Merry Christmas!

...and Happy New Year!  And all the other holidays I’ve missed since I last posted.  I know I always say I’ve been so busy, but this time I really mean it :).  I calculate I sold over 700 bars of my felted alpaca soaps from early October through Christmas.  And another 200 non-felted bars.  And I still need to restock, badly, both soap and even more so, prepped wool for felting.  That’s about all I did for those three months - Caleb pretty much did all the laundry (although I usually make the boys do most of the folding, and I have made them fold all the diapers, yep like every single one of them, since Ewan was about 2 months old), and a lot of the cooking, and most all of the farm work, and lots of diaper-changing...  It’s been so great that he works so much less, or I would never have been able to grow my soap business like this!  

Anyway, I finally got to and even past Christmas, and managed to finish the few projects I had for the boys.  No, I still didn’t get a stocking made for Ewan, but definitely next year - since he’ll be plenty old enough to understand by then.  But I did get the older boys’ sweaters finished.  They knew I was making them sweaters, a gray one spun from our daddy alpaca Toby, for Liam, and a brown flecked with tan tweed spun from Geordi and Annie for Malachi (I’m pretty jealous of this one!) since I had to fit them periodically, and I even showed them the finished products a couple days before Christmas - but they didn’t know that I wasn’t quite finished :). The day before, I added a couple things - on Liam’s sweater, I embroidered a wand sticking out of one pocket, and a pair of round black glasses tucked into the other pocket (and we told him he could read the 4th Harry Potter book, which made him ecstatic and took him all of 2 days!).  On Malachi’s sweater, I added a pocket since he’d been jealous of Liam’s, and then knitted 2 tiny stuffed mice and tucked them inside.  Background explanation: Malachi routinely tells stories that go something like this - “Last night, I woke up and heard a scratching noise under my bed, and it was a mouse!  And I picked him up and put him in my pocket and snuggled with him in bed.  And then at breakfast, he jumped out...” and the story can take any number of bizarre and/or mundane twists from there.  The point is, It just hit me one day that the perfect gift for him was mice in his pocket :). I am planning to take a decent picture of the boys one of these days very soon for our very late Christmas card, and then I’ll post it so y’all can see the sweaters.  

I also pulled out my crochet hook and refreshed my skills on a little stuffed dragon for Liam that turned out pretty cute!  I had some teal yarn I’d spun from my Friesian sheep’s coarse wool, out of curiosity of the quality of the yarn, and it was perfect for a nice stiff fabric to make the little dragon hold shape well.  And the color was a nice fit too!  

I also finally finished knitting my gift to myself - my first alpaca shawl!  It’s one of my favorite yarns I’ve spun, a tricolor 3 ply with one tan strand of Joey, one light beige strand from Annie, and an off-white strand also from Annie.  It’s got much more depth than a simple 2-color plied yarn, and the similar palette gives the shawl a watercolor or hand-painted look.  I will definitely get a picture of this up in my Knitting gallery soon, it is pretty awesome if I say so myself :)  It’s a simple leaf pattern, but I used a light worsted or maybe DK weight (hard to judge when it’s hand spun, that can be so subjective!) so the pattern is very large and came out striking, yet surprisingly lacey for the weight.  It’s so warm, and long enough to wrap the ends over my shoulders and be all draped and wrapped up in snuggliness :)

Also on the subject of knitting, I have started another shawl, of course - I have to have one in progress at all times since I keep selling them (did I mention I sold my last two at the farmer’s market right before Christmas?  I have none on hand now, so obviously I must keep them coming!).  I’m making the same leaf shawl as the one I just finished, but I’m using my treasured, first-and-only-so-far handspun very-laceweight yarn that I spun from my Tunis sheepwool this fall.  It’s about 1100 yards and 3.7 ounces - the finest I’ve spun yet.  I’m interested to see the difference in the same shawl pattern between a very fine and a medium-weight yarn!  

Lastly in fiber news, is that I’ve started selling some fleece on Etsy!  I’m down to only 5 ounces of my yearling Loretta’s gorgeous black fleece, and I’ve also sold several 1/2 fleeces and a whole fleece of Carlyle’s.  I really need to spend some time skirting fleeces - I don’t have even half of what I have actually listed on Etsy, and I also am pretty much out of fiber prepped and carded into batts for felting soap.  Especially since I have to dye most of it since the colors are vastly more popular, and I’m virtually out of dyed batts.  Thanks goodness Liam turns out to be a pretty good wool-picker if I pay him :). His little tin-box bank is filling up slowly but steadily, and I have big tubs slowly but steadily filling up with fluffy wool that is one step closer to being carded!  

Comments

sweaters and more

Yes, we really do need pictures. We may have to simply come down to get the pictures ourselves! Can't wait to meet Malachi's mice, and see LIam with his glasses :-)

Wishing you all the happiest

Wishing you all the happiest of new years. Sounds like you'll be busy in the best sort of way. Love to all!

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