Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter Weekend

It seemed the Easter Bunny delivered early this year, for on arriving at the parents' Friday night, Mom and I found an egg carton on the table. Dad had found it in the entry when he got home, but had no idea where it came from. No note, no phone message to explain, but inside the carton were a dozen of lovely little quail eggs. Mom made a nest for them of grasses and feathers, and that was our Easter table decoration.

The only person we knew of who had quail nearby raises them for meat, so was unlikely to have many eggs around, and had no reason for delivering them to us if he had eggs. So it remained a mystery until Sunday, when Johanne, who has the alpacas down the road, called up and revealed she had gotten them from someone in her tapestry-weaving class. Mom is planning to let them dry out, so we should have them to grace the table and her collection of birds' nests for years to come.

The weather was nice enough to work outside much of the weekend, so Saturday I began picking and dehairing a rather hay-infested llama fleece, given to me by a friend of Mom's. Some of it will have to be discarded, but it is a nice, soft, dark taupe fleece, and there will certainly be enough usable to make her something as a thank-you, and still have enough for something for me. Sunday I tackled the dye garden, cleaned and trimmed and weeded (and being careless about gloves, managed to scrape a few knuckles and snag skin to a point where the fleece I spun that night was catching on my hands). Several extra greenweed plants got removed, so I threw them in pots, as I remember a few people wanted them. And noting that the madder and bedstraw were trying to escape their boundaries again, I dug around the edges and harvested the strays. That netted me enough of each for a batch of dye, which was rather surprising considering that I did the same thing last year in late summer or fall. Obviously they're happy - and I am too.

I finished spinning my final sample skein from the Rare Breeds fleeces last night, and promptly washed them, so I can knit swatches as soon as possible. The Romney was already washed, and I did that swatch this morning, can't wait to try the others. Back, l-r, pale gray Shetland lamb, cream Border Leicester, and off-white Clun Forest, and in front, darker grey Cotswold.

They are all lovely fleeces and yarns, but the Cotswold, I do admit, has me going a bit Gollum ('Precious, we wants it, we does.')

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