Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random stuff

Dear Mom,
Today the sun is shining and before I leave to go to the dog park (with my knitting- thanks, Carol!) I have a photo of the guest room, taken in good light, to give you a better idea of the colors.
We are so enchanted with this room that both My Hero and I confessed to walking in, looking around and then closing the door behind us when we leave so the room will stay this nice!

Speaking of the dog park, I need to give an updated Patsy report. In this case it has been no news is good news. March 9th marked the 4 month-iversary of our meeting with the behavior specialist. It was the day that Patsy could be free of her house rope forever- or more realistically, for most of the time except when we decide she needs a little reminder or we need to be certain of control. We have also graduated from weekly phone calls to the behaviorist, to weekly email reports, to semi- weekly emails to our current status of "Call if you need me, and I'd love to hear about Patsy occasionally" reports. In other words, we've sort of graduated! The last thing we added to our arsenal of tricks, and the thing that seemed to tip the scale in our favor was a Motion Collar. This thing is fantastic and I wish I'd had one a year ago. I think we would have thwarted most, if not all, of Patsy's behavior issues if we'd known about it and how to use it. Not to say that the way things progressed hasn't been good. The motion collar delivers an irritating buzz- not a shock. I would compare it to that feeling you have when you hit your funny bone. We control the buzz with a handheld remote, and we can control the level of intensity that Patsy receives. Barking on walks and in the car has been significantly reduced, as has her bad habit of jumping the fence. Eventually, with consistent use of the motion collar, these behaviors should be eliminated, just like dogs with invisible fences often stay put even when not wearing their collars. Patsy is not a perfect dog, but she is a much mellower, well-behaved girl than she was 5 months ago. Things will only get better with time (and age).

I couldn't sit on my new spinning knowledge for long, and Tuesday evening I spent some time literally picking through my bag full of dirty fleece, separating the locks, getting rid of unmentionable bits and pieces of straw and burrs. It took some time to fill a mesh laundry bag with about 6 oz of wool, which I then washed. It dried overnight and last night I flick carded a small portion and spun it.
This photo shows a lock of dirty fleece, a cleaned lock in the middle, and a lock that has been carded beneath them both.

Here is a closer look at the three of them together-

And here is what I spun last night-

I should have weighed the washed wool to see how much the 6 oz of dirty fleece yielded, and I didn't weigh how much I actually carded and spun. I should also keep track of my time, just out of curiosity. My best guess is that it took 4 hours to make the yarn on the bobbin. And I loved every moment of it.