I have actually started getting some work done around here.  I mean, creative me-in-the-studio-for-longer-than-ten-minutes work, not just stable-mucking.  Of which there has also been a lot, of course, and we will simply not discuss the post-winter chicken coops.  Ick.  But I had been getting to the point of serious irritation/depression about my inability to accomplish anything, and had reached that stage – you know, where the list of things that you want/need to do is so much longer than your actual potential lifespan that the whole idea of starting anything seems futile and ridiculous?  Yeah, that stage.

Fortunately I was able to hum “I need a hero” ad nausiam while making this one, which helped lighten the mood considerably:

You’ll have to use your imagination a bit; I don’t have a photo on the actor.  Super hero costumes have a universally terrible hangar-life, they really need a body.  The actor had a pretty good body too, I hope I’ll get a picture someday.  That is Super-Duper-Ultra-Guy, who is rumored to be saving the day at various locations in the Windsor area.  Keep an eye out.

There has been knitting.  I made some yoga socks (?)  I dunno about yoga, but they are legwarmers with stirrups, is what they are.  And they are warm.

That is handspun from a while ago.  I still like it.

I also made (am making actually, one down and pushing to get the other done  by month’s end) socks – “Knits Inebriated” by Emma’s Daughter Designs:

This is a good elastic pattern with a simple, effective design, and it turns out that I am making them for Raven, because he said “that is a nice sock… who’s it for?” which he never says.  Probably this has something to do with my propensity for making socks that are yellow, pink and/or green.  Although he doesn’t steal the socks I made from Blackie’s wool, so maybe this really is just a guy-attractive pattern.  Take note for xmas, I guess!

They’re striped discreetly like that because I got the wool at the Salvation Army, two skeins in brown and grey with enough for one sock each.  So there you go.

And my current favorite of the knitted FOs, I have knitted a hat.

See?  Knitted, really.

Hat love.  I had no idea why I was making it except that I had to, but then Jeff needs a fop who will be conveniently garish in pink, mauve and silver, so I gave it to him for the show.  I’ve been otherwise spending my time churning out fops for this play, but haven’t bothered to take pictures yet because they’re all waiting to be trimmed and hemmed and such.  So that will be next.

Animals continue well, except that they all say they will starve to death RIGHT NOW if I don’t go top up the stores, so I’m off in the rain to buy everybody-chow.  I leave you with a cuddly little tiny puppy,  and her teddy bear:

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Every year I announce that it is Spring at some point, just because I’m tired of it being Winter, and don’t want to put up with it any more.  It doesn’t really matter what the weather is doing, there is always snow in spring just when you thought you were done with it, and cold winds, and all that.  It’s all psychological.

This year we’ve had such a mild winter (sorry, East Coast!) that I haven’t been tempted at all, and was perfectly willing to let the seasons change as they would, without interference from me.  But, I was moving some dirt tonight, and the inevitable Helping Hen found… worms!  Quite close to the surface too.  So there’s no help for it, it must be spring.  Crazy – we haven’t even run out of wood, yet!

Pupdate – Ulster doesn’t live here any more.  Ulster was killing chickens, and although he felt quite bad about it after, he wouldn’t stop.  Since the whole reason Ulster lived here at all was to prevent someone else from killing chickens, that just wasn’t going to work.  So he has moved in, at least for a while, with CK and The Ed.  And their other five hundred dogs and cats.

Ulster had not been gone twenty minutes when I walked in on this:

Funny, I didn’t think I was the one keeping the dogs off the furniture.  On the other hand, I was enjoying the lack of destruction.  Oh well.  Does anybody else have this problem where the thing that you do is “make nice stuff” and your whole life and acquaintance seem specifically arranged to “make stuff dirty and broken”?  I get upset about this, I’m not kidding.  I hate so much living in and around junky ripped-up furniture or whatever, but if I fix it, it will just be junky ripped-up stuff that I spent a lot of time and effort on.  I’m not sure which is more depressing.  Oh well, at least the puppy is cute.

Honestly, I love that picture.  I think we should blow it up and hang it over the couch.

Speaking of cute, you will no doubt have noticed that there are lambs.  Freyja’s two, born yesterday morning, are both ewes.  Freyja had no problems, and gave me just enough warning that I was able to be there and watch the whole process, from clearing a little nest with her hooves to lambing.  I had put down fresh bedding, but apparently it was not good enough.  What do I know, I’ve never had lambs.

Vellum watched too.

Chloe and Solly were more polite, and took Dash (yes, we went with Dashing the WonderLamb) outside.  I ran out of battery power, and thus have some really gross and exciting pictures on my cell phone.

