is not a summer rain or an autumn rain, but a January, misty, drizzle-y rain with intensely gray skies that make it seem like it's twilight all day. And it just keeps drizzling. This sort of rain calls for hot chocolate and a fire in the fireplace, but it's 75 degrees F. outside. Of course, this incessant rain is because we had a date set for the framing of the barn to begin. Then it began to rain and the framer backed out and now we are in search of a new framer under a very tight deadline but, even though they can't work in the rain elsewhere, we can't seem to get anyone reliable to come out to do an estimate ... because it's raining. They'll come by when it's dry.
|(That's the barn floor--notice still no barn over it.)|
I also have sick sheep, and we ended up losing one of the lambs, Pippi, last Friday because the unseasonal rain and heavy dews of September led to a type of parasite infestation that you just don't usually see around these parts. Of course, the medication for this can't be bought on this side of the Mississippi, and there's nothing you can put on the pasture grass to kill it, and we don't have a finished barn yet to put them in, so I've been struggling to keep my sheep from dying with penicillin and thiamine injections--and you know there's nothing that livestock enjoy more than getting stuck in the neck with large hypodermic needles multiple times a day--while some careless person sits around (and has probably been playing on his phone) instead of shipping my orders on time. It's one thing to treat animals that outweigh you by up to 100 pounds with a team once in a while, but I've had to go it alone mostly twice each day. It's day 7 of this and I'm spent.
|Can you tell how Stanley feels about needles?|
Much of the wet weekend was dedicated to putting in fence posts (30 wooden posts in, 30 metal posts left to pound, and more goat fence to attach than anyone wants to put up) and dividing up what was formerly horse pasture, but it's too wet and slippery now to finish up, and that puts the most infected group of sheep in isolation in the dog pen with a make-shift shelter for probably the rest of the week.
|Stella & Bonnie--7 days ago, which is the last time we saw the sun.|
And the fall planting of the garden has, due to the funky weather, gone to hell. So there's that.
I also can't dye yarn in the rain, or dry it even, which puts off the debut of my new silk/merino fingering gradient yarn. It's just sitting in a box, patiently waiting for its turn at the dye pot. Bright side: my new steel dye pots are on their way so I will have them to work with if this rain every dissipates.
And so it goes ... another wet, grey day with much tedious knitting (and probably not enough attention to housework) and chasing of sheep in circles with hypodermic needles in hand. Ah, good times!