Ah, summer is here! I wish I could say I've been lazing in the sunshine with my knitting, but I have instead spent most of today trying to encourage a reluctant horse into a horse trailer, with only limited success. The culprit is Krissie, my arab mare, who's pregnant and due to have her foal in a fortnight's time (see pic below to see how very pregnant she is at the moment!).
I'm planning to send her to a stud to have the foal, they're much more experienced at it than I am and have foaling facilities and vets on hand. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to find a horse trailer of my own in time for the journey (I've been looking to buy a secondhand Rice trailer for ages), so I've borrowed a friend's box (thanks again B!).
But now after several very frustrating sessions of trying to load her, I've learned that Krissie doesn't like trailers much. I think with time she'll get used to it, as she's ok with going up the ramp and doesn't look overly stressed. She just doesn't like the ceiling over head, which is understandable, she doesn't like stables much either. The clicker training I've done with her has worked wonders with getting her comfortable in a stable and I'm really relying on the clicker work now.
She's has actually gone inside the trailer a couple of times, but she doesn't stay in for long, she seems to have got the going backwards quickly thing very well sorted! She's supposed to be going to the 'horsepital' on Tuesday, so I'll spend tomorrow working with her again and hopefully we'll get somewhere by the end of a second day.
Maybe Sam could teach her a thing or two, he used to be just as worried about trailers, but I did some trailer work with him a few months back and now he seems to love this one. He even loads himself, look!
Anyway, enough about horses. What about wool and knitting?
Well the Wildcraft shop has opened with much success. Big thanks to all those who've bought things already. I could barely keep up with the orders the first week, fortunately it's slowed down now to a more manageable level :) I'm very excited to see Wildcraft rovings appearing on Flickr and in people's stashes on Ravelry. I've even seen a few spun yarns appearing. Coley of Sheknitigans did a beautiful navajo plied yarn from a roving in the 'fumitory' colourway.
So the Wildcraft roving that started out as this:
Has now been transformed by Coley into this:
Originally uploaded by sheknitigans
Lovely work Coley!
And there are others too. Take a look at what Belaybunny has been up to. She's working on some shetland in an 'anemone' colourway that's looking very pretty on the bobbins.
I updated the shop with some new rovings and stitchmarkers last week. A few have gone already, but if you like the Scottish Seascape or Calendulas colourways, they're still available. I have plenty more undyed wool top in stock, so I'll be doing some more Shetland and BFL rovings soon.
And then of course there will also be the wool batts. I've now prepared the Water batts from Willow's wool.
In real life they're quite a lot more blue than the pic here shows, I had trouble getting the camera to pick up the darker blues accurately. The dark is more like navy than the grey seen in the photo.
And I've washed and picked some of Cordelia's and Giles' fleece for the Air and Earth batts, so they'll be ready soon. I've tried spinning some samples of the fire and water batts and they're producing a lovely striped yarn, a little like Noro stripes, which is what I intended. The fleeces are quite strong English wool types, so they're not merino-soft, although the silk and mohair that's blended into the batts does soften them up a bit. I think they're going to make fabulous hard-wearing sock yarns, or great yarns for felting/fulling.
Now I just need to get Krissie loaded, then I can get back to the wool preparation! :)