Monday, May 31, 2010

Five Years Ago....

....on this day we welcomed our first-born child into the world, Kaiya Marie.
One of these days, hopefully soon I will share my birth stories. I have yet to write them down at all and I still am working out my feelings about the last one. But someday soon, I promise.
I have co-slept with my babies since day one and I remember, when Kaiya was a newborn, waking up in the morning and being so delighted to see that sweet, apple round head of hers. Never mind that now she kicks and thrashes and mama has sleepless nights when she shares my bed. But when she snuggles up beside of me in the morning I can't help but remember that apple round head.

And just this morning with her first gifts of the day. I have a birthday tradition for the girls. The night before I bring one small, specially chosen gift and the camera to bed with me. And as soon as the birthday girl wakes she gets to open her morning gift. I so look forward to capturing this every year. Unfortunately I missed it for the first time this year on Zoe's birthday as I was with River in the hospital, though, my mother did her best to fill in for me. But I got it this time, no matter how groggy I was from late night knitting.

Red Berry Wool by Robyn Eversole, truly a sweet and touching little story. A lamb, knitted by me from this pattern. And five dollars from her great aunt Wanda.
A nice start for her special day. How lucky I am she chose me as her mother!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Making Friends (and gratuitous sheep pics)

I don't know if I have mentioned it but we also keep chickens. At the moment we have eight hens but are looking to expand with more hens and add a rooster.
Up til now the hens have been kept in the enclosed lot beside their coop. Just yesterday we finished blocking off all points of entry (underneath the building that sits inside the fence) and released them into the pasture with the sheep.
You know what they say.... happy chickens = happy eggs!
In other news.... I have been wooing the sheep with sweet feed. Finn is, as of yet, the only taker but if I'm lucky he'll let me pet him a bit, too. How I love getting my hands in all that soft wool!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Riding Along...

as momma lifts and hauls and works in the pasture.......
and helps Grandma in the garden....

Enjoying a sunny but not too sunny day outside. Hope yours is equally productive!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wooly Therapy

Seriously, I could watch them all day. When I come out in the morning to let them out into the pasture and give them water, really, I should head back in and get started in on the daily chores. But I can't help but stand out there, just watching them. They really do have such a calming presence. I recommend backyard sheep for anyone feeling stressed. Better than therapy!
And our little dog just loves them, too. She runs out after me every time I go out and they all spend time sniffing each other.
She isn't chasing them but running with them. I think she thinks she's part of the flock.
The breeder I purchased them from gave me a huge bag full of raw sheep she had shorn from her flock, free! I've never touch raw fleece before or any kind of spindle but I'm having so much fun learning to process the wool and spin it. I went to the craft store this past weekend and got materials to make a drop spindle. I think I'm finally beginning to get the hang of it. I'll try to post some pics of my attempts tomorrow.
For now, I'd better go get started on those chores.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Making a Connection

I don't know if you have noticed it or not but I like to knit.
I love yarn, feeling it slip through my fingers and watching it take shape, become.... anything I want it to be. I enjoy the rhythm, the connection to the divine that creating brings, the peaceful serenity. I appreciate being able to literally wrap my loved ones in warmth made from my own hands and to bring my children joy with sweet handmade toys. And wool, well, it brings me such a connectedness to life. Not just a fiber, not just a crafting material, but really part of another living creature, and now part of my life and that oh, so lucky recipient.
In the past few years I have grown so much in this craft. It's not just something I do, a hobby, something monetarily profitable. No, it's part of my life, you could even say part of a spiritual practice and I have longed to open myself up to whole process. To experience not just the fiber, not just the looping and interlocking of stitches, or the wearing or giving. But to truly experience the whole process, where it all comes from and the sweet connection, the thread that runs through all life.

The very beginnings of a sweater, or some socks, perhaps the warm wool stuffing for a special doll. Meet Finnegan and Rosemary. Old English Southdown Babydoll lambs, born just two weeks after my sweet River, they are twins and now part of our family. I have zero experience with any kind of livestock save feeding, watering and collecting eggs from my parents chickens. So there will be a real learning experience. And short of dyeing wool all of the yarn I have worked with has been ready to knit. But I am eager to learn and so happy to be part of the process.

ps They are white lambs but being North Carolinians, they obviously enjoy a good roll in the very plentiful red clay.