Friday, June 28, 2013

June in Photos

June's been one of those months.  Without further ado:
The Rams and Yowes blanket is finally finished.  Let's be more precise:  when the time came to sew the 700-plus border stitches down, I pressed the blanket into my mother's hands with quivering lips and batting eyelashes, and pleaded for her to put it out of its misery.

This blanket would still be stuffed in it's dedicated bag on top of the dryer if not for my mother.  A big round of applause goes out to dear Mom.

Never has a project been fraught with more neurosis.  I confidently stated that I wasn't interested in getting gauge, since it was a blanket.  Well, I should have listened, because in the end I ran out of several of the lighter colours to complete the edge, which is folded back upon itself:
Normally the back side would have the same dégradé effect as the front.  I toyed with the idea of ordering more wool just to complete the backside, but then decided against it.  To hell with integrity.  This project has been simmering on the back burner for over a year now, and I really wanted to get it done.  Now.  In the end, I'm okay with it - the blanket is complete and the end result is more than I hoped for.  Anyone who comments on the back gets a well-deserved smack.
Here's the front for your viewing pleasure.  Kate Davies is brilliant, always has been, always will be.  And Jamieson and Smith Shetland Jumper Weight?  Yes...yes please.  There will be more of this in my future.  What's insane is that NONE of the nine colours in this blanket  are dyed - they're all natural and named for the shades of Shetland sheep they come from:  white, gaulmogot, katmollet, mooskit, sholmit, shaela, moorit, yuglet and black.  And the smell?  I want to bury my face in this blanket and sniff away:  it smells of lanolin with just the right hint of barnyard.  Yummm.

Cue the rubber boots:

Our weather has been absolute crap, for lack of a better meteorological term.  It's been pouring for weeks, and the fields are beyond soaking wet.  It's definitely rubber boot time:
When it's not raining and we venture outside where mosquitoes make our lives miserable.  Last year our spring and summer was win/win.  This year, it's lose/lose.  We even light the wood stove some nights, if just to cut the humidity.

The only plant happy this year are the roses:
These gorgeous pink roses have been run over by the mower endless times, but they resurrect themselves brilliantly.  This year, they were given a reprieve and have shown their gratitude by blooming profusely.  Maybe they can stay.
This climbing rose is one of the very few I left standing.  When we moved here, the grounds were over-run with badly maintained roses.  One of the first things I did besides buying stock in Band-aids and Felco pruners was to cut most of them down.  My dislike of roses knows few bounds.  When given a bouquet, I remain gracious, but take them with outstretched arms and do a quick about-face to hide the resulting facial twitch that comes from repressed memories.  Thanks, I think.

That said and done, this year the pendulum is swinging back and I'm finding that I quite appreciate their beauty.

My guess is they like cold, wet weather, because that's exactly what they're getting.

We had a lot of wind and rain today.  Our wheat is now lodged:

I'm not sure what the next step will be.  We've never had lodged wheat, so this is a first for us.  I guess time will tell if the wheat is going to right itself, or if it's down for the count.  I'll keep you posted.

This elderberry bush is in full-bloom now.  Again, it's a wait-and-see approach regarding the berries, but the blooms sure are profuse this year.  If the birds don't get the berries, there will be lots of elderberry juice in our future.
Last weekend, we had a deer nibbling on the seabuckthorn berries.  The doe made her way up and down our hedgerow and perked up when she saw me.  I don't discourage deer when I see them, because it's quite rare they venture onto our property.  I gave her lots of room, hence the poor-quality zoomed-in picture.   Humidity hovering around the 90% mark doesn't help, either.  She sure was tall, though! 

With apologies for yet another poor-quality photo, here's a big coyote-wolf hybrid.  I've never seen a head on a coy-wolf as big as this one:

I was too stunned to get a better picture, because trailing behind was a little coy-wolf puppy.  I don't have a lot of sympathy for them and normally chase them away, but since it was my first time seeing one of their off-spring, I took the scene in from a distance.  I don't want to know how far they'll go to protect their young, so I turned back towards the house, throwing a glance over my shoulder a few times for good measure as they sauntered across the open field.

Our sunsets are few this month, and this is the only semi-decent one I have to offer for June:
There's still hope for July.  There's sun in the forecast for July 1, which is also Canada Day.  The timing for a Monday off couldn't be any better.


Miriam said...

The blanket is gorgeous! The roses are beautiful! The deer is stately! The coyote-wolf is spooky! There is always so much to see when you write a new post.

Our weather here has been miserable too, the last week, but it's about to get tropical. Humidity in the summer is rare here - it's usually dry as a bone, but today, with the rain finally stopped and the temperature warming up it was like a steam bath outside.

Ron said...

The blanket is amazing. Really incredible craftsmanship.

It's interesting for me to see a big elderberry bush, mine are just getting going. One did put up a flower head this year, though.

I've never seen a coy-wolf. I wouldn't want to mess with her pup either.

Shim Farm said...

Hi Miriam!

LOL, I probably could have turned that post into 6 different ones, but like I mentioned, June's been one of those months!

