19 January 2010

hey baby

This particular sweater has been crumpled up in the bottom of my knitting bag for several months. It's amazing what a handful of red buttons and a nice sudsy soak in warm water can do for a tangle of knitted wool.

Its recipient is the very vocal four-month-old of a graduate school buddy, which a friend and I had the pleasure of babysitting a few times last week. (Let's just say it's amazing what a warm bottle and a large belch can do for the mindset of a tired infant.)

A few blissful hours of sleep for the baby, sanity for the anxious adults.

The pattern is probably familiar to more than a few of you. Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Baby Sweater. This isn't the first or the last one that I'll be knitting. I absolutely love this pattern.

10 January 2010

barn notes : meet donkey

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm spending the weekend with my parents, and while I've been sitting near the window spinning (what seems like) miles and miles of yarn, my mother has been calculating the due dates for her tiny flock of sheep which she bred in mid October.

By her calculations, we should have lambs frolicking in the barn by mid March.

This is a busy time on the farm. A time for preparing lambing jugs (i.e. a tiny wooden pen filled with fresh straw where the mama ewe and her new lamb can bond away from the flock), scheduling our sheep's yearly shearing, and preparing ourselves mentally for the long nights ahead.

For the record, it's my mother who has to prepare herself mentally for the long nights ahead. I will be starting school again soon.

Not only do we have sheep expecting lambs, our angora goats are expecting their kids in April. And, sometime after that, no one knows exactly when, because we bought her bred, our donkey - the newest member to our barn yard - will also be giving birth. That's her picture above. My dad named her Betty. My grandma Lolly added Lou to her name. So we have a new Betty Lou.

Our grand plans placed Betty Lou as a guard donkey in our barn yard. But so far, Betty Lou is afraid of the sheep and the sheep are afraid of Betty Lou. If Betty Lou is in the barn, you can bet the sheep are out in the yard. They switch back and forth several times a day.

We're hoping they have things sorted out come spring.

Perhaps a baby donkey will serve as a peace offering between the two parties. By the way, I don't even know the correct term for a baby donkey. Guess I'd better figure that out.

For now the major question is: when is Betty Lou due?
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