The babies are adorable.  It turns out, apparently if you mix a white sheep with a blackface sheep, you just get polka-dot sheep, it isn’t only Chloe.  The youngest literally has white ears with black dots on them.  She looks more like Freyja, the older favors Vellum.

This is big sister:

And here is the baby:

That’s at about ten hours old.  As you can see, they are not as camera-shy as previous lambs have been.  Probably they get that from their father, as well.

That’s what I kept getting when I was trying to take pictures of the babies.

The older twin is the leader, and I swear, at less than ten hours on this earth I was already saying “you’re just like your mother”.  She was the first one to find and want to play with Dashing

(The pink is pepto-bismol, Chloe really did have a tummyache).  Chloe is good with Freyja’s lambs, she just kind of nudges them away, and she baby-talks to them the same as she does Dashing.  I love sheep baby-talk.

Apparently Freja and Chloe have both decided that Solly will be a good baby-sitter.  I’m not sure whether they asked Solly or told him, but they both left him watching the lambs today while they went to grab a quick bite to eat and some alone time.

Day One:

Today I woke up. Then I went to sleep and woke up again. I had a pee. Mommy says I’m doing everything just right. She says I’m smart.

I had milk, too. I really like milk. And sleep. And waking up.

Day Two:

Last night I got half the barn to sleep in, except Mommy stayed with me. She said I needed that much room in case I grew, but I didn’t.

This morning I am learning how to be a sheep, which is what Mommy says we are. She knows everything. This is a picture of Mommy, isn’t she beautiful?

That is our favorite sunny spot.

Sometimes Sheep go Over There Really Quickly. We have to do it all at the same time. I don’t know why yet. I think it has something to do with chickens. There are a lot of chickens. Mommy says don’t worry about it unless they are eating, but I don’t know how you tell. I didn’t see any milk.

Sometimes other things happen like Wheelbarrows. If it was up to me we would run then too, but it isn’t. There is a lot to remember.

Day Three:

Mommy had a tummyache today. Bucket Lady said Mommy had too much corn but Mommy said no. Bucket Lady is dumb. I stayed by Mommy and licked her. When Mommy licked me it felt good, so that will help.

Freyja had a tummyache too she said, but then she started acting really strange.

I don’t think Sheep should do that. Mommy took me to the sunny spot for a nap. Now there are more Sheep! I don’t know where they came from. They are dumb, they don’t know anything. They don’t even know about the sunny spot! Mommy and Freyja said I can teach them how to be Sheep.

They have little coats. I had a little coat when I was a baby but then I lay down in a puddle so now I don’t.

Here is a picture of Everybody Except Solly Who Was Over There. That is Vellum. Bucket Lady says he is “Daddy”. I don’t know what that means. Mommy says sometimes the lady doesn’t make any sense but she has treats. That didn’t make any sense either.

Last spring, Chloe had a lamb.  But she had a tough labor and some sheepy form of post-partum depression and she didn’t want anything to do with her baby, so I raised it.  Solly still thinks he’s my lamb.  Chloe still thinks he’s my lamb too, he’s certainly nothing to do with her.

This is a picture of Solly.  He is unfocused because he already thought I was mommy, and was heading toward me.

This morning, Chloe had a lamb.  He is the spitting image of Solly.  This is the new lamb:

He is in focus, because he does not care about me, he is safe with his mommy Chloe, who loves him.  This time around, Chloe has gone the other way.  She adores her lamb.  Right now, he is snuggled up in a corner trying to sleep, but probably he can’t sleep because Chloe is standing over him nickering softly to make sure he knows she is there.

The other, inferior sheep are not allowed near the lamb.  Nobody is allowed near the lamb except me, and that only with close supervision.  The lamb wanted to play with Hera (he probably can’t focus very well yet, she’s round and wooly and she was bouncing in a way that looked like fun), and Hera was briefly thrilled to find a sheep smaller than herself.  Then Chloe chased her away.

The new lamb hasn’t got a name yet.  He hasn’t had much chance to show off his personality or any special traits, I’m waiting to see what develops.  Chloe thinks he should be named “Prince Delightful” or “Dashing the WonderLamb”, but Chloe tried to tell me he was the smartest lamb ever birthed because he figured out how to pee on his own, so I suspect her judgment is a bit skewed right now.

Although you know, “Dashing the Wonderlamb” is kind of catchy…

Going…

going…

gone!

I closed off the egg more than a week ago, and I’m sorry it took me so long to post these – turned into kind of an exciting week, in a friend-of-mine-was-deathly-ill-in-the-hospital kind of way.  (She’s recovering.)

