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Monday, July 15, 2013

Heading Out Of Town

It's that time of the year again. The Mens Rocky Mountain Knitting Retreat is this week. Which means in addition to spinning for the Tour de Fleece, I need to walk the dogs, clean the house, and pack my bags/wheel for the trip. Great... It's okay, on these little trips Bob gets a taste of what my world is like when he is out of town. All you do is walk dogs, go to work, walk dogs, eat, sleep, and repeat. At least I am cleaning the house for him. Actually, he only works two of the days I'm gone for.

And due to not being around, I know that I won't post a blog update, so it's time to post something before heading out.

This morning was spent wrapping up the last yarn I have been working on for the tour.
This is a 100% Combed Finn Top. I think I have about 300 yards but until I skein it, wash it, and dry, I don't know for sure.
What's a Finn Sheep you ask? Okay for those that don't care skip this. Finn sheep are a finnish breed that in color variation are much like Shetland and Icelandic sheep. Their wool is on the fine end of the medium range. They often have multiple lambs as the picture above shows a mom with four lambs. The United States record is seven lambs.
Okay enough about sheep. Let's discuss more yarn. Up next on my queue is a 100% merino superwash I've had in the fiber stash for a bit. I'm thinking about making a 3-ply navajo ply yarn for socks for myself. We'll see how thin I can manage it.

The Tour itself is over half way done. We in the Wyoming group have a halfway and finish prize due to some wonderful members donations. Shatki form Cheyenne won our halfway prize.
Dana made a project bag as well as WPI (wraps per inch) tool from Shrinky dink material and a set of stitch markers. Cindy and myself both donated some fiber from our own stashes.
Remember the trees I discussed earlier this summer? We had bought a replacement tree for the Locust that seemed to fizzle out after the deer attack, and then when the new tree came home, the old one decided to finally give us leaves.

Well, the new one never did anything. For 6 weeks it was a stick in the front yard. The company that it came in replaced it with one that was already in leaf. We yanked the other one out, and found that we finally had roots showing up. Finally. So, we dropped it in a bucket of water and plant food for a few days to see what would happen.
And this happened. 7 weeks later we got leaves, but only on the bottom near the trunk. We placed it in the ground on week eight and it's still doing okay. I don't know if it will make the winter but we now have a new tree in the back yard. I kind of hope it takes. This is a weird little bald spot between lilacs in the back yard that could use some green.
So, now we have three locust trees... You can see the two on either side behind the clematis here. The one we put in last year on the right was slow to start this year, but wow it took off. It is probably twice the size of last year and has now bloomed twice for us. The clematis are... okay. The white one bloomed earlier in the year and is done but is never as full as the purple one. But even this purple one in the front yard is nothing like my purple one in the back yard.
And one of the reasons I love clematis is that they are just as beautiful in seed as they are in bloom.
Here is one of their pretty seed heads. The little spirals of seed heads are so elegant and beautiful. This particular seed head is form one of the large white flowers.

The service berry bushes are going to again give me a minimal harvest this year, but the bushes themselves have grown nicely to fill in the spot I put them in. The Raspberries that we thought fizzled out last year have shot up not only replacement spires but additional spots of spires on the side of the house. The siberian peas that seemed to struggle after being placed in the side of the front yard last year have decided to settle in. In fact two out of the three are taller than me now. The maple we placed where the dying pine we had to cut out before it fell on the house has had over a foot of new growth in height and most of the branches outward all have about a foot of new growth and it is still growing.
The morning glories again reseeded them selves and should be giving blooms here soon. I can't wait, they are always so pretty. I'm curious what colors will come in this year. I originally planted red, purple, pink and blue. Last year only purple and a couple blues came out. I'm okay with whatever comes up. You can see they are intermingled with a wild prairie rose that decided to come up there as well. I like wild rose species whether they are primroses, sitka roses, or these prairie roses so I let them come up. It's less mowing I have to do, right?
The only regret this year, is that my grape seems to not be giving me any berries. Dang it! Oh well, it's still growing and seems to be doing well so there's always next year. As you can seem the morning glories and the grape are growing on a structure. There is a swing built from pipe that is cemented into the back yard that we didn't have a clue how to remove without major money thrown at it so I use it as a trellis of sorts. I'm all about the recycling.

Okay, that I believe is all the pictures I was saving up. You all have a great week and weekend, I'll talk to you again next week.

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