Let's see...for some reason I didn't sleep last night; the few times I was able to fall asleep I kept having "fear" dreams. Stupid stuff, but I kept waking up frightened to death. Not really sure what's up with that.....that there IS reason to fear for our future, I agree...but I *know* where I'm going, so....:shrug:
Wood Stove: got the brochures yesterday. :whew: I *know* quality wood stoves aren't cheap - I mean, the cheap ones from Tractor Supply run $900, and they're plain (OK...they're UGLY) and cheaply made! The installer is a Pacific Energy dealer, as well as a Hampton, Lennox and Regency one. He very nicely marked the ones he recommends for our house size, and put the prices on there. :holy moly!: We have expensive tastes....both Sweet Geek and I drooled over the Hampton H-300.....which would run $3K. JUST for the stove. :blink: Um...no. Not even. No. I pointed out the PE Spectrum...it's similar to the Hampton, but not as prettified...same porcelain finish, and a little under $2K (WITH the fancy door, pretty legs, and fancy trivet. It's only $1,700 for the basic flat black stove) This is still MORE than I really want to spend....but. We're concerned with safety, fuel efficiency, and cooking ability. The TSC stove is smaller....it's made in China, and.....well, need I say more. :sigh: I get to do a little more 'net research today, I think. I'm hoping the PE stove will bring us in at the $3,500 he quoted as his "cheap" everything price. (And I'm still in shock over the prices. :sigh: Should've jumped on the Craigslisting last year!)
Sweater: Almost thru the first ball of yarn. That equates to 2" of ribbing and Almost 4 complete pattern repeats. Not bad! Only...there are 15 full repeats and 4 rows in the entire front..so I still have quite a bit of knitting ahead of me. Good thing I like to knit....:grin: (Don't remind me I still have 2 sleeves to do, OK? Those should go fast, since they don't take as many stitches to begin with. I hope...) I have some photos of the repair of the back...but they came out really fuzzy. So...you don't get to see them. Sorry....
Fiber: Cashmere. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. You know what? I don't need to DESCRIBE it - I need to SHOW it. :heh:
This is raw cashmere, straight from LaDue's back (she's the goat in my current icon). She was bred for pluck-abilty, like Angora rabbits. Seriously, we walk up, take a handful, and pull - off it comes! It's dirty here, but that'll come out in the carding process.
Here it is, after Sweet Geek ran some of it thru my handcards. I had him use the cotton ones (more teeth per inch; used for finer fibers), and gave him a quick lesson. He caught on pretty quick! There's still a little junk in there, but not much.
I started spinning it - I'd only done 1....I can't really call it a rolag, since he didn't roll it, but....anyway. It wanted to spin froghair-fine, so I let it. I didn't manipulate it much - I wanted to see what it would do. It's not perfect, but it is pretty even. Most of the leftover junk fell out during drafting. It's....wow. Lovely to spin - oh, so soft! There's a few guard hairs left in it, so we need to work on that, but oh! To spin my own cashmere!
This is one full pass on the bobbin. It took maybe...4 rolags? to get to this. The fiber spins up beautifully - I had to work to keep it realistic (anything under 3 fibers is silly...this wanted to draft 2 at a time. I need to work on this!), and it WILL have to be plied to be usable for "manly" things. :grin: I think this will become a scarf for Sweet Geek, eventually. AFTER the sweater, my sweater, some socks...:lol:
I love the color - sort of a fog color. Sunny is our other cashmere - she has gold fiber. I can't wait for HER to start shedding! LaDue is right on the border between Cashmere and Cashgora (19 microns vs. 20+....*I* can't tell the difference, but eh. Whatever. It's still soft!); Sunny is sitting at 16 microns. I CAN tell the difference between her and LaDue - Sunny is SUPER soft. I want to cuddle up to her. :grin: They're both bred to a Grand Champion Cashmere buck...we'll be keeping at least 1 of their kids. (Sunny's for sure...we'll see about LaDue's). We're hoping for some finer cashmere from the offspring....
I do have to laugh, though. Seems Sweet Geek has been googling "cashmere" and "preparing for spinning" and whatnot. (I guess my fully-stocked library of spinning books, plus my own experience don't count...:lol:) HE'S upset that I left a couple of guard hairs in HIS yarn. :snicker: I told him, hey - the deal was YOU could get the cashmere goats, and I would spin the fiber, but *I* would not do ANYTHING related to prepping the fiber. That was ALL on you, remember? :rofl: (Reason: I really don't have the time to prep fiber AND spin AND knit/weave, plus all the other stuffs I have to do. The goats were "his" project *cough* - truthfully, the CASHMERE goats were his idea. I was all behind the nubians - you don't have to do a whole lot with them. Feed 'em, hay 'em, keep the barn clean, once they kid you milk 'em once or twice a day (if you leave the kids on them, you can do it 1x/day. Since our goats are all CL & CAE free, we're leaning towards that. Except for the 2 Nubians, who we will get AFTER they kid, sans any doe kids. They'll HAVE to be milked 2x/day.)...that's it.)
Anyway....there's more, but I'll stop now to gather my thoughts. And work on the Sweater, since the boss isn't due in yet.