So yeah, the next time I got in the egg I was in there for about three, three and a half hours, and I cast off.  That part was hard – trying to knit just over my head, in a very small circle, and turn round and round without losing stitches… or my place… Probably would have helped if I hadn’t somehow wound up with only a black yarn left on the needles!  I can knit backwards, if not very well, but I wasn’t able to figure out how to knit backwards and upside down.  I couldn’t even figure out if that would actually help.  So I just turned around a lot, and listened to the people outside giggling as elbows and knees poked out various places inside the egg.

Tracy took some pictures of the closed egg before I came out.  She had me “pose” inside, so I am thinking of them as the Amazing Dancing Amoeba Pictures.

Then I steeked a little hole in the back and climbed out, which was neither graceful nor, as it turns out, quite as secretive as I had intended, since to my surprise there were two video cameras and three still cameras pointed at me  Tracy’s son Edward was there – he’d been talking to me when I was inside the egg, and his mom took his picture sitting with me.  I think he was a little disappointed that I didn’t have wings when I came out.  I ran around outside the gallery flapping my coat tails for a while, to make him feel better.

It is definitely getting harder to climb into the egg. Between the web of attached strands, which makes perfect sense when one is in the egg, but is rather a complicated tangle when one is not, and the ever-narrowing tube I’ve got to stuff myself through, it’s a bit of a trick.

The egg is knit in the round, and the majority of it has been knit on three circular needles, so I’ve got three rounds spiraling up over each other at all times. This was partly so that the knitting could expand fully over the needles – I definitely could not just wrap one circular needle around myself and still work – and partly so that it would be easy to keep track of increases and decreases – one needle does all the fancy stuff, and the other two just knit.

I started from four stitches and increased until I had a mat I could sit on, and from that point I’ve been knitting stockinette in circles around myself. For the first four days I had to turn around a lot, and kind of wished that I had a big lazy susan in there to sit on so I could just spin around. Once the egg walls got high enough, though, I was able to stay in place and just sort of tug the fabric round a bit and knit over each shoulder. This was faster, but meant that I was kneeling in one position for a long long long time, so each method has its disadvantages!

I am now at the point where I will be removing one of the three needles, because I’ve decreased so much they are just flopping around all over the place. I am probably also back to turning around in circles, because as of last night I am pretty much knitting right up in front of my face, and pulling the fabric around is going to get awkward. In fact this whole last stage is going to be a bit awkward, since what comes after “knitting in front of my face” is “knitting on top of my head”. I expect to be closing the egg on Tuesday afternoon, and I will quite possibly be attending Mark Reinhardt’s yoga class on tuesday evening, because assuming I can still move at all, I will probably need it!

As far as closing the egg goes, I am decreasing back to the original four stitches and casting off. This thing really is as egg-shaped as I can make it, given that I am sitting inside it and may not actually have the best perspective on the whole thing. But it is roundish, and wide at the bottom and tapered at the top and warm and cosy and soft inside, so it sounds pretty much egg-like from here.

Last night was the winter ARTcrawl, which was heaps of fun. Peter Moffat got some good pictures of me in the egg, as did Sonya and a few random pedestrians, so I will post more pics as soon as I have them. I have been taking pictures too, but since I have to be out of the egg to take pictures OF the egg, they don’t look like much. This makes me realize though, that I should bring the camera in with me on Tuesday and take some pictures inside it, just for yucks.  (YUCKS, not YOLKS.  Really, people. Control yourselves.)  There’s quite a bit of room in there though.  I mean, not like, living space, but I can definitely move around in there.

If you are in the Chatham area and weren’t at the ARTcrawl last night, you should go check out Laura Moore’s exhibit at the Thames Art Gallery. It will make you want to hug an acorn.  It is good thinky-stuff too, but really I wanted to fondle it.  Which fortunately Laura is entirely ok with.

The egg, day four.

The Cocooning project is going very well.  I’m making at least four inches a day, and I’ve got lots and lots of strands attached to the egg now. Navigating the window has become awkward.  I am constantly worried that I will forget to bring scissors in with me on the last day, and will be unable to get out.

I’m knitting with three circular needles, one strand for each, so the rounds are spiraling over each other.  Knitting the bit as each needle runs behind me is a bit of a crunch, as it is slow and annoying to have to turn around all the time, but the egg walls are high enough now that I can just sort of lean and knit over my own shoulder.

The yarns I’m using are all either recycled or leftover yarns from finished projects, some mine, some donated by other knitters.  I love that people gave me old yarn, it just helps to point up the interdependency of the whole craft thing.

The response so far has been very encouraging, and I’m even going to get to be in a book!  But, I don’t know what I’m allowed to say about that yet, so I will give you more details later.  It’s very cool, though.  You’ll like it.