Our weather is unbelievable. A few days of rain here and there - OK - but really, it hasn't stopped raining for weeks. And now Monday's forecast has a big cloud hanging over it instead of a big sun, but it does look like the week is going to warm up a lot and get sunnier. Hopefully the humidity will leave us, soon.

I'm happy with the blanket. As I was re-reading my post, I remembered (rather I suppressed...) that the edge needs a 924 stitch i-cord knit onto it. Ain't. Going. To. Happen. It's draped over the bed, and that's where it's staying LOL. Truthfully, it doesn't really need it - I think it might be overkill, so I'm calling it done. Hallelujah!

Hope your weather cooperates with all your projects. Our summers are so short we need all the help we can get!

Shim Farm said...

Hi Ron!

Thanks for the compliment. Really, my parents are all to blame, they're the ones who instilled me with their handiwork and the virtues of a job well done. Our house was the house with the kids hanging around - there was ALWAYS a project in the works, ALWAYS something crafty to work on. Those were the days LOL! Life hasn't changed that much, really, come to think of it!

That elderberry bush is growing on the back of one of our sheds. It's really unsubstantial in winter, in fact, this past winter I was wondering if it would resurrect itself, and my, has it ever! It's really full of flowers this year. Hopefully the birds will leave us enough berries for juice.

That was my first time seeing a coy-wolf pup. The full-grown adults are really big, I'd put them well over 80 lbs, and some nights, you can hear the pack howl. But their territories are huge, and they cover a lot of ground, so I'm not too worried. That said and done, I'm also pretty sure they're responsible for the loss of two of our cats over the years, so I make a point of sending them on their way.

Well, the sun's actually out and we can see patches of blue sky through the clouds. There might be hope for the long weekend, after all!

Stephen Andrew said...

Oh my god I've never seen a wheat field look more like a bog! What horrible weather. I can't imagine hating roses! I wish I could have come taken all those old, scraggly roses. Those are my favorite. I can't even imagine how many tedious hours were spent on that magnificent work of fiber. I have a massive elderberry as well, it's incredibly healthy because a few years ago I cut it to the ground and tried to kill it...go figure.

Shim Farm said...

Hi Stephen, that's exactly what I tried doing to the roses - cutting them down, but they're quite persistent. This year I decided they could stay. Our wheat field looked more like seaweed than wheat by the time that particular storm had passed. I think it was just bad timing vis-a-vis planting. Had the storm been a week later, or had the wheat been planted a week later, things would have looked different. At any rate, lodged or not lodged, it's now drying, and pretty much nothing looks nicer than a golden field of wheat swaying in the wind.

Robin said...

I am catching up on my Shim farm reading. So lame I know, as I think about how you are doing all the time. But then I don't read your blog because I know I will want to comment and at the end of the day I feel too fried to write comments. There has been much guilt on my part, I kid you not. :)

Anyway...THAT BLANKET IS FREAKING AWESOME!!! I'm so glad you finished it. Do you still look at it and go, "Oh yeahhhhh baby, it's finally done"? I think I would have to show it to every house guest for the next 20 years. Maybe even the mail person.

Shim Farm said...

LOL, Robin, I keep stalking your blog, waiting for a new post to come up. Even when you or Lee comment, I go and read it LOL, trying to glean what's going on at Farm Folly. No need to feel guilty, I know with Sidney here now, it adds a whole new dimension to getting stuff done. I think about you guys on the other side of the coast, and wonder how you're doing too, though, so it goes both ways LOL.

Oh heck yeah! When that blanket was done, I did a happy dance! I put it on the bed every day, and Capucine and Tessie both love it LOL! I will probably never under-take a project like that, ever again.

Robin said...

Oh my, I am sooooo far behind when it comes to posting. I really need to get a few more things up.

Lee and I are doing awesome. Sidney is a dream baby. lol. We have a lot of older friends (my oldest being 89 who I see for lunch often) who love her and tell me they've never seen such a chilled out kid. Which is probably why they love her. haha. The only hickup in the process was her heart issue which of to date sounds like she will just be scanned every year to keep an eye on it. She has a narrowed pulmonary valve. There is an awesome children's hospital in Portland that has been looking after her.

House wise, Lee got his first concrete job done, a stump removed by hand, a mailbox stand built, and the office drywall finish coat done. He is putting in wall sockets tonight and we have been mulling flooring options because it is killing us having a room so close to done. I'm probably missing a few things but that is what comes to mind. :)

Ok I am off again. I've got an early baby play date to attend. Oh my, words I thought I would never say. hahahahaaaa

By the way, what could you do that could possibly top the blanket in complexity?

Shim Farm said...

Hi Robin, sorry it's taken me so long to reply! Glad to hear you're all doing well. Yeah, we're chugging along like you are, and not posting about stuff regularly either.

Sorry to hear about Sidney's heart issues, but happy that you have a great children's hospital and are happy with the care. I'll keep my fingers crossed that she'll outgrow it.

I think nothing can eclipse that blanket - nothing